How to Remove Hard Water Stains For Tub Surround?

The bathroom is that place in our home which we use every day to get rid of the dirt in our body and maintain a hygienic lifestyle.

But if the bathroom itself is unclean, taking a shower or bathing in the tub comfortably becomes very tough. Sometimes, the shiny tub in our bathroom becomes stained, rusted or shows spots which make it look filthy. And what is the reason behind such marks?

Well, those are spots left behind by repeated contact of the bathtub surface with hard water.

What are Hard Water Stains?

It is normal for water to contain different minerals in it. However, when the quantity of dissolved minerals in water surpasses the optimum level, the water is known as hard water.

The most common minerals that are responsible for making water hard are calcium, magnesium, lime, and silica. Presence of these ions in the water is what is accountable behind those stains in your bathtub.

When you take a shower or bath, the residual water left on the tub evaporates and leaves these minerals. Slowly, the deposit of the minerals creates a ring-like unwanted brown or whitish spots on the tub removing which can be quite a hassle.

Hard water stains are most likely to be formed on porcelain, ceramic, tile, metal or glass surfaces. Although it is not a health hazard, it prevents soap and shower gel from making a lather and thus reduce their effectiveness.

So removing these stubborn spots is a must. But don't worry, you don't have to replace your bathtub. There are ways to get rid of it just by following a few easy steps.

Ways To Remove Hard Water Stains From Your Bathtub

There are several ways in which hard water stains can be removed. The easiest ones have been mentioned below:

Method 1: Using Vinegar

For this method to work, you will need regular white vinegar. Any other vinegar you have at your home won't remove these tight spots.

To Remove Light Stains

Follow the steps down below to remove light stains quickly and effectively. Let’s jump to the steps now, shall we?

Step 1

First of all, take a spray bottle. Fill half of it with water and the remaining half with white vinegar. Make sure that the bottle is clean and does not contain residue of any other chemical or liquid.

Step 2

Next, after thoroughly mixing the water with the vinegar, spray the solution on the spots you want to remove. Spray it carefully and be specific none of the spots are left behind. As long as the surface you are using the solution on is not wood, you can safely spray it anywhere.

Vinegar has a bad odor, so while spraying, you must make sure to open the bathroom windows or ventilators.

Step 3

After you are done spraying, wipe the spots with a rag or towel until the hard water stains start to come off.

Step 4

Finally, use water to completely remove the spot. Don't forget to wipe the tub completely dry after doing so. Otherwise, the residue water will again form spots, and all your hard work will go to waste.

Step 5

Use a brush to clean the shower heads and the faucets. Soak it in vinegar and rub it on the faucet. Finally, rinse the spots off and dry everything properly as before.

You can use the spray bottle solution to clean your toilet bowl as well.

To Remove Tough Stains

Tough stains might be hard to remove but you can remove them eventually. Not sure how? Go through the information below to find out.

Step 1

For this, you will need a few rags. First of all, soak the rags in a vinegar solution for quite some time.

Step 2

Next, put the rags over the stains and let these sit there for an hour or two. To prevent the rags from getting dry, you can spray vinegar on them after intervals of 5-10 minutes.

What doing this does is that the vinegar reacts with the minerals of the stain and when you let the rag sit on the spots, the reactions occur faster and more effectively. This helps the hard spots to come off.

Step 3

When you see that the spots have slowly begun to fade away, use a wet sponge or a cleaning brush to completely remove it. Then use a towel to dry the tub as leaving residue water may bring back the stain.

This method is the most effective one and is sure to work like magic if you follow the steps properly.

Method 2: Using Vinegar And Baking Soda

This method is almost the same as the previous one but uses baking soda as an additional catalyst to attack the stains more strongly. For this, the materials that you will require are a spray bottle, white vinegar, rag, baking soda, sponge or brush, and clean towels.

Step 1

Fill a spray bottle with a 50-50 solution of water and white vinegar. Spray it on the stains.

Step 2

Put soaked rags on tough stains and faucets. And leave it on the stains for some time.

Step 3

Next, take a brush or a sponge and soak it in vinegar. Then sprinkle baking soda on the soaked vinegar side. After doing so, apply the brush or the sponge on the entire tub and rub properly to get rid of each stain and mark.

You can also make a paste using the vinegar and baking soda. Apply the paste on the spots and let it settle for 10-15 minutes.

Step 4

Finally, wash the bathtub with water to get rid of the vinegar and baking soda residue. Then use a cleaning towel to dry the tub.

Make sure to not leave a single drop of water on the tub as doing so will make the spots reappear.

Method 3: Using Lemon Juice

Just like vinegar, lemon juice is an acidic substance containing citric acid. Therefore it reacts well with the minerals on the stains and helps to remove them.

Step 1

Take a spray bottle and mix water and lemon juice to prepare a solution.

Step 2

Spray the solution on the hard water stains and use a rag or a sponge to remove the stains.

Step 3

After the stains have come off, rinse the bathtub properly and then use a clean towel to make the surface completely dry.

Alternative: Using Hydrochloric Acid

Hydrochloric Acid is a very strong acid and using it undiluted can harm you. So use this only as your last resort but make sure it is diluted properly. You can also purchase a cleaner from the market which contains hydrochloric acid in it.

Wear gloves while using it and make sure to open the windows to allow proper air flow and ventilation. This will prevent pungent smell and unwanted accidents.

Preventing Hard Water Stains On Your Bathtub

Prevention is always better than cure. Therefore, always make sure that after taking a bath, the bathtub is left completely dry. To do so, use a mop and use it to dry the tub every time after use. Keep it near the tub so that finding it is easy.

You can also use powdered or liquid water softeners. These are available in hardware markets and will solve the problem from the root.

Lastly, you can ask your plumber to install a water softener system on your shower and pipes to prevent water from hardening. This option is expensive but useful if you want to get rid of hard water stains for good.


Next time you see these unwanted spots on your bathtub, you can apply the methods prescribed in this article to get rid of them. They are very easy to follow and will work wonders on your tub.

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