Nothing is as tough on your windows as hard water. Hard water is a term that is often associated with large cities or a very industrialized area. The nasty truth about hard water is that it can rear its ugly head at any time. Hard water is simply water that has a high mineral content. It is formed when water percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk. The main minerals that make up hard water are calcium and magnesium carbonates.
Almost any water that hasn’t gone through a softening process will have trace amounts of these minerals. A lot of homes in areas where hard water is prevalent are equipped with softeners that use sodium to filter the water. This method is enough to make your water taste fine, but it may not be enough to prevent deposits on your windows.
The main problem homeowners face in the battle against hard water is a safe and effective way to remove stains on their windows. Glass is porous and can actually be manipulated by chemicals. Hard water stains are deposits of minerals within the structure of the glass. There are only a few options to get rid of these spots. The first would be to use a homemade cleanser made of water and white vinegar.
To be honest, if you haven’t kept up with this cleaning process or if the stains are old it will not work. There are chemicals that you can find at any store that will more than likely work if they are applied correctly. It will take a lot of elbow grease and a skilled hand to remove these stains. Unless you are familiar with this process, you could easily damage or scratch the glass.
The best way to attack these stains is to simply hire a professional. The typical hard water stain is too old for the water and vinegar solution to actually work. Professional window cleaners like Window Genie are trained and experienced in this battle. Window Genie uses a polishing paste specifically designed to fight the minerals that create these stains. The paste is applied to a non-abrasive cleaning pad and the window is lightly scrubbed. If the stain is removable, we will remove it. To maintain your windows and prevent hard water stains, regular cleaning is a must. Whether you clean them yourself or schedule cleanings with Window Genie, regular maintenance will be required.
Here a few tricks and tips to help keep hard water from staining your glass:
· Rubbing Alcohol: Mix water with rubbing alcohol and wipe the window with it. The mixture may remove mild water spots, and it’s great for window maintenance.
· Toothpaste: Squeeze some toothpaste on to a non-abrasive pad, add some water and lightly apply the mixture to the stain. Rinse the glass and use a squeegee to remove excess water.
· Ammonia: Soak a towel into a mixture of ammonia and water, then use it to remove the spots on the glass. Take note though that an ammonia solution is irritating to the eyes and mucous membranes, especially the respiratory and digestive tracts. Some people also get skin irritation when exposed to ammonia. Be extremely careful when handling an ammonia-based solution; and wear protective clothing like rubber gloves and goggles to prevent injuries.
· Vinegar: Soak the towel into the vinegar, or spray the vinegar into glass, and start erasing the spots. Be sure to wear rubber gloves to protect your hands from the vinegar’s acidity.
Unfortunately, not every hard water stain can be removed. If that is the case, the window will need to be replaced. Replacing a window, mirror, or piece of glass can be extremely expensive, so if you see a potential problem with hard water, act quickly!