Removing Hard Water Spots on Windows

Sometimes the water from the sink or a sprinkler can make stubborn water spots on your windows. This guide is about removing hard water spots.

Hard Water Spots on Windows
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Tip: Use Scrubbing Bubbles for Hard Water Spots


My husband read so many solutions on removing hard water spots on windows, but nothing ever worked for him. The windshield on our motor home was so stained from the water that would run down it, that we tried everything on the market just like so many others. We bought so many products from acid wash, scrub with SOS, to Comet.

I always use Scrubbing Bubbles for everything in my house. I told my husband for so long to try Scrubbing Bubbles but he always told me, "No that isn't going to work", until one day when he was frantic, he did try Scrubbing Bubbles along with extra fine steel wool. He couldn't believe his eyes. The glass is crystal clear and just like new. Now he won't use anything else just like I won't use any other product except for Scrubbing Bubbles inside.

So every one who is at their worst with hard water spots please use this product. It really does work. I know this sounds like a infomercial, just try for yourself.

Scrubbing Bubbles Fan!

By Peewee the Cat and Family from San Bernardino

CommentWas this helpful? Yes

Question: Cleaning Hard Water Spots on Windows

I have four 10'X6' windows (all glass) and about 15 smaller windows of different sizes that get sprayed by water containing calcium, and various other minerals that will not wash off with soap or other washer solutions. I presently use dish soap and hot water and a bit of CLR added. I have used an ammonia solution, vinegar, and rubbing alcohol. Nothing really phases the stains even though the windows get clean, they still show those hard water stains.

We use ditch water to irrigate the lawn by a sprinkler system. Help! I also used automotive products and the products that you are supposed to put on and hose off. They definitely made no difference other than to clean.

By Lula C. from Cimarron, CO

AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


Most Recent Answer

By batmap 3 Flag

July 7, 2011

I am not sure using CLR would be good for the environment, but as long as you keep it off the ground and wear gloves so you are protected... I can also suggest a razor blade to remove any remaining film/crust from hard water stains. Also found this:

ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

Tip: Rubbing Alcohol for Cleaning Hard Water Spots

By Karen B. 1 1

I was having trouble getting water spots off my windows until my neighbor suggested using alcohol. I used 91% rubbing alcohol from the drugstore that I already had in the house and paper towels. I didn't even have to scrub. The spots came off like magic.

    CommentWas this helpful? Yes

    Question: Removing Water Spots from Windows

    By Dennis D D. 1

    All my windows have spots on them and that makes it difficult to see. I have deep, deep water. I have tried many cleaners. Please help.

    By Dennis

    AnswerWas this helpful? Yes


    Most Recent Answer

    By Karen Redlin 2 28 Flag

    June 28, 2011

    If you have hard water spots on your windows they will be hard to clean. Lime away does work but I don't like the harsh chemical. Spray your window with a window cleaner and use a scraper with a blade (the kind you use to remove paint on a window) to scrape over the hard water spots. Be careful to keep the blade flat and not scratch the window. Wipe the window and spray any spots you missed and scrape these away. If you have a huge build up, ammonia water works better than window cleaner but then again, you are dealing with harsh smelly chemical.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

    Question: Removing Water Marks on Windows

    By Bill Coon 1

    I've tried to clean my house windows with cleaners such as Windex, Bon Ami, vinegar, Colgate toothpaste, Cascade, Dawn, and baking soda. They are stained with water spots and grime. We live on the golf course and I don't know what all they spray on the fairway, etc., but I can't get my windows clean. Please help!

    By Bill from Fontana, CA

    AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

    Most Recent Answer

    By Kolleen 2 27 Flag

    February 14, 2011

    What you are describing as water spots sounds more like Sticker spots. Sticker is a chemical that somewhat water proofs another chemical like fungicides. The make-up of this stuff is pretty simple it's like Elmers glue and dish soap, something I have used when landscaping in large complexes.

    To remove Sticker spots use alcohol, rubbing will work as will alcohol based hand sanitizers. You may also have to use a light abrasive like baking soda. Dampen a cloth with the alcohol or rub the sanitizer on the window and scrub ( you may want to let the sanitizer sit to work it's way into the stains) then polish with the baking soda and rinse. It may take more than one application to remove all this stuff.

    After you get the windows clean seal the glass with a rainex type product. Also check into having the golf course clean up their mess, if this has gotten onto your windows via a pesticide application they could be liable for the damage.

    I do not think there is any health concern as a Sticker product in not used with toxic chemicals.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

    Tip: Hard Water Spots on Windows

    By Mary 1

    I have had very hard water spots on my windows from the irrigation system for a year. I just tried Colgate Toothpaste as suggested by Chris on ThriftyFun. My windows are now perfectly clear and it was so easy! I put a little Colgate Toothpaste on a damp paper towel, rubbed it on the glass in circular motions, then I rinsed with vinegar water (anything that would clean the paste off should work). and dried thoroughly. The glass is sparkling!

    By Mary

    CommentWas this helpful? Yes

    Question: Removing Water Stains from Car Windows

    I had washed my car in the afternoon and the water drops dried. I was unable to remove the stains. So how can I remove the stains? My car is a Maruti Suzuki swift.

    By rajkamal

    AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

    Most Recent Answer

    By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

    June 14, 2013

    Wash with vinegar.

    ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

    Tip: Cleaning Hard Water Spots Off Windows

    By Ela B. 1

    Use shower cleaner, SOS pad, and water.

      CommentWas this helpful? Yes

      Question: Removing Hard Water Spots from Glass

      How do I remove hard water spots from glass?

      By Barbara G.

      AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

      Most Recent Answer

      By Nancy F. 1 4 Flag

      August 9, 2011

      Someone once told me that oven cleaner would do it. I have never tried it.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

      Question: Removing Water Spots from a Window

      By Dawn 1

      I have frosted glass by the side of my front door, it is the length of the door. The problem I am having is I can't get the water stains off of it. I've tried several glass cleaners but it always looks the same. Its outside so it gets wet quite often. Is there anything I can use to get those stains off? Please help.

      By Dawn from Spokane, WA

      AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

      Most Recent Answer

      By Vi Johnson 286 801 Flag

      April 7, 2010

      Use the vinegar. I'd use a scrubby sponge though. Then after you get it clean, use a lemon oil furniture polish with a terry wash cloth to apply to the glass where the water hits it. You'll most likely have to re-apply every couple of weeks but it sure helps on our glass shower doors.

      ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

      Tip: Bar Keepers Friend for Removing Hard Water Spots

      By Jeremy J. 1

      Bar Keepers Friend and a soft scrub sponge works best for me. It removes all shower spots and window spots from sprinklers. Window on right had the whole lower half with spots.

      A window with water spots on one side.

        CommentWas this helpful? Yes

        Tip: Removing Hard Water Spots From Glass

        By jsruff08 1

        To remove hard water spots from glass, you'll need:

        1. glass cooktop cleaner
        2. non scratch scrubbing sponge
        3. wet rag
        4. microfiber towel

        First off let me say that nothing else worked. I tried everything from glass cleaner with vinegar to straight vinegar. I even tried Scrubbing Bubbles (as found here on this site), but nothing worked. Then the light bulb! I grabbed the above listed items and tried one window - beautiful.

        How to: pretty straight forward - pour cooktop cleaner onto non scratch scrubbing sponge (I used Weiman cooktop cleaner and a Weiman scrubbing pad - red). Work in a circular motion covering the window. Use the wet rag to wipe clean the edges of the window frame. Buff the window with the microfiber towel. Presto!

          CommentWas this helpful? Yes

          Question: Removing Vertical Lines on Windshield

          I'm not sure what they are called, but I'll say I have windshield streaks. They are lines going straight down all across. This happened during the winter. Anyone know what this is, or how to remove them?

          By Jack

          AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

          Most Recent Answer

          By Donna 6 71 Flag

          August 3, 2013

          "Full strength" white vinegar and a newspaper (not a paper towel) - wadded up newspaper does a better job.

          ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

          Tip: Ajax for Water Spots

          By ajbblondie1210 1

          My brother parks his car on the street and every night the sprinklers go on. When he wakes up in the morning, he has water spots on the right side of his car. He tried washing his car but the spots would not come off. He also tried Windex, white vinegar, brake cleaner, anything you could think of!

          Then my mom said, "Hey, try this Ajax!" With a little bit of water, the spots came right off! So the trick is AJAX!

          Hope this helps.

            CommentWas this helpful? Yes

            Question: Removing Water Spots on Windows

            How do I get water spots off the outside of a picture window?

            By Debbie

            AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

            Most Recent Answer

            By Louise B. 6 2,509 Flag

            August 8, 2011

            Are they water spots caused by hard water, such as that from a sprinkler, hitting your window? If so, vinegar should remove them. Do not dilute when you use it. I would put it in sprayer, and spray on full strength.

            ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

            Question: Hard Water Stains on Auto Glass

            By Carol 1

            How do I remove hard water spots on vehicle windows, that have been driven and exposed to all sorts of elements? Besides hard water stains, there are other unknown spots. Thank you.


            AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

            Most Recent Answer

            By Lee 6 111 Flag

            November 13, 2010

            Vinegar. I use it in my dishwasher and on my stainless steal sink. What a difference!

            ReplyWas this helpful? Yes

            Question: Removing Hard Water Spots on Windows

            By danutaaldoua 1

            How do I get lime off windows?

              AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

              Question: Siding Cleaner Left Streaks on Windows

              After using a siding cleaner last summer I have noticed what appears to be window streaks. It looks like a trail of water has run down the window. Any ideas on how to remove these?

              By Robert

              AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

              Question: Removing Water Marks on Windows

              How do you remove water marks on the exterior side of house windows?

              By Dave

              AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

              Question: Removing Hard Water Spots

              I bought a car recently and it has water spots all over the car. It's so bad that it has become part of the paint job, and the windows are so bad that you can barely see out of them.

              I've tried the vinegar and that does not work. I don't think the owner before ever washed the car. So I'm worried I will not find anything to work on something this severe. I even tried scrapping with a razor. It got the dirt layer off but the spots are not leaving. Please I need the help with my situation!

              By sara

              AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

              Tip: Cleaning Water Spots Off Windows With Household Products

              By doggismycopilot 1

              My car windows were covered in hard water spots after mistakenly parking near a sprinkler at work on a hot summer day. I have washed my car three times and paid close attention to the windows, but had no luck getting the spots off. Today I decided to see what I could do with household products.

              Here's what I used:

              1. Crest toothpaste (the non-whitening kind, just simple paste) and paper towels for "buffing".

              2. A mixture of white vinegar (3 parts), distilled water (1 part), and a bit of Dawn dish soap, in a small bottle and shaken slightly to mix.

              3. microfiber car towel

              Here's what I did:

              Step 1: Use a small amount of toothpaste, rubbed onto the worst of the water spots, and buff with a dry paper towel. Pay close attention to the areas where the spots are the worst. If necessary, dampen the paper towel a little once the tooth paste gets too dry. I didn't get the paper towel TOO wet because I didn't want to drip tooth paste onto the body of the car. Not sure what that would do to the paint job.

              Step 2: Dampen the microfiber towel with the mixture of vinegar/water/dish soap, and use it to clean the window overall. Use a little extra elbow grease where you can still see the spots.

              Step 3: Once you have gotten the toothpaste up, flip the towel over and wipe until the streaks are gone.

              After following these three steps, my windows are spot-free and shiny! Now, I'm going to go back and put on some Rain-X on my windows to prevent this from happening again.

                CommentWas this helpful? Yes

                Question: Removing Hard water Stains from Windows

                By 1 1

                There are so many Scrubbing Bubbles products - which one do you use with the fine steel wool?

                By janie

                AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

                Tip: Use Razor Blade for Water Spots on Windows

                By Cathy Mantello 1

                I water my lawn with very hard water in a very windy area. There is almost no way to keep the water off my windows every time I water. In the past, I had used ammonia to wash the windows and vinegar to get rid of the hard water stains.

                Then last year I broke my arm and missed a whole year of washing windows. This spring the hard water stains seemed to have become part of the glass. Then I thought about the way I clean my cooktop.

                I first washed the windows with ammonia/water solution, then wiped vinegar on a section of the window. I then scraped the glass in that section with a single-edged razor blade. The stains were removed with very little effort.

                  Source: none

                  CommentWas this helpful? Yes

                  Question: Removing Salt Deposits from Car and Windshield

                  I have parked my car below a water tank. Once the water tank filled; the extra water will fall on the car. So salt water deposited on my car. How do I clean salt deposits off my car?

                  By N Senthil

                  AnswerWas this helpful? Yes

                  Archive: Hard Water Stains on Windows

                  <img src="/images/requests/hardwater300x225.jpg" width="300" height="225" align="right" hspace="10" vspace="10" alt="hard water stains on windows">At my model home, the irrigation system sprays the windows and the storm door on the front door. They are all covered with hard water stains. I know Whink will work but I can't find it in my little neck of the woods. What else can I use that won't harm the brass tone trim or the vinyl sash? I have oxy cleaners and The Works. Will either of those work? I have several spec homes with windows that need to be cleaned so I am looking for the quickest and easiest cleaning solution.

                  Tracy from Twin Cities, MN

                  Vinegar and Water

                  Use 1/2 cup white vinegar added to 1 gallon of water. Just mix and apply with soft rag or out of spray bottle. I wear rubber kitchen gloves, as this can be hard on your hands. If the hard water spots are stubborn, I just use straight vinegar. Be sure and wear rubber gloves.

                  By Gladys Hill (07/29/2006)

                  By moderator

                  Dishwashing Detergent

                  Powdered dishwashing detergent with jet dry. I used to use for the cleaning houses on the beach. Salt water spray is a pain to clean as well. (07/31/2006)

                  By Especielle

                  CLR and Lime-Away

                  I've used CLR and Lime-Away. Lime-Away worked the best. I squirted it at the top of the window and used a soft cloth or squeegee to distribute, waited a few minutes and washed off with a hose. This also worked on my daughters car when she parked to close to the sprinklers and got hard water spots on her door and windows. (08/01/2006)

                  By SweetCali40

                  Oxyclean Warning

                  I have a warning about OxyClean: Always use rubber gloves. It ate my hands and feet with a single layer of liquid splashed on them. It put our friend on the critical list at the hospital. It almost destroyed someone's toes. It is hydrofluoric acid, or something that strong, and there is nothing to help except from the hospital, and the damage is so painful for over six months! The chemical works, but requires more than careful usage and safety if used on things one touches with the skin. Good luck and god keep you in his care. (08/13/2006)

                  By Lynda

                  Archive: Hard Water Spots on Windows

                  How do you remove hard water spots from windows?

                  Manette from Park City, UT

                  Lime Away

                  When I would help my uncle clean his outside windows they would be covered in hard water because his sprinklers were constantly hitting them when he watered. No matter what he tried nothing seem to work until I tried good old Lime Away and the problem was solved.Use old newspapers and the spots should disappear,you may have to do this a couple of times if the spots are really caked on like my uncles were as his windows got a lot of the sun and the spots were baked on.

                  By celticwench

                  Archive: Hard Water Stains on Auto Glass

                  There have been a lot of great answers for how to clean shower glass, but I'm concerned about how some of these suggested cleaning agents will react with rubber and auto paint. So I want to ask what people have found effective and safe for getting rid of hard water stains on auto glass. Thanks.

                  Daniel from Ocala, FL


                  Try a can or two of Coca-Cola poured directly over the windshield. Wash the car afterward just to be safe. I have done this several times to no adverse effects.

                  By Dedeswrkshop

                  Hand Sanitizer

                  Use hand sanitizer. The spots will come right off and it won't hurt car interior. I use this on my car interior, steering wheel, and dash.

                  By ashleybunkin


                  I live in Hawaii and used a product called MX-7 (for glass) on an old truck that had years of hard water spot buildup on all the exterior glass. It took the hard water spots off with little elbow grease. When my son bought a place in Las Vegas a year ago, I looked all over the valley for this product but couldn't find it. I finally found it at one of the local hardware stores (Ace). They just started carrying it.

                  By Russ808702

                  Archive: Hard Water Spots on Windows

                  How do I get hard water stains off a window? The sprinklers hit it and there is a mark.

                  Karen from Florida


                  I just used the pure vinegar on my windows and it worked great! I have been living here, in the Twin Cities area, for two years with cloudy, water spotted windows. Thank you for the tip!

                  By Michelle

                  Colgate Toothpaste

                  I just tried Colgate toothpaste (the white kind) and it worked great. Squeeze a little on a paper towel and add a little water. Apply it as if you were waxing a car. Then clean it off with window cleaner. Perfect results.

                  By Chris


                  Try Bring-It-ON water spot remover. It's a paste that you wipe on, leave on for a few minutes to dissolve the minerals, and wipe off. Invented by a gal that got tired of trying things that didn't work!

                  By donrowlett

                  Tekon "b"

                  I called my brother that works in a glass shop and he told me to use Tekon "b." I tried it on my glass windows and it removes the waters spots, and the windows look good. It's supposed to last over a year without reapplying. I swear this product is good. It works like a charm. I lightly clean the windows with a mix of 1 part rubbing alcohol and 4 parts water for maintenance.

                  By Sandy

                  "Hot Sauce"

                  We use this stuff that we use on our boat, it's called "Hot Sauce." It's kind of expensive, but worth it. Not one window or shower door has hard water spots. It's also meant for fiberglass, so it won't damage your showers.

                  By Amy S

                  Glass Stove Top Cleaner

                  I used glass stove-top cleaner. It worked great.

                  By Linda


                  I live in Las Vegas, NV and the water here is very hard. The sprinklers had sprayed my brand new sliding doors and the water spots covered the complete bottom areas of both doors. I read this page and decided on the vinegar w/water solution. Together with a Magic eraser and scrubbing, the spots were gone! Amazing something so simple! I had tried Windex, shower cleaner, and nothing. It did take a couple of applications of the vinegar solution, but it was well worth it! Happy cleaning.

                  By Carlota

                  Stove Top Cleaner and a Brillo Pad

                  I used glass oven top cleaner and a Brillo pad. Wish I had known about this trick a long time ago.

                  By Ted


                  I work on a private yacht, therefore spots are a common thing with all the salt water/negligent crew previous to me. Obviously the darn thing has to look perfect so here's my secret:

                  Use Whink. I put some on a rag and rub it in a circular motion on a 12" by 12" square. I rinse and soap once a square is done and keep going. It's important to rub it good so it looks even because at first whink will sort of stain the window, so rub in well until it looks even (elbow grease needed here). Once the whole window is done, soap it again, dry and put two coats of rain x on it.

                  By David

                  Vinegar Worked

                  Tried elbow grease, various window cleaners to no avail. Used full strength white vinegar and they were instantly gone.

                  By ESL Barbara

                  "SCOTCH BRITE Cook Top Cleaner."

                  My wife recently (April 2010) bought a box (about the size of a milk carton) of a product called "SCOTCH BRITE Cook Top Cleaner." It consists of a pad with an ergonomic handle and 6 pre-moistened pads that attach to the bottom surface of the pad, almost like Velcro. But you can use both sides of each pad. And you'll find they go a long way.

                  Here's the process:
                  1) Clean the window with regular window cleaner to get regular surface dirt off.
                  2) Apply the SB Cook Top Cleaner using the provided handle. You'll have to apply some elbow grease, but not nearly as much as the steel wool technique requires. It has a flat pad, so it works great on house windows but I believe it will work on curved car windshields as well.
                  3) The SB pads leaves an oily film behind, so you'll need to clean your windows a second time to remove that film.

                  By recrem

                  Archive: Removing Water Marks on Windows

                  I have water marks on my windows and can't seem to get rid of them. There is also a substance that I think is paint, but I am not sure. I have tried vinegar window cleaners, but with no results. I would appreciate all ideas. I just moved into this house and am a fanatic about clean windows .

                  Elizabeth from Santiago, Chile

                  Newspaper and Alcohol

                  I have used newspaper and a sprayer full of alcohol or alcohol and water with excellent results to get smoke haze off the inside of car windows and smoke haze is hard to remove! It should work on the windows, or try vinegar and water instead. As for the paint, get a widget; hold the blade at about a 45 degree angle to the glass and push it toward the paint dots, should scrape them right off. Just be careful!

                  By purrplekat

                  Doobie Pad

                  I had something that sounds similar on my windows and had to resort to a Doobie pad. It's a nylon scrubber with a sponge inside. I used various window cleaners and just scrubbed until all the spots were off then cleaned as usual with clean cloths. I don't like using newspapers, but many people swear by it.

                  By Glenn'sMom

                  Home and Garden Cleaning WindowsJune 20, 2012
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