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How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Stainless Steel [4 Easy Steps]

Who doesn’t love a gleaming stainless steel sink? It doesn’t matter whether it’s in the bathroom or in the kitchen. I know how frustrating it is to see hard water stains on steel that make it unappealing. What’s even worse is the confusion on how to get rid of that!

How to remove hard water stains from stainless steel?

To clean stainless steel, you first need to dampen a piece of cloth with vinegar. Then wipe down the sink properly. After that, rinse the cloth with warm water and wash off the sink. Finally, dry off the sink.

I might have skipped a bit of information here. But to get more insights,keep on reading. 

So, get started right away!

How to Get Rid of Hard Water Stains Off Stainless Steel

Taking off hard water stains is actually not that hard people think it is. Whether you clean the fake stainless steel or real, it is easy! Then again,  if you can not do it properly, you could even worsen the problem. 

But hey! I have got you covered. Take a look below to know the steps in detail-

Step 1: Dampen A Piece of Cloth with Vinegar

Use a tidy cloth, dampen one side using white vinegar. Ascertain that the vinegar is pure, like not mixed with any other component. 

The vinegar has a mild acidic feel to it, but it is not harmful to stainless steel. It is, nevertheless, quite good at breaking up scale deposits. 

Remember to not put vinegar much more thinking it would work better. Because too much vinegar can actually damage your sink, damaging the actual color.

Step 2: Wipe Down The Sink

Clean the hard water stains using the wet part of the towel. Wipe in small, circular movements.  As required, make the cloth wet again with vinegar. And keep cleaning until all of the hard water stains are gone.

Now, here is a tip. If you want a noticeable shining sink, you can add a sink cleaner to the sink. But don’t get confused with an abrasive cleaner and sink cleaner. 

I would like to recommend not using any abrasive cleaners for stainless steel.

Not sure about which one to choose? Get a couple of suggestions as given below-

Product 1
Product 2

You can get the instructions on how to use these given on the packaging.

Step 3: Rinse The Cloth with Warm Water

Make sure you have got warm water to rinse the cloth. Then wash it out and wipe it down with a clean cloth. This will help in the removal of the vinegar solution.

If you use cold water, it would not be helpful for the purpose. So, make sure the water is warm.

Step 4: Rub The Sink to Dry

Using a clean dry cloth, rub the stainless steel to dry. This will prevent the formation of new hard water stains.

Letting the upper or under sink remain wet for a long time can put spots on the sink again. So, I would always recommend you to keep the sink as much dry as you can.

These are the simple steps you can follow to get rid of hard water stains from stainless steel. But taking off the stains is not the end of it. 

You don’t want your hard work to go in vain, do you? For that, you also need to prevent it further from getting stains. 

Now let’s dive into the next part to know about prevention!

How to Prevent Stainless Steel From Getting Stains

You need to take good care of the stainless steel. And prevent it from getting stains. It is common that most people aren’t aware or even don’t know the process of this. 

Well, you can take a look here to know how to prevent stainless steel from staining.

Prevention 1: A Basic Treatment to The Sink

Include a basic every day or weekly treatment using a sink cleaner. Hot water, brushes, or clean cloths can simply be used to clean sinks.

Prevention 2: Brush in The Same Direction

Always brush in the same direction as the polish lines. So that your efforts blend in with the sink’s surface.

But make sure to brush it smoothly. A rough brush can create leakage in the sink.

Prevention 3: Wash The Surface of The Sink

Chlorides are found in almost all soaps and detergents. So, once you’ve finished cleaning, wash the surface right away to avoid rusting. 

Stainless steel shines and becomes germ-free after cleaning in hot water. Then this will be prepared to use the next time it is needed.

These are the precautions that you can take to keep your sink stain-free!

If you can do this properly, then you can also remove tiles from the plasterboard without damaging it.


Question: Can frequent use of hard water damage stainless steel?

Answer: Yes, it can damage stainless steel with time. Hard water is the reason for stains and marks. You must clean off the appliances after running hard water on them in order to prevent any damages.

Question: Is it okay to use vinegar for a long time on stainless steel?

Answer: No, you should not use vinegar on stainless steel for a long time. Because exposure to vinegar for an extended time can be risky for the steel. Make sure to rinse it properly after using. 

Question: What should not be used to clean stainless steel?

Answer: When you are trying to clean stainless steel, you must avoid a few things. The first thing you must avoid is harsh abrasives. Gas cleaners, oven cleaners, too much table salt, and vinegar should also be avoided.

The Final Words

Now you know all about how to remove hard water stains from stainless steel! So try to follow the instructions just like I said here. 

Before I conclude here, let me give you a bonus tip! 

Always try to keep your sink as dry as possible. This would prevent it from getting rust.

All the best with your cleaning!