Wednesday, June 23, 2010

WFMW ~ Getting Rid of Those Horrid Hard Water Rings

The water down here in Southern California is harder than diamonds on the Mohs Hardness Scale:

Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, which has some of the softest water in the country, I had no idea what I was in for when I moved down here. Not only did I discover that the water tasted awful, but it made my hair dull and straw-like, dried out my skin, and left spots on pretty much anything it touched. I had no idea how to deal with it.

I tried CLR and all sorts of other chemical products (on my sinks, not on my hair and skin), mostly to no avail. The worst was in my toilet, as it left a nasty ring in the bowl, making it look dirty even when I had just cleaned it. It was embarrassing. Then I happened upon a lovely little blog called Rocks in My Dryer that had a fun carnival each week called Works for Me Wednesday. What a gold mine! One Wednesday a wonderful woman posted about how she got rid of her hard water stains in her toilet using drywall screen. (Sorry, it's been so long that I don't remember the blog.)

She said that all you had to do was scrub the stains with the screen and they would magically come off and not scratch the porcelain. I knew right then that I had to race down to Home Depot and buy it immediately.

Well, that saint of a woman was right. They did come off immediately and the bowl was perfectly clean within a few minutes! Bless you, whoever you are.

Just to show you how great this works, here's an example of my, uh, neighbor's toilet, yeah, 'cause I'd never let my toilet get this bad. I, uh, she first cleaned it and disinfected it so that you know that this is actually a clean toilet, but it still looks horrendous. (She also cleaned it since I have to stick my hands in it to do this. I'm quite thankful.)

Exhibit A
I had already started scrubbing a small part of it, but you can see how horrific it looks:

Again, this is CLEAN

Still scrubbing. The water gets cloudy from the minerals coming off as well as the screen bits that come off. The screen does start to disintegrate; if you don't have such a big job as this, you can probably use it a few times.


It took a while for this one, because it was in such bad shape, but usually it just takes a couple of minutes. I haven't tried the screen on other things yet, but I'm sure it will help on lots of things. I heard you can also use pumice stone in the toilet bowl, but you have to make sure it's always wet, as it can scratch the porcelain. The screen leaves absolutely no scratches!

So if you, like my neighbor and I, have hard water corroding your commode, get some drywall screen and get to work. Yeah, the Hope Depot guy might look at you funny when you tell him what it's for, but trust me. It's worth a bit of humiliation.

For more great tips and tricks, head to We Are THAT Family and check out other WFMW links.


Kaye said...

That's a great idea. I knew pumice worked, but this seems much safer because it is easy to not have the pumice wet enough.

Great tip!

Alea said...

Thank you very much for sharing this tip. We have horribly hard water. I will be buying a dry wall screen at Home Depot this weekend!

I'm going to tweet this because there must be lots of other struggling with this problem.

Hybrid said...

A great idea. Thanks :)

Follow me on Twitter @ or check out my blog @

Thia said...

New house has HARD water...will be trying this. Thank you