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Cure for Scaly Mineral Build-Up

Cure for Scaly Mineral Build-Up

Water that has been left to sit in glass can leave rings of discoloration and a residue of what is called “scale.” This happened to me recently, both on a crystal champagne glass that I didn’t want to abandon (it looked ruined with the scale), and a glass cooking bowl that had been used outside for a project. I had a senior moment, forgot what I know about how to clean this problem, and scrubbed and scrubbed to no avail (you realize why the residue is called scale!), and even sent them through the hot dishwasher, thinking for sure that heavy duty detergent and heat would work, but no such luck.

When I remembered what to use for scale, it of course worked immediately and like magic! This trick can be used anywhere hard water minerals build up, such as in the shower.

Vinegar performs the magic! All you need to do is pour straight household vinegar into the bowl or glass with scale and it instantly dissolves the minerals and it is crystal clear clean. For the shower stall or around a sink faucet, soak a washcloth in straight vinegar and lay the cloth over the area for as long as needed.

Heinz white distilled vinegar is made of vegetables, not petroleum.
For glass you can use organic apple cider vinegar, but this can stain fabrics, so use with care.

Read more: Home, Non-Toxic Cleaning

By Annie B. Bond, Executive Producer, Care2 Healthy Living Channels.
By Annie B. Bond

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Annie B. Bond

Annie is a renowned expert in non-toxic and green living. She was named one of the top 20 environmental leaders by Body and Soul Magazine and "the foremost expert on green living." - Body & Soul Magazine, 2009. Learn Annie's latest eco-friendly news on, a website dedicated to healthy and green living.


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6:22PM PDT on Oct 6, 2013

thanks for the info

7:01PM PDT on Aug 12, 2013


11:31PM PDT on May 16, 2012

Hydrochloric acid, 8 Molar, works shockingly well. Unfortunately it is dangerous in multiple ways(dissolves skin, creates explosive fumes,etc) and one needs access to Laboratory chemicals. Okay, vinegar it is.

6:54PM PDT on Mar 17, 2008

be careful with the pumice stone though. I got a little overzealous and took off some of the glaze and ruined the bowl.

12:52AM PDT on Mar 16, 2008

Where can I get a natural pumice stone? Do they last long?

4:10PM PDT on Mar 12, 2008

Another solution for those nasty scaly shower heads is to put some vinegar in a plastic ziplock bag and seal it around the shower head and let it sit until the scale is dissolved.

7:01PM PDT on Oct 9, 2007

If you have mineral deposit build-up in your toilet bowl you can use a natural pumice stone to gently scrub them away. The pumice removes the build-up without scratching the porceline bowl. This tip is courtesy of a great British TV show called "How Clean Is Your House" which features two delightful ladies named Kim and Aggie. They give out a lot of natural cleaning tips on their shows.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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