We have really hard water in our house. Toilets, sinks, bathtubs and dishes are constantly showing signs of it.
Any tips on how to get rid of hard water stains in bathtubs and toilets? It's driving me crazy!
We get hard water build up quite often (maybe I just don't clean the tub often enough ) and placing rags soaked in vinegar and letting them sit on the buildup for an hour does eventually work. Try to get the most concentrated vinegar you can. I generally use the vinegar, clean the rest of the bathroom, move onto other rooms, and then come back and finish the tub. Microfiber cloths (when used regularly) help remove the spots off of shower doors, faucets and the tub sides. Hope that helps!
The steam cleaner is the only non chemical way I've found that works on our hard water build up.
It's best at the drips round the shower, round the taps and in the toilet. I don't find it so good at the build up over larger areas.
Ours is quite a large one as it does carpets as well but I would think a hand held one would also be fine. I would personally avoid the wallpaper stripper steam cleaner combos. They don't use any pressure so you get more water to clean up and IME they don;t work as well for cleaning, fine as a wallpaper stripper though.
For the toilet I turn off the water at night, and fill the bowl with pickling vinegar (its stronger) and leave it overnight and it works great! I'm not as on top of scrubbing the bowl out as i should be and CLR won't take the stains off but the vinegar will. I've also been experimenting with magnets, 2 strong magnets and a twist tie on the tube that goes from the toilet tank to the bowl - it slowly seems to be dissolving the buildup and I've only had to rub the crusty bits off of the showerhead once in 3 years. They seem to be working for my hard water issues.
I'll repeat that white vinegar and CLR are the best things to use. However, I have also diluted a small amount of Calgon water softener (usually used as a laundry additive) and had decent results with scrubbing stains around sinks and bathtubs.
For buildup around shower heads and faucets, take a plastic bag filled with the white vinegar, and rubber band it so that the buildup is soaking in the vinegar. Leave it overnight, and then take a rough sponge and scrub the remainder away in the morning. Usually, the buildup just sloughs off when you take the bag off, but I like to scrub it anyway for two reasons. 1) So the remainder doesn't dry up and you have to do it again because you have stains still, and 2) if you turn on the water while the buildup is still wet on the shower head it comes down on you. It doesn't hurt or anything, but it's slimy and gross.
Vinegar also helps with the dishes. You can use it while you're hand washing before you do your final rinse of each item, or you can put a cap-full in the dishwasher and it helps to minimize the stains on your "stainless" steel and/or glassware.
It actually depends on what minerals are causing your stains. Where we live in NM, vinegar does nothing. We have to scrub off the stains with pumice or use "Amaz Clean & Green." It claims to be "green," but one of the ingredients is petroleum distillates. I guess they technically are natural, but most people wouldn't think they are "green."
No idea on the toilets--like the pickling vinegar idea, though!
We use lemi-shine on our dishes. Our hard water is caused by high calcium. For the shower doors, I rub straight lemon/lemon juice on the doors, let it sit, and scrub--it takes elbow grease, but we now use a squeegee after showering and that's made a huge difference. For sinks I often get the build up around the plug, so I plug the drain and pour some vinegar into the sink to cover the build up, and come back to it later.