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How Do I Get Rid of Hard Water Stains on Windows?

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  • Written By: Mary McMahon
  • Edited By: Shereen Skola
  • Last Modified Date: 20 November 2016
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Hard water stains on windows can usually be removed with commercial products, some household chemicals, or a specialty cleaning service for large or complex projects. Such stains can be common when sprinkler systems routinely hit windows or the rain in an area has a high concentration of dissolved pollutants. They often take the form of deposits on the glass that may spread over time, making the window look permanently dirty, and can be a problem for vehicles as well as homes.

One option is a hard water stain remover designed specifically for glass. Numerous products should be available at hardware and home supply stores, along with tools like sponges intended for use on glass. The main concern is to prevent scratching, which can be an issue with harsh abrasives on glass. Some hard work may required to remove hard water stains on windows if they have built up over months or years. Once they’re cleaned off, making a habit of wiping the windows down regularly can prevent future problems.

Acidic chemicals around the house can also work. Plain white vinegar can be a good choice to wipe off hard water stains on windows. If they are stubborn, some scrubbing may be necessary. Other acid-based cleaners can be safe on glass, as long as they don’t have abrasive ingredients. A gentle scrub with baking soda can help lift deeply embedded stains.

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For projects that are too difficult to handle personally, like windows that are hard to reach or particularly dirty, a professional cleaning service can be a good option. These services typically provide a flat rate quote for stain removal. They have equipment like tall ladders and safety harnesses, along with chemicals they can use to clean the windows. If there are concerns about safety, some cleaning services are ecologically friendly, and use products formulated to be gentle. This can be an issue in a location like a greenhouse, where people usually want to avoid damage to plants while cleaning hard water stains.

Prevention of hard water stains on windows is also something to consider. Some glass treatments can help glass shed water, rather than allowing it to bead. This can eliminate hard water stains by encouraging mineral-rich water to slide off the window. These treatments can take the form of films peeled, sprayed, or wiped onto the glass. They may require periodic removal and replacement as they age, as many eventually start to degrade as a result of ultraviolet exposure.

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