Removing Hard Water Stains when Vinegar alone won’t work

Are you annoyed with those white spots on your kitchen and bathroom faucets? You know, the buildup of “gunk” that remains after water has evaporated on the surface. Our current faucets hold A LOT of water, therefore making A LOT of hard water stains. I finally decided to get the bottom of getting rid of them! It took a few trial and errors, but I’ve figured out the trick and I’ll share it with you. A little hint; it requires more than using just vinegar because vinegar alone won’t remove our hard water stains.

Want to know something sad…..the pictures below are AFTER I thoroughly cleaned the faucets. YUCK!

The bad part is we feel like we needed to apologize when we have friends over and they use our bathrooms.

“I’m sorry about the faucets, they really are clean, it’s just hard water stains.”

Yep, kind of embarrassing.

Enough of the water build up problem, let’s get to the solution.

I started like most people probably do when they have a problem, searching the web.

Ninety percent of websites said to try vinegar.

Well I tried vinegar.

I soaked a paper towel in vinegar and let it sit on the faucet for one hour.

It did help bring some of the calcium deposits or hard water to the surface, but it did not remove them.

I thought about mixing a little bleach with the vinegar, or just using bleach to remove the unwanted gunk.

I was worried that the bleach would remove the chrome finish from my faucets, and then we would have another problem.

Also, I was informed by a reader that the combination of vinegar and bleach can cause toxic fumes! Don’t mix those two!

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Then I read how some folks use vinegar and baking soda!

Here’s the deal with baking soda and vinegar. When you pour vinegar over baking soda it fizzes like a volcano! Imagine what that “fizz” can do to remove hard water or calcium buildup.

When you pour vinegar over baking soda it causes an acid based reaction that can cut through all that grime. Let me show you!

I’ll recap the movie real quick.

How to Remove Hard Water Stains:

  1. Mix two tablespoons of vinegar with one tablespoon of baking soda
  2. Rub the surface with the solution
  3. Pour a little baking soda on the surface
  4. Add a few tablespoons of your solution on top of the baking soda to make a “paste”
  5. Let it sit at least 15 minutes
  6. Use a plastic tool to lightly scrub certain areas if needed
  7. Wipe it clean and be amazed!

I’m going to try this method in my shower. Hard water stains are terrible in places like showers too!

You won’t believe the difference!

hard water stains

I’m so pleased with how my faucets look now that the grime and build up are mostly gone.

I know it won’t last forever, but at least I know how to get rid of it.

hard water stains

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remove hard water stains

If you enjoyed this post you might enjoy a few others like it from my Home Tips category.

How to Clean Floor Glue and Heavy Dirt off Luxury Vinyl Flooring
Luxury Vinyl Tile; glue down vs. floating
Easy Picture Hanging Hacks

Thanks for stopping by guys! If you have any other hard water tips let me know in the comments! I’m always up for learning new cleaning hacks.


10 thoughts on “Removing Hard Water Stains when Vinegar alone won’t work

  1. Looks Great ! Just a thought ,also try Bar Keepers Friend ! Find it at the Supermarket in the cleaning aisle in a can like Comet ! Works great on many things !!!

  2. Once they’re clean you can apply a light coat of oil- something non toxic like olive or mineral oil. It should help delay the build up of calcium.

  3. great post! I use vinegar and baking soda when ever I clean my sink and tub & chrome – it also helps remove mildew. For more power, I add Liquid castile Soap, which also works in the toilet. Lemon and salt work great as well – and the smell is wonderful!

    1. Hi Lori! Great to know about the lemon and salt, I’ll give that a try! Thanks for stopping by!

  4. Neat tip! I’ll remember this one. Have one of mine to share- if you have the non-stick type skillets that have the white ceramic lining I do this to remove food stains/marks, etc. Squirt in some DAWN Extra and sprinkle baking soda over this and scrub with a sponge til clean and white. I use this same stuff to clean my white, glossy finish acrylic sink and also the cultured marble vanity top/sink in my bath. Cleans great and doesn’t scratch.

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