How To Make Your Own Budget-Friendly Hard Water Remover For Bathroom Fixtures

Hard water stains are unsightly and can make your bathroom look dirty and aged, even if it isn't. These stains appear near sinks, toilets, and bathtubs where surfaces come in frequent contact with water. If you are looking to save money and reduce the clutter of cleaning products underneath the sink, try this DIY recipe. With just a few ingredients you may already have in your home, you can rid your bathroom fixtures of hard water stains in a jiff – mixing vinegar, lemon, and dish soap creates a powerful cleaning agent that can be used in conjunction with baking soda to easily scrub those stubborn marks away.

Hard water stains are caused by minerals, like calcium and magnesium, found in hard or mineral-rich water. When you use this kind of water frequently, mineral deposits get left behind on fixtures and cause stains when the water dries up. The stains can be all kinds of different colors from white, brown, pink, or red, depending on the kinds of minerals in the water.

The ingredients you'll need

First gather your supplies: baking soda, white vinegar, lemon juice, and liquid dish soap. You'll also need an empty spray bottle and a funnel. First, fill half of the spray bottle with your vinegar –a typical spray bottle is about 32 ounces, so assume about 16 ounces — Next, pour in ¼ cup of lemon juice. Follow with good squirt of dish soap. You'll want to make sure you leave 2 to 3 inches free at the top of your bottle so your ingredients have space to mix. Shake your bottle well until its contents are well blended.

You can spray the mixture directly to the stain, scrub, and wipe clean with water for small stains, or upkeep. For tougher stains on porcelain or chrome fixtures, like your toilet or faucet, you'll want to cover the area with baking soda. Spray your vinegar, lemon, and dish soap mixture on the baking soda and let these ingredients stand for 15 minutes. Then scrub your stains away with a scrubbing sponge or brush and rinse everything clean with water. If the stains are on glass, just mix your cleaning solution with some baking soda until a paste forms. Dip a sponge into the paste and use it to rub away your stains on the glass before rinsing with water.

Why this DIY hard water remover works

Despite being natural, ingredients like lemon juice and vinegar are packed with cleaning power as both are mildly acidic. Acids are great at removing stains because it charges up the molecules and causes them to react with water, which in turn causes the stains to release their grip enough to be washed away. Citric acid, found in lemon juice, also works to pull apart proteins and attack the magnesium and calcium in hard water deposits. The grit in baking soda is great for scrubbing stubborn stains away.

When baking soda gets mixed with vinegar it bubbles up and produces carbon dioxide. This effervescence also helps to loosen stains and cut through things like oil, grease, dust, and other gunk. The dish soap assists in keeping the bubbling effect going a little bit longer. These natural ingredients will work perfectly in a pinch when you run out of your standard cleaner, but they can definitely hold their own against the stuff you buy in the store. You might even prefer your DIY cleaner over the store-bought stuff.