How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Your Shower

August 22nd, 2018

Hard water stains, watermarks, scaling – there are several names for it, but it’s the same thing.

The pesky light coloured buildup that forms on your shower head. The white ‘misty-looking’ residue that forms on your glass shower screen. The white or other-coloured splotches or stains that accumulate anywhere else water touches.

Wherever and whatever it looks like for you, we’re going to tell you how to get rid of it.

First – The Do’s and Don’ts of Tapware Cleaning:

Not all cleaning products are a good choice, and they can sometimes damage your tapware,  so have a read here before you attack those stains!

Unless you’re dealing with very stubborn stains, we recommend you avoid using strong chemicals containing chlorides, citric acid, acetic acid or other corrosive substances. Also avoid using abrasive cleaners and scourers.

Hard Water Stain Removal: Brass & Stainless Steel

Electroplated brass finishes should only be cleaned using a soft cloth and a warm soapy water solution. Surfaces should then be rinsed with clean water and finally dried with a clean soft cloth.

Polishing of stainless steel products is recommended, using any of the commonly available stainless steel polishes.

Hard Water Stain Removal: Sugar Soap

For ceramic or hardy metal or glass surfaces, sugar soap works a treat.
How to Use It:

Apply TSP to a soft cloth, rub the stain, and you should be able to remove it completely.

NOTE: Use in rooms with good ventilation, store out of reach of children and pets.

Remove Old & Stubborn Stains: Oxalic Acid

If you’ve got old or stubborn stains, you may need to use Oxalic Acid. This heavy-going cleaning agent is proven to do what other cleaners cannot.  But take care to use thick rubber gloves and eye protection.

How to Use It:
Oxalic Acid is usually sold in crystal form. To use, dissolve the crystals in water, and mix with talc to form a paste. Coat the stained tap, glass or tile with the paste and let it dry thoroughly. After it’s dried, rinse away the paste and polish the surface.

NOTE: Use extra care with this harsh product. Ventilate well, and avoid skin contact if possible.

NOTE: Acids are ok for tiles, grout and glass, but strong acids that come into contact with stainless steel or electroplated brass will cause damage and void the product’s warranty.

DIY / Homemade Solutions

For the DIY champions out there, we’ve got a few solutions for you.

Keep in mind for these ones – citric acid and other acidic solutions can potentially harm your tapware – so be wise and read up about what’s right or wrong for your fixtures.

  • Water & white vinegar: For less stubborn stains, a simple mix of water and vinegar can do the trick. Try dipping a toothbrush into the solution and scrubbing the stains away.
  • Lemon Juice & Borax: create a paste of lemon juice and borax. Here are a number of ways to use Borax for cleaning.
  • Cream of Tartar with Hydrogen Peroxide: Mixing these two substances can remove even stubborn stains
  • Clean regularly with common household cleaners: keeping your shower clean in the first place will discourage watermarks and stains from occurring at all.