Start with some “elbow grease”. Before getting into expensive or potentially toxic cleaning products, try using these scrubbing techniques first.
- Use “magic” and “eraser” cleaning pads or other non-scratching scrubbing sponges to safely scrub your glass surfaces. Try to remove as much as you can by scrubbing with one of these moistened sponges.
- Never use hard-bristled brushes or abrasive cleaning tools when cleaning glass to avoid scratching or etching the glass surface.
- Scrubbing works best on smaller hard water deposits, newer stains, and those that are not firmly set in.
Use baking soda. If you’re dealing with older stains or large areas of heavy hard water build-up, you will need more than just elbow grease. Baking soda is a very effective non-liquid home remedy that’s all-natural and probably already in your pantry.
- Baking soda is a base (alkaline), so it can be used to chemically counteract the effects of hard water mineral deposits.
- Because it is a natural, biodegradable product, baking soda is considered to be a safe, environmentally-friendly alternative to harsh chemical cleaners.
- There are two schools of thought for using baking soda to clean: one camp claims that you can mix baking soda with vinegar to make an effective paste, while others claim that you should not use vinegar (an acid) and baking soda (a base) at the same time because they will cancel out each others’ pH benefits.
- As a compromise, try applying some white vinegar to the stain first, waiting 30 minutes, and then applying baking soda before scrubbing and thoroughly rinsing away the stain.
Brush on some toothpaste. Many home cleaners use toothpaste as an alternative to baking soda.
- Apply some regular toothpaste to a moist towel and rub it over the stain using circular motions.
- Wait a few minutes, and then rinse off the paste with equal parts water and vinegar to remove all residue.
Use commercial paste cleaners. There are several commercial cleaning products for hard water stains that come in a paste formula.
- The main benefit of using a paste over liquid cleaner is that the paste will not leave its own liquid streaks or water marks.
- A downside to using paste products, though, is that they can leave behind a foggy haze if not buffed off of the glass. Be sure to follow all the label instructions to avoid this side effect.