Asked on Aug 15, 2023

Any great tips for removing hard water stains from exterior windows?

Bracha Moskoff
by Bracha Moskoff

Hey there fellow forum members!


I need some help to make my home's exterior windows shine again! Any tips on tackling those stubborn hard water stains? They're driving me crazy! 🙆‍♀️


How do you usually handle this? Share your magic tricks with me, please!

Removing hard water stains from exterior windows

  16 answers
  • Try a little vinegar.

  • William William on Aug 15, 2023

    A 50/50 mix of vinegar and hot water.

  • Some vinegar and a rag should clear that up for you easily!

  • Redcatcec Redcatcec on Aug 15, 2023

    Vinegar will dissolve the minerals in the hardwater. Use a 50/50 vinegar water solution. You might want to use distilled water to eliminate the minerals.

  • Betsy Betsy on Aug 15, 2023

    Hello Bracha: Try dipping some paper towels in warm white vinegar and sticking them to the windows. Spray every now and again, with the vinegar, to keep the paper moist. Leave it this way for about 15 minutes and then use the paper towels to wipe the windows. I like using Viva paper towels as they are strong and reusable. You can rinse them out and wipe the windows a couple of times. That should do it, and you can even use a magic eraser to try to clean the windows.

    • See 1 previous
    • Betsy Betsy on Sep 06, 2023

      I'm so happy this worked for you. Vinegar is good for a lot of things. I put a cup in my washing machine while it's filling up, along with my soap and liquid softener, come out really soft, esepecially my towells. And, no, there is no vinegar smell :)

  • Dee Dee on Aug 15, 2023

    Besides vinegar, which I tried and failed. I used Easy Off oven cleaner and it worked wonders.

  • Janice Janice on Aug 16, 2023

    A professional window cleaner who works cleans residential windows in my area told me to apply CLR to the outside window area. Best to not mix it with anything else. If the windows have been subjected to hard water from sprinklers over time, the outside glass may have become etched and nothing much is going to help with that problem.

  • Kathy Gunter Law Kathy Gunter Law on Aug 17, 2023

    Spray with vinegar to break up the deposits, you may need to soak as suggested by Betsy with paper towels.. Then use a scrub daddy (cold water) or other stiff sponge to remove it. After that, wipe down with a microfiber cloth that has be3en dampened with distilled water. Then follow up with a window cloth or newspaper. I like "SuperCloth". It's a bit pricey but well worth the investment. Mine are over 9 years old, still work like new. Make sure to clean on a cool day that isn't sunny to help avoid streaks.

  • Deanna Deanna on Aug 20, 2023

    Magic Eraser

  • This is how I clean my glass shower doors and they look fabulous. I imagine you could do the same on your windows with hard water stains. https://www.exquisitelyunremarkable.com/2020/04/how-to-clean-glass-shower-doors.html

  • Annie Annie on Aug 21, 2023

    This video guide should be able to help you out! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Oz0_Ge7G690

  • GrandmasHouseDIY GrandmasHouseDIY on Aug 23, 2023

    The guy that installed our pellet stove gave me a bottle of VERY hardcore glass cleaner meant specifically for soot etc. Its a little scary honestly lol but it cleans glass like nothing else. If you do a search for glass soot cleaner you can find it or something like it.

  • Hi Bracha! You can slice a lemon in half and rub it on the glass with a fair amount of pressure. The natural acidity of the lemon removes hard water stains with ease. Mop up the lemon juice left behind with a soft cloth or paper towel. Finish with a spray of glass cleaner and wipe it away with newspaper for a streak-free shine. Hope this helps!

  • Deb K Deb K on Sep 02, 2023

    Hi Bracha, hope this helps you out.

    Take a little warm water and baking soda and mix them in a bowl to create a sort of paste for your windows. Then, use a cloth and scrub the hard water stains with the paste gently. The baking soda has an abrasive quality that will aid in removing the hard water stains on windows. For stubborn stains, use vinegar with backing soda and scrub. then rinse well and dry.

  • Gregor W Keith Gregor W Keith 2 days ago

    I used some good-sized rocks. I threw the rocks as hard as I could at each window that had a cloudy looking build up. Now I have a good reason to replace those old windows. Dont try this. This was me imagining what I could do after the windows would did not get clean or clear again.

  • Janice Janice 2 days ago

    😨 Georgor's comment is how I'm feeling about my hard-water etched windows!! 😁