Have you ever washed your windows only to discover stubborn spots of dried water remaining? Taking pride in your home is important to most of us, and it can be frustrating when some things refuse to clean. Hard water stains can take a lot of elbow grease and some knowledge of the right chemicals and supplies to clean windows correctly. Preventing hard water stains is also helpful to know for when you are done cleaning so it won’t happen again. This guide will provide answers to what water spots are and how to get rid of them.
What are the Water Spots on Your Windows?
Before we jump in on how to remove the unsightly spots on your windows, it can be beneficial to know what exactly is causing the marks. These spots are most commonly referred to as hard water spots. Hard water spots are caused when moisture from rain, snow, sprinklers, or anything else dries on your windows. When hard water dries, it leaves behind a mineral residue that takes the form of the whitish spots on windows. After hard water evaporates, it leaves behind compounds such as calcium and magnesium, which are the culprit of your stains. If hard water isn’t wiped off of windows or glass before it dries,
As you may know already, getting mineral stains removed is a very tough job, so it is a good idea to locate the main source of water hitting your windows. Sprinklers are often the cause of this problem as they use hard groundwater and spray horizontally, whereas rainwater is usually easy on glass due to its soft nature, having left minerals behind to evaporate into clouds. Water from the roof or downspouts can also cause staining if any residue is picked up from those areas.
Once you have located the source of water, you can put preventative measures in place to protect your windows. Adjusting sprinklers or gutters on rooftops can stop water from hitting your window in the first place, making for the most straightforward solution instead of labor-intensive spot cleaning. Once you have protected against any water hitting your windows, there are products you can apply to the glass, such as waxes, sealants, and repellants that prevent water from staying on the glass. Some window panes come pretreated with water repellant, so you may want to check if they are already protected by looking at the window manufacturer.
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How to Get Rid of Water Spots
After you have made sure your windows are protected against any unnecessary water hitting them again, you are ready to get started on getting rid of those ugly white hard water stains. There are a few methods that will lead to the best results when cleaning your windows. The following is a list of ways to remove water spots — combine and use until they are stain-free.
Before you start, you may want to gather some extra supplies that may be helpful.
- Lint-free rags or towels
- Our favorite window cleaning solution. Mix a teaspoon of soap with two gallons of water.
- Baking soda and water: This mixture of baking soda and water provides a paste that will provide a gentle abrasive layer to the glass to get you some leverage when getting at the water spot build-up. Scrub the window with a washcloth soaked in the mixture until the spots are gone. Make sure to rinse the glass thoroughly, so the same problem doesn’t happen again. After rinsing, use Windex or another glass cleaner and paper towels to wipe clean any streaks or smudges.
- Lemon: This powerful and natural cleaning agent can be used to remove water spots easily. To use, slice a lemon or two into halves and scrub the window until all stains are sufficiently coated in lemon juice. The acid in the lemon will deconstruct the mineralization of the hard water deposits, making it a breeze to wipe away. Leave the lemon juice on for a minute or two, but not long enough to dry. Spray with a store-bought glass cleaner to wipe away any streaks.
- Vinegar and Water Mixture: Combine an equal mixture of vinegar and water in a spray bottle and soak all spotted areas thoroughly. You can also wet a sheet in this mixture and drape it over the windowpane for longer soaking. Give another liberal spray as many times as is necessary and then scrub with a washcloth. Dry the window and observe for any stubborn spots and repeat the process. Finish with Windex and paper towels.
- Other cleaning store-bought products: Some available cleaners are specifically tailored to remove hard water stains and could be a good choice, although usually more expensive. These can be helpful with especially hard to remove spots. Barkeepers Friend is a good choice for extra abrasion and can be extremely powerful to save your arms some effort when combined with super fine steel wool. Toothpaste can also be used as a scrubbing agent, so a trip to the store may not be necessary. Professionals often use these as a final step to cleaning windows to ensure a spot-free finish. Most can be found at stores or on Amazon.
- Barkeepers Friend is a good choice for extra abrasion and can be extremely powerful to save your arms some effort when combined with super fine steel wool. Barkeepers Friend is also a great cleaner that is safe for wood. However, steel wool is abrasive and should be used with caution on treated windows.
- Toothpaste can also be used as a scrubbing agent, so a trip to the store may not be necessary. Regular white toothpaste may sound odd, but it can be a great way to remove water spots. While its original purpose is to break down built-up deposits on your teeth, it works similarly to dissolve the mineral stains on your window that cause the water spots. Thin it down with some water to ensure you can cover the entire window.
- Essential Oils like those found in oranges and lemons are great for cleaning overall but are excellent for removing water spots from windows. Oil naturally repels water, so it’s a double benefit because it can remove water spots and can help keep them from forming again for a short while. Add about ten drops of essential oil to just plain water and use it as a cleaning solution. You’ll want to thoroughly wet the window with the mixture and allow it to sit but not dry on the window for this application.
- WD-40® Multi-Use Product is a jack-of-all-trades when it comes to cleaning. This easy-to-use liquid spray is handy when it comes to removing water spots from windows. It can also help remove other things from your windows like sticker residue or tape.
- Liquid Ammonia isn’t a fan favorite, but it can get the job done. If you do decide to use liquid ammonia to remove water spots from your windows be sure to wear protective gear. Gloves and safety goggles are highly recommended. Mix liquid ammonia with water and soak a towel in the mixture and wipe down the glass. Let it sit for a moment and then wipe again with clean water a few times to ensure that all of the liquid ammonia is gone. Be sure to buff it dry with a newspaper or a paper towel.
No matter what option you choose to get your windows spot-free to be sure to dry the window entirely; otherwise, you’ll have more spots on your window. Are you looking for the best window washing services in the Austin or Dallas area? Check out Shine Window Cleaning for unparalleled service.
Looking for the best window washing services the Austin or Dallas Area? Check out Shine Window Cleaning for unparalleled service.
Professional Window Cleaning Services
The easiest way to get your windows totally cleaned is by hiring a professional window washing service that has people with years of experience getting stains, dirt, and grime off of hard-to-reach windows. A good professional service can clean windows inside and out, including screens, and can take care of any fogging or stains. Professionals have advanced equipment and industrial cleaning products to clean your windows quickly and affordably. Now that you have all the tools you need to get started removing pesky water spots from your windows so you can enjoy spotless satisfaction!
While getting rid of water spots on your windows isn’t complicated, it can be a very time-consuming task. Having professionals regularly clean your windows can help reduce spots and help keep them away until the next cleaning.
Shine Window cleaning is now serving the Austin and Dallas areas to help keep your house looking cleaner than ever.