Home Remedies for Water Spots

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Water spots can create glaring blemishes throughout your household – from the droplet stains staring back at you on the mirror to the rings left behind by a can of cold soda. There really isn’t anything you can buy specifically for this issue, but home remedies for water spots can provide convenient solutions.

What are Water Spots?

The typical water spot is an area comprised of dried mineral deposits that are left on a surface. Water spots are not only limited to inside of your home – they can occur when you wash the car, jump in a rain puddle, or turn on your lawn sprinklers. The quality of your water (including sodium and chemical levels) will affect the frequency and severity of water spots.

Hard water spots often attack shower stalls (creating a film that does not easily wash off). White clothing that appears duller and grayer after each washing is a casualty of hard water. Cloudy glasses that come out of the dishwater are also a sign of hard water. Other places that they can show up on include:

• Furniture
• Bathroom fixtures
• Black range tops
• Windows
• Wooden deck
• A freshly washed car

Water Spot Home Remedies

Water spots can cause annoyingly glaring blemishes. Sometimes, no matter how many times you wipe down and clean affected materials, there seems to be lingering marks. To keep the problem better under control and for quick solutions, you may want to consider the following home remedies for water spots:

a) White Vinegar:

One of the best ways to remove water spots from a wide variety of objects is to use white vinegar. In automatic dishwashers, use as a rinse aid to remove the buildup of calcium. Vinegar also works wonders by removing water spots from car paint. To use on your car, wash as normal and then sponge distilled vinegar one section at a time. Allow the vinegar to sit for 30 to 60 seconds, and then rinse with water. To prevent other marks, immediately dry your car.

b) Towel:

After washing your car, use a towel to dry to avoid the formation of water spots on your vehicle.

c) Ashes [1]:

To remove water spots from wood furniture, try using cigar or cigarette ashes (if you have access to any). Add the ashes to a few drops of water to create a paste that is lightly rubbed over the white rings left behind by wet glasses or hot cups. Follow up with furniture polish.

d) Absorbent Rag and Iron:

When water spots appear on your clothing, sometimes it isn’t your tap water at all, but another substance combined with your water that creates a spot. Dust, dirt, body oils and sometimes fabric softener, can react with the water [2]. Place an absorbent rag (or cloth) over the mark, and spray with a fine mist of water from a spray bottle until the material is damp to the touch. Press the rag with an iron set to a temperature for the garment fabric. The extra moisture will help disburse the water spot while the heat from the iron dries the sprayed water.

e) Baking Soda and Vinegar:

When hard water has left behind mineral deposits on your showerhead, fill a thick sandwich-sized bag with ½ cup baking soda and one cup vinegar. Cover the head of the shower with the bag of solution, and loosely fasten it with a large bag tie or adhesive tape. Let the solution soak on the showerhead for about an hour. After you remove the bag, turn on your shower to wash off any lingering grime. The deposits will disappear and the showerhead will sparkle.

f) Soap and Water:

Remove water spots on a blacktop range by washing down with hot, soapy water. Rinse with hot water to clear the lingering grime and soap residue. Use a lint-free cotton cloth to thoroughly dry the range.

g) No Fabric Softener:

When washing the dish towels that you may use to wipe off your blacktop range, avoid using fabric softener because lingering product on the towel material can cause streaks.

h) Microfiber Cloths:

Since paper towels can leave lint and streaks on blacktop ranges after you wipe them clean, opt for a microfiber cloth, which does not leave lint behind.

i) Cornstarch:

Treat water spots on windows by creating a solution that gently cleans out of ½ cup of cornstarch and two quarts of warm water. Dip a sponge or clean cloth into the mixture and wipe over the stains. Let the remedy thoroughly dry, and then use another wet cloth or sponge to wipe off the residue. The water spots should have disappeared by then.

j) Rubbing Alcohol:

A mixture of one part rubbing alcohol and one part water added to a bowl can help dissolve mild water stains from windows. Dip a clean sponge into the solution, and wipe over water stains. Once the stains have been removed, rinse the windows clean with water.

k) Lemon Juice:

Remove water stains from windows by squeezing fresh lemon juice onto a clean towel, and then wiping over water spots. Repeat this process until all of the stains have been removed.

l) Paper Towel and Hair Dryer:

To remove water spots from upholstery, dampen the area with a clean, wet cloth, and then cover with paper towels. Fold four or five paper towels in half to make a thicker pile. Place something heavy on top of the paper towels (books are a good choice) to secure the edges to the upholstery. To help transfer some of the water from the furniture to the paper towels, use a hair dryer on the cool setting.

m) White Vinegar and Hair Dryer:

Dampen affected upholstery to remove water spots with a clean, wet cloth, and then rub white vinegar into the stain. Allow the treated area to sit for two to three minutes, and then use a hair dryer to dry the stain until it disappears.

n) Stiff Brush and Garden Hose:

To treat a deck with water spots, preparation is key. First, you must loosen debris by using a stiff brush. A putty knife can help dislodge any stubborn clunks of dirt or large collections of leaves from the cracks of the deck. Use a garden hose to rinse off the leftover matter.

o) Household Bleach:

Rain and snow can create water spots on your beautiful deck and over time, the water spots promote the growth of mold. Stubborn stains are treatable with a mixture of household cleaner and water. Add one cup of household bleach to one gallon of water in a plastic bucket. This will create a homemade cleaning solution for your deck. Use a handheld brush to scrub out the spots. Hose off the deck, and repeat if necessary. When applying the remedy to your wood, don’t forget to wear safety goggles to avoid any splashes in your eyes.


[1] Extraordinary Uses for Ordinary Things by Reader’s Digest; pg. 55.
[2] Five Minute Fixes by Reader’s Digest; pg.266.