How to Remove Hard Water Stains from Plastic


Question: “How can I clean hard water spots from soft plastic window coverings or plastic windows.

Hard water stains are caused by the deposits of calcium and magnesium that are left on the surface area of glass, ceramic and plastic surfaces. Though they can be a nuisance to remove, the process is quite simple; it just may take some time.

You Will Need:

  • Spray bottle
  • Soft cloth
  • White vinegar
  • Water
  • Soft brush (optional)

The Removal Process:

  1. Begin by cleaning the area as normal to remove any dirt and dust.
  2. If possible, remove upright plastic pieces and lay them as flat as possible.
  3. Combine white vinegar and water, in equal parts, in the spray bottle.
  4. Spray the stained area and allow it to soak for at least 15 minutes. If the piece is not laying flat, you can place a cloth that has been moistened with the solution on top of the stain (or tie it around the area)
  5. For stubborn stains, allow the solution to soak for several hours to overnight. In areas with heavy levels of staining such as the bathtub, use undiluted vinegar in place of the solution.
  6. Remove the cloth and gently scrub away any remaining stains with a soft brush or soft cloth.
  7. Repeat as necessary.

Additional Tips and Advice

  • If your plastic food containers are stained, simply soak the entire container in the solution for at least 15 (or as long as overnight for tougher stains). Wash as normal before use.


  1. Janet says:

    I’m looking for a way to remove a brown stain from the bottom of my bathtub. It’s a textured surface and has a brown ring near the drain. I have tried vinegar, bleach and various tub cleaners. Any ideas?

    Thanks Janet

  2. Dot says:

    How can I get the above stain off without scratching an otherwise beautiful white refrigerator? Thanks much!

  3. Magen says:

    Use rubbing alcohol on your white refrigerator. It is amazing! I also use it to clean where my son colors on the walls with his markers. I also got sharpie out of our yellow sofa with rubbing alcohol. Pour it on and blot! Doesn’t leave a ring or anything! It’s magic!

  4. Larry says:

    I have the same question; how to remove the white stain from the plastic water/ice-maker shelf on the outside of the refrigerator?? I have tried vinegar soaking and soaking in Coca Cola for long periods of time. Not together; separately. Neither works.

  5. Kate says:

    This worked beautifully on a black plastic piece that was in the sun and on a glass bird bath. Thank you for sharing. White vinegar, who knew?!

  6. Peggy says:

    How do you remove hard water stains from a plastic faucet? I have a waterfall faucet.

  7. Melanie says:

    The steps in the article should work on your faucet. Then, consider installing a water conditioner to prevent the stains from returning.

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