Asked on Apr 02, 2015

How do I remove hard water deposits from stainless washing machine tub

by Dean

My new home's washing machine appears to have a rough buildup near the top of the stainless tub. I have run Affresh through the unit but this remains. I don't want to damage my clothes and would like a safe and effective way to clean the washing machine.

Interior photo of stainless washer tub with rough deposits (?) near the top
  18 answers
  • Samof5 Samof5 on Apr 02, 2015
    Try barkeepers friend. Make a paste with water, rub on, let sit for a bit, then gently scour with a scratch resistant scrubby sponge. Found at Walmart, Lowes, etc. You will want to rinse well or run your clean cycle after. I swear when someone asks a cleaning question this ends up being my answer.
  • Sabrina Sabrina on Apr 02, 2015
    Make a paste with vinegar and baking soda!
  • Cori H Cori H on Apr 02, 2015
    Try the vinegar/baking soda paste. Also, I saw a recipe for an all around cleaner that works wonders too. 2 oz liquid dish soap, 4 oz lemon juice, 8 oz white vinegar and 10 oz water. Mix it up in a spray bottle and you're good to go. Hard water stains (like in your washer) may need to soak with the mixture before you clean it off, but I have found that cleaner works on most everything from ovens to soap scum in the shower!
  • Moxie Moxie on Apr 02, 2015
    I use vinigar..just dump it in a run a empty load..I use for coffe pot to....then run another empty load to be sure all rinsed
  • Wanda Arganbright Wanda Arganbright on Apr 02, 2015
    White vinegar. It dissolves water spots and kills any bacteria. Pour 1 gal. in washing machine and run the machine on full load like usual. Do not add soap. The rinse cycle will clear the vinegar out. Vinegar will also dissolve any soap build up. Did you know that vinegar is the only thing that will totally kill MRSA and most all staph and strep bacteria on all surfaces?
  • Gerry Marty Gerry Marty on Apr 02, 2015
    I spray the deposits with straight vinegar...then let it set for about an hour. Rune the washer after that with HOT water.
  • Doreen Kearns Doreen Kearns on Apr 02, 2015
    Also found that putting bleach in spray bottle really works great
  • Judith Judith on Apr 02, 2015
    There is a cleaner product called CLR (calcium, lime, rust) those are the tough water minerals that clog and leave stains. It is available in hardware stores but also regular supermarkets.
  • Dean Dean on Apr 07, 2015
    Well I used the vinegar & it worked great! Thank you everyone! Good talk;)
  • Sheila VanGroningen Sheila VanGroningen on Dec 28, 2016

    re The hard water stains are in my toilet bowl, tried CLR no luck. It's where the water lies I have a ring, any suggestions

  • Lua16617309 Lua16617309 on Dec 29, 2016

    With a non scratch pad use bathroom spray cleaner, like scubbing bubbles or kaboom.

  • Pamela Pamela on Aug 18, 2018

    i would first try vinegar -soaked paper towels pasted up against the deposits and left for an hour, then use those paper towels to wipe the deposits and see if they come off. if that isn't sufficient, i'd start over with new paper towels soaked in CLR or LimeAway.

  • Pat Pat on Dec 07, 2019

    For toilet use a pumice stone.

  • Janice Janice on Apr 27, 2024

    Household cleaning vinegar works well for so many cleaning problems. That's my go-to for most any cleaning needing to be done. Some people hate the odor but it dissipates quickly.

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Apr 28, 2024

    These HE machines and detergents that are low suds create an environment for smells if not kept in check. They rely on the friction of clothes rubbing together in shallow water to clean them, IMO there is not enough water to thoroughly rinse them. This results, along with residue, in smelly laundry.

    To remedy this add vinegar to the fabric softener place and wipe out your machine's gaskets where mold and bacteria can flourish, Wipe til they are dry to the touch. Leave the door open (yes, it is and eyesore) and the tray for detergents pulled out and also dried. If you follow this, there is no need for a vinegar wash by itself

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Apr 28, 2024

    Wipe with white cleaning vinegar to loosen. You might need to soak a towel and let sit.