How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Your Toilet, Sink and Bathtub

How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Your Toilet, Sink and Bathtub

If you’re without a water softener, you know that build-up is one big hazard of hard water. Over time, the calcium and magnesium in hard water leaves residue on your sink, bathtub, and toilet. Though they may start as white film, hard water stains often end up as thick mineral deposits that are clogging your faucets. Hard water build-up can be a real pain—they don’t respond to regular cleaning products, as they require a high level of acidity to strip the mineral away. If your home’s water is leaving you with a mess of limescale on your bathroom surfaces, hold off on calling the plumber. We’ve got a few DIY tricks up our sleeve.

The best part? You can use Charlie’s Soap to keep hard water stains at bay. Here’s how to get (and keep) hard water stains off your bathroom surfaces.


3 cups white vinegar, or another acid-based cleaner

Spray bottle 

Cleaning cloth or paper towels

Old toothbrush or scrub brush 

1. Soak 

The best way to break down hard water build-up and limescale? Soak it with a strong acid-based cleaner, such as white vinegar. The more severe the stain, the longer the soak. At minimum, allow the area to soak for at least 15 minutes. For intensive build-up, allow the cleaner to soak for at least an hour.

There are a few different ways to soak, depending on the location of the stains.

Sinks & Bathtubs 

For surfaces such as sinks and bathtubs, try using a spray bottle to streamline the process. Simply fill the spray bottle with a cup of white vinegar and spray the affected area. Make sure that the surface is completely covered, and that all stains are well-doused.


For toilets, pour two cups of white vinegar directly into the toilet bowl. Then, simply swish through the bowl with a toilet bowl brush, making sure to cover all stained areas. Once or twice during the soak, swish over any stains that are above the water line.

Faucets and Showerheads

Faucets and showerheads are a bit trickier to soak, but they often receive the worst of calcium build-up. Pro tip—use a cleaning rag or a paper towel. Soak the rag or paper towel in white vinegar or another acid-based cleaner, then wrap the rag around the faucet head. You can secure it to the faucet using a rubber band. If you’re particularly focused on restoring water flow, try removing the aerator from the faucet head and soaking it completely in vinegar.

2. Scrub 

After allowing the solution to soak into the hard water stain, it’s time to get scrubbing. A regular scrub brush should work for the majority of the mess, but you may want to use a cleaning toothbrush for the hard-to-reach areas. For toilets, use a toilet bowl brush.

This step may require a bit of extra elbow grease. Continue working at the stained areas until the hard water build-up has lifted.

3. Rinse

Once the bulk of the limescale has lifted, rinse the area thoroughly with clean, cool water. If hard water stains persist, repeat steps as necessary.

Preventing Hard Water Build-Up

Once hard water stains set, they become a painful cleaning project. The best way to fight hard water is to catch it early. The longer you allow hard water to sit, the harder it is to remove. Acting fast=no more calcium deposits.

If you’re ready to kick hard water deposits to the curb, you need an all-purpose cleaner that can tackle your bathroom messes with ease. Charlie’s Soap Kitchen & Bath Household Cleaner is the perfect fit. To keep the hard water spots away, use daily. Spray the cleaner on areas prone to hard water stains. Wipe the surface dry with a cleaning rag. You can even use the cleaner in place of a regular toilet bowl cleaner.

Fighting the Hard Water Laundry Hassle

You can’t get away from it—hard water does a number on your cleaning routine. Laundry is no exception. Hard water can build up in your clothes, leaving them scratchy, stiff, and discolored. Not to worry—you just need Charlie’s Soap hard water laundry booster. By tossing in some booster with each load, you can combat the realities of hard water washing.

Charlie’s Soap: From Limescale to Laundry 

From mineral buildup to laundry—whatever the mess, Charlie’s is dedicated to helping you clean it. We’ve got your back, whether you need an all-purpose indoor and outdoor cleaner, a hypoallergenic detergent, or color-safe stain solutions. Shop Charlie’s Soap.


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