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Hard Water Spots-Causes and Removal

No matter where you live, removing these stubborn spots on our cars and windows on our homes many have had to deal with at one time. If you are looking for answers, keep reading or you can skip to the very end of the page where the bullet points are so you can get quick info.

“Hard Water” Defined

This type of water is full of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, metal cations, and compounds such as sulfates and bicarbonates. When “hard water” contacts glass, it can form water spots that are unsightly and hard to get rid of. These spots can even cause irreparable damage to your windows if you don’t get rid of them quickly. Why?

Hard Water Stain

Glass IS porous, and corrosion will occur to a point where only 3 options will be open. First, chemical treatment. If that does not work, grinding and polishing the glass is your next step.

If neither of those two does not work, you will need to replace the glass which of course will cost potentially thousands of dollars.

Getting Rid of Water Spots on Windows

Bathroom and kitchen windows are the most common sites of water spots because drops of water can stray from the sink. Ordinary cleaning techniques usually don’t completely erase water spots caused by hard water, unless of course it is cleaned right away, but who has the time to clean every single time we use the water after we wash the dishes or water the lawn? Follow these steps though, and your windows will be as good as new and will look like a professional window cleaner washed your windows.

  • Step 1: Prepare a mixture of 50% water, and 50% white vinegar. It’s better if you can get water that’s “soft,” which means it contains less minerals.
  • Step 2: Soak a towel into the mixture, then wipe down the spots, making sure that the towel remains wet.
  • Step 3: Press the towel onto the area for a few minutes, so that it stays in contact with the surface. The acidity of the vinegar should soften the mineral deposits, making removal easier. You may also drape the towel over the window as long as it is in contact with the glass’ surface.
  • Step 4: Wipe and press the towel on the window until the spots disappear. You may need to repeat the process several times for sites with a lot of water spots.

Getting Rid of Water Spots on Large Windows and Glass

Water spots can also form on larger areas such as shower doors. In this case, it would be too time-consuming to remove the spots through the soak method. The following is a step-by-step guide to quickly get rid of spots on large areas.

  • Step 1: Prepare the 50/50 water and vinegar mixture, then pour it into a plastic spray bottle.
  • Step 2: Spray the mixture on the affected area. Use a towel to wipe and break down the mineral deposits.
  • Step 3: Rinse the area thoroughly, then use a squeegee to remove excess water. Use a clean cloth to buff the area dry.
  • Step 4: You may use a brush to loosen stubborn mineral deposits. Soak the brush into the mixture, or spray the mixture on the glass, then brush the area vigorously.

More Tips to Get Rid of Water Spots

Most techniques in getting rid of water spots involve acidic substances that break down mineral deposits. The following is a list of tried and tested methods of getting rid of water spots that will surely leave your windows sparkling clean.

  • Pure white vinegar: If you’ve got really tough stains on your windows, then dispense with the water and just use pure white vinegar. Soak the towel into the vinegar, or spray the vinegar into glass, and start erasing the spots. Be sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from the vinegar’s acidity.
  • Buff it up with lemon juice: Lemon juice is very much like white vinegar, although it’s harder to use simply because you still have to extract it. Get as much lemon juice as you can and mix it with water. Spray the mixture on the glass, then wipe off the spots with a clean towel.
  • Use baking soda: Baking soda is an excellent cleaning agent. Mix it with water, then apply the solution on the glass. Wipe the glass with a towel, then rinse thoroughly. Leaving a bit of baking soda on the base of the window will also repel ants and cockroaches. In addition, baking soda can be used to clean dishes, sinks, mirrors, and even barbecue grills.
  • Apply rubbing alcohol: Mix four parts water with one part rubbing alcohol and wipe the window with it. The mixture may remove mild water spots, and it’s great for window maintenance.
  • Try toothpaste: This may sound weird, but white toothpaste can remove stains. Squeeze a dollop of toothpaste on a paper towel, add a little water, then apply the mixture on the glass as if you’re waxing a car. Thoroughly rinse the glass, then use a squeegee to remove excess water and toothpaste. The spots should be completely gone or at least reduced.
  • Powdered dish-washing detergent: Some people claim a simple mixture of powdered dish-washing detergent and water is enough to remove water spots from windows.
  • Erase them with ammonia: Liquid ammonia is an excellent glass cleaner. Soak a towel into a mixture of ammonia and water, then use it to remove the spots on the glass. Take note though that an ammonia solution is irritating to the eyes and mucous membranes, especially the respiratory and digestive tracts. Some people also get skin irritation when exposed to ammonia. Be extremely careful when handling an ammonia solution; and wear protective clothing like rubber gloves and goggles to prevent injuries.
  • The magic of microfiber: Microfiber refers to synthetic fibers that measure less than one denier. A Denier is a measure of fiber density, defined as mass in grams per 9,000 meters. Microfiber cleaning materials are highly effective in removing various kinds of stains, including water spots. You may use a microfiber cloth in combination with vinegar or commercial window cleaner to remove water spots. In addition, microfiber also has an exceptional ability to absorb oils, so this is a huge plus if your windows are oily.
  • Consider cola: Another strange way to remove stains is by using cola. Health buffs have long denounced cola as a very harmful substance to the body. It’s been demonstrated that cola is so strong that it can be used to clean everything from carpets to ancient bronze coins. Unsurprisingly, lots of people claim that cola can also be used to get rid of water spots on windows. No harm trying it if you’ve got some extra bottles in the fridge.
  • Mop it up with muriatic acid: Muriatic acid or hydrochloric acid is very dangerous. It can dissolve your rug and even your skin if its concentration is too high. Some people have used muriatic acid though, to remove tough water spots on their windows. Ask an expert first before trying this technique or you may be dissolving more than you want to.
  • Polish it with steel wool: Use steel wool If the water spots are too tough for terrycloth. Steel wool doesn’t scratch glass, and actually polishes it. Lots of car owners use steel wool to clean their windshields when water spots form on them. You may use steel wool in combination with whatever cleaner you want, whether vinegar or a commercial window cleaner. Make sure the steel wool is super fine grade (grade#0000) or you will scratch the glass.
  • Commercial window cleaner: Last but not the least, commercial cleaning products are always there to make things easier for you. Commercial window cleaners are available at most department stores and shops. Simply spray the window cleaner on the glass, then use a cloth or steel wool to wipe off the spots. Repeat the process until the spots disappear completely. If this doesn’t work, you may also apply a commercial glass polish or buffer to the window.

Getting rid of hard water spots is a difficult job, so try not to sprinkle your windows with hard water. Cover your windows with curtains in the kitchen, so that they’re always well protected. Remind everyone in the house to be careful with handling water, so spills can be avoided. Also, watch out for the lawn sprinkler because it is a common cause of hard water spots on windows. If there’s too much water spots on your windows, consider replacing the glass panels with new ones to make your job easier. We hope this article has helped. Call us now for your San Diego window cleaning service.