Do you cringe each time you look in the mirror because your once golden locks are now a dingy orange? Is your once bright-white sweater streaked with brownish-red stains that match your tub? These problems are most likely caused by hard water. Many people have hard water in their homes, which is water that is high in mineral count, such as magnesium, calcium and iron. As water travels through soil and rocks before making its way into your pipes, it absorbs these minerals. The more of these minerals there are in the water, the "harder" it is.
Effects of Hard Water
Although hard water isn't harmful to your health, it can be a headache. It makes detergents and soaps less effective, causing unsightly stains, films and spots on dishes, rust spots on laundry and orange stains on your hair. Hard water can also cause serious problems with your homes plumbing and appliances.
Removing Hard Water Stains
The good news is that with a little elbow grease and a few items found in most kitchens you can successfully remove hard water stains.
Clean the Shower and Sink
- To break up the stains, place two lemons cut in half in a spray bottle, add a about one cup of water and shake. Spray the area with the lemon water and wait about 15 minutes before proceeding with the following steps:
- In a spray bottle, add equal parts of water and white vinegar.
- Spray the vinegar mix on the tile, shower doors and bathtub.
- Allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes, then wipe clean with a paper towel or cloth.
- For severe stains, make a paste from baking soda and vinegar. Spread the paste on the stains and wait 15-20 minutes, then scrub with a sponge. Rinse with warm water and towel dry.
Clean the shower head:
- Add equal parts of vinegar and water in a plastic bag.
- Slip the bag over the shower head, making sure it submerged in the mix and secure with a rubber band.
- Leave the shower head to soak for about 30 minutes, scrub with a sponge and rinse with warm water.
Clean the Toilet
- Pour one cup of vinegar, followed by 3 tablespoons of baking soda into the toilet bowl.
- Using a nylon bristle brush, swish the cleaner in the toilet bowl for a few minutes, then allow the cleaner to sit for 15-20 minutes.
- Using the scrub brush, scrub the surface to remove the remaining stains.
- Flush and repeat if necessary.
Remove Rust from Blond Hair
The iron content in hard water will often cause rust stains on blond hair, turning it a brassy orange color. Thankfully, the staining is typically temporary and can be treated easily with the following solution:
- In a small bowl, make a paste of lemon juice and cream of tartar.
- Wet hair; apply the paste to the hair and let sit for about 10 minutes.
- Rinse away the solution and wash hair as normal.
The best way to prevent future hard water stains is to purchase a water softening system. A water softener is designed to remove the minerals in the water by replacing them with sodium ions. In most situations, installing a water softener system will help save you time scrubbing as well as money spent on possibly damaged appliances and plumbing. For more information, contact a business such as Anderson Water Systems.