You’ve no doubt seen them before, the off-white stains on windows that make them harder to see through and prevent them from ever looking truly clean. Whether you’re thinking of your home or your business, these hard water stains are something you definitely want to avoid if you can.
Hard water is water with a high mineral content, and it is the impact of these minerals which leads to the distinctive and unpleasant staining. Despite its smooth feel and appearance, glass is actually porous on a microscopic level, allowing these minerals to remain and settle into the structure of the glass as the water evaporates.
As with many things, it’s often easier to take proactive steps to prevent hard water stains from forming than it is to deal with them once they’re there.
Leaving your windows wet after you’ve finished cleaning them allows time for the minerals in hard water to be deposited in the glass, massively increasing the chances of staining over time. Of course, there is some degree of technique to this if avoiding streaks is also important to you, and it may be easier said than done for some harder-to-reach windows.
There’s little use ensuring you dry your windows if your sprinklers are just going to wet them again. Careful adjustment of sprinklers, and in some cases the inclusion of bushes below your windows, can prevent this from happening while still allowing them to fully water your lawn.
You can soften hard water using filtration or chemicals. This significantly reduces the amount of minerals in it, meaning that there’s a much lower chance that they’ll build up on your windows and cause staining over time.
Glass protectant products are available, which can repel water, keeping it away from the glass. This could make it easier for you to dry your windows off after cleaning them and will also prevent water from settling when it rains or if they are accidentally splashed by sprinklers, for example.
It’s not just the water we put on our windows ourselves which can cause hard water staining, rain is also a major culprit. Although there’s no way to stop the weather, ensuring you clean your windows not long after it stops raining can clear away the minerals found in the rainwater before they can build up and cause noticeable staining.
If you do find yourself with hard water stains, there’s no need to worry. A lot of the time they can be removed with enough elbow grease and the right chemicals. The chemicals suggested vary a lot, and which you need can depend on how severe the staining is.
Traditional recommendations such as a mix of vinegar and water may work to clear mild staining, but for more established stains you may find yourself needing to turn to stronger solutions such as rubbing alcohol or even ammonia and water. Of course, you should always take care when dealing with chemicals, and unless you’re confident you know exactly what you’re doing, you may want to leave it to the experts.
Unfortunately, it isn’t always possible to remove the most intense staining, meaning the only way to address it is to have the windows replaced completely. In these cases, extra care should be taken to minimize the risk in the future, so that the situation doesn’t arise again.
Sometimes preventing hard water staining or addressing existing stains can feel like an almost impossible task, or like it needs time which you just don’t have. In these cases, your best option is to turn to professionals such as Bayside. That way, you can be confident that even the most hard-to-reach windows will be regularly cleaned and dried, using the most effective cleaning chemicals and methods for preventing and removing hard water stains.
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