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Friday, July 20, 2012

Cleaning Hard Water Stains

A clean faucet after removing hard water stains.

Hard water stains are tough, no doubt about it. Hard water contains minerals like lime and calcium and magnesium that can stain the bathroom surfaces, faucets, the coffee pot, and cultured marble surfaces.

Cleaning hard water stains is something we come up against in our client’s homes time and again. Below are a few things you can do to remove hard water stains from the surfaces in your home.

Removing Mineral Deposits from the Inside of the Toilet Tank

Water sits in the inside of the toilet tank so it’s not a surprise that this will be one place hard water deposits will form.

Empty the water from the toilet and add only white vinegar to the top of the overflow tube. I know it’s a lot of vinegar but it’s worth it. When you’ve added all the vinegar you need, put the cover back on the tank and let it sit for 12 to 24 hours. And don’t let anyone use it!

After letting the vinegar sit the allowed time, scrub the tank clean, flush, and voila! This same method can be used to clean the inside of the bowl as well and at the same time as cleaning the tank if necessary.

Using a Pumice Stone for Extra Tough Stains

The vinegar and scrubbing method above most likely worked for you but if the hard water stains in your toilet are so bad it didn’t quite get it all, try a pumice stone.

Just make sure when you’re using the pumice stone you keep the stone and the surface wet to avoid scratching the surface. Scrub the stains with a light consistent pressure until the stain is gone.

Cleaning Hard Water Stains from Cultured Marble

Cultured marble is not as porous or as delicate as regular marble. Cultured marble is 75 percent marble dust and 25 percent resin. It has a resin finish, it is not porous, and is pretty much stain resistant. That being said it doesn’t mean you can clean it with any ol’ thing, it can scratch if not careful.

Non-Coated Culture Marble Surfaces

Not all cultured marble surfaces have a gel coating either. So know what you have before you clean.

Avoid using strong acidic products or alkaline based cleaners on surfaces that aren’t coated. And don’t use abrasive cleaners, steel wool, scouring pads, etc. that could scratch the surface.

Coated Culture Marble

To clean hard water stains on your cultured marble surface, mix in a spray bottle a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water. Let this mixture dry for 30 minutes. Use a damp cloth to wipe down the area that has the hard water staining. Repeat if necessary, just don’t use abrasives.

To help prevent hard water staining in your shower area, wipe down the surface when you’re done bathing or showering.

Getting Hard Water Stains out of the Coffee Maker

If you have noticed white spots inside the coffee pot, you may have hard water - which again is a high mineral content found naturally in water.

You can do one of two things. Vinegar; what else? And/or denture tabs.

First clean all removable parts with warm soapy water. If residue in the coffee pot is pretty bad, give an extra squirt of detergent inside the pot first, scrub, then clean again in the soapy water. You can use a soft nylon brush if you have one or the scrubby side of a sponge. Rinse well when done.

Either one of these will clean the coffee maker nicely and give you a nice fresh cup of coffee again.

Cleaning the Coffee Pot with Vinegar

Now fill the coffee pot with 2 cups white vinegar and 6 cups water for a 8 cup coffee maker or 1/ 4 full of white vinegar and the rest water for smaller sizes.

Pour the vinegar and water solution into the water reservoir in the coffee maker and run a cycle. When the cycle is complete pour the used vinegar/water solution down the drain. You can run one more cycle of vinegar/water if you think it’s needed.

After the vinegar and water, rinse the coffee pot really good with cold water. Fill the coffee makers water reservoir with plain water and run another cycle. If you’re worried about any lingering vinegar, you can run an additional plain water cycle.

Cleaning the Coffee Pot with Denture Tabs

Drop two denture tablets in the coffee pot then fill with water. Let the tabs fizzle until there is no more fizzie, then pour into the reservoir section of the coffee maker.

Put a filter in the basket and run a cycle through the coffee maker. Run two more cycles using plain water.

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