Removing Hardwater Stains from Crystal

Written by Karen Bates (last updated November 30, 2020)

Many people like crystal because of its beauty and reflectiveness. Because it has lead oxide in it, crystal is more dense and heavier than regular glass. Although it is still breakable and cannot handle extreme changes in temperature, crystal is a bit stronger than plain glass because of the added lead.

Crystal does require special care and maintenance because it is different from glass. One issue that you might encounter with crystal is that it can develop stains from hard water over time. These cloudy spots on the crystal can very troublesome to remove, and if you have very hard water in your home the spots can just keep coming back. Dish soap alone is unlikely to prevent or clean hard water spots, so extra measures will be needed.

To keep your crystal as clear and beautiful as possible, you will need to clean them regularly with the right soap, prevent scratching, and above all remove the cloudy hard water spots. To do this, follow these steps for hard water spot removal:

  1. First, look at the crystal and figure out where the hard water stains are located. Are they inside the glassware or outside? Find out exactly where you'll need to clean.
  2. If there are hard water stains inside the crystal glassware, fill above the hard water line with vinegar. Let it sit for a while (perhaps overnight) so the vinegar to do its work. Note that you may want to do this in a well-ventilated area since the smell of vinegar is very strong. You may want to rinse and repeat this step if the build-up is particularly bad. If the outside of the glassware is covered with spots, you'll need to soak the whole piece in vinegar.
  3. If using just vinegar doesn't seem to fix the hard water problem, there are other things you can try. Cleaning products like CLR or Lime Away are formulated to remove tough hard water stains and build-up. Be careful when using these cleaners and follow the instructions.
  4. Once you have cleaned the crystal, rinse it off in the sink to remove any remaining cleaner. As you rinse crystal, use warm water and avoid sudden temperature changes in the water. Crystal can crack if it is subjected to extreme changes in temperature. Dry the crystal.

Crystal is a beautiful material and must be cared for correctly. With proper cleaning and care, it can be enjoyed for years to come.

Author Bio

Karen Bates

An English student who enjoys writing and art, Karen has had her poetry published in her university's literary journal and has several novels in the works. ...

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