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How To Remove Hard Water Stains From Glass

A woman is holding a glass on top of a towel that's wet with water droplets.
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Who doesn’t love the clear, clean look of glassware? The beautiful aesthetic of a spotless glass shower? Glass is fantastic for the kitchen, bathroom, and elsewhere thanks to its strength, aesthetic appeal, and impervious nature to mold and bacteria growth. But while glassware may normally have a fresh aesthetic, there is something that can cause frustrating blemishes. This is hard water. The following is a look at hard water and how to remove hard water stains from glass, whether it be your glass dishware, glass shower, or something else entirely.

What Causes Hard Water Stains

The term water hardness refers to the amount of certain minerals that exist in the water that are pumped in and throughout your home. High levels of magnesium and calcium, in particular, will lend to water being called ‘hard’. 

Generally, the more the water entering your home is in contact with underground minerals, like calcium and magnesium, the more it interacts with those minerals. The water can absorb these minerals and therefore transport them into your home. 

Water companies and municipality treatment facilities will test and minimize your water hardness level. However, most aren’t going to try to discourage hard water. The only way for you to limit water hardness is via a water filtration system like those offered by our team at ONIT. You can contact your local water facility to determine the level of water hardness, but you can tell if you have high water hardness if you notice:

  • Water spots on glassware, dishes, and glass doors. This can stem from the calcium deposits water leaves behind when it evaporates.
  • Brown or reddish stains on your porcelain bathroom appliances (bathtub, sink, or toilet). These stains can be caused by iron deposits left behind when water evaporates.
  • High amounts of soap scum or soap film left behind in the tub or shower. Soap ingredients interacting with magnesium and calcium are responsible for this.

a bathroom view with a vanity sink, toilet, and bath shower combination and bathtub

How to Remove Hard Water Stains From Glass

We’ll try to get to the last two problems in another article, but in this one, we want to focus on how to remove hard water stains from glass. But before we begin, note that you can help avoid hard water stains on your glass dishware and other dishes if you choose to hand wash and towel dry as towel drying removes those left-over minerals before they appear. 

Fully wiping down your glass shower door every time you take a shower as well as towel drying your tub after every use can also help reduce and even eliminate hard water stains in these areas. 

For those that don’t want to do that, consider the following tips on how to remove hard water stains from glass:

  • Vinegar and Water Spray
  • Add Lemon
  • Bar Keepers Friend

A dark grey spray bottle on top of mint cleaning gloves next to a potted house plant.

Vinegar and Water Spray

Mix together a solution that is one part water and one part white distilled vinegar and put it into a clean spray bottle. Spray this cleaning solution onto any glass that has a prominent build-up of hard water stains and allow it to sit for two minutes, re-spray, then allow it to sit again for another three to five minutes. 

Then, wet a soft cotton towel or paper towel and dry off. If there are still stubborn hard water stains, try rubbing the solution and then drying. This solution is good to use with your kitchen glassware, especially if you’re trying to resolve the issue before a dinner party, as it won’t leave behind any chemicals or a noticeable smell or taste.

Add Lemon

Maybe okay for some glassware, this technique is best for bathrooms and other appliance-like glass. Here, you will cut a fresh lemon in half, peeling back slightly at the edges, and then rubbing it wherever you have hard water stains. 

The acidity of the lemon will remove the hard water with relative ease, and then a soft cloth can clean both those left-over deposits and any lemony-bits. The added benefit of using this in the bathroom is that it leaves behind a fresh and true lemony-scent which we associate with feelings of freshness and cleanliness.

Bar Keepers Friend

If the eco-friendly methods from above won’t work on your glass showers and other appliances, then this should be your go-to product.

One benefit to Bar Keepers Friend is that you can safely use it on your porcelain furnishings, like your bathtub and toilet. This can remove the rust and mineral deposits left there by hard water. Simply sprinkle the powder onto your hard water stains (use a damp rag in order to make the powder stick if you’re applying to vertical sources like a glass shower). Then let the mixture sit for the product’s set amount of time. Then rub off with a clean rag and Voila! No more hard water stains.

Other Tips and Tricks for Stain-Free Glass

These are all effective ways to scrub away those pesky mineral stains. However, you’ll want to consider these tips and tricks for extra efficiency.

Start Small

Before applying the solution to your glassware, test the product on a small section. This will make sure the mixture is working properly. Once you’re comfortable with the technique, expand to other sections or items of glassware.

Use a Good Towel

When removing hard water stains from glass, work with a high-quality towel.  Durable cloths made from strong fabrics are great for wiping into mineral build up. A nice and sturdy microfiber cloth is perfect for massaging away bothersome mineral stains. We also suggest using lint-free towels for easier cleaning.

Stay Consistent

Routinely making an effort to wipe away hard water from your glass is a simple way to keep stains from forming. After hand washing a glass, wipe off all the water with a microfiber towel to prevent the stains. The same steps apply after taking a shower. Wipe the water from your shower doors to promote shiny surfaces.

A woman is closely examining the glass she is cleaning with a towel.

We’ll Help You Stop Hard Water Stains In Their Tracks

Don’t forget, you can also just eliminate the occurrence of hard water via a water filtration system. At ONIT, we install top water filtration systems inside of homes that help families eliminate up to 99.8% of the contaminants floating in their water. This includes hard water minerals responsible for staining your glassware and shower doors. 

Say goodbye to the stains for good and enjoy cleaner, healthier water today. The first step is to get started with a free water test. We’ll review the results and help answer any questions you may have about the water quality inside your home. Then we’ll start finding you solutions for cleaner water.

ONIT Home is your one-stop shop to create a space for families to enjoy. Bundle your purchases together for a $1,500 voucher to be used with our water filtration, security systems, or solar panels. Or, receive a $2,000 security system for $1,000 with a purchase of a water filtration system. Ready to go solar? Every solar panel system is a two week installation and comes with a free home security and water filtration system! Learn more about our bundling deals today by calling us at 1-833-433-0331. Whatever you need, we’re ONIT! 

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