Sunday, January 5, 2014

How to Get Rid of EXTREME Hard Water Stains

how to get rid of extreme hard water stains, removing hard water stains

Shortly after the stucco went on the exterior house walls, we got a lot of rain and because my roof cannot be finished until the stucco and elastomeric are completely finished, I do not have a drip edge. So all the rain just rolled down the side of the house and the windows, taking all the lime that's in the raw stucco with it. It left a serious residue on the glass and aluminum door frames. It also baked on in the Arizona sun for a couple of weeks because, with all the other things going on in and around the house, I didn't realize that it was lime. I thought it was just dirt and grime. The whole place can sometimes be such a mess that the details get overlooked. Anyway, the lime was so thick and solid on both the glass and the aluminum frames that I was worried that it had etched in permanently, but patience and a few days of misting the frames with pure distilled vinegar cleaned them up like new. For the glass I went a different route because it isn't as delicate as the aluminum paint. This is a product I researched online (see video here) and had never heard of before, but it is a miracle cleaner!! I was worried that something as harsh as CLR or something similar would run off the glass and onto the frame and damage or etch into the paint. The Barkeepers Friend did drip down onto the window paint a bit, but it didn't leave any damage.
It is slightly abrasive so I didn't want to use it to remove the lime scale from the painted door frames. 

 Here are the two miracle workers:

hard water stain remedy, how to get rid of hard water stains
 About $5.00 (total) at my local grocery store (Albertson's).

 Windows Before:

 These drips down the glass were really just pure baked on lime. The pictures don't show how bad it really looked, but it was on there good and appeared to, possibly, be etched into the glass permanently.

Door Frames Before

 Here you can see how dull and damaged the paint on the aluminum frames look. The color is supposed to be a dark, glossy, bronze.

 What I found worked best for the painted aluminum was to mist the pure vinegar ( I put it in a spray bottle) onto the frames. Over. And over. And over. Be patient. This was about five hours total (I sprayed for a couple of hours over a three day period) of misting with vinegar. Let it sit for about 15 minutes and then mist again.

**Don't Panic**  It started to look worse before it looked better.

 Here you can see that the panel on the left is looking worse that it did in the pictures above. The panel on the right is further along in the lime scale removal because it was my "guinea pig" section and it has a few hours more of vinegar time.

 I broke the work up into about three hours a day for three days. This was the progress after the first day,


For the windows I made a paste using the powdered Bar Keepers Friend and water. I applied paste on the windows in a circular motion using a microfiber cloth and kept rubbing, but without much pressure on the glass at all. Just keep rubbing in a circular motion and the lime just starts to disappear.

Each window took about 15 minutes of light rubbing before the built-up lime completely vanished.

Here you can see how bad the window frame was looking.

** Day Two**

And below is the same window frame on the second day (had gotten sprayed with vinegar over a two hour period).

Second day of door vinegar spray

** Day 3 of Spraying With Vinegar**
*the total time the doors had vinegar on them was probably five hours or so over a period of three days. Also after spraying with vinegar I didn't rinse with water. The vinegar just dried on the frames and sat that way until I returned the next day. It was fine just being left to dry on the door frames and I never scrubbed the door frames, I just wiped them down with a wet microfiber cloth on this last day.

There are still a few small nooks and crannies that need work, but hallelujah, what a miracle!! I'm sure this Bar Keepers Friend would be fantastic on glass showers too!


  1. Wow, who would have known that it was so easy to treat stubborn hard water stains. Thanks for saving me hundreds of dollars by convincing me to do the project myself. Now I can use that money to buy the new motorcycle that my wife told me was too expensive. Your windows look great. Can't believe it only cost $5.00!

    Rolando Glover @ Eco Pure Restoration

  2. Thank you for sharing! This article is very informative and helpful. For a faster and cleaner result, you can try water blaster. You will find this tool is very effective in removing algae, mould; concrete and water stain from your deck, path, fence, roof and many more. Besides it is very safety for the environment. Why don’t you try?


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