How to Remove Hard Water Stains From Glass

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Things You'll Need

  • Distilled white vinegar

  • Small spray bottle

  • Green scrubby pad or soft-bristled scrub brush

  • Soft sponge

  • Small rubber squeegee or clean, soft cloth

  • Table salt

  • Baking soda

  • Small container

  • 1 cup ammonia

  • Bucket or large plastic container

  • Rubber gloves

  • Protective eyewear

Tip

Prevent hard water stains from forming by drying off glass surfaces as soon as they get wet.

Cleaning your windows and mirrors with a solution containing 2 cups of distilled white vinegar and 1 gallon of water can help stop mineral deposits from developing on the glass.

Warning

Although natural products, ammonia, baking soda, salt and vinegar can still cause skin and eye irritation. Protect yourself from exposure by wearing rubber gloves and protective eyewear when treating hard water stains.

Never use stiff-bristled brushes, pumices or other abrasive cleaning tools on glass because those tools can etch or scratch the surface.

Remove hard water stains regularly to keep windows looking clean.
Image Credit: Creatas/Creatas/Getty Images

Hard water stains often form on glass after tap water containing high levels of calcium or magnesium has evaporated on the surface. As the minerals dissolve, they leave behind white, cloudy or hazy spots that can be difficult to remove using regular glass-cleaning products. Fortunately, several inexpensive, natural products you likely already have in your home can effectively remove the unsightly stains and leave your glass looking clean and shiny.

Light Acidic Cleaner

Step 1

Combine equal parts warm water and distilled white vinegar in a small spray bottle. Squirt the solution directly onto the hard water stain.

Step 2

Allow the solution to sit for about 15 minutes, which gives the acetic acid in the vinegar time to penetrate and dissolve the stain. Use a green scrubby pad or a soft-bristled scrub brush to gently scour away any remaining mineral deposits.

Step 3

Wipe all cleaner residue from the glass using a damp, soft sponge. Dry the glass with a small rubber squeegee or a clean, soft cloth.

Soft Abrasive Cleaner

Step 1

Pour undiluted distilled white vinegar into a small spray bottle. Spritz the solution directly onto the stain until it completely covers it. Allow the solution to sit for about 30 minutes.

Step 2

Combine equal parts table salt and baking soda in a small container. Slowly add enough water to create a paste about the consistency of toothpaste.

Step 3

Dip a clean, damp sponge into the paste and smear it directly onto the vinegar-soaked stain. Scrub gently until the hard water spot disappears.

Step 4

Rinse the glass well with a soft sponge dampened with clean water. Polish the glass with a clean, soft cloth.

Heavy Duty Natural Cleaner

Step 1

Combine 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar, 1/4 cup of baking soda, 1 cup of ammonia and 1 gallon of warm water in a bucket or large plastic container.

Step 2

Dip a soft-bristled scrub brush or a green scrubby pad into the cleaning solution. Gently scour stubborn mineral deposits until no more stain remains.

Step 3

Rinse the cleaner from the glass surface with a soft sponge dipped in clean water. Dry the area with a soft, clean cloth or a small rubber squeegee.

references & resources

Amber Kelsey

Growing up in a family full of landscapers and carpenters, Amber Kelsey learned all about home and garden topics through osmosis. Her articles in The Green Girl's Guide and Altar demonstrate her eco-friendly nature, and she uses organic practices in her various gardens. Kelsey holds master's degrees in English writing and cultural anthropology.