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How to remove hard water stains from glass – Tips and Tricks

Who does not want spotless and crystal clear glass windows? But, rainwater can very quickly make your glass windows cloudy and foggy. Hard water stains, also known as limescale, are widespread and result from the presence of minerals in the hard water. Hard water contains minerals like calcium and magnesium, and these minerals are behind those white stains on your glass surface. When water evaporates, it leaves the minerals behind, which with time gets dry and becomes rigid.

Hard water stains are not something difficult to remove in the first place. However, if you leave the glass surfaces untreated for a long time, the build-up can get tough to deal with. These are several commercial designer cleaners available in the market to remove hard water stains.

But, there are also several natural ways to remove hard water stains on shower doors or windows. Here are some of the easy to follow hard water stains on glass removal techniques to make your task easier:

Liquid cleaners to remove hard water stains:

Salt and water:

Salt can act as a great natural scouring agent, and you do not have to expend time, energy or money to find it. All you have to do is mix salt and water to form a paste. Please do not make it a saturated solution; instead, try to make it a paste. Apply this salt and water paste onto the stained surface and scrub the area with an old toothbrush. Next, wipe out the glass surface using a cloth towel and make sure you do not leave any residue.

Otherwise, you will end up having stains again. At the same time, as both salt and water are entirely safe, this process can be safely used in the kitchen by removing hard water stains on the gas stove top.

Acidic cleaners:

Okay, so let’s put some science lessons in this how-to remove water spot from windows article. The minerals present in water makes it alkaline. Therefore, the most effective way to remove hard water stains from glass will be using an acidic substance as it will break down the alkaline. Use a cleaning product that uses any acid like sulphuric, phosphoric or hydrochloric acid as its ingredient.

Using such a product on the hard water stains will be best for superior results. However, acidic cleaners can be harmful to you, so read the instructions carefully before using them. Always keep your skin and eyes safe. Also, store those cleaners somewhere away from the reach of children.

White vinegar:

White vinegar is among those safe cleaners which can help clean almost anything. While white vinegar can effectively remove hard water stains, some added benefits are that it is not toxic even after being acidic, and it does not cause any staining. You can also squeeze some lemon juice into the vinegar to make it more efficient.

The lemon juice will also help in removing any lousy odour left by the vinegar. It is recommended that you warm the vinegar-lemon juice solution up in a solution before using it. Now, spray the solution onto the hard water stains and let it work for 2-3 minutes. After 2-3 minutes, wipe it dry with a paper towel.

Non-liquid cleaners to remove hard water stains:

Scrubbing sponges:

If the hard water stains on your glass surface do not seem harsh, use a scrubbing sponge or superfine steel wool even before using any commercial cleaners. You might not need them at all. Scrub the hard water streaks with a scrubbing sponge to dissolve the marks. You can also dampen the sponge a little bit to make it work more effectively. However, please do not use any hard bristle scrubber as it can scratch the glass surface.


Toothpaste also works fine on hard water stains, and, not to mention, it is entirely safe. Rub the toothpaste on the hard water stains using a cloth towel.

To entirely remove the stains, scrub all the marks thoroughly. Then, let the toothpaste sit for a little and rinse it off using a 50/50 vinegar-water solution.

Baking soda:

As a cleaning agent, baking soda’s credibility is unquestionable. Baking soda is an excellent natural abrasive and works well on hard water stains. Make a paste using baking soda and water. Apply this paste on the stained glass and leave it for some time. Scrub the area off with a dry cloth towel to get a stain-free glass surface.

Commercial polishing agents:

Mild glass polishing agents are very effective in wearing down the hard water stains from glass. They also do not scratch or damage the surface. At the same time, they do not leave any residue like the other liquid and non-liquid cleaners. In addition, the companies provide instructions on using them, making sure you follow those instructions to complete your glass cleaning routine more fruitful.


Just like removing the hard water stains from glass, it is crucial to know how to maintain clean glass surfaces or prevent the pigments in the first place. Please do not wait for the mineral accumulation on the glass windows and clean them regularly, especially, heavily used areas like shower doors and glass stovetops require regular cleaning as stains can appear very quickly on them. If you can spend some extra money, you should also consider treating the glass surfaces with a protective coat to prevent hard water stains build up.      


What are the preventive measures I should take for hard water stains on glass?

The best preventive measure you can take is never to let your glass doors or windows wet and let the minerals build up on the glass surfaces. Keep them always dry and clean them regularly. For shower doors, it is better to use frameless doors as the frames can accelerate the lime build-up. The exterior glass windows should be treated with rainwater repellent to prevent any hard water stains.

How can I remove hard water stains from glass shower doors?

You can use any cleaning agents to treat hard water stains on shower doors. However, try to make it a habit to wipe out the water using a squeegee every time you use the shower. Only a regular cleaning habit can prevent mineral build-up on glass shower doors.

How do I clean my stained drinking glasses?

Start by filling up the basin with equal parts of water and white vinegar. Next, put the drinking glasses into the solution and let them soak for a few hours. Rinse them properly, and you are done.

How can I prevent rainwater stains on the exterior windows?

The most effective way to prevent rainwater stains on the exterior windows is to treat them with a rain repellent product. You might need to repeat this process after every few months.