Getting rid of hard water stains - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 19 Old 08-21-2007, 01:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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What can I use to get rid of hard water stains? I have some build up on my bathroom sink, tub, and toilet. Any advice is helpful. Thanks.
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#2 of 19 Old 08-21-2007, 03:10 PM
 
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What can I use to get rid of hard water stains? I have some build up on my bathroom sink, tub, and toilet. Any advice is helpful. Thanks.
Citric acid powder, made into a paste, will get rid of it. The citric acid will dissolve the lime scale. It's the main ingredient in store bought lime scale removers. Since it is used in pickling foods, you might find it in your local food store. It is also called "sour salt" and should be about $4 for a pound.

If you can't find it ... now, don't laugh ... pick up a jar of Tang or a few packages of Kool Aid, both contain a high percentage of citric acid.
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#3 of 19 Old 08-21-2007, 04:02 PM
 
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Would citric acid work to get to get mineral deposits off my
stainless steel silverware? I let my silverware sit in my sink
and it now has milky white stuff on it and I don't know how
to get it off.

Sandi
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#4 of 19 Old 08-21-2007, 06:23 PM
 
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For mild, white water buildup around the sink area white vinegar works really well. It naturally breaks up the particles. Just let it soak for a little bit and clean it off. You can also try scraping it off with a wooden skewer or popsicle stick so you don't damage the chrome or steel finish. White vinegar is great for general maintenance once you get it all off.

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#5 of 19 Old 08-21-2007, 08:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Sandi_lea View Post
Would citric acid work to get to get mineral deposits off my
stainless steel silverware? I let my silverware sit in my sink
and it now has milky white stuff on it and I don't know how
to get it off.

Sandi
I haven't tried it on stainless steel - unless my shower head is stainless steel (don't know what metal it is). I've only used it on bathroom surfaces.
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#6 of 19 Old 08-21-2007, 08:15 PM
 
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would citric acid help get mineral build up out of hair? my pretty cool blonde highlights always turn so brassy and orange and i HATE IT!!

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#7 of 19 Old 08-25-2007, 05:35 PM
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would citric acid help get mineral build up out of hair?
What'd you think people used lemon rinses for? But what makes you think the color variation you mentioned (snipped) is from mineral build-up? I've heard of hair becoming green from copper oxide, but darkening I haven't heard of.

The most common mineral buildup in hair is calcium in the form of lime soaps. You could rinse that out with sodium hexametaphosphate, but if you want something easily available in consumer quantities, these days that'd be Calgon Bouquet Bath, which unfortunately is also alkaline, so you might want to mix it with citric acid or lemon juice to use in rinsing hair.

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#8 of 19 Old 08-25-2007, 06:56 PM
 
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What'd you think people used lemon rinses for? But what makes you think the color variation you mentioned (snipped) is from mineral build-up? I've heard of hair becoming green from copper oxide, but darkening I haven't heard of.

The most common mineral buildup in hair is calcium in the form of lime soaps. You could rinse that out with sodium hexametaphosphate, but if you want something easily available in consumer quantities, these days that'd be Calgon Bouquet Bath, which unfortunately is also alkaline, so you might want to mix it with citric acid or lemon juice to use in rinsing hair.

Robert
The build up in my hair is from iron, as my cool blonde truns brassy-orange blonde. also our tubs have rust/iron under the faucets. i have used malibu makeover iron mineral remover in my hair once-and it took a lot of it out. however, that is a horrible product to use on your hair, so i have been told by different stylists i have been to. the only recommendation they have given me is to use purple-blue pigmented shampoo/cond, but it doesnt do a whole lot when you are using well water/hard water to wash with.
i have never heard of lemon rinses to remove minerals. i have heard of them to create highlights.

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#9 of 19 Old 08-25-2007, 11:40 PM
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The build up in my hair is from iron, as my cool blonde truns brassy-orange blonde. also our tubs have rust/iron under the faucets.
So it's a red (Fe+++, ferric iron) in your hair and under your faucets?

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i have used malibu makeover iron mineral remover in my hair once-and it took a lot of it out. however, that is a horrible product to use on your hair, so i have been told by different stylists i have been to. the only recommendation they have given me is to use purple-blue pigmented shampoo/cond,
You mean there are actually shampoos with bluing, or "purpling"?

[/quote]but it doesnt do a whole lot when you are using well water/hard water to wash with.
i have never heard of lemon rinses to remove minerals. i have heard of them to create highlights.[/QUOTE]
Lemon is used for its acidity in general, but more specifically for its citric acid.

Citric acid will actually pick up oxidized iron more efficiently if you neutralize the citric acid first, making it a citrate salt. You might have a sodium citrate version of Calgon water softener/conditioner powder where you live. Or you can get "sour salt" and neutralize it with something alkaline. For Fe+++, I think it's best to go all the way to trisodium citrate, considering that you'll probably be making a sodium salt, but to avoid excess alkali you can stop short of that.

Do not use sodium hexametaphosphate to get rid of iron; it forms a black precipitate.

Robert
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#10 of 19 Old 08-26-2007, 12:10 AM
 
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So it's a red (Fe+++, ferric iron) in your hair and under your faucets?
I have no idea what its called.


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You mean there are actually shampoos with bluing, or "purpling"??
yes.



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lemon is used for its acidity in general, but more specifically for its citric acid.

Citric acid will actually pick up oxidized iron more efficiently if you neutralize the citric acid first, making it a citrate salt. You might have a sodium citrate version of Calgon water softener/conditioner powder where you live. Or you can get "sour salt" and neutralize it with something alkaline. For Fe+++, I think it's best to go all the way to trisodium citrate, considering that you'll probably be making a sodium salt, but to avoid excess alkali you can stop short of that.

Do not use sodium hexametaphosphate to get rid of iron; it forms a black precipitate.

Robert
I have no idea what any of things things you mentioned are except for the lemon/citric acid. Im not much of a chemist. :

where would i get calgon or sour salt?

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#11 of 19 Old 08-26-2007, 07:46 PM
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where would i get calgon or sour salt?
Calgon can refer to different products depending where you are. In Europe it's completely different from what it is in the USA. Anyway, forget about any liquid Calgon product; those are entirely different too. The powder can be one of two things: the boxes sold with the laundry & cleaning products aisle, or the Calgon Bouquet or Calgon Bouquet Bath sold with the bath products. The bath product is a perfumed & colored mixture mostly of phosphates & sodium carbonate. The laundry product may be a similar but cheaper and less perfumed mixture, in areas permitting phopsphates in such products, or it may be phosphate-free; I'm not sure what the phosphate free versions contain now, but maybe they're still mixtures of sodium citrate & sodium carbonate.

Sour salt is another name for citric acid as used in food. You may find it where products for food preparation such as pickling are sold. You may also find liquid toilet bowl cleaners that are citric acid solutions, but the trouble is that they're not labeled in a way that would exclude other ingredients that might be unsafe for use in a hair rinse.

Robert
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#12 of 19 Old 08-26-2007, 08:02 PM
 
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Calgon can refer to different products depending where you are. In Europe it's completely different from what it is in the USA. Anyway, forget about any liquid Calgon product; those are entirely different too. The powder can be one of two things: the boxes sold with the laundry & cleaning products aisle, or the Calgon Bouquet or Calgon Bouquet Bath sold with the bath products. The bath product is a perfumed & colored mixture mostly of phosphates & sodium carbonate. The laundry product may be a similar but cheaper and less perfumed mixture, in areas permitting phopsphates in such products, or it may be phosphate-free; I'm not sure what the phosphate free versions contain now, but maybe they're still mixtures of sodium citrate & sodium carbonate.

Sour salt is another name for citric acid as used in food. You may find it where products for food preparation such as pickling are sold. You may also find liquid toilet bowl cleaners that are citric acid solutions, but the trouble is that they're not labeled in a way that would exclude other ingredients that might be unsafe for use in a hair rinse.

Robert
as in "calgon....take me away?" That can really be used on the hair as a mineral remover?

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#13 of 19 Old 08-27-2007, 11:44 AM
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as in "calgon....take me away?"
As in Calgon Bouquet Bath. The bubble bath & bath oil beads could theoretically be used too, but they contain additional ingredients that would make the process messier. (Well, I guess the bubble bath could be used as shampoo, and the bath oil beads as a re-oiling rinse.) The liquid Calgon products don't contain the phosphate salts that work for mineral removal.

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That can really be used on the hair as a mineral remover?
If the mineral is calcium, yes; that's where its name comes from, Calcium gone. Also some other minerals, including iron +2.

If the mineral is iron +3 (the red one of rust), no. With that it forms black solids.

Note that in any case this is not an ideal product just as is for hair care, because it also contains sodium carbonate (washing soda) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), which are alkaline. If you're already washing your hair with soap, it's only about as alkaline as soap. However, the right amount of an acid would neutralize these alkali without affecting the performance of the sodium hexametaphosphate. I once did some testing and found that adding 5 to 10% by weight of citric acid to Calgon Floral Bouquet Bath gets you into the right range.

Robert
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#14 of 19 Old 08-27-2007, 01:30 PM
 
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Clairol has made all this very simple ... they have a product called Metalex which can be used to remove mineral deposits from hair. It works very well and is available in most any beauty supply store and online.
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#15 of 19 Old 08-27-2007, 03:35 PM
 
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As in Calgon Bouquet Bath. The bubble bath & bath oil beads could theoretically be used too, but they contain additional ingredients that would make the process messier. (Well, I guess the bubble bath could be used as shampoo, and the bath oil beads as a re-oiling rinse.) The liquid Calgon products don't contain the phosphate salts that work for mineral removal.


If the mineral is calcium, yes; that's where its name comes from, Calcium gone. Also some other minerals, including iron +2.

If the mineral is iron +3 (the red one of rust), no. With that it forms black solids.

Note that in any case this is not an ideal product just as is for hair care, because it also contains sodium carbonate (washing soda) and sodium bicarbonate (baking soda), which are alkaline. If you're already washing your hair with soap, it's only about as alkaline as soap. However, the right amount of an acid would neutralize these alkali without affecting the performance of the sodium hexametaphosphate. I once did some testing and found that adding 5 to 10% by weight of citric acid to Calgon Floral Bouquet Bath gets you into the right range.

Robert

well i think it is iron +3 as we do have reddish rust stains in the tub. therefore i do not want to use the calgon as i dont want black solids!?

Naturalyst, really?! wow thats so cool, i havent seen this product yet, but i will check out our local stores and look closer. thanks!

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#16 of 19 Old 08-27-2007, 03:38 PM
 
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naturalyst, i looked up that procduct and it looks like its meant to fix bad dye jobs-i have a really nice dye job at the moment, so i dont think i should try this product?

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#17 of 19 Old 08-27-2007, 07:12 PM
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Clairol has made all this very simple ... they have a product called Metalex which can be used to remove mineral deposits from hair. It works very well and is available in most any beauty supply store and online.
What's in it, EDTA?
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#18 of 19 Old 08-27-2007, 10:52 PM
 
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Clairol's Metalex is used to remove iron deposits, but it is not appropriate for hair that is dyed (assuming you want to retain the color). (Robert, Metalex is a preparation of sulfated castor oil, salicylic acid, acrylates/steareth-20 methacrylate copolymer and a few other compounds - not recalling them all but P&G files MSDSs, so I expect you can find the full roster)

For hair that's been dyed, try Malibu 2000's crystal gel treatment. It is not easy to find, but it is available online. It removes iron, copper, calcium & chlorine.

On the Malibu site, I see other products that might be appropriate, including a weekly demineralizer: http://www.malibuwellness.com/content/CN_Product_Detail.aspx?ProductCatalogNumber=5945 and a kit of shampoo/conditioner/and demineralizer spray:http://www.malibuwellness.com/content/Cn_Product_Detail.aspx?Product_Catalog_Number=9612

I've only used the crystal gel treatment but imagine the principles behind each of these products is similar.
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#19 of 19 Old 08-28-2007, 10:01 AM
 
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Clairol's Metalex is used to remove iron deposits, but it is not appropriate for hair that is dyed (assuming you want to retain the color). (Robert, Metalex is a preparation of sulfated castor oil, salicylic acid, acrylates/steareth-20 methacrylate copolymer and a few other compounds - not recalling them all but P&G files MSDSs, so I expect you can find the full roster)

For hair that's been dyed, try Malibu 2000's crystal gel treatment. It is not easy to find, but it is available online. It removes iron, copper, calcium & chlorine.

On the Malibu site, I see other products that might be appropriate, including a weekly demineralizer: http://www.malibuwellness.com/content/CN_Product_Detail.aspx?ProductCatalogNumber=5945 and a kit of shampoo/conditioner/and demineralizer spray:http://www.malibuwellness.com/content/Cn_Product_Detail.aspx?Product_Catalog_Number=9612

I've only used the crystal gel treatment but imagine the principles behind each of these products is similar.
yes i have been searching for the gel treatment. i see the site carries everything but the gel treatment. I think the gel treatment is most effective.

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