Hard water refers to water that has a higher amount of dissolved minerals than other types of water, and it is a common problem for many people. Using vinegar for hard water stain removal is a popular natural cleaning method. Undiluted vinegar can be applied to a surface that has hard water stains. After the vinegar has been allowed to set on the surface for several minutes, the stains will usually wipe right off. Many people use vinegar for cleaning their bathrooms and kitchens.
As water passes through soil and rocks, it can pick up minerals, and water that is referred to as “hard” has a higher than normal amount of minerals in it. Hard water can interfere with the sudsing ability of some soaps and detergents. Certain minerals in the water, particularly magnesium and calcium, can also leave a white stain or film on most surfaces. Instead of purchasing harsh and expensive hard water stain cleaners, many people use vinegar for hard water stains.
A bathroom toilet is a common place to find hard water stains. To remove these stains, undiluted white distilled vinegar can be poured into the toilet. After several minutes to an hour, these stains should simply wipe right off. Even when using vinegar for hard water, however, some more stubborn stains may need to be scrubbed.
Showers and tubs can also benefit from vinegar. A clean spray bottle can be used to apply vinegar for hard water stain removal to these surfaces. Several minutes later, most of the stains should wipe off easily. To prevent hard water stains, vinegar can be sprayed onto the inside surfaces of a tub or shower stall before showering.
Mineral buildup due to hard water can also cause shower heads to become stained and less efficient. Vinegar can also be used to combat this problem. The shower head should be soaked in undiluted vinegar for a couple of hours to remove the buildup. Pouring the vinegar into a plastic bag and securing it to the shower head with a rubber band is probably one of the easiest ways to do this.
Vinegar for hard water stains and buildup can also be used in the kitchen. Dishes washed in a dishwasher, particularly glasses, will often be stained by hard water. To prevent this, vinegar can be added to the machine during the rinse cycle. Not only will this remove and prevent hard water stains on dishes, but it will also help eliminate these stains on the inside surfaces of the dishwasher.
Coffee pots can also be affected by hard water. The buildup of minerals in these small appliances can not only cause unpleasant tasting coffee, but it can also cause the machines to quit working properly. To prevent this, diluted vinegar should be run through them once a month. After running the vinegar and water mixture through the machine a few times, plain water should be run through as well to remove any traces of vinegar.