How to Remove Hard-Water Stains From Sinks & Toilets

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Use vinegar to keep sinks and toilets free of hard-water stains.
Use vinegar to keep sinks and toilets free of hard-water stains. (Image: Buena Vista Images/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Dissolved minerals in water deposit on sinks and toilets, building up over time and leaving gray or white streaks and stains. Ordinary household cleaners and scrubbing don't remove these hard-water stains, but acid breaks them down. Household vinegar dissolves mineral deposits well, but its acid may etch the surface of porcelain-enamel sinks and toilets over time, and should be used with care.

Things You'll Need

  • Vinegar
  • Sponge
  • Baking soda
  • Paper towels

Pour undiluted vinegar on a sponge. Scrub the sink and toilet with the vinegar-soaked sponge.

Sprinkle 1/4 cup baking soda in the sink or toilet and scrub again. Rinse thoroughly.

Soak a paper towel with undiluted vinegar.

Place the paper towel over faucets and other metal fixtures.

Wait one hour, then wipe the fixtures with a damp paper towel to remove the vinegar. Dry thoroughly to shine.

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