How to remove water stains from glass


Hard water stains form as whitish, blurred spots on glass surfaces. This is brought about by the accumulation of alkaline along with other minerals present in your water. Although these stains are difficult to remove, you can use both liquid and non-liquid cleaners to restore the sparkling condition of your glass. Read further to learn ways on how to remove water stains from glass properly.

Techniques on how to remove water stains from glass

Let’s take a look at some of the effective products that you can use to remove water stains on glass surfaces.

  • Acidic cleaner. Use a cleaning product that contains either sulfuric, phosphoric, or hydrochloric acid since these can effectively get rid of the stains. Read and carefully follow the instructions on the packaging.
  • Salt and water. A mixture of salt and water can remove mineral buildup. Salt functions as a scouring powder. Simply apply the mixture on the stained area and rub a towel in a circular motion. Rinse the surface thoroughly.
  • White vinegar. As an acid, white vinegar will loosen up the mineral deposits. 
    • Combine lemon juice with vinegar to increase its cleaning effectiveness. 
    • A mixture of vinegar and lemon juice that is warmed in a microwave is more effective in lifting stains. Pour the mixture in a spray bottle. 
    • Spray vinegar on the glass surface and let it sit for 2-3 minutes before wiping away with a dry, lint-free cloth or paper towel.
  • Rinsing agent. Adding a rinsing agent to your dishwasher can get rid of hard water stains on your dishes. 
  • Ammonia. Add some ammonia to your regular all-purpose window/glass cleaner to effectively cut through the stains. 
  • Toothpaste. Apply regular toothpaste to a moist cloth and rub over the stain in circular motions. Let it sit for a few minutes and rinse away with a solution of equal parts water and vinegar to remove any leftover residue.

How to prevent hard water stains

  • Stop the stains before they start. The best way to eliminate hard water stains is to intercede at the root of the issue and try to fix the pH balance and mineral levels in your water. One option to remove the minerals in the water is to attach a filter to your water system. Additionally, water softeners can also be added to counteract hard water. 
  • Wipe down and clean glass surfaces regularly. Hard water must be removed to prevent it from drying into stains. You must dry your glass shower doors using a lint-free towel or with a squeegee.
  • Protect your glass surfaces. For glass tables, use coasters under drinking glasses. For shower doors, apply a wax-based protective coating at least once or twice in a year. 

Does vinegar remove hard water stains?

If you have hard water at home, you will end up with hard water stains. These stains are comprised of minerals present in hard water such as lime, calcium, and silica. Although most find the removal difficult, a simple yet effective solution is white vinegar. 

Vinegar is one of the most effective and versatile household cleaning products and the recommended choice for getting rid of hard water stains. Along with rubber gloves, cloth or towel, a spray bottle, and an old toothbrush, you can readily deal with hard water stains in your house. 

How do I remove hard water stains from glass shower doors?

Hard water stains form due to the high mineral content in water. When dealing with hard water stains on glass shower doors, it requires abrasive cleaning methods and elbow grease.

  • Pour white vinegar in a spray bottle and spritz onto the glass shower doors. Completely saturate the site and allow the excess to drip into the base of the stall. You can use a face mask since the smell can be overwhelming.
  • Let it sit for a few minutes before scrubbing gently using a plastic bristle brush. 
  • Rinse the site with cold water to remove the vinegar and mineral deposits. If traces of the stains linger, repeat the spraying and scrubbing process.
  • Wipe the area with a soft absorbent cloth or towel. By wiping the glass dry, it can lessen the amount of mineral buildup.

For minor hard water stains, combine lemon juice with hot water and pour in a spray bottle. There are also commercial bathroom cleaners containing phosphoric acid that can remove hard water stains on your glass shower door. 

How do I remove hard water stains from a vase?

Stains that form on the interior of a vase are hard water deposits. You can remove these hard water stains with white vinegar since it works by dissolving them but you need to brush and it can be a hard task if the vase has a slim neck. An option is to use rice as a scrub so you no longer need to insert your hand within the vase.

  • White vinegar. Fill your glass vase with white vinegar. Let it sit for several hours and pour it out. If a trace of the stain lingers, wipe away using a non-abrasive cloth before the vinegar dries up. Take note that vinegar contains acetic acid which has a pH level capable of dissolving the salts that cause the whitish build-up. 
  • Scrubbing with rice. In case your vase has a narrow neck and you cannot reach the stains inside, you can pour a bottle washer inside to scrub the stains. If it cannot reach all the curves of the vase, pour in some rice while the vase contains vinegar and seal the top and shake. The rice will work as a gentle scrubber that will deal with the stains.

Final thoughts

Water stains on glass surfaces can leave behind a whitish, hazy film that can be undesirable to look at. Although hard water stains can be hard to remove, some methods can remove them. With the methods described, you can deal with the stains and restore the clear and sparkling look of your glass surfaces. 

teammichael

Michael René, consultant, is the leading stain removal expert in Denmark. Read about him and the rest of the team here

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