How To Get Rid Of Water Stains

Hard water stains are one of the most common things to come across during your cleaning routine, especially in the bathroom. From the shower to the faucets, these marks can be pretty pesky to remove if you don't have the right supplies to tackle them.

Caused by minerals like magnesium and calcium as water absorbs and interacts with them, hard water can present itself on surfaces as a "chalky white residue" that's often referred to as limescale, calcium deposits, or mineral build-up, according to Culligan and Lysol (the disinfectant's website). As hard water passes through the pipes in your home and dries on surfaces, particularly in the bathroom, it can leave behind hard water stains, Lysol notes. And if left untreated, these stains can cause your pipes to stop working, and even leave them with permanent damage.

So what sort of products or ingredients can you add to your cleaning regime to prevent hard water stain buildup in the first place?

There are plenty of things you can use in your home to remove hard water stains

Basically, preventing hard water stains is all about buying products that are specifically made to fight — and dissolve — mineral deposits. While there are plenty of different brands to choose from in that arena, there are also a dozen quick fixes that you can make yourself with ingredients from your pantry.

As with many DIY cleaning products, it seems that vinegar is the star of the show for removing hard water stains. According to Schultz of Water, scrubbing with a cloth containing a few cups of white vinegar can help get rid of the peskiest stains — especially those that can build up in toilets. To remove limescale from shower heads, Good Housekeeping recommends dipping an old toothbrush in white vinegar, wipe, and turn the jets on to remove the gunk.

Lemon juice is another ingredient that can work wonders, especially when paired with vinegar and water. This can be used as an all-purpose spray throughout the home, which you leave on for 15-20 minutes before wiping away the stains like they were never there. You can make this spray without the lemon juice too, just equal parts vinegar and water will also do the trick, per Good Housekeeping.

As for other areas of the home that can be affected by hard water stains, like windows, rubbing alcohol and even toothpaste are beneficial remedies, according to Window Genie.