White Vinegar vs Hard Water Stains

We have hard water at our house, but we were told it wasn’t “hard enough” to require the installation of a water softener tank when we decided to purchase it.  Five years later, I’m realizing how annoying hard water can be because it makes cleaning everything more challenging.  The water droplet stains from the high levels of minerals in our water are probably the most annoying to me.  Especially those that make their permanent home on the outside of our water pitcher.  How ironic.

Because of this, every few weeks I would take apart our Brita water pitcher and thoroughly clean it with warm, soapy water, inside and out, but I would still “feel” something on the outside of the plastic pitcher and could still see those stubborn mineral stains.  It drove me crazy because it made me feel like the water inside wasn’t clean either, although I knew it was.

One day I took a few pieces of paper towel and soaked them in white vinegar, curious what would happen.  After all, I use vinegar to clean so much in my home, especially with an active toddler getting into everything.

I wiped down the outside of the pitcher.  At first I didn’t notice a difference, but after wiping for about 30 seconds I realized this was the answer I was looking for.  The white vinegar was able to break down whatever minerals were clinging to the plastic. Here is the before/after when I cleaned half of the pitcher in this way.  It’s pretty amazing what white vinegar can do.

I started to wonder about the inside of the pitcher.  Turns out, soap and water could never completely remove the mineral build-up in there either.  Check out what the vinegar was able to remove in the tight curves and crevices inside of our water pitcher.  Even when it “appeared” clean inside, this was hiding in the tiny spaces of the plastic container.  Pretty gross to think we were drinking from this, even if it was just mineral deposits.

If you have hard water too and want to put white vinegar to the test, I’m sure you’ll have the same positive results when cleaning many everyday household items around your house. Always test a small section before diving right in.  You can also always dilute the vinegar with water to decrease the potency too.

White vinegar, you’re pretty much my liquid hero.  You…and wine.


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