How to Remove Hard Water Build-upHard water is water that contains minerals such as magnesium and calcium. When hard water evaporates, it leaves these minerals behind, often along with an ugly build-up on your belongings. Hard water is a common problem and affects more than 85% percent of the country. Hard water is common, but it’s also easy to deal with. Read on to learn how.

Remove Build-up from a Toilet

Step One

Put on a pair of gloves to protect your hands from germs. Close the water valve to your toilet. (This is typically located behind the toilet.) You may need a pair of pliers to shut the valve. After the valve has been completely closed, flush the toilet to get rid of excess water.

Step Two

Use hydrogen peroxide or another cleaner (vinegar, baking soda, etc.) and add it to the toilet bowl. Allow the cleaner to sit in the bowl for at least ten minutes. This will allow the cleaner to loosen up the hard water build-up from the toilet.

(note: do not combine hydrogen peroxide and vinegar in the same container, and avoid using them on a surface at the same time. The combination can result in peracetic acid.)

Step Three:

Scrub, scrub, scrub! Get all the build-up off the toilet using a sturdy toilet brush or a wet pumice stone. This step shouldn’t take too long since the cleaner loosened up the build-up for you in advance.

Step Four:

Don’t forget to open the valve. Allow the water to reenter the toilet bowl and flush to rinse all the yuck you have cleaned from the bowl.

Remove Build-up From Stainless Steel

Throw on gloves before tackling this project. Use any cleaner safe for stainless steel— hydrogen peroxide, vinegar, and baking soda all work well as natural cleaners. Apply the product and wait anywhere from 5-10 minutes depending on how bad the build-up has gotten. Scrub the steel until the build-up has been removed. Wipe the stainless steel to remove any leftover residue.

Remove Build-up from Shower Heads

Hard water build-up on a shower head can accumulate to the point where the shower head is clogged and you’re wondering if you paid your water bill. To fix this, fill a bowl with an acidic cleaner (vinegar, lemon, etc.). Remove the shower head from the shower and place it in the bowl. Let the shower head hang out in the bowl for about 30 minutes. This way the acid eats away the build-up and you don’t have to scrub! Rinse the shower head, replace, and you’re done.

Remove Build-up from a Dishwasher

The dishwasher needs to be completely empty for this task. Once that’s done, add an acidic cleaner (e.g. vinegar, lemon) to the bottom of the dishwasher. You can pour this straight on the bottom or pour it into a cup and place this on the bottom rack. Select the cycle you normally use. As the water sprays over the empty dishwasher, the acid from the cleaner will remove hard water deposits from the inside of the dishwasher.

Remove Build-up from Plastic

Hard water build-up is common on plastic items, but it’s easy to remove. Start by rinsing the plastic to remove any debris or dirt. Then spray the piece down with an acidic cleaner, like the ones mentioned above. Wait 15 minutes before scrubbing the plastic. After the wait, scrub until the plastic is free of hard water build-up.

It’s Not Hard to Remove Hard Water

Hard water doesn’t affect our health, but it does affect our home and belongings. Mineral build-up is ugly and can worsen the functionality of some items (like your shower head). Use these tips to regularly maintain items with hard water blemishes. You can also consider softening the water in your home.