Nontoxic Ways to Remove Hard Water Stains

To keep your home safe (especially if you have children), try these nontoxic ways to rid yourself of pesky mineral deposits.

Some 85 percent of homes in the United States have hard water, which means that tubs, faucets, dishwashers, and other appliances are often plagued by gritty mineral deposits. Hard water contains lime and other minerals that stain surfaces and can clog showerheads. While many powerful limescale removers are available, they contain chemicals toxic to the lungs and other body parts. To keep your home safe (especially if you have children), try these nontoxic ways to rid yourself of pesky mineral deposits.

Rub a lemon rind over chrome faucets. Then soak several paper towels in vinegar and drape them over the faucets. After an hour, remove the towels and rinse your now-sparkling faucets.

Remove your showerhead and soak it in plain white vinegar for several hours. Then give it a good scrub, rinse it in plain water, and replace.

Shower doors
To eliminate streaky mineral deposits on your shower doors, spray them with white vinegar before wiping down. Another effective shower door cleaner is white wine. One glass of wine should be enough to clear away the grit, and leave you enough left over to have with dinner.

Pour a cup of white vinegar into your empty dishwasher, and run it through a full cycle empty. Do this monthly to keep your dishwasher working optimally.

Bath mat
White vinegar will both clean and disinfect your bath mat. Pour enough vinegar over your mat to coat it, and let it soak for an hour. Then scrub the mat thoroughly with a scrub brush before rinsing with warm water.

A can of cola can work wonders on hard water marks in your toilet bowl. Pour one can into the toilet, leave for an hour, then flush. Or, use three cups of white vinegar.

Coffee maker
Fill the water reservoir with vinegar and run your coffee maker through a brewing cycle. Then repeat the brewing cycle twice more, using just plain water.

To keep your glasses streak-free, soak them in vinegar for 15 minutes before rinsing.

There are many vinegar uses that can clean things outside the bathroom, too—check them out.

Sources: The Guardian, BBC,,,

Originally Published in Reader's Digest