My husband and I are huge into DIY, budget projects, and re-purposing antiques. If we want something for our house, we first see if we can make it ourselves at a much lower cost than buying it. In some cases, it would just be less expensive to purchase the item. But, many times we find ourselves making things to save money. We love doing projects together, so that just works out perfectly for both of us! The best thing is that each item is usually unique and screams “us.”
Hubby and I recently decided that we wanted to do a re-do of each room in our house, to make the whole house more coordinated and nice looking. Not to mention, it gives us an excuse to do projects. Our goal is to confine ourselves to a limited budget for each room, which forces us to become super creative and limit our options. It’s like a DIY scavenger hunt. I will share each little project with you, as well as do a full room reveal after each room is completed.
The first room we decided to work on is our master bathroom. I am beyond excited for the changes we have in store for our bathroom! But, to get the ball rolling, I knew I was going to have to clean up the massive hard water stain issue we were having with our granite sink.
Gross, right? Now, before you say, “Did ever clean that thing?” Yes! All. the. stinkin. time! It just seemed like our efforts kept making it worse. The problem with water stains is that you’ll think you’ve gotten it clean, but then once the surface dries, you’ll find that your efforts were for naught. We tried everything (save for CLR, because you can’t use that on granite). At least, I thought we had tried everything. I threw my hands in the air and started researching how to naturally get rid of water stains. One of the things that came up was “vinegar.” Duh! Why didn’t I think of that?! Vinegar is amazing! It can clean pretty much anything. Think about it. You use it to clean your coffee pots, dishwashers, washers, etc. The list is endless.
So, I pulled out my huge tub of vinegar and got to work.
I wasn’t quite sure how to get the ball rolling, so I just started slowly pouring the vinegar on the countertop. I couldn’t believe what started happening. I could literally see the vinegar eating away at the surface of the stains. It foamed!
While I let that sit for a little while, I decided to tackle the drain in the sink. It was completely crusted.
This part was easy. I pulled the plug closed and filled the sink with vinegar until it completely covered the problem area. I let that set for at least fifteen minutes, while I worked on scrubbing at the countertop with the abrasive side of a sponge, a washcloth, and a toothbrush. When I came back to the drain, this is what I found.
My vinegar looked like cloudy water. It had eaten away and released most of the hard water stain. I then used the sponge to scrub up any residue and drained the sink. After that, I went back to the counter. There were areas where the hard water stains were just too much for the vinegar. So, I utilized a tip that my mother-in-law gave me a while ago . . .
Yes, that is a butter knife. Now, before you go thinking that you could NEVER do that, it is very effective. And, if you do it the right way, you won’t damage your countertops at all. You just have to scrape the stains gently but firm enough to actually break through them. You will know if you’re scratching your countertops. Thankfully, for me, granite is pretty forgiving, so I was able to scrape that bad boy pretty hard.
As I went along working on this, I occasionally dried off the counter to check my progress. Even after a while, the counter still had this large layer of hard water film. So I saturated my washcloth and sponge in vinegar and placed them on the problem areas. I then poured water on the counter between the two. The sponge and washcloth created nice barriers that prevented the vinegar from running off the counter.
I’ll admit, this whole process was slow, long work. It took me about an hour total (including little children interruptions). But, it was well worth it! I wasn’t able to get the counter completely spotless, but it came quite close! Our bathroom sink looks so much better now! Here are the lovely before and afters.
I love my now beautiful, hard water stain-free bathroom sink!
What about you? Have you ever had really tough hard water stains? What did you do to get rid of them?