How to Remove Hard Water Stains
By Brenda H. Murphy
If you happen to live in a location where there is a high level of lime, magnesium and calcium in your water supply, then you have what is referred to as hard water. And chances are that somewhere in your home, whether it is around a leaking tap, or in the tub where the water drips down the end, you have hard water stains.
How you remove these stains, depends on where they are. Phosphoric acid is the base of most cleaners, and even average household bathroom cleaners will have about 6% of this in the content. That may not be enough for stubborn stains or build up, however.
When you prefer not to use chemicals, you can first try soaking the area with white vinegar, and letting it set for half an hour. That should penetrate the residue enough that it can then be scrubbed or scraped off. If it doesn't, you may need a cream cleaner if you have stains on acrylic surfaces, or a vitreous enamel cleaner for things like the toilet, sink or tub. If the build-up is on the metal surface of the tap or mountings, you can try scraping it with a razor blade after it has softened, but be careful of cutting yourself, and scratching the fixtures.
Bleach can remove some stains, such as in the toilet, but should not be left there for long periods of time, as it can affect the shine of your enamel. Truly stubborn stains may need a commercial cleaner. However, if you have been trying other solutions first, be sure to rinse them away thoroughly, so there are no potentially harmful interactions between chemicals when you apply another cleaner.
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