How to Use Vinegar to Clean a Hard Water Spot

What You'll Need
Distilled white vinegar
Spray bottle
Baking Soda
Scrubbing brush

A hard water spot can form on glass or ceramic surfaces due to lime scale deposits. These spots look unsightly and grow over time. Although they won’t ruin the surface, a hard water spot still needs to be removed. Luckily, this can be done quite easily. All it takes is a little work using items you will already have in your house.

Step 1 - Small Stains

To clear a small hard water spot, use 1 cup of water and 1 cup of distilled white vinegar in the sink. Soak a towel in the mixture. Spread the wet towel over the hard water spot and leave for 15 minutes. This will loosen the lime scale on the surface. After this, wipe clean with a dry towel. If this doesn’t remove all the hard water spot, soak the towel again and leave it on the spot for a longer period of time before wiping clean. Some hard water spots might require several treatments before you manage to remove all of it.

If this method doesn't ’t remove all of the stain, soak a towel in undiluted distilled white vinegar and place on the hard water spot for 15 minutes. After the time has elapsed, rub hard with a dry towel. This will remove all but the most stubborn hard water spots.

Step 2 - Larger Stains

If you have to clean a shower door, for example, make up a mixture of half water and half distilled white vinegar. Put it into a spray bottle. Soak your towel thoroughly with the mixture. Spray the mixture on the shower door and wipe off with the towel. This will help break up the hard water spot on the glass. Spray again and leave for 15 minutes.

Use your squeegee to remove the remainder of the hard water spot and clean the glass with clear water to get rid of the vinegar smell in the bathroom.

Step 3 - Reluctant Stains

Sometimes you’ll encounter stains that won’t respond to the vinegar and water mixture. These will need more work. Mix vinegar and baking soda into a thick paste. Using the towel, rub it onto the stain. Let it sit for 15 minutes then wipe off. This will remove all or most of the stain, and the rest can be lifted off with a second application.

Step 4 - In Bathtubs

Hard water stains build up inside bathtubs as well, and these need to be removed periodically. To do this, make up a large batch of the vinegar and baking soda mix. Spread it over the inside of the tub using a towel. Now scrub the inside of the tub with a scrubbing brush. When you’ve finished, rinse the tub with cold water. Once it’s dry, you’ll be able to see any spots you might have missed or which couldn’t be removed the first time. You can run over these again to remove the hard water spot.

One advantage to using vinegar is that it's a very environmentally-friendly solution for cleaning hard water spots. Unlike chemical cleaners, it won't mix toxic materials into the groundwater.