Cooktop Cove: 7 tips to help you remove hard water stains the easy way
By Lillian Teague
Hard water stains are a result of water with a high mineral count. The U.S. Geological Survey reports 85% of homes have hard water issues. While the minerals in your water are beneficial to your health, they often cause an unsightly white scale on your faucets, fixtures, and appliances.
Removing hard water stains and deposits isn't a difficult task - if you have the right tools. Don't rush out and buy expensive (and potentially harmful) chemicals. You may already have exactly what you need!
1. Remove hard water stains around faucet handles
That thin white layer of mineral deposits at the base of faucet handles won't just wipe away during a regular cleaning. This hard layer requires an acidic cleaner to remove it. Vinegar is the perfect solution, but it needs time to work. Fill a bowl with vinegar and submerge your cleaning cloths in the vinegar. Drape the wet cloths around the base of your faucet handles and leave for an hour or more. Add more vinegar as necessary to keep wet. Remove the rags and simply wipe the area clean.
2. Mix up a homemade hard water stain remover
Hard water stains can build up in your sinks and tubs. This miracle hard water stain remover works on mineral deposits on any surfaces. You simply fill a spray bottle halfway with vinegar. Add 1/4 cup lemon juice and fill the rest of the bottle with liquid dish soap. Leave at least 2 inches at the top of the bottle for any foaming. Spray on your mineral deposits, allow to work the magic for a few minutes, and wipe clean. You'll be amazed at the results!
3. Make a scrubbing paste
The combination of salt and vinegar creates the ideal solution for dissolving limescale from hard water stains. The acidic vinegar breaks down the mineral deposits, while the salt helps in providing scrubbing action. Make a thick paste and rub over the stained area. Leave on the deposit for around 15 minutes and then scrub with a clean sponge. Regular table salt will work fine, but if you can find cleaning vinegar it will provide a boost of cleaning power.
4. Rinse hard water stains off shower doors
No scrubbing required almost sounds too good to be true. The secret ingredient to removing hard water stains quickly and easily from glass shower doors is glass stovetop cleaner. Just paint it on with a paintbrush, leave along for a few minutes, and rinse clean. It's the most fun you'll ever have cleaning the shower!
5. Clean your toilet without scratching the porcelain
That dark ring in your toilet isn't necessarily a stain in the porcelain. It may be where hard water has created a limescale ring. The traditional cleaning method uses a pumice stone to erase the offensive ring, but you risk scratching the toilet and causing more staining. The easiest way to remove the hard water ring without damaging your toilet is to pull on a pair of gloves and use a small piece of drywall screen to scrub over the area with Barkeeper's Friend. Your toilet will look brand new again!
6. Wipe out dishwasher hard water stains
Your dishwasher will first show hard water stains and mineral deposits in the bottom, but eventually the haze can cover the sides and back as well. To wipe these stains away, you'll need to use this clever method. Place 2 cups of vinegar on the top rack of the dishwasher and run a regular cycle. After the first rinse, open the dishwasher and wipe it down with a mild cleaning sponge. Resume the cycle for a few more minutes, then wipe one more time. Allow the dishwasher to finish the entire cleaning cycle.
7. Brew up a clean coffee maker
A coffee maker that isn't brewing correctly may be clogged with hard water deposits. To eliminate and prevent blockages, run a carafe of 1/2 vinegar and 1/2 water through the coffee maker. Repeat, but stop the brewing cycle halfway through for a 15 minute pause. Resume the cycle to complete the cleaning. Brew 1 to 2 carafes of clean water to rinse. Your coffee maker will stay limescale free with this simple cleaning technique!
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