Removing Hard Water Deposits

If you have hard water in your home you probably have found that you have film and lime deposits on your household surfaces. Hard water will add to the films and stains from soaps, minerals, and various other substances. Because of this, fixtures on the bathroom, sinks, dishes and other surfaces need to be cleaned more often. But with the right cleaners you can remove these unsightly deposits.

Magnesium and calcium is in water and will leave hard deposits that are called lime scales on various fixtures and surfaces. These types of minerals make products for cleaning your fixtures and surfaces less effective. In order to get rid of lime scale you need to get a cleaning product that has “sequestrants.” Sequestrants will capture and break up the minerals that are in water. Then the deactivated minerals are not able to react with other minerals to form lime scale or a film.

It may be the case that you have a brown or black stain that comes from manganese on your iron, brass or copper in the home. If the water is high in iron content bacteria will thrive and leave slime with a red or white color. Acidic water has brass and copper in it and when the water is acidic it will corrode plumbing and fixtures. If there are brass or copper fittings in your home you can get blue or green stains on your fixtures. In order to remove any of these stains caused by the metal in the water you should use an acidic or all purpose cleaner.

If you see the stain start to appear it is best to try to remove it immediately, as if they are allowed to penetrate the surface it will be more difficult to remove in the future. Here is a list of some types of cleaners you can use in order to get rid of stains on surfaces in your home.

Acid Cleaners – Acids will aid in removing water deposits. There are some acid cleaners that will remove discoloration from such metals as aluminum, copper, brass and bronze. Generally acids are found in toilet bowl cleaners, rust removing cleaners, and kitchen and bath cleaners.

a. White Vinegar – This is a weak acid, around 5%, which can help remove deposits that have formed because of hard water. You can also use this to remove rust from sinks as well as tarnish on brass and copper.

b. Lemon Juice – This is a citric acid that can be used much like vinegar to remove hard water deposits.

c. Oxalic Acid – This type of acid is a good rust remover.

d. Phosphoric Acid – This is found in many cleaning products that remove hard water deposits.

Abrasive Cleaners – By using abrasive cleaners, such as scouring powder, you can remove or lighten stains caused by hard water. But you should know if you use harsh abrasives often you can scratch the surface of your tub, sink, or fixtures. This can be the case even with mild abrasives. When the surface gets it will get dirty quicker. You should never use abrasive cleaners on fiberglass, glass or ceramic tile.

Specialty Cleaners – There are some specialty cleaners that are made for removing hard water deposits, soap-scum or rust. These types of specialty cleaners usually have phosphoric, hydrochloric, or hydroxyacetic acids.

All-Purpose Cleaners – Most all-purpose cleaners are non-abrasive and come in liquid or spray from. They tend to be safe for many plumbing fixtures and can be used more regularly without having to worry about scratching your surfaces. These are good to use if you first see the problem and not if the problem is in its later stages.

IMPORTANT: Whatever cleaner you use make sure to follow the directions of use. You should also open windows in the area when you are cleaning in order to get proper ventilation in the area. Never mix cleaners unless it says to do so and make sure to store cleaning products in a safe place.

Author: Jason Green