The term “hard water” is used to describe water that has a high content of minerals such as calcium and magnesium, and although these minerals are not harmful to our health, hard water is still a bit of a nuisance. Hard water can lessens the effectiveness of soaps and laundry detergents, shortens the lifespan of washing machines and hot water heaters, encourage spots on glassware and leave unsightly staining and buildup on plumbing and fixtures. Mischievous hard water is an entity that many are forced to live with, and while we may turn a blind eye on some of its wrong doing, no one can ignore the ugly staining and buildup it leaves behind. Below are some easy tips to get rid of it. [photo via flickr]
Tips for Removing Hard Water Staining:
- Invest in a Water Softener: Softening the water is the number one way to getting rid of staining and build up because when you remove the source, you will get rid of the problems. However, water softeners can get expensive as you will have to keep buying salt pellets for the tank, so a lot of research should be conducted before purchasing.
- White Vinegar: Cleaning your faucets with vinegar is one of the most inexpensive and effective ways to combat hard water build up. In a clean spray bottle fill it with half water and half white vinegar, spray in tub and tile, shower doors and fixtures then scrub off. You can also soak your kettle and faucets in undiluted white vinegar over night to combat heavy build up.
- Baking Soda Paste: Baking soda and white vinegar works beautifully together to break down heavy staining. Create your paste with one cup of vinegar and 1 ½ cup of baking soda, scrub paste on faucets and shower heads with a scrub brush or old toothbrush and let sit for about 15 minutes before wiping it off. You can also pour this paste in toilets and scrub your tubs and tile with it.
- Lemon Juice Cleaner: The properties of lemon juice are effective at getting rid of staining and mild build up. In a clean spray bottle fill it with about half white vinegar, ¼ cup of lemon juice and ¼ cup of dishwashing soap. Use this cleaner to clean your sinks, toilets, tubs and tiles.
- Commercial Cleaners: Commercial hard water cleaners should be a last resort if all else fails because they are often toxic and can ruin the finishes of your fixtures.
Other tips to combat hard water issues are, practicing the habit of wiping down shower heads, doors, fixtures and sinks each time you use it to prevent moisture buildup. Also, you can purchase soaps and detergents specially formulated for hard water to increase the effectiveness and formation of suds.