What’s The Best Way To Clean Hard Water Spots Off Glass?

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Hard water spots are the mineral deposits that collect on surfaces that frequently come in contact with hard water. These spots usually appear in houses that use well water with a high calcium and lime content. Fortunately, you can easily remove and prevent hard water spots with just a few household ingredients. 

The best way to clean hard water spots off glass is to spray a vinegar and water solution on the glass and leave it for 30 minutes. Then, wipe off the mineral spots with a soft-bristled brush before rinsing and drying the glass. You can also use a Magic Eraser or WD-40 to remove hard water spots. 

Remember that hard water spots will reappear after cleaning unless you treat or filter the water with an effective water-softening system. Let’s look at how you can remove hard water stains and which materials are the most effective for the job, so you can tackle the problem before they become permanent on your glass fixtures. 

How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Glass?

Young woman cleaning window glass with rag and detergent at home

There are several different cleaning methods and products to remove hard water spots and mineral buildup. Depending on the stain and the surface of your glass, you can use vinegar, a mixture of vinegar and baking soda, or cleaning products specially formulated to remove hard water stains. 

Use White Vinegar

Since these mineral deposits are chemically alkali, you’ll need acid to get rid of them. Distilled white vinegar is an acetic or mild acid that will break the bonds these minerals have formed with your glass surface. 

Instead of vinegar, you can also add lime juice or fresh lemon to the cleaning solution. 

Tools and Ingredients Needed:


  1. Combine lemon juice or distilled white vinegar with distilled water in a 1:1 ratio, and pour the mixture into a spray bottle.
  1. Spray the water and vinegar solution across the glass. It’s best to start at the top and then move down in even rows until you’ve sprayed the solution onto every corner of the glass.
  1. Let the solution remain on the surface of the glass for at least half an hour.
  1. Wear protective rubber gloves and use a microfiber cloth or soft-bristled brush to remove the mineral deposits. Start from the top and work your way down. Make sure you rub the cloth or brush in a circular motion and rinse it out often.
  1. Once you’ve successfully loosened and removed all the hard water spots, use fresh water to rinse the glass. Use a high-quality squeegee to wipe away the water, and then dry the glass with a dry, lint-free microfiber cloth. 

Use a Baking Soda Paste and Distilled White Vinegar

If vinegar alone didn’t do the trick, use a baking soda paste as a mild abrasive. You can also use this paste for cleaning water-spotted drinking glasses or other glassware. 

Tools and Ingredients Needed


  1. Fill a spray bottle with a bit of undiluted vinegar, and moving from the top to the bottom, spray every part of the glass. Leave the vinegar on the glass and let it work for at least half an hour.
  1. Mix water and baking soda in a bowl, preferably in a 1:3 ratio, to make a thin paste. It’s better to make the paste in small batches so it doesn’t get too watery.
  1. Use a scrub brush or cloth to apply the baking soda paste to all the hard water spots on the glass. Rub the cloth in a circular motion, starting from the top of the glass, and then work your way down.
  1. Once the paste has dried slightly, spray undiluted vinegar across the glass again. There should be some foaming on the glass as the vinegar and baking soda react with each other.
  1. Once the foaming stops, use clean water to rinse the glass and then dry it with a microfiber cloth or a squeegee. 

Apply White Toothpaste

As weird as this might sound, toothpaste is specially formulated to remove buildup, so it does wonders on hard water spots as well. 

Tools and Ingredients Needed

  • White toothpaste
  • Water
  • A microfiber cloth or a soft-bristled brush 


  1. Water down the white toothpaste with a bit of water, so it spreads more easily on the glass.
  1. Apply the toothpaste to the surface of the glass and let it sit for a while.
  1. Use a soft-bristled brush or microfiber cloth to scrub off the hard water spots.
  1. Clean the glass with water until you’ve washed away all the paste.
  1. Dry the glass thoroughly with a microfiber cloth, so the water spots don’t return. 

What Removes Hard Water Stains from Glass Shower Doors Best?

Portrait of young woman cleaning shower door

There are several different products that are specifically formulated to clean hard water spots off glass and other surfaces. However, it’s best to try a few household products first, as purchasing multiple cleaning products for a single problem can be a bit costly. 

If the stains on your shower glass are particularly stubborn, then here are a couple of specific products that can help remove them: 

Will Magic Eraser Remove Hard Water Stains?

Magic Eraser is a gentle abrasive that’s incredibly effective at removing hard water stains from glass. Here’s what you need to do: 

  1. Wet the Magic Eraser. The water will activate all its tough micro-scrubbers, ensuring that it removes all the hard water stains from your glass.
  1. Squeeze out all the excess water from the Magic Eraser before using it.
  1. Once the foaming cleanser starts foaming up, you can use it to clean your shower glass. 
  1. Firmly wipe the Magic Eraser across the glass with a steady swipe. After a few wipes, the cleanser will break through the hard water spots and soap scum, turning the glass shiny and squeaky-clean in no time. 

Will WD-40 Remove Hard Water Stains?

WD-40 is an excellent cleaner that removes hard water spots and other stubborn stains from your glass without scratching or damaging it. 

You need to spray a bit of WD-40 on the affected areas and then scrub with a sponge and some elbow grease until the glass is sparkling again. And since the product has water displacement properties, it’ll also protect the glass from rust stains and further water damage.

Can Hard Water Stains be Permanent?

Hard water spots can become permanent if you leave them for too long. For this reason, it’s best to get rid of them as soon as they appear on the glass. 

While it might be tempting to leave a mild stain until cleaning day, keep in mind that the longer you let it sit, the harder it’ll be to remove. To prevent this seemingly endless cleaning, here are a few tips that can help prevent hard water stains from forming on your glass in the first place:

  • Thoroughly dry the surface of the glass after cleaning it or after showering.
  • Use a squeegee or lint-free towel to properly dry the shower doors after every use to eliminate all water streaks or residue.
  • Attach a filter or water softener to your water system to remove all the hard minerals from the water.
  • Clean the glass with a diluted vinegar solution weekly to prevent mineral deposits from building up.
  • Use a water-repellent product, so the water sheets off quickly from the glass.
  • Move your sprinklers away from glass windows so they’re not splattered with hard water whenever you turn them on.
  • Apply a wax-based protective coat on your shower doors once or twice every year so that water runs off them and leaves the glass clear and clean. 

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