Cleaning Mineral Deposits
Cleaning Mineral Deposits with White Vinegar
If you have hard water, then you know full well how the minerals in your tap water can build up and stain your sinks, tub and shower, not to mention the toilet! No matter what you do, it seems as if those stains are there to stay.
While regular soap and water (and even many bathroom cleaners) can’t even come close to combating these hard water stains, there are ways to handle cleaning mineral deposits in your bathroom and kitchen, leaving your house looking brand new once again.
Avoid Harsh Products That Can Dull and Scratch Surfaces
Many kitchen and bath cleaners claim to clear away mineral deposits left in sinks and toilet bowls, and yes, many can. Made from acid-based chemicals, these cleaners can get the job done. But at a price.
Abrasives and harsh chemicals scour off stains, but leave scratches and dullness behind. Even bleach can leave a surface looking bland and dull after repeated use.
Try a More Natural Approach to Cleaning
Cleaning mineral deposits in your home does not have to mean destroying your appliances and fixtures.
There are natural and milder acids that can get the job done with no negative effects. One solution is to try using white vinegar. It’s a mild acidic and can help on things like chrome faucets, showerheads, shower doors, inside the dishwasher, the washing machine, toilet bowl, coffee makers, sinks and tubs and more.
Cleaning the Coffee Maker
Fill the tank, reservoir with a 50/50 mix of white vinegar and water. Run a brewing cycle. Then run a few more cycles with plain water.
If you have something like a Keurig coffee maker, keep running a full cup until reservoir is empty then run a couple more through with plain water.
Cleaning the Showerhead
Take the shower head off and submerge completely in warm vinegar. You can warm on stove then submerge in vinegar – this will increase the vinegar smell but this will also decrease the soaking time – you can skip this step if you’d like.
Whether you warm the vinegar or not, it will require several hours to overnight of soaking. When finished soaking, use an old toothbrush to scrub the showerhead. Rinse with water and reinstall.
Cleaning Chrome Faucets
Soak a paper towel in white vinegar and wrap it around the area you are cleaning. Let sit about an hour then rinse with water and wipe down.
Cleaning the Washing Machine and Dishwasher
Add 1 to 2 cups white vinegar to the washing machine and run a cycle on hottest water setting. Add 1 cup to dishwasher and run empty cycle.
Cleaning the Toilet Bowl and Tank
Drain the water from the tank. If there are mineral deposits inside the tank, you’ll need enough white vinegar to fill to overflow tube (thankfully a gallon of vinegar does not cost loads). Let sit about 12 hours and put the cover back on. You can also fill the bowl with vinegar as well if mineral deposits are bad or you can soak paper towels in vinegar and place over deposit stains.
When time, scrub the tank and bowl. If you have extra stubborn stains, you can use a pumice stone. Just be sure to keep it wet at all times or it will scratch the surface. Do not use a pumice stone on colored toilets. Turn water back on and flush.
If the stains are particularly persistent, repeat the entire process. Eventually, removing those mineral deposits will get easier, especially if you stay on top of them before they have the chance to soak into your grout and tile.
Cleaning Mineral Deposits from Shower Door
Fill a spray bottle with white vinegar and a few drops of lemon juice (this will help keep the bathroom smelling a bit fresher). Next, wet the glass with the mixture, let sit a few minutes, use a plastic scrubby or a wet green scouring pad (like scotch-brite and keep it wet) then rinse. Repeat if needed.
How to Stop Mineral Deposits from Forming
One of the easiest ways to get rid of unsightly mineral deposits throughout your home is to prevent them in the first place. This can be done by filtering the water in your home before it reaches your faucets.
Install a home filtration system designed to remove minerals from your water at its source and notice how much easier cleaning your faucets sinks and other appliances suddenly become – plus your drinking water will taste a lot better!
More ways to prevent mineral deposits:
- Don’t let water dry on surfaces. We keep a washcloth handy for wiping down the faucets and showerhead after use. Wipe down other faucets with hand towels after use.
- Use a squeegee in the shower when done.
- Clean regularly.
Getting rid of those nasty brown mineral stains takes a little work, but the results are well worth the effort. So, get yourself some white vinegar (we always have plenty on hand), gloves and a few sponges and get to work!