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Hard Water Stain Remover

Monday Funday! {okay, I know…laaame.}

My little family and I just got back from Tennessee a couple days ago and let me tell you…we left our house clean and within an hour of being home it looked like a tornado had hit. You know…walk in the door, throw down suitcases, pull out the kiddos toys, eat, now there is dirty dishes in the sink…need I say more? So today I have been scrambling around to make things tidy again. I have got the ‘clean freak’ vibe goin’ on. This feeling is few and far between friends….especially for a Monday!

I was scoping out blogs and my dear friend GOOGLE for quite some time trying to find a natural hard water stain removal product. I looked at hundreds {maybe hundreds is a little dramatic ;-)} 30 something recipes before I decided to just create my own remedy. I cleared off the counters, gathered up some products from my pantry, found an empty spray bottle and started the mixing process! {Of course I had researched about all the items before I started mixing things together!} Here’s what I found worked!



Before I show you the results I want to show you what I’m dealing with….


{Gag} Disgusting right?! That is what our sink looked like ALL the time even after I used products on it.


{{For extreme hard water stains, I would suggest pouring a little baking soda on the tough spots first, let it sit for 5 mins and rinse before doing this remedy.}}

*Fill up nearly half of a spray bottle with vinegar.


*Now add 1/4 cup lemon juice.


*Fill up the majority of the remaining space in spray bottle with your soap of choice.


*Shake up that bottle and soak those stubborn stains baby.

*Let it sit for 30 mins….

*Now, time to scrub that grime away!


*Rinse and dry {and be amazed ;-)}.


Do you remember that nasty pic I showed you in the beginning? Well check it out now…


Here’s a before and after pic…

Pretty fantastic right?? I have tried many different products and never have I received results like this! {Pumped!!!}


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  1. great DIY!

  2. after you make that mixture, is it ok to leave the extra in the bottle?

    • It is okay to leave the remaining liquid in the bottle. I actually have it stored with the rest of my cleaning supplies and pull out the bottle and use it when necessary! πŸ™‚

      • awesome! thank you! I’m going to try it right now πŸ™‚

        • I can’t believe I just run across this page my husband and I go around and around abt, buying a water softner my dishes in come out all white my sink is all white I refuse to use the dish wash he says it is the soap im using I use Dawn HELLO!!!! been using it for ever never had this bad of a problem I put dishwasher cleaners form stores in it to clean it even 1 from mary ellens book of hint’s nothing is working? do u think if I put your solution in my dish washer it would help? and if I did how much of ea, would u do? it im going to try it on the sink and shower door. I’m not always on her so if u could message me and tell me abt, dish washer it would be helpful…he just doesn’t believe in softners is he crazy we have a well?? Thank u for any help sick of the scum and washing dishes by hand and still get some of it ? someone said maybe my well is drying up? I would think if well drying up I wouldn’t get any water?? there is just lime build up and we bought a new water tank it has a sensor on it and it don’t say lime in it? I don’t know what to do and I know it can’t be good for my clothes either just don’t see it on the clothes if he had to wash the sinks and tub and dishes he would know I show him and he still says no water softner , so please let me know if u think this would work in a dish washer nother there to harm dishes when come out but just use a lot of it instead of buying a softner which is stupid!!! thanks for any help!!!

          • Have you taken your dishwasher apart inside to clean it? I saw a helpful hint on FB. Been having lots of probl r ms with it leaving food stuff on my dishes. ( i rinse off everything before loading.) You wouldn’t believe all the buildup that was in everything. We have well water so i get the buildup on things also.
            Taking the dishwasher apart is easy. I even took the door apart & cleaned in there. NASTY!! Don’t use the gel pack soaps. The site i was looking at says use powdered soap. But i have cleaner dishes using liquid.
            I used a scraper & a screwdriver and a scrub brush.

          • NEVER use regular dishsoap in a dishwasher! You’ll end up with a kitchen floor full of water and bubbles! Many years ago my then husband finally bought me a dishwasher for Christmas but no soap, he used plain dishsoap to test it.
            You can use plain white vinegar as your rinse agent.

          • We have very hard water and have been using about 1/4 to 1/2 cup of white vinegar in dishwasher. He just pours it in at beginning of wash. It took a few weeks of using it but it has made a world of difference in our dishes and especially our glasses.

          • a friend just told me to run vinegar thru my empty dishwasher every month or so. Tried it, works fabulous to clean, also do in my washing machine but do that after using the vinegar to clean tea kettle (steaming hot).

          • Try running your dishwasher with a cup of tang breakfast powder ( kind of like OJ in powder form.) Works wonders

          • We put a 1/2 to full cup of vinegar in every wash cycle or our dishes come out chalky. We use 7th generation dish powder. We just always have a cup in the middle of the top rack turned up and full of vinegar when we start it.

          • Hello, this a bit late, but I too have well water & feel your frustration and pain. We are experiencing everything you mentioned in addition to my clothes, towels, sheets, & anything that is submerged in water bring stained due to well water, or rather hard water being the problem, bc some wells produce amazingly clean great water, however this is not our case. Our issue only occurs sometimes and I do not know what causes it or at which times of day it happens or I could simply avoid doing laundry or showering at that specific time. I have a couple of remedies I use, but waste a lot of time, money & mostly my energy cleaning stains that shouldn’t be there to begin with, so feel as if I’m spinning my wheels non stop and all seems to be somewhat counterproductive. If you have found a solution to remedy this problem please let me know, as I too am pretty desperate. I do use bar keeper for my sinks, tubs, toilets, and another product for inside of toilet tank w/ great results, but it gets costly using as often as I do and bad on my hands so gloves are another expense. I also use brite white or something like that for my clothes, i did the trial and error thing until I found the right thing for laundry items, but have to use Calgon water softner w/every load to keep my laundry the correct color & this too is expensive, as it last maybe 4 days or a week at best. I never use tap water for anything besides bathing, dishes, and laundry, no cooking, no washing vegetables or fruit, nothing, bc it is yuck and leaves my pots with a white film that takes an act of congress to remove, so also have to buy jugs and jugs of water. The whole thing is more expensive than a water softner. Tell your hubby that you are using more money for extra detergent, bc you have to use more bc hard water will not clean clothes correctly and you must add more & you truly spend more money on these items week after week than you would a water softner system. Idk. Let me know if you’ve found anything that works for you or ifyou have any good rcomendations for a water softner system for entire house

      • Lynne Carpenter says:

        I loved reading what you shared with us! And I admire you (living in Indiana…we moved FROM central Illinois 31 yrs ago partly because we hated the climate!!!) Your hard water removal formula is GREAT!!! And a really natural solution. Keep sharing your life with us! */*

        • Thank you!!! So nice of you :)) I’m glad the solution worked too !

          • I just tried this mixture and it really does work very well. I had just cleaned the glass shower enclosure on the weekend with “ok” results. After reading this post this morning I gathered up the ingredients and gave it a try. Sprayed it on and left it for 30 mins. Went back and scrubbed lightly with a scouring sponge and “VOILA!” Amazing results. It even cleaned so well that it revealed the scratch marks from previous cleanings where I spent what seemed like forever, scrubbing and scrubbing and scrubbing. I am truly impressed with this low tech, high results solution for an age old problem. Thank You.

  3. This is terrific. Thanks to my daughter who passed the tip along. Good for you!

    • Thanks! I use it frequently… can’t live without it now πŸ˜‰ Glad you are pleased!

      • Rachelle says:

        How about the bottom of a shower? Do you know of anything that is good for cleaning that? Thank you! Awesome tip!

        • I’ve heard many others just use half vinegar and half dawn soap in a spray bottle. Spray the bottom of the shower and let it soak for 30 mins. Scrub, rinse and wipe away!

          • Nicole Piccone says:

            yes I have tried this on my shower doors and it worked so good . probably 10 yers of trying things that havent and bam this does in one overnight treament!

          • That works extra well when you heat the vinegar first. It cuts right through the soap scum.

          • the trick for the half vinegar and Dawn dish soap is to heat the Vinegar first then pour in the dish soap and spray while it’s warm. I use this all the time and it always amazes me when it works. I need something for hard water on shower doors.

        • I spray with Clorox foam bleach let it set for about 5 minutes. I then use a replacement pad for the Mister Clean Mop, I tore off the plastic piece and cut it into 3 pieces, it’s white on one side and yellow on the other. Using the mop replacement pad saves me on having to buy more of the regular mister cleans because they can be a little pricey. Get it wet first and start scrubbing, all you need is a little elbow grease and it will be white again! I use it all the time:-) hope this helps you, good luck.

        • melody sprecher says:

          use magic eraser. works great

      • Keith Fuller says:

        Used This In A Medical Facility With 20 Sinks, Worked VeryW ell.Thank you

  4. Natalie says:

    What a great idea! Can you use this on glass as well?

    • I’ve not tried it on glass yet but that’s a great idea! I would say it is safe to use it as a hard water remover on glass but as you know I’m sure, it wouldn’t do well as a glass cleaner! I’ll be sure to try it on glass this evening and update the results!

      • I’ve used this on outside windows and rinsed with water from the hose. Beautiful! No streaks!

      • heidi morgan says:

        i love to clean glass with a microfiber cloth (from the dollar store πŸ™‚ rinsed in hot water. scrub the mirror and rub dry with a lint free towel, for example an old baby spit rag from the hospital or a hanes men’s undershirt.
        works like a dream, no chemicals necessary At All!

        • We use this method of cleaning Windows as well. No chemicals and streak free if you keep wiping with the dry towel until it’s dry.

    • Natalie I wanted to let you know that it doesn’t work quite as well on glass. I found on that alcohol and water work for glass. I haven’t tried it before but another blog suggested it!

      • Melanei says:

        My husband often uses plain water and ammonia spray’s on and wipes off with a lint free rag or paper towels. Works great and streak free.

        Growing up, my mom would mix some concoction of dish soap, alcohol and water (maybe something else too) but I didn’t find that solution would leave everything streak free like the water and ammonia does.

        Also, my sister has been converted to Norwex clothes. Two microfiber clothes. Use one for washing and the other for drying. It is pretty impressive how much crap one of those clothes can pick up that a normal cloth can’t…. only thing is, those clothes cost quite a bit.

      • She also uses vinegar and water on glass (quite a few glass cleaners that uses it) however: this concoction will not work on had water stains on shower doors. Last Thursday I was cleaning a shower door and decided to try this since everyone claims it works. I soaked paper towels in vinegar and water then adhered them to the glass. Every so often I would go back and spray with same concoction but added Dawn since it would help it adhere better. After cleaning a massive kitchen (4000 sqft home) and everything else in the bath I removed the paper towels …. nothing. At least nothing impressive. Don’t waste your time! Why it would work on stainless sinks and faucets and not glass is beyond me.

        • I used this solution on my shower doors and surround and it worked great! The soap scum and hard water stains had been there for years. No product I tried would remove it, until this concoction! I sprayed it on the doors, let it sit for about an hour and then used a magic eraser to wipe it off. Our “frosted” doors are now clear! Some soap scum on the tub/shower surround had to be re-sprayed, but all in all this worked better than all the products I’ve purchased over the years. I’ve been using it all over my house!

        • Sue, I believe that you waited too long to wipe off the vinegar/soap solution. I have used vinegar with success in the bathroom, but it was important to start rubbing surfaces clean while the solution was still a little wet. If you wait too long, it sets up, dries and then hardens again and you are back where you started. Putting vinegar on hard water stains is sort of a chemical reaction thing, and you’ve got to act before the chemical reaction stops.

      • a friend has a professional window cleaning service and he recommends sudsy ammonia, dawn and plain water mixture to clean windows. It is a strong smelling mix as he mixs 5 cups ammonia to 1/4 cup of dawn dishwashing liquid(blue) and the remaining fill of a gallon with plain warm water..on exterior he uses a squeegee and interior NEWSPAPER! my windows never looked so good!

      • I use equal parts vinegar and tap water on glass with a lint free cloth or newspaper and will never go to anything else. I really look forward to the lemon juice cleaner to tackle my dad’s house mua haha!

        • We bought a second home on the lake a year ago and the water is hard which of course causes some unsightly areas. I am going to try this. By the looks of the other responses it works. Thank you. I can’t wait to get up there and see the results.

    • Magic eraser and hot water on glass shower doors cuts through soap build up like butter. On windows, plain hot water works great. Streak free and chemical free…

    • kathy smith says:

      The best glass cleaner I have found is half vinegar and half water and a big spoonful of corn starch. Yep Corn Starch like you use in gravy. You will be amazed

    • Gaylene Glenn says:

      I use this concoction to clean faucets,mirrors, windows, and our sliding glass doors. I don’t add the dish soap, and there is no need to rinse

    • I use just white vinegar and water about 50/50 to clean my windows, no streaks works great

  5. Awesome…i love it, came off quite easily!!!

  6. Definitely going to try this since nothing else has worked.

  7. what can i use in replace of the lemon juice is it okay for me to use grapfruit juice?

  8. caroline says:

    Worked 100% amazinly on my hard water stains on my faucet!!! Thank you so much, woohoo! My facuet now works as a mirror too, so happy!

  9. caroline says:

    Oh, and CLR couldn’t even get that stuff off!

  10. THANK YOU! I did this a few weeks ago but didn’t know I had to let it SIT! I will be trying it again the right way!

  11. We have water stains on our granite around our faucet (our granite is sealed too). Wonder if this will work on granite or harm the granite?

  12. I have a black granite sink do you think it would work? I have heavy hard water stains around the fauset and handle of my sink?

  13. Ashleigh says:

    Could this work on a toilet?

  14. evanollefen says:

    I tried this today and I’m impressed! I’ve used vinegar before but the spray bottle and lemon juice are helpful too. Really got the hard water stains off. Unfortunately, my apt sink looks like maybe someone has messed up the finish or something…there are still weird stains on mine. Some areas of dark streaks where it’s obvious water has been running down the side, and other areas where it looks like maybe some other strong cleaner ate away at the finish and messed it up maybe? Any ideas for those dark streaks? Doesn’t come off no matter how hard I scrub =(

    • Pleased to hear you saw an improvement! The last thing I would suggest for your sink would be to use bicarb soda with white vinegar. Rub on with a cloth or sponge, rinse off with hot water, dry with a towel. Good luck!

    • Years ago, I used a product called ‘Restore4’. I don’t know if it’s still around. But it took a yellow (with age), 20 year old kitchen sink and made it look like new. They also had products for floors and hard surfaces.

    • Danielle says:

      I have seen what your talking about before. I worked at a gas station and one of the other girls used toilet cleaner on the faucet and it ate the finish off and left some dark streaking. I bet that someone before you tried the same thing.

  15. Solange says:

    Wondering about the hard water build up in my electric steel kettle? the heating elements are all internal (hidden) so you can’t see them. I’m excited to try this out.

  16. The reason this works is because of the acidity of the solution. Therefore, I would NOT suggest using baking soda on the stains before using the solution. Baking soda will neutralize some of the acidity of the cleaner and make it less effective. πŸ™‚

  17. Does this only work on stainless steel sinks? Mine is ceramic I think. Thanks for the tip! I’m so excited to try it!! πŸ™‚

  18. craftylildevil says:

    Oh. My. Goodness! I am so glad I found this via Pinterest. I have tried everything (everything!) to get rid of hard water stains and nothing has even come CLOSE to working this well. Thank you SO much! We are moving and now my sink and faucet won’t look gross anymore! Thank you, thank you, thank you!

  19. Lori Dalziel says:

    Spray down the clean sink, shower walls/doors, sink, etc, with Pledge every day. The “wax” repels the hard water so it won’t adhere to faucet, etc.

  20. Barbara Meade says:

    My sink is so bad I have considered replacing it. I AM TRYING THIS TODAY! I will let you know my results. THANKS !!!! πŸ™‚

  21. I am from New Zealand and this is on my” to do list”! thanks heaps, amazing power of the good old lemon and vinegar! We use these two simple things on our steel grill at work in a restaurant, it comes up shiny and silver like new!

    • DanielleJ says:

      amanda, what 2 ingredients did you use on your grill to clean them. So many posts with different suggestions.

  22. Has anyone tried this on shower doors that have soap and hard water build up? I have tried numerous products and cannot get the shower doors clean, they are really bad… I was also thinking of using a magic sponge but I am afraid of scratching or damaging the glass… I might try your solution…

    • Heather says:

      I use equal parts vinegar and blue dawn on the soap scum in the shower, I’m excited to try this one inthe kitchen!

    • I have used the Magic Eraser on the glass shower doors – it doesn’t work. I still have a very light film on mine – I do use shower spray after every shower – but I can’t seem to get the rest of it off.

    • I tried this on a shower that I was sure we needed to replace due to the grime (past homeowners NEVER cleaned it- I’m sure) Guess what? After trying this…and then recaulking the entire shower, it looks BRAND NEW! My husband thanks you for saving us a few hundred dollars!!!!

    • learningcurvesblog says:

      I just did my shower doors today and they look so good now I could cry!! Crystal clear! I used the exact recipe posted, let it sit and very lightly scrubbed (just to make sure the solution was spread everywhere).

    • I live in NM where the lime scale is extremely bad. I cut a lemon in half, wiped it on the shower door, let it sit for a few minutes and then used one of those green and yellow scotch scrubbers and it came off with no problems.

    • I have used this on my glass shower doors. Tried everything under the sun & nothing has worked except for this. Spray it on & let sit 1/2 hr- 1hr. Reapply if some of the water spots are still there. My shower door has never looked this good. AMAZING stuff!!!

    • use a razor blade first….the flat kind that u use to scrape paint off glass…it can be used on a flat top glass top stove also…

    • I have cleaned my shower door with a wet fabric softener dryer sheet. I but the cheapest ones I can find and I also use them to wash my car-it gets off bugs very well.

  23. I just tried this and I have to admitt… I was a bit skeptical. I have tried so many things on my nasty, grungy kitchen sink and they work okay. Not great… Just okay. So, when I read this I figured I would just have mediocre result. Boy was i wrong!!!! My sink looks AMAZING!!!! Thank you so much for putting your dirty sink out there for all of us too see!! I truly appreciate it!!!!

    • Thanks for great comment Sara!!! I was in the same position…I tried many different products on my sink and I was ready to give up and just buy one. I was SO thrilled with the results & I’m pleased to hear you are too!

  24. Has anyone tried it on granite?

  25. Brittany says:

    Thanks so much for sharing this i have been battling hard water in our new home, it builds up so quickly. With three little ones i don’t have time to scrub all day, wears me out! Anyway it works great i love it.

  26. Be careful wearing your jewelry when you use cleaning products. Some of the products will pit, discolor, stain etc. your rings and stones.

  27. MuhRanDuhh says:

    after cleaning ,rub wax-paper on your faucet & etc and it will repel the water making it easier to clean in the future πŸ™‚

  28. what about hard water build up on the inside of a dishwasher which has a stainless steel interior?

  29. I have used half water and half after shave cologne. Works well as the after shave has alcohol in it. Leaves a nice smell (depending on the after shave)! Love using this on the inside car windows.
    Great way to use up all the colognes hubby gets as gifts, but really doesn’t like.

  30. I saw some people used it in showers, would it work on those plastic shower walls or ruin them because of the lemon?

  31. maggie mae says:

    Chemically, lemon juice and vinegar are basically the same thing – acids. Vinegar is acetic acid and lemon juice is citric acid. So you could leave out the lemon juice and the solution might last longer.
    Also – I am pretty much horrified that you just randomly tossed things in bottles without knowing anything about chemistry, and actually had an EXPLOSION! Some commercial products, when mixed together, will release chlorine gas which could actually kill you, and your baby. Please be careful about the experimenting, it’s not as safe or “fun” as you seem to think.

    • I experimented with baking soda, lemon juice and vinegar combinations. It more or less just bubbled over. Thank you for your concern though.

      • In your defense, when I read “gathered up some products from my pantry”, I assumed it wasn’t chemicals/cleaners your were speaking of, as you usually wouldn’t store those items in a pantry, lol! Thanks for the great tip!

  32. Tarah moltzen says:

    Cant wait I try this!! πŸ˜€ thanks for the share!

    @ rachelle, I did the half vinegar/dish soap mix, I sprayed it on half of the shower floor, and let it sit for a couple hours… I had an extremely yucky floor in the shower-and so I did scrub with a scrubbing sponge, it came off(slightly) so I sprayed it again scrubbed, and closed the doors and let it sit over night!
    I was eager to see what happened over night-that’s how bad I wanted it clean πŸ˜€
    Jumped in, scrubbed with my foot and sponge…. It was a stronger vinegar smell then I’m sure I should’ve been breathing. Haha ok so scrubbed with the foot, turned the water on, and it disappeared!!!!
    I used 1 cup vinegar put in the microwave for about 60 seconds, pour in bottle. Add 1 cup blue dish soap. Swirl around, and use! Rinse with water…

  33. What does the lemon juice do? I’d think that the vinegar alone with the soap would work as well.

  34. I tried it and it was great!!! the faucet is sparkly! thank you so very much

  35. For every one with granite questions…Whink makes a product specifically for hard water calcium that builds up. I am self employed cleaning lady for 15 years…used it many times on the faucet/granite combo, takes it right off, no harm to the granite…

    As for the shower doors, and acrylic and fiberglass shower walls, go to Dollar General and get the two pack Scrub and Wipe sponges. Use THE WHITE SIDE, not the mesh side. Generously soak the surface with NON ARESOL Scrubbing Bubbles. Get the sponge wet. Wet. The water activates the soap. The scum should come off with minimal scrubbing. If it seems that you are working hard, spray more cleaner and reset the sponge. Dollar General brand is the only one that works. Don’t go get the Target, Walmart etc version. They don’t work the same. For super stubborn stains in the floor or sinks, simply use Soft Scrub with Bleach.

    I have cleaned some of the most heinous houses in my years, and they all come lovely clean with these products.

    As for glass, windows, any hard surface, invest $6 on an Ultimate Cloth. They have a five year guarantee and they clean with just water. They can be bleached and run through the washer. I have not used glass cleaner since 2004. And the paper towel is obsolete in my cleaning retinue.

    Sorry, Mrs. Long-winded is finished.

  36. Everyone talked about using this mixture on stainless steel fixtures. Has anyone tried it on other type of sinks and faucets such as brushed nickel, etc that are so popular today?

  37. I didn’t get a fast result, but over a course of several days using this in the shower and allowing it to sit overnight, the results are fantastic! I’m currently working on the tubs in the house. After baths are done, I spray it on and let it sit til next time and give it a bit of a scrub. Then after the next set of baths, do the same. Just takes a few days to get built up calcium off!! Love this cleaner!

  38. This is really wonderful! Did a great job cleaning my shower handle and the area around it. I just wanted to point out, though, that it is *not* “all natural” as you imply in the bold part of your second paragraph. That part was really misleading, IMO. Otherwise, thanks for sharing your recipe!

  39. This won’t harm a porcelain sink? πŸ™‚

  40. I tried using just vinegar in my dishwasher and noticed the glasses did not have as many spots on them. I am needing to know how much soap you put in? By the pictures it does not look like you used very much but you said the fill the rest with soap.

  41. I tried this two times in a row and it didn’t work. So not sure if I just have the worst hard stains ever or if I did something wrong. Also there is a part of the faucet the stem part (for a lack fo better lingo) that has the stains but when I spray the liquid on there is just runs off. Enough doesn’t stay on there…any suggestion there?

    • Maybe try soaking a rag or paper towel in the solution & wrapping it around the “stem” to sort of soak in?

  42. learningcurvesblog says:

    I think I love you…I have tried every horrible chemical concoction available to remove hard water stains (esp from the shower doors). I’ve even gone against my “not-tested-on-animals” pledge to find ANYTHING that could save these doors only to have wasted money and bent my principles. THIS WORKS!!! My chrome faucets and glass shower doors look brand new and I feel so much better for using natural ingredients that didn’t harm animals (I used an ‘approved’ brand of dishsoap). You may have saved my sanity…I will forever be indebited to you.

  43. Try soaking a towel in the liquid and wrap it around the stem and let it sit for several hours. I clean my shower head by putting vinegar in a baggie and hang it with the shower nozel in the vinegar and then twist tie the baggie on the stem. I let it sit until I shower again. Cleans the calcium out of the spray head. So letting the wet towel sit on the stem might do the trick, it may take a few times, too.

  44. I tried the vinegar/Dawn shower “recipe”. It worked well but it was horrid to rinse off. I tried other dishsoaps (I wanted something other than Dawn because I clean green and cruelty free) and the same thing happened. So now I have a few houses that I clean with really yucky shower/bath floors and I sprinkle a little baking soda in the bottom and then sprinkle a little of the Method floor and surface cleaner (in clementine!). You can let it sit but you don’t have to. Cleans like a dream and smells heavenly. No horrid fumes.
    I can’t wait to try this combination because I have a few houses that have spotty stainless sinks and have found nothing that works well. Thanks!!

  45. Tried it out and it works fantastic!!!!

  46. I am in SHOCK. I live in a small town in Switzerland and we have such hard water – I have never seen anything like it. I’ve been battling it for five years… but as of today my sink looks like the day we moved in. THANK YOU!

  47. don’t use Method brand products on anything that will scratch like front of appliances, stainless or other metals. After it scratched my daughter’s brand new apartment fridge on the front, we read the ingredients and it has some kind of grit in it. Very misleading with the clear liquid that actually scratches.

  48. Just a small word of advice for future readers! Using this mix without rinsing thoroughly creates streaks, so rinse really well. ALSO – the best glass/mirror cleaning method I have ever found is just a 50-50 mix of water and vinegar and instead of a papertowel or rag…….USE A COFFEE FILTER! Best thing I ever learned from working in the food industry!

  49. I’m gonna try this later!

    Also, just this past weekend I rubbed some baby oil on our faucets and they don’t look as spotty yet!

  50. Made this & it’s AMAZING! I use it on my flat top stove & it takes the burnt-on stuff off like nothing else I’ve tried! Might not add quite as much soap next time but this WORKS! Thanks for sharing!

  51. I’ll be trying this today!!! I’ve tried CLR, you name it and NOTHING has worked, so hoping today is the day— Wish me luck! πŸ˜€

    • Done and super happy with the results!!! This will be my go-to all purpose cleaner from here on out, thanks for sharing! πŸ™‚ Now— I have a question– I have an oak two shelf bookcase in my patio/lanai (as native Floridians would call it) and I have a Nautical Theme throughout. I would like to paint/antique this bookcase with a cream color, but I was thinking, (and this is where I am asking for your opinion, lol) before I apply the first coat of cream paint, what about painting the edges and corners with a grayish/blue paint, so that when I sand the corners and edges for the antique look, I’ve got an old bluish color peeking through?
      Believe me, I’m new at this DIY-ing and I appreciate any tips or suggestions you might have! πŸ˜€

      Thank you!

      • YAY! I’m happy it worked well for you! I especially love using this product on my stove top to get off the grease and burnt nastiness that’s left on it after cooking.
        In reply to your question, I LOVE the idea of painting it to look “antique”! I would suggest you sand everything FIRST and then paint a thin coat of your blue/grey paint over the whole piece of furniture. Once it’s dried then paint your main color and then sand the edges lightly for the antique look and for your first color to show through. Best of luck!! :))

  52. I always heat vinegar up, being very careful not to breathe the steam in after the first time I did that, and dump it over hard water stains. No soak needed! πŸ™‚

  53. I sprayed this on the drip tray on our fridge door water dispenser, let it sit overnight, and the next morning it WIPED clean.
    I have tried everything on that & used the toughest scouring pads I could find and they didn’t even touch the rust-colored scale that had built up there.
    And for those who think that it is the same as just using vinegar, different minerals might react better to one or the other of the acids &, besides that, it sure smells nicer than straight vinegar!

  54. I have a white finish on my Moen faucet to match my porcelain sink. I’ve tried soaking paper towels with vinegar and let it sit with some results, not as awesome as I’d like. I’m worried about this etching off the finish of the white powder coating material (or whatever it is). Anyone had any luck with limescale and hard water buildup on these types of fixtures? I use soft scrub with bleach for the sink and it works very well.

  55. What about hard water buildup in my toilet bowl? I also have septic so i dont want to use anything that will upset the flora in my septic tank.

  56. Nancy Tennyson says:

    You said to use baking soda first for really tough water stains. Should I wet it to make a paste?

    • I made sure the area with the hard water stains was damp with warm water and then sprinkled on the baking soda. Good luck!

      • Omg Iwill definately try this at home mom of 4 very difficult to clean and stay clean. So many tips thanx. Now I want to pick ur brain. How would u if at all possible take out the strain out of white ceramic floor tile. ? Would pray u have answer.

  57. For cleaning old fiberglass tub/shower combos I use Lysol toilet bowl cleaner. Using gloves, just spread it on tub with scrubber pad. (No need to scrub, but the scrubber pad spreads the product nicely.) Wait about 10 minutes. Spread the product around again, then rinse. No scrubbing needed at all.

  58. chris shanahan says:

    I need help with hard water on granite

    • I can usually get the hard water deposits up from granite with razor blade. But most importantly, cleaning up water puddlettes before the hard water forms deposits is ideal. Even a damp cloth leaves watery streaks. I’ve happened upon 1/2 water 1/2 alcohol… i am totally in love. safe and leaves granite sparkling! (dry cloth though:)

  59. I’ve been using a vinegar and dish soap solution to clean the tub, but the kids complain loudly about the vinegar smell. Who would’ve guessed that adding lemon juice would make it all better? Thanks!!!

  60. I tried this this morning on my bathtub and shower. OMG! My faucets sparkle! And forget “scrubbing”! I just wiped it off. Wipe. Wipe. Had to do a second go round in a couple places, but this just melted the soap scum and hard water right off. Thanks! This is my new go to for cleaning sinks and tubs now!

  61. Reblogged this on Italian Brat's Obsessions.

  62. Any tips for removing grease from cabinets? I just got my first apartment and the previous tenants loved cooking fried foods. I’ve been scrubbing the cabinets using everything from Lysol degreaser to dawn soap and they are still greasy πŸ™ sticky to the touch.

    • Try a little goo gone. Or sometimes I use a little GoJo because I have a grease monkey husband and son who leave car grease smears around the house. I’ve also used Windex to help cut the grease. Whether your cabinets are laminate or finished wood, be careful not to scrub too hard and remove the finish. I’ve also used a magic eraser, but again a light hand is in order so you don’t mar the finish.

      • Thanks Paula! I actually tried a similar solution to this! I mixed baking soda, dish soap, and lemon juice together to make a paste and applied it to one of the cabinets overnight. The next day I scrubbed it off with a sponge and they are smooth! I can’t believe it worked! Now I can paint!

    • i know it is a chemical but i use amonia non sudsing with hot water stinks while cleaning but no odor after it dries

    • Wet a rag, wrap wet rag around your index, middle and ring fingers. Add dawn dish soap to rag covered fingers and scrub. works great. On top of the cabinets just draw a line straight from the bottle and lightly scrub… notice how I said lightly.! No hard scrubbing needed. Yes it make it soapy and you’ll have to rinse; but a lot easier and cheaper than all the expensive “degreasing cleaners” I’ve tried.

  63. What size spray bottle did you use?

  64. Sheryl Creeley says:

    Would this work on oil rubbed bronze fixtures?

  65. Curious how to get hard water stains off the windows of my car without damaging the paint or getting tendinitis! I have to park my car outside and the sprinklers are killing me.

  66. Holy cow!! THANK YOU!! This stuff is unreal! Works 100X better than store-bought chemicals. I never thought I would get my sinks nice again (hard water), bathtubs, etc.
    You are awesome!


    • diyconfessions says:

      Thank you for letting me know your positive feedback! I’m so thrilled that it worked for you just as good as it did for me! I love knowing what exactly is in the product as well! πŸ™‚

  68. Teresa Henry says:

    Just awesome!

  69. Phylis Fields says:

    I tried the dawn and vinegar solution but only had apple cider vinegar and did not heat the vinegar. Sprayed away and I am the type that can’t wait the stated time so in about 5 mins I couldn’t stand it anymore so I went in and started to rub it away with a microfiber cloth and I couldn’t believe it. Beautiful…The floor of the shower had been a not so lovely shade of yellow for longer than I would like to say so I figured I would have to get a brush to clean that not so it just wiped right off. wow. next time I am going to heat the white vinegar and wait an hour(if I can) I was taking a shower after the cleaning and looked out the door and it wad amazingly clean. Thanks so much. I even go back and admire it every so often.

  70. One word: AMAZING!
    I just tried this on my shower doors and it actually worked!
    I had to change the recipe slightly, I went for a mix of white vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, boiling water and a touch of CLR.
    The mixture seemed a little dangerous: very fizzy and it looked like it was going to explode out of the spray bottle.
    I sprayed this all over the shower doors and scrubbed off after 30 minutes.
    I can’t believe how good my shower looks, this actually got rid of all the calcium stains!

  71. This is awesome! Will have to do.

  72. sweetestbrowneyes says:

    I’ve always used. Just vinegar but adding soap and lemon juice what a great idea!…..vinegar alone smells pretty strong….I’ve always left it on until its just about dry..then just wipe with a cloth and Viola πŸ™‚

  73. One side of our shower has really bad hard water stains. I was wondering how I would go about getting the baking soda to stay on the wall so I could spray it with this wonderful sounding cleaner?? I’ve tried TONS of different cleaners out there to remove the stains and nothing seems to work :-/ soooo i’m really excited about trying this! I hope it works for me like it has everyone else πŸ™‚

    • Thanks for following along! I hope it works just as well for you too!! πŸ™‚
      You can either dampen the wall and sprinkle it that way or apply the mixture to the dampen wall and sprinkle baking soda on top of the mixture. It will fix up a bit but no worries… it’s just going to work for you!

  74. I can’t get the hard melted stains off the top of my flat top electric stove. Any suggestions?

  75. Trying this now…thanks!

  76. Would it work on a plastic shower curtain?

    • I use it on a whole variety of items! I definitely believe it would work on a shower curtain :))

    • I had hard water stains and red mold growing on my plastic shower curtain. I washed it in my washing machine with 1 cup of white vineagar and it took the hard water stains and mold right off my shower curtain. However it did make my shower curtain a little wrinkled from being agitated in the wash.

      • When the shower curtain looks bad on the bottom, I take a bucket and place it in the shower, and gather the bottom of the curtain into it. I spray it down, and let it soak in, then rinse when I take my morning shower. Don’t have to take it off the rod, and as it helps the liquid stay on the stains as it sticks together, it saves time. If necessary, I use another bucket on it’s side to raise the height of the top bucket, to get more of the curtain inside if the stains are higher up. The bottom seam sits in the dripping cleaner, so it helps that come off

  77. Thanks for the tip! My stainless steel sinks are now sparkly. The bathtub is next. I have my house up for sale and will definitely leave this recipe in the “handy file” for the new owner!

  78. Made it to use on the front of my stainless fridge where water dispenser had left really bad water stains -NOTHING ELSE would get off. Didn’t get it off the Black Plastic yet but it is better than it was!

  79. Heatherincanyon says:

    I have the HARDEST water… I’ve tried everything to get rid of the evidence. Baking Soda and vinegar work, but stink (and hubby HATES the smell). Can’t wait to try this. Once it’s all clean, Gel Gloss is THE BEST to keep it clean. I used it like clock work and kept build up at bay for a couple years then let the ritual slide… now I deeply regret it. Once the build up is gone the ritual is BACK!! Follow the directions every other week and even the hardest water will repel =)

  80. I’ve done the Vinegar/Dawn thing that’s all over Pinterest, but didn’t get these results. The lemon juice must be the magic ingredient! I’m gonna try this for sure. We have crazy hard water and my kitchen faucet looks just like yours in the before pic. Thanks for sharing!

  81. Now replace the old rubber washer in the faucet and you won’t have the leak that caused you the calcium build up! πŸ™‚

  82. thank you so very much!!!!!! so excited to try.

  83. This worked soooooo well. I posted my before and after pictures to my blog and l and linked your site!

  84. Oh my gosh ! this mixture is completely life changing, thank you so much for sharing it , I found it by chance on pinterest and we have extremely hard water with heavy built up. I sprayed all my sinks my tub shower unit everything I could find , it took absolutely everything off it shines like they were all just installed! I’m gonna to now call it “my secret sauce” lol .My husband is so impressed said he’s never seen me so excited about cleaning …tee hee Thanks again for sharing ! Bless you πŸ™‚

  85. After trying several products and no luck; I found your link today, I had the ingredients, and I followed what you said, It truly works! I used it on my glass shower wall and door. You saved me!! Thank you!

  86. I like the valuable information you provide for your articles.
    I’ll bookmark your weblog and take a look at again here regularly. I am fairly sure I’ll be told a lot
    of new stuff right right here! Best of luck for the following!

  87. Can you use apple cider vinegar instead?

  88. Jeannie Weiamantel says:

    Love the fact that its made with products that I already have on hand.

  89. I live in an apartment and the kitchen floor is cheap vinyl tiles. More like linoleum! I cannot get the dirt off the floor though I’ve used just about everything that won’t damaged the tiles. I even tried liquid Spic & Span, which cleans about anything!
    Most of the dirt is ground in due to scuffing from kitchen traffic. Is there anything to bring back a uniform clean?

  90. Amy Griggs says:

    I will be trying this in the morning once everyone is out the door. I have a fiberglass shower surround that is just horrible! We are a family of 7 and have only one shower…so the soap scum and hard water build up driving me NUTS!! Magic Erasers, Scrubbing Bubbles, CRL and various other products haven’t helped me on bit!! About to hang a hose outside and force everyone to bathe in the yard if I can’t a handle on this problem…WISH ME LUCK. I will post my results soon!!

  91. Wonder if this would work on a refrigerator, for the door water/ice maker tray. Mine is nasty and never can get it clean or to stay clean!

  92. So happy to have found this! I’ve tried baking soda and vinegar with no luck I’m hoping the lemon juice will be the boost needed to get the hard water buildup in the bridge between my double kitchen sink. Right by the faucet is so icky and I’ve had no luck with anything else I’ve tried. Fingers crossed I’m doing the 30 minutes sit time now. Your before nd after pics give me such hope!!

  93. OMG I am so excited! My sink is beautiful! Thank you! Thank you! I bow with hands over head πŸ™‚

  94. Where did you actually acquire the concepts to write Γ’Β€ΒœΓ’Β€ΒœDull
    to Shiny Β« DIYconfessionsҀ? Thanks a lot ,Wilbert

  95. Wow! We have extremely hard water and ours looks real nasty and have tried straight up baking soda, but not this mixture. Straight up baking soda did not work. Going to try this – thanks!

  96. Kate Madsen says:

    Your ROCK!!! thanks for sharing:-)

  97. Leah Moffat says:

    I am from Australia and I found this via Pinterest. I have tried everything from bathroom products, pastes, gels and even straight bleach and nada.. but I am AMAZED! I did this yesterday and I was so surprised by how easily it all came off! My bathroom is gleaming! I tried it on the shower glass too, a lot came off, I think a couple more treatments and it will be perfect.

    Every housewife on the planet needs this tip! Thank you so much!! xx

  98. Need a remedy for getting rid of a mildew stain around my shower door. I don’t have mildew, just the stain. Have tried everything including straight bleach.

  99. going to give this a try,we have a deep well with different layers of clay ( blue green ,white ans so on )
    here in Georgia the water is hard and no amount of scrubbing can get ride of that white green film .The really yuk is in the toilet bowl I scrub with a puma rock forever ( never get it all out) and in 1 week it is the right back , I am going to try it there AFTER I see how much it suds ,cant have the toilet bubbling over when you flush lol
    thanks for this recipe

  100. Praise the LORD! Seriously, you have no idea. Our shower/faucet/etc are SO gross and have so much build-up that I’ve considered just replacing them out of our own pocket–and we’re renters! Our kitchen faucet is so calcified that the pull-out hose barely works and the head won’t swivel anymore.
    I don’t have lemon juice on hand right now but do have a lime I can juice–think I’ll give it a whirl.
    (my husband will be so THRILLED when he gets home from his business trip if it works!!)

  101. Just tried this. Actually left it on for longer than 30 minutes and did absolutely nothing for my hard water stains. Doesn’t work

  102. You do have to be cautious with vinegar and know when and when not to use it. Vinegar should never be used on or a near marble, quartz or granite. This will cause those surface to etch instantly causing hundreds to thousands of dollars worth of damage. The only way to bring those surfaces back to life to have them professionally honed. Vinegar is acidic and over time will even destroy faucets & fixtures. As an owner of a maid service for over 20 years, I am all for green cleaning & educating the consumer, but not all “home, non-chemical remedies” are safe for such surfaces.

  103. Little off subject but i’m looking for a good spray bottle that has a little bit longer “handle” (where your fingers go). Many are so short, my fingers slip off. Some also are hard to squeeze and my hand gets “squeeze fatigue” in a short time. Thanks.

  104. Do you know how to get rid of the smell in well water?

  105. I use baby shampoo in water to clean my windows,as I have got window film on them to reflect the summer sun.It works really good.

  106. Wow that was unusual. I just wrote an extremely long comment but after I clicked submit my comment didn’t appear. Grrrr… well I’m not
    writing all that over again. Regardless, just wanted to say excellent blog!

  107. Greetings from Colorado! I’m bored at work so I decided to browse your blog on my iphone during lunch break. I enjoy the info you provide here and can’t wait to take a look when I
    get home. I’m amazed at how quick your blog loaded on my mobile .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .
    . Anyways, fantastic site!

  108. I use just vinegar and dish soap, and it works great on sinks, showers, tubs, shower doors… much easier and less chemicals!

  109. I will immediately grab your rss as I can’t in finding your e-mail subscription hyperlink or newsletter service. Do you have any? Please let me recognize in order that I could subscribe. Thanks.

    • says:

      Hello Aisha! On the top right hand side of the site under my picture you will see where you can follow by email. Just type in your email address and you will receive all updates through it. Thanks! πŸ™‚

  110. Just be careful I did this and our powder room where the was hard water around our faucet on granite counter top. It TOOK THE FINISH OFF THE GRANITE now looks worse. Just be careful. I am sure no one knew…

  111. Ours look like this, too (the “before” picture) and because I don’t want to use toxic chemicals, I’ve not found anything that would work. Definitely will be trying this; thank you for sharing!

  112. Josephine says:

    Sorry, but after 2 applications and letting it sit for an hour each time it still didn’t work.

  113. Do you have any video of that? I’d like to find out more details.

  114. Hi DYI Confession, please help! We bought a new house that was abandoned for 10 years. I was really disappointed when I saw the toilet bowl and the floor. The tiles turn yellow, right to say TOUGH STAIN. Please give me an idea how to remove the tough stain on the floor. Thanks

  115. Please help on how to remove tough stain on the toilet floor?

  116. I just used this on our faucet and handles in the shower and IT WORKED!!! so glad Ifound this tip…it REALLY worked!!! THANKS!!!!

  117. I will be giving this a try on my laundry sink in the garage! I hope I get great results like you did. πŸ™‚

    Life With Lorelai

  118. Butch Granieri says:

    I have put in a whole house water filtration system. Since I’ve installed it I get Greystanes in my porcelain tub.I tried the usual cleaning products we used for the water system was installed it no longer works I tried bleach that doesn’t work. Any ideas?

  119. I’m about to try your ‘recipe’. What I need to know is how large is the bottle? OR, how much vinegar goes with the 1/4 cup of lemon juice + soap?

  120. susan mendell says:

    can’t wait to try

  121. DanielleJ says:

    Does anyone have a good clean method for my off white-ish 4x 4 kitchen counter tiles. I cannot afford to replace the. The grout does need to be replaced.. I have tried different cleaners to make the tiles look better. So far, not good enough. I am a DIY gal still on the learning curve

  122. Kayla Montalbano says:

    This does not work!!

  123. this is awesome!! and great pictures of the before and after! I can never think that far ahead to actually take pics of the process! haha! thanks! πŸ™‚

  124. Denise Stetler says:

    I’d like to find out if lime juice will work just as well as lemon juice in this recipe, because I can only get limes.

  125. I am so glad you posted this and that I found it. These hard water stains are driving me crazy!!

  126. Nicole Metters says:

    I just came across your post via Pinterest. I am going to give this a try. BUT, I am dying over your countertops. Did you paint them? I painted my kitchen countertops 5 years ago, and they are IDENTICAL, and I mean IDENTICAL to yours. It is crazy!!! πŸ™‚

  127. Moving out of my apartment into a house and this tip is a life saver!!!! It works ridiculously well!

  128. Thanks, i’m going to try this! I love that you are using products from discount stores (I recognize the Big Lots and Dollar General labels). πŸ™‚ I also want to add they sell the microfiber cloths at the Dollar Tree. They are AmaZinG. I wash my Suv with a HALF A BUCKET OF WATER total. I also use them all around the house. NO cleaners at all for most cleaning. I wash with the microfiber and dry with an old T-shirt.

  129. Margaret Cammer says:

    Just wanted to say that you deserve a metal! I’ve used many commercial products that would not even touch the hard water stains around the tub. This worked like a miracle. I’m going to spread the word. Thank you so much.

  130. Linda Smith says:

    Just wondering if this might work on headlights on vehicle? A loudly residue builds up making lights foggy and poor visibility. I would appreciate advice on this matter.

  131. Janet Nail says:

    This is not a hard water problem solution but a floor cleaner for hardwood or laminate wood floors. Since this formula uses approximately the same ingredients, that is, White Vinegar,Dawn dish detergent , Lemon juice and warm water. My husband uses this every time he mops our floors which are laminate. Always Swiffer or vacuum floors before mopping to remove all grit and dirt. Be sure to squeeze most of the water from the mop because you don’t want to put too much water on the floor. His formula is:
    1 gallon warm water
    1/4 cup white vinegar
    1 drop of lemon juice
    1 Tablespoon Dawn dish detergent
    Mix well and mop. You will have beautiful shinny floors for weeks. He mops our floors about every two to three months with this formula.

  132. I keep an old sponge right up against the side of the stem, standing upright. Every time I use the sink, I make sure to give the sponge a squeeze to remove any water in it, then stand it back up against the stem. I also use wax paper to ‘shine’ the faucet, and that makes the water run off. Really cuts down the times I have to use anything to clean other than a microfiber

  133. Sunshine T. says:

    I used this solution just today. My bathroom faucets are a lot worse than the kitchen faucet in this article. I had 10 years of hard water build up on them. It did a fantastic job. I’m considering trying it on our glass shower.

  134. just tried this and it worked amazing! I thought I was going to have to replace my sink in our new home but it looks great now.

  135. I used this and was greatly impressed – and the remaining solution I decided to keep in the spray bottle near my tub/shower – I lightly spray down the walls, fixtures and my shower curtain liner after my shower every day and I haven’t seen any hardware stains in weeks! Thanks for the recipe!

  136. After trying many cleaners and no results, I found you and this fabulous recipe. It cleaned hard water stains for both my fixtures and porcelain sink. And all-natural. I have a suppressed immune-system, so I really like taking the danger out of cleaning. Thank you!

  137. This recipe is great! It’s may be one of the first recipes I learned when I started working as a cleaner at Carpet Cleaning Lambeth Ltd. It’ s so nice to use natural non-toxic cleaning solutions for home cleaning! Greets!

  138. Will this work on bronze finished faucets? I tried CLR and it removed some paint from the finish.

  139. Great recipe. Do you know it this is safe on granite?

  140. any ideas on how to get hard water build up off of a glass shower door? I have tried every kind of homemade solution.

  141. I take 2 cups vi egar and a little corn starch heat it up on the stove likemaking gravy. get ii as thick as you want but will still spray out of a bottle. let cool a little, put in spray bottle and put a couple squirts of dish soap in. Put lid on give it a quick shake to mix. Use on tubs, toilets, sinks, faucets, shower doors. Anywhere you have soap scum, or hard water build up:-) Spray and lett sit an hour or so and take a scratchy sponge to it. Works like a miracle. if it is really bad build up may need to spray and let sit again.


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  23. […] Spray it all over the stains and let it sit for half an hour. Then scrub and rinse, and the stains will be gone! Metal sinks and fixtures will be especially bright and shiny. […]

  24. […] Spray it all over the stains and let it sit for half an hour. Then scrub and rinse, and the stains will be gone! Metal sinks and fixtures will be especially bright and shiny. […]

  25. […] Spray it everywhere in the stains and let it sit for half an hour. Then scrub and rinse, and the stains shall be gone! Metal sinks and fixtures will probably be particularly bright and shiny. […]

  26. […] Spray it all over the stains and let it sit for half an hour. Then scrub and rinse, and the stains will be gone! Metal sinks and fixtures will be especially bright and shiny. […]

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