Well water stains can develop in the bathroom when the water contains certain minerals. When calcium and magnesium are present in well water, it creates white, crusty deposits on bathroom surfaces and fixtures. Water containing iron or manganese leaves unsightly brown to reddish stains. If the water is acidic and contains copper or brass content, corrosion can occur on plumbing fixtures resulting in blue or green stains. Water with a large amount of minerals is referred to as hard water.
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Water Treatment Methods
The best way to prevent well water stains in the bathroom is to treat the water to remove the stain-causing components. Some sediment particles such as calcium and magnesium can be filtered out of the water with a whole-house water filter. Microfiltration and activated carbon filters remove the most sediment.
To further remove stain-causing elements from well water, a water softening unit may need to be installed. Most water softeners work by exchanging magnesium and calcium ions with potassium or sodium ions found in salt. Water that contains large amounts of iron is treated with salt that has an added rust remover.
Well Water Stain Treatment and Prevention
When stain-causing elements in well water cannot be entirely removed, the homeowner must be diligent to treat and prevent bathroom stains.
The most effective way to prevent stains is to not allow water to stand on surfaces. This means showers, tubs and sinks should be wiped down and dried after every use. A trick to help repel water from surfaces is to apply a light coating of furniture polish so the water will “bead” and wipe off more easily. Never apply furniture polish to the bottom of the tub or shower where slipping could occur.
When a stain is present, it should be cleaned as soon as possible before it becomes worse and sets in. Abrasive cleaners and scouring pads should not be used. While they will remove the stain, they may also damage the surface. Damaged bathroom surfaces become more susceptible to staining from well water.
Mild acidic products can remove most stains from hard water. Soaking a stained area with lemon juice or vinegar helps to loosen the stain. Stains caused by copper can be treated with ammonia. When home remedies do not work, specialty cleaners such as Lime-A-Way or Rust Out can be used. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when using commercial cleaners. Thoroughly rinse surfaces with water after cleaning.