Does CLR Work On Glass?

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Some stains on glass are often so harsh and stubborn that you need something other than your ordinary stain cleaner to get rid of them. While some suggest mixing a few different household items and making a DIY cleaner at home, it isn’t too effective. This is where CLR shines as a great option.

CLR, or calcium lime rust, is known for dissolving stubborn stains like calcium, iron oxide, and lime deposits from different surfaces. It’s safe to use on glass, especially if you want to remove stubborn water marks. Just make sure you take the necessary precautions.

CLR is typically marketed as a one-stop solution for all your cleaning needs. So let’s see what CLR is, if it is as good as many people claim, and if you can safely use it on glass. We’ll also see the right way of using CLR and the alternatives you can try if you find it too strong.

What is CLR?

Two bottles of CLR cleaner

Calcium Lime Rust, famously known as CLR, is a cleaning product typically used to dissolve different stains around the house, such as iron oxide, lime, and calcium deposits. This chemical cleaner is up to 15 times stronger and more concentrated than a regular cleaner, making it suitable for tough stains like hard rust.  

CLR (on Amazon) can include compounds that work together to dissolve tough deposits. It can remove stains from surfaces like shower heads, washing machines, dishwashers, humidifiers, sinks, toilet bowls, and bathtubs to materials like stainless steel, fiberglass, and chrome. 

Is CLR Safe to Use on Glass?

It is safe to use CLR on glass, especially if you want to remove those stubborn water marks. You can also use it on colored stained glass with ugly watermarks spoiling its whole look. 

However, when using it on colored glass, remember that it should have been colored while it was manufactured and not coated or painted afterward. You can also use CLR as a diluted solution containing equal parts of warm water and CLR as long as you don’t make contact with the frame or lead of the stained glass.

Avoid using CLR on tiles, tubs, and older sinks. Also, avoid contact with sealed or coated surfaces, galvanized metals, aluminum, copper, brass, natural stones, wallpaper, wood, carpeting, and clothing. 

How Do You Use CLR?

woman cleaning window with damp cloth and spray bottle

Before you start cleaning with CLR, ensure you’re in a well-ventilated area. Mix CLR and warm water in equal amounts, and before you apply it to the whole surface, test the mixture on a small, hidden surface.

Once you’re sure it won’t damage the surface, apply it directly to the stubborn stain using a damp sponge, cloth, or brush. After a minute or two, rinse the glass with cold water and a damp sponge or cloth, but make sure you never exceed the 2-minute mark.

If the stain doesn’t disappear, repeat the process and add more CLR as needed. Never mix it with bleach or other household cleaners. And make sure you don’t spray CLR directly onto the glass, so it doesn’t contact materials other than the glass. 

What are Some Alternatives to CLR? 

Since CLR is a chemical-based cleaner, it’s more concentrated and effective than most other options. However, if you’re looking for something less intense, you can try alternatives like pumice stone, lemon, and vinegar.

Distilled white vinegar is one of the best natural cleaners you can use. Even though it’s not as effective, it’s safe and doesn’t damage the item, making it suitable to use on appliances like coffee machines, washing machines, and dishwashers. You can also use it for toilets since the harsh chemicals in CLR can damage the porcelain finish. 

Lemon juice is also a great alternative to CLR and can cut through many stains as long as they’re not too stubborn.

Another option for getting rid of tough stains is using a pumice stone (on Amazon), especially for stubborn stains on porcelain. While it’s safe enough to use on porcelain, remember that the pumice stone is very abrasive and shouldn’t be used on metal or glass surfaces. Also, wet the pumice stone before using it. 

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