There are literally dozens of products out there that state that they will remove hard water stains from chrome and other materials. Most of them work acceptably, but have a tendency to smell unpleasant, be expensive and corrosive. Why not try a greener and cheaper alternative?
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Hard Water Stains
“Hard” water is really water that has an overabundance of some mineral, usually either iron or calcium. When water dries on a surface such as chrome or brass it leaves behinds grayish or whitish mineral deposits that are unsightly and can be difficult to remove.
Most of the cleansers on the market like “Scrubbing BubblesTM” or “CLRTM” have harsh chemicals in them that are less than good for the environment and leave a chemical smell in the air when used. Further, these cleansers, although they work well, are expensive. There is a cheaper and greener alternative.
A Green Solution
Vinegar contains a weak acid that is unlikely to harm the human skin. This weak acid and other chemical compounds in the vinegar combine with the minerals left behind by “hard” water and lift them right off the chrome or brass. Vinegar will not harm the finish of chrome or brass because it does not react chemically with these materials.
For especially tough hard water stains, sometimes it’s necessary to mix a paste of baking soda and water to scrub. However, one must be careful doing this because baking soda can scratch brass and chrome leaving unsightly scratch marks.
To clean bathroom and kitchen fixtures use full strength vinegar. Wipe it on with a towel so that a film of liquid is left behind. If done once a week, just one wipe with a wet vinegar towel and then another wipe with a dry vinegar towel is sufficient to lift hard water stains. For tougher stains let the vinegar sit for a few minutes and then wipe away with a dry towel. Do not use water to rinse off the vinegar. This defeats the purpose of what you’re trying to achieve.
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Published in: Homemaking