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How To Remove Hard Water Stains From Tub

Updated on March 21, 2015

Learning How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Your Tub

Do you want to know how to remove hard water stains from your tub?

If you have hard water, then you know how frustrating and time consuming it can be just trying to keep your tub clean. Depending on how hard the water is and what type of tub you have, hard water creates white or brownish stains everywhere the water hits your tub. Although the stains are actually just build-up of minerals in the water, it creates very unattractive and unclean looking stains.

There are several methods you can use to remove the hard water stains and reduce the time in between the buildup of the stains. Some I have tried others are suggestions from others that have proven successful for them. It can range from some very simple household products you may already have to some cleaning products that are specifically designed for cleaning and treating hard water stains. So it can be a little trial and error to find the right method for you.

Photo courtesy of VizimacĀ 

Hard Water Denfinition - So what does that mean to you and me and how do you get rid of hard water stains on your tub?

Cleaners for Removing Hard Water Stains - Hard water stains can be difficult to remove

Hard Water Definition as given by various dictionaries, chemists and other professionals.

Chemical Definition

Hard Water: Water that contains high amounts of Ca2+ and/or Mg2+

Business Definition

Hard Water: Low-lathering water that forms scum and 'boiler scale,' and interferes with industrial processes.

Free Dictionary

Hard Water - water that contains mineral salts (as calcium and magnesium ions) that limit the formation of lather with soap

Hard Water Definition according to Wikipedia

Hard water is water that has high mineral content (in contrast with "soft water").

So what does that mean to you and me and how do you get rid of hard water stains on your tub?

"Hard Water Definition"

Photo Courtesy of Wikipedia

Hard Water Map-United States - Do you live in a hard water state?

"Hard Water Map"

Photo Courtesy of Rayne Water

Common Household Products for Cleaning Hard Water Stains - Some of the best cleaners are also the most common

There are several combinations of cleaners that will help clean those hard water stains on your tub, take a look at some of the most common household products that you may already have.

White Vinegar

Baking Soda


Dish-washing Liquid

Distilled White Vinegar

Put the vinegar in a spray bottle for easy application. Spray your tub and let it stand for several minutes letting the vinegar penetrate the hard water stains. Spray again while scrubbing the hard water away with a sponge or cleaning rag.

Some have recommended filling your tub with hot water and adding approximately a half gallon of vinegar and let soak for at least an hour. You can also use the solution to work on the walls of your tub while waiting.

Adding Lemon juice to your vinegar is also another option that some say have worked for them.

By adding the vinegar or vinegar/lemon juice to dish-washing liquid creates a gel like making it stick to the walls, fixtures or glass doors for easy cleaning.

Vinegar & Baking Soda

Start with approximately 2 TBSP. of Baking soda and adding vinegar to create a spreadable paste. Apply to the hard water stains and let stand for about 1 hour, then remove with a damp cloth.

Again this can be a trial and error process but these products can be much cheaper than some other cleaning products and they are also non-toxic which is always great! Results can vary and if none of these methods really work for you, then you may want to keep reading.

Photo courtesy of Naked Eye Beauty

How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Acrylic Tubs - Housecleaning Tips

Hard Water Stains Removal - The right cleaners for the job

CLR Calcium Lime Rust Remover, Enhanced Formula, 28 fl oz (828 ml)
CLR Calcium Lime Rust Remover, Enhanced Formula, 28 fl oz (828 ml)

CLR is a great cleaner for all things affected by hard water stains like your tub, toilet, coffee maker, dishwasher...


Cleaning Hard Water Stains - Do you have a preference?

"Cleaning Hard Water Stains from Your Tub"

Photo Courtesy of Family Handyman

Clearwave Electronic Water Softener System
Clearwave Electronic Water Softener System

Product Features

Remove scale build-up due to hard water

Works on both hot and cold water systems

Makes it easier to wipe clean ceramic, plastic, glass, and metal surfaces

Scaly crust or stains in toilets or under faucets will be significantly reduced


What products do your prefer to clean hard water stains?

See results
Scalewatcher Small Wonder hard water treatment unit
Scalewatcher Small Wonder hard water treatment unit

Product Features

Environmentally friendly - no chemicals or salt are added

Eliminate LIME SCALE and other HARD WATER problems?

Easy installation - negligible electric use

Effective up to 20 Grains/Gallon, pipe size up to 1"

No maintenance - guaranteed performance - Also called Scalewatcher Mini


Hard Water Treatment Options - Little known alternatives

Tired of spending endless hours "Cleaning" hard water stains? Then you may want to consider investing in a hard-water treatment unit or water softener system. Amazon has some really great options and is a great place to find reviews from customers.

Eddy Electronic Water Descaler - Water Softener Alternative
Eddy Electronic Water Descaler - Water Softener Alternative

Product Features

Reduce lime scale in the home and business

Easy customer installation

No salt alternative to a water softener

Emulates softened water without altering TDS (keeps healthy minerals)

12 month 100% Money-Back Guarantee + Lifetime Repair or Replace warranty


How do you remove hard water stains? - Please be spcific

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    Post Comment

    • sbconcepts profile imageAUTHOR


      5 years ago

      @PNWtravels: Thanks for dropping by for a visit! You are very fortunate not to have hard water, it can be very trying at times. I discovered another little trick last week and will be adding it to my lens soon, always looking for new ways to combat the build-up hard water leaves behind.

    • PNWtravels profile image

      Vicki Green 

      5 years ago from Wandering the Pacific Northwest USA

      I don't currently have hard water, but found your tips interesting.


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