Hard Water Stains

Can Hard Water Stains be Removed From Windows?

Do hard water stains keep you from having clean windows?Do hard water stains prevent you from having sparkling clean windows?

Hard water stains are formed on your windows, and other glass surfaces, by water containing a high mineral content, minerals such as magnesium and calcium. As the water dries, it leaves the mineral deposits behind, and as it  repeatedly lands on the window, the minerals can etch themselves into the glass.

You would think that as the sunlight hits the window it would simply dry the water. It does dry it, but that’s not all it does.

It bakes the mineral residue into the window, which is how the etching occurs. Since glass is porous, the etching process doesn’t take a long time. Adding to the problem,  as the sun continues to hit the window, the bonding and etching continues until it is nearly impossible to remove.

How can hard water stains be prevented?

PreventHardWaterStains-HusserWindowCleaningI’m not sure that it can ever be totally prevented, but there is one thing you can do to minimize it: Avoid letting your sprinkler spray on your windows.

Not only does your sprinkler water contain the natural minerals, but it also contains chemicals that your city may add to the water.

Can the stains be removed?

Hard water stains can be removed, but first, here are the don’ts:

  • You should avoid trying random chemicals on your windows. Some can damage your windows beyond repair, which means they will need to be replaced.
  • Don’t use razor blades to scrape your windows. Unless you have been trained in the techniques of using razor blades on glass, you could easily scratch the windows and cut yourself as well. Thus, not fixing the problem, but adding to it.

Home Remedies

Many have posted home remedies such as using toothpaste, SOS pads, scouring cleansers and glass polish from automotive shops. But here are some home recipes that just might do the trick.

  1. Make a 50/50 blend of water and white vinegar.Spray Bottle
    1. Use a spray bottle to apply it to your windows.
    2. Using a towel, wipe the windows, breaking up the mineral buildup.
    3. Rinse the window well and squeegee off the excess water.
    4. Buff dry with a clean, dry cloth.
    5. If the mineral deposits are too stubborn, you may need to scrub them with a brush that has been soaked in the water and vinegar.
  2. A great natural option would be to substitute lemon juice for the vinegar. Because lemon juice contains the same type of acids that vinegar does, it is a very effective treatment. (Fresh lemon is preferable to bottled lemon juice.)
    1. Prepare the lemon for cutting, by rolling it on a hard surface, (this will get the juices flowing!) and then cutting it open.
    2. You can apply the lemon juice either by squeezing into a spray bottle and then spraying onto your window, or squeeze the juice onto a towel and then wiping it on the window. Another method of application would be to rub the lemon directly onto the window while you are squeezing it.
    3. After the juice has had a chance to sit on the window and soak for a brief time, you can complete the cleaning by using glass cleaner.
  3. CleanHardWaterStains-HusserWindowCleaningEssential oils are becoming more and more popular every day, and they are now becoming popular for cleaning hard water stains from your windows.
    1. After dropping several drops of a citric based essential oil into your water, apply to the window using a towel or sponge.
    2. After allowing the water to sit on the window for a short time, lightly scrub the window.
    3. Finish the cleaning process using glass cleaner.

Removing hard water stains on your windows takes time and elbow grease. The easiest way to remove them would be to Contact me for a FREE Quote.

I have been cleaning windows in the Seattle area for nearly 30 years, and quite frankly, I enjoy it!  I will clean private homes or apartment complexes.

***originally published June 11, 2011



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