Guide to Removing Hard Water Stains

Simple Tips to Remove Hard Water Stains

Showers are our sanctuary and a place for us to relax, especially after long hard days. They reinvigorate the soul and allow us to get back at whatever life has in store for us.

However, it’s hard to do that when you have nagging stains that take you away from that oasis. It’s hard to feel clean when the very place that we go to get clean appears to be dirty.

The hard water is impossible to escape since it’s everywhere you look:

Bathroom Facet Hard Water

Just by looking at it, it makes you feel a little dirty, but we’ve got you covered! While showers, especially with glass shower doors, are a lot of work it’s very gratifying to see the end result. Not to mention the compliments we get from our customers!

What Is Hard Water?

According to the USGS.GOV website “the simple definition of water hardness is the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water is high in dissolved minerals, largely calcium and magnesium.”

Idaho’s water is considered slightly hard, which can vary by area. We see a lot of water softeners or conditioners in our customer’s homes, which can help, but we can give you some other solutions as well.

The aforementioned website also shows you the level of water hardness by state, and so if you’re curious you can follow the link below to get more information. Or you can view your city’s water report for more details.

Hard Water Map *can we get a vanity URL for this? Or hyperlink it to the photo so they can click the map*

Here’s a link to the City of Meridian’s water report:

How to Remove It?

Now that we know what it is, the question becomes how to get rid of it. This’ll largely depend on how bad the buildup is. Here’s the process that we go through to make your shower sparkle again :).

If there is LIGHT to MODERATE buildup we like to use a product called Barkeepers Friend (liquid), which looks like this:

Bar Keepers Friend

Now, it’s important to remember that with any product it’s always a good idea to spotcheck areas before using it all over, especially with stainless steel, grout, brass nickel, etc. *Under photo*

We’ll apply the Barkeepers Friend to our sponge and cover the inside door with the product. With a little bit of elbow grease and some circular scrubbing motions the stains should come free. There’s a different product that we use for the outside shower door, which we cover next.

Bathroom Sponge

To help ensure that the glass looks amazing we then take our glass cleaner which is called Isopropyl Alcohol:

You might know it more by its common name: Rubbing Alcohol. This is fantastic for glass because it doesn’t streak as much as other products! The alcohol comes in different strengths and is something that we dilute.

When in stock, we prefer to buy the Mint Rubbing Alcohol, as it leaves a more pleasant aroma behind while you’re cleaning. There’s a refreshing quality with the scent of mint, and the place will already start to feel clean!

Then we apply the cleaner to both sides of the glass, and then wipe it away until we see it evaporate off the glass. Afterwards, we always look at the doors from different angles to ensure a streak free shine :)! Rarely, does this require an additional application.

New Construction Cleaning

Now, the chances are high that if you’re reading over this you might have a little more buildup than what we were talking about before. In this case, there’s another tool that we use to help get those tough to remove stains off.

We call them scratchy scrubbers, catchy huh? They look like this:

These work really well on the glass shower doors to remove those tough hard water stains. We use the same process, as before, by applying the Barkeepers Friend to the scrubber and using elbow grease to really scrub the stains off the glass. 
Once it has gotten a good scrub we wash it off and take a look to see if it needs another application or spot check some areas. If it looks good, we then spray the glass cleaner on, to both sides of the glass, to give it that final shine.
Barkeepers Friend works great on the other areas where the hard water likes to accumulate: the faucet, handles and shower heads. Again, if you’re using it we always suggest to spot check with the product before applying it everywhere. 
Drain - Hard Water Buildup
Barkeepers Friend and the scratchy scrubbers can  remove it most of the time, just be careful not to ding the metal (testing before is always a good idea). If that doesn’t work there’s another tool that we like to use to remove those stains, which is a grout brush that looks like this:
Bristle Brush - Steel
These have different bristles depending on what you’re doing. Normally, for something like that we use the one with the steel bristles. It’s really good for removing buildup around those hard to reach edges.
Stainless Steel Shine
After all of that is done, to go the extra mile, we like to apply a stainless steel polish that looks like this:
Stainless Steel Cleaner

Pink Mold

If you have pink mold in areas of your shower we’ll use the same products, as before, to clean that off the surfaces. We see a lot of showers that have little stones in the bottom of them, and the mold likes to grow all around the crevices. 
Pink Mold
When we walk into a shower like that, combined with a lot of hard water, it’s not uncommon to be in there for 1 to 2 hours scrubbing to get it clean. Most of the time we’re in there with those little grout brushes scrubbing the entire area with Barkeepers trying to get it off. 

Important Note

Dream Clean takes pride in how thorough we are, as you can probably tell after reading this post and seeing how much work we put in. With that said, there are some things that don’t come perfectly clean and trust that it drives us equally crazy, as well. Sometimes grout needs to be dyed or bleached, which is not something that we can do. Or the hard water stains can be too much for the products that we use, but do know that we try very hard to give you that like new again shower experience!  


You probably already know where this is going and nobody likes doing it…
Stainless - Squeegee Brush

but making sure to squeegee your entire shower, especially the doors, is helpful to reduce the buildup.