hard water stains on windows

Water varies depending on where you live. In many areas of the United States, really hard water is the norm because this water simply has a higher mineral content, usually with calcium and magnesium. Water in these areas is treated and filtered to make it potable and drinkable, but the softening process doesn’t remove all the minerals that can impact your windows. 

When hard water begins to evaporate, it will leave the minerals behind that end up drying and hardening, creating spots and stains across your windows. At first, these water spots on the glass are not super noticeable, but as time goes on, they will begin to build up, and a white glaze will begin to appear. The sun will bake these spots into your window glass and will make them really difficult to remove. If left untreated, water spotting can permanently damage your windows, as glass is susceptible to corrosion being porous. 

If you live in an area with hard water, then you can attest to how frustrating it can be to try and achieve stain free windows. Removing hard water stains from windows can be very labor intensive, regardless of what tool you are using whether that be a rag, squeegee, or paper towel. There are, however, ways to accomplish reducing the amount of water stains on your windows, and there are efficient ways to do it. You might be wondering how to get hard water stains off windows or how to effectively get water spots off your windows. Read on to learn how to remove hard water stains. 

How to remove water stains from glass windows

Removing hard water stains from windows can be tricky as the white spots on windows can be pretty stubborn, and won’t want to budge. There are a lot of window cleaning myths that can actually damage your windows instead of fixing them, so it is important to know what you can use on your windows to help them, not hurt them. Using the right technique and having strong will and determination will help you make progress in removing the hard water stains on windows. 

The following methods are some of the most efficient ways to remove hard water stains on windows. Depending on how long the stains have been there and how bad they are, each method is meant for something specific. Some methods are best for newer stains, and others are for tougher stains that are harder to remove.

First, let’s talk about baking soda and water to remove hard water stains. Baking soda is a staple in any household and is often used to remove stubborn stains on other surfaces, which is why it is a great option to use on window stains. Baking soda should be used on stains that are on the tougher side since it is more abrasive and can get those harder stains out. 

Take a little warm water and baking soda and mix them in a bowl to create a sort of paste for your windows. Then, use a cloth and scrub the hard water stains with the paste gently. The baking soda has an abrasive quality that will aid in removing the hard water stains on windows. 

Stain removal solution

The next method that can be used is using a stain remover solution. For more difficult stains, you can use a hard water stain removal solution that is pretty effective when it comes to removing tricky hard water spots and stains. 

To acquire this solution, check your local hardware store to purchase and then follow the instructions that are listed on the back of the bottle to ensure you are not damaging your windows, as this product is not 100% natural and can be extra abrasive. 

One other way to remove hard water stains on windows is to use vinegar and water. Since this is a natural remedy and will not be super abrasive, this method is best recent hard water stains that have yet to build up on your windows and will be easier to remove. 

A natural remedy

First, take an equal amount of vinegar and water and mix them together in a spray bottle. White distilled vinegar will work best for this. Then, spray the solution on your windows and let it sit for around two to three minutes. Lastly, use a gentle cloth to wipe away the cleaning solution and avoid any streaks. 

Another option if you do not have vinegar on hand is to use lemon. It is still a natural window cleaning solution for hard water stains on windows, and lemon juice has relatively similar acidic properties to vinegar, so it will be just as effective at removing those easier, newer hard water stains. 

Just like the vinegar solution, you will want to mix the lemon juice with water to sit on the stains for a couple of minutes and then wipe it down with a clean paper towel or cloth. 

Lastly, the easiest way to remove hard water stains on windows is to hire a professional window cleaning service. A team of professionals will know exactly how to treat your windows to keep them looking new and shiny and will take on those hard to reach spots, so you don’t have to. A team of window cleaning professionals can also help in removing hard water stains from exterior windows. 

The science of hard water and your windows

To truly understand how hard water stains and ruins your windows, you have to first look at the structure of your windows. While glass looks shiny and glassy, it isn’t as glassy as it appears. Glass contains different rivets and creases or hills and valleys, so it isn’t as smooth as it looks. 

These little divots in the glass let debris get trapped and the minerals in hard water do the same. Increased mineral deposits in the water get trapped in the glass, and once they dry, they create a layer of hardened grime. 

Preventing water stains on your windows

Now that you have an understanding of what causes and removes your hard water stains, prevention is truly crucial to keep your windows sparkling and looking new! 

First, if your sprinkler or a different water source continuously keeps hitting your window, adjust its movement to avoid the glass. However, most hard water stains can come from rain and in this case, it is pretty difficult to prevent these stains from forming over time unless you invest in proper window cleaning. 

Next, if your window screens are very dirty, attempt to remove the ones that are on the windows that are not used and regularly wash the other window screens. 

Lastly, while regular window cleaning is super helpful for removing hard water stains, it can also keep your windows looking incredible between the cleanings and aid in prevention. 

Navigating hard water stains on windows

Everyone who lives in regions where water falls frequently knows that hard water can be a bit of a pest. When left untreated, hard water stains can damage your windows and you might need to even get them replaced if the stains continually build up. 

Luckily, there are many methods that you can try to prevent hard water stains on windows and remove build up over time. The methods mentioned earlier can help remove the easier stains from your windows, but the harder to reach stains or longer build up can be removed by professional window cleaners. 

There are also ways to prevent water stains from occurring but it is totally normal to have some hard water stains from rain that will appear as a white film over the glass. Professional window cleaning services can help you maintain pristine windows and keep your windows protected from hard water. 

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