What is hard water?
Hard water is water which contains a large number of dissolved minerals. It contains these minerals because, on the water’s journey through the ground and into our water systems, it picks up minerals such as chalk, lime, calcium, and magnesium along the way.
Although hard water is not a health hazard and is generally safe to drink, being exposed to hard water over a long amount of time can wreak havoc on both your appliances and your skin, especially if you suffer from skin conditions like eczema.
What causes hard water stains on shower doors and screens?
If you have ever had a new glass shower door or screen fitted, you’ll likely relate to the fact that the shiny and new appearance does not last as long as you’d hoped, even if you regularly use bathroom cleaning products and wipe the shower units down.
The problem is, hard water stains on shower doors are some of the trickiest to clean because it’s not just hard water stains that are causing the problem here. It’s soap scum, which is a mixture of hard water and oils. Within a shower setting, calcium and magnesium in your water mix with the fatty acids in your soaps and shampoos, and when that dries, it gives you that crusty layer of film which we all know is so difficult to clean.
What problems does hard water cause?
The main problem with hard water is that it causes limescale and this costs homeowners a lot of money in maintenance and replacements. Here are some examples of problems that hard water can cause:
- Appliances – limescale builds up in appliances such as washing machines, which reduces their effectiveness and also how long they last, as it forces the appliances to work harder than they should have to
- Slow flushing toilet – as impurities build inside the drainpipes, this narrows them which reduces water flow and leads to clogs
- Dirty dishes – hard water is the cause of that scummy, cloudy layer that sits on your dishes and glassware
- Hair – hard water can leave mineral deposits in your hair, reducing its natural shine and leaving build-up on your scalp, meaning your hair can look dull and dirty
- Skin: Because hard water prevents soap from dissolving, it can also leave a film on your skin and this residue can make you feel itchy, aggravating skin issues like eczema and psoriasis.
How to prevent hard water stains on glass and shower doors
It goes without saying that the best offence, is a good defence! So, if you don’t want hard water stains on your shower doors, it’s as simple as stopping the hard water from reaching your shower doors in the first place, by implementing a soft water solution, such as a water softener.
A water softener works by removing the magnesium and calcium present in your water supply through a process of ion exchange and is installed by one of our fully qualified plumbers. You can have a water softener installed under the sink, in the loft, in the garage or outside – whichever suits you best.
Get in touch with us today if you want to learn more about the benefits of a Harvey water softener.
How to remove hard water stains from your shower doors with home remedies
As this is such a common problem that so many people face, the internet proposes many supposed solutions that have been tried and tested by shower scrubbers around the globe, although many of these are often to no avail.
The best way to remove hard water stains from your shower doors is to do so using regular household items such as white vinegar and baking soda. Vinegar is a great cleaning solution because the acidity helps to cut through the dirt and grime of the soap scum mixture – but this alone won’t always do the trick and this is where the baking soda comes in.
Start removing those unsightly water marks
Before you start, you will need:
- 1 ½ cups white vinegar
- ½ cup baking soda
- Microfibre cloth
Follow the steps below:
- Put half a cup of baking soda into a small plastic tub and add enough vinegar to it so that it forms a paste
- When the fizzing has stopped, use a sponge to smear the paste all over the affected area and let it sit for 15 minutes or so
- Using the sponge, start to clean off the solution, using warm water to rinse the mixture away
- Dry the shower screen thoroughly using a microfibre towel