Understanding what hard water deposit is

From all house cleaning basic tasks is removing hard water calcium deposit from shower door or surfaces of the shower the most common problem that almost every customer have. To understand how to remove hard water deposits or prevent to creating it, we have to first understand how is hard water deposit formed. Hard water is water that containing minerals such as calcium and magnesium. When water comes into contact with air, some of it evaporates, leaving behind a concentrated solution of minerals. Eventually, concentration becomes so high that the minerals begin to precipitate onto the surfaces of the shower. Over time this precipitation builds up, forming a hard crusty layer that is very difficult to remove. 

Factors that contribute to formation of hard water and solutions

  1. Hardness for the water- Some houses have more harder water and some houses less, but generally all water has some minerals unless you are using filters. Using filters ( water softener) is usually more expensive solution, but if you have more than millions worth of property and you don’t want to be worry about expensive shower, this might be the best long term solution for you.
  2. Temperature of the water – the temperature of water can play a significant role and accelerate the formation of hard water deposits in showers, with higher temperatures leading to increased concentration of minerals and easier formation of scale and soap scum.
  3. Frequency of use of the shower – Regular cleaning at least once a week, using a product that is specifically designed to remove mineral buildup.
cleaner srub the shower door

What Are customers expectations?

Customer expectations are very high not only when they live in the house for quit some time, but especially when they are going to buy or rent house. The move in or move out cleanings that customers order are basically a deep cleanings and they are expecting to remove any dirt or calcium deposit from surfaces in bathrooms. Those types of  expectation can turn whole experience for house cleaning companies and customers into a nightmare. It all depends on  understanding situation. Nobody knows how long previous tenants or owners were not taking care of hard water in shower. And is very complicated to explain to customer, that not all shower door can be cleaned completely during deep cleaning even if we have about 60 minutes for cleaning 1 bathroom. That give us about 20-30 minutes for shower. Customer has a little experience only with maybe 5 to 10 showers in their life. And they compared their experience with experience of professional house cleaning companies. Personally I cleaned over 3000 showers in period of 7 years by myself.  And I can say for sure that on market doesn’t exist chemicals available to normal person or cleaning company that will remove every hard water deposit in shower. I found out that more important is to scrub it down properly with right scrubber, than rely only on chemicals to break the calcium. There exists however specialized companies that using high steam cleaning or pressure water blasting, Extremely hard acids that are very dangerous to human body. The price for cleaning shower with such companies, exceed price of the whole house cleaning or even price for new shower glass itself  and customer don’t want to spend that money for the cleaning. Pushing house cleaning companies to remove that is not possible without those chemicals is for customer the cheaper version. They don’t understand that we would have to charge them much more and insurance won’t be covering damages caused  by those harms acid chemicals. That is why education is the key to have great experience during service.

I used every product that is available on market. From the organic ones as vinegar, lemon juice, baking soda, cheep $5 dollar ones as CLR , Lime-A-way or Kaboom,  to expensive $30 once harms chemical acids that you can buy only in specialized janitorial stores and you have to wear special hazmat suite.


Every seller saying that his product is the best. I tried every of them. And the best experience I have with Vinegar and CLR. Both are on same level. We choose Vinegar. Yes this about out 5% acid is very powerful if you know how to use it and how to properly scrub the calcium with proper sponge.  Vinegar not gonna harm your health comparing with CLR.

Over years by cleaning so many showers I put showers into the 3 categories or 3 stages of hard water build up calcium.

  1.  First stage – is possible to remove with any product i mentioned above. All you have to is rub product on effective area and let it sit for few minutes. After that, you can rinse it off with cloth. This first stage have customers who have A.  Regular Cleaning at least every week. However every 2 or 3,4 weeks regularity of cleaning is  really not enough even thou some customer are still surprised why they need a deep cleaning in shower after 1 year of every 2 weeks regular service.  During every 2 weeks cleaning build up will be slower, but it will build up eventually to the point that you will need a deep cleaning.  More often you skip cleanings, faster it will build up.  B. Are using squeegee or towel to wipe down surfaces after every shower which help prevent water from sitting on it and evaporation, leaving behind mineral deposit. C Using water softener
  2. Second stage is harder to remove because nobody clean it frequently enough and hard water build up over time. You do the same as during first stage plus you have to scrub down with scrubber more times. Usually 2-3 times is enough because difference between second time and third time is only about 5 %. We talk about hard scrubbing that require a lot of energy. Some surfaces however can not be scrubbed because they are from cheap or not hard enough material and is very high risk of scratching it. We talk about bathroom faucets, shower heads and decorations. We highly recommend to wipe down this areas after every shower.
  3. Third stage usually not possible to remove – Many many years of building up minerals created layers that not even companies specialized only on removing this build up can help you. Hard scrubbing with chemicals will help a lot but you probably have to replace your shower glass to have it again clear as it was brand new.

Tips that you can not find anywhere

  • Trust cleaning companies. They have experience. Every cleaner cleaned hundreds and hundred showers. And every one is always trying his best.
  • Turn on Vent and Open shower door, bathroom door and windows in the bathroom. This helps to evaporation faster before it will build up calcium. This trick is very good and not many people know about it or didn’t pay attention to it. But it is the easiest way how to fight with building calcium on your shower door without actually working much.
  • Keep your bathroom warm. Turn heater on in the bathroom . I know it is expensive, but it helps evaporation faster.