It’s known by several different names: hard water stains, lime scale, mineral deposits, mineral build-up, hard water deposits. It’s that white crusty GUNK that build ups around sink & tub faucets, shower heads, etc, etc, etc.
It forms when tap water evaporates and leaves behind minerals such as calcium and magnesium, and it becomes ROCK HARD when it’s left sitting on any surface.
My main hard water problem/nemesis is the bathtub! In particular, the whirlpool jets!
Back in October of last year I posted about my “Miracle Cleaner” working “miracles” in the bathroom. But added at the END of the post that the ONE NOT SO GOOD THING I hadn’t been able to conquer, even with the miracle cleaner, was the plaster-like hard water deposits in my bathtub and around my faucets.
Many at the time left comments touting VINEGAR as the MIRACLE CURE for hard water stains. So I tried it. I soaked some rags in straight vinegar and WRAPPED the faucet bases on my tub.
Worked like magic!
My bathtub faucet controls.
Unfortunately, the build up in the bathtub jets were WAY too much for the vinegar soaked rags. And believe me I tried! I kept soaking the rags and putting them back in the jets and a LITTLE would come off…but nothing was budging the rock-hard build up in there.
After that setback…I put the whole project aside and tried not to think about it…but I missed using the jets in my tub! And I was NOT going to use them with that gunk in there.
So I continued to search for an answer and FINALLY found it in a comment on a Gardening Forum of all things. :-) A comment that was left back in 2004! I could have taken care of this problem EIGHT YEARS AGO?!? ;-) Oh well….better late than never!
Building on what Trinity suggested in July of 2004…here is what worked for me TODAY:
1. Fill tub with hot water to a couple inches above jets.
2. Pour in 1 cup bleach and 1/2 cup powdered dishwasher detergent (you could substitute vinegar here if you are opposed to using bleach)
3. Run the jets (wide open!) for 15 minutes, then let soak. (I left mine to soak for about an hour.)
Here is what I discovered when the water and bubbles had receded…..
I kid you not! I didn’t lay a FINGER on that jet! I thought for sure I would have to repeat the process at LEAST 2 or 3 times AND take a scrub brush to it…but NOPE…one time and all the hard water build up was completely gone!
I still had to work on some of the hard water STAINS under the jets…but those all eventually came clean too using the vinegar-soaked rags trick.
Here are a couple more before and afters:
Thanks to this “new” Miracle Cleaner, I can once again enjoy the WHIRLPOOL feature of my WHIRLPOOL tub!
Oh Happy Day!
P.S. The same vinegar-soaked rag technique can work in your TOILET too!
- Turn off the water to your toilet.
- Flush it repeatedly until the bowl is empty of water.
- Soak your rags with straight white vinegar and line the toilet bowl with them.
- When the rags dry out, add more vinegar. Do this for several hours, or until the scale starts to dissolve.
- When the stains start dissolving, use your toilet brush and scrub the remaining scale off.
- Turn the water back on and rinse.