Tips for removing scale buildup before the holidays

It’s the time of year for holiday get-togethers, and the last thing you want to worry about is serving your guests img-content-14bon spotty, filmy dishes or showing them to a bathroom with slimy shower doors and white, crusty faucets. From quick spot treatments to more permanent fixes, these tips will give you one less thing to stress about when entertaining family and friends this holiday season.

Spotty Stemware

Holiday dinner tables gleam when you set out your best stemware—as long as they’re spot-free. To remove hard water deposits, soak your glasses in two cups of warm vinegar (preferably white vinegar) for approximately three minutes. Give them a quick rinse and dry with a lint-free towel to eliminate the potential for the spots and streaks to return.

Clogged Showerhead

Frustrated that instead of a steady, powerful spray, your guests will shower under a slow drip? One of the best defenses in your war on mineral deposits may be sitting in your kitchen cupboard. Pour white vinegar into a small, plastic bag or a shower cap. Pull the bag over the showerhead, secure with a rubber band and leave on overnight. Your showerhead will be clean and look like new—with no scrubbing needed.

Rust Stains

Want to tackle rust before it becomes a major problem? The chemicals in commercial products provide a powerful solution for eliminating scale buildup and rust stains left behind by hard water. Although this solution may be more expensive and contain harsh chemicals, commercial products offer a ready-made, powerful solution for temporarily removing rust stains.


If you want to maintain a sparkling, spot-free faucet, squeegee or wipe down the surface after you’re done using it with a squeeze of lemon. Like vinegar, the acidity of lemon juice dissolves the hard water minerals deposited on water fixtures. Let the lemon juice sit for 10 minutes, then simply rinse and wipe dry.


There’s nothing worse than stubborn spots in your tub. A homemade remedy can temporarily cut through the minerals left behind by hard water. Create this easy remedy by mixing a 50-50 solution of distilled water and vinegar to spot-treat scale. After you apply the solution with a spray bottle, let it sit a couple minutes before wiping clean. To create an even more powerful scrub, combine vinegar with baking soda and smear it on the spots. Let it sit for 15 minutes, add a little elbow grease if necessary and rinse with water.

Shower Doors

If it’s spot-free shower doors you long for, try rubbing a dryer sheet over the water spots. This solution won’t reverse years of spots, but it may be the perfect fix to reverse a few days of buildup. Since you can use a new or used dryer sheet, get into the habit of wiping down your shower door before you throw the dryer sheet in the trash.

The Permanent Fix

The above tips provide temporary solutions to hard water spots, but won’t fix your hard water problems for good. If you are frustrated with the regular maintenance associated with hard water spots, try installing a water softener before your first guests arrive this holiday season. Installing a water softener is a permanent solution because it filters out the hard water minerals before water flows through faucets and showerheads. The only maintenance required is to replenish the salt supply and conduct regular maintenance checks.

Your holiday to-do list can be overwhelming, but following these tips will keep your home sparkling this season, giving you one less thing to stress about.