The 3 Best Shower Cleaners For Hard Water

fotolia/Budimir Jevtic

Whether it's the chalky white residue on your tile or build-up on your shower door, hard water stains can be difficult to remove. Only the best shower cleaners for hard water can banish stains and scum without the wear-and-tear on your grout and tile.

When searching for the right cleaner, it's important to consider your individual water situation. While some areas have extremely hard water with tons of minerals that build up quickly, others have more moderate staining that can be easily scrubbed away. If you're dealing with a lot of staining, you may want to go straight for the heavy-hitting cleaners, including those that use bleach and other chemical components. But if you're aiming for a gentler approach, consider investing in a non-toxic, oxygen-based cleaner that's safe for pets and kids.

You'll also want to consider any tools you'll need to get the job done. Hard water stains are notoriously tough to get rid of, so some kind of stiff-bristled brush or scraper is a must. And if you're battling against long-term build-up, you may even want a motorized brush to help put some extra oomph into your scrubbing.

No matter which way you go, finding the best shower cleaners for hard water can be tricky. Here are some of the best options out there to help your shower sparkle again.

1. The Best Overall: A Non-Toxic Cleaner That Means Business

Not only is this hard water stain cleaner extremely powerful, it's also totally safe for pets and kids. The solution is made from an innovative blend of oxygen bleach, which unlike chlorine bleach, is not toxic. Just gently pour the liquid onto any bathroom surface — grout, tile, glass, you name it — let it sit for a minute, then scrub away scum and stains. This cleaning solution even works on rust stains that can form on your faucet!

One professional cleaner raves, "I would constantly have people with hard water stains on their shower doors that they just couldn't get rid of. We purchased this product since it's 'green' and boy oh boy is is AMAZING! I would recommend this to anybody looking to easily remove hard water buildup from a surface. My clients love that their shower doors are sparkling clean and can be seen out of once again!"

2. The Runner-Up: A Gel Option That Shields Against Build-Up

This powerful gel cleaner eliminates hard water residue on any bathroom surface. Just pop the top, pour directly onto your shower door, tile, or sink, and watch it go to work — even before you get to scrubbing. This solution also features a unique Scum Shield formula that protects your bathroom surfaces from future stains and build-up. Plus, it's made with non-abrasive chemicals and smells like fresh grapefruit, so it's a win all around.

One fan gushes, "This product is like magic! I didn't think anything would ever get it off the shower doors (I've tried a lot of other products) but this worked great without a lot of hand hurting scrubbing. I put it on, let it sit for about 10 minutes and then barely had to scrub to get spots of the shower door."

3. The Best Cleaning Kit: A Powerful Stain Remover & Two Scrubbers

This stain cleaning kit is a total steal. It includes an extra-large bottle of Bio-Clean's eco-friendly solution that's strong enough to remove everything from mineral build-up to rust stains. Formulated with lab-tested safe abrasives, you can use it on any surface without worrying about wear-and-tear. On top of that, this kit includes two different sized brushes that can be attached to a drill for a super deep scrubbing effect. And if this kit doesn't quite do it for you, there's even a money-back guarantee.

Not only do reviewers love this product for their shower doors, they swear by it for kitchen messes, too. One reviewer writes, "I continue to be amazed at what it will clean...still finding new uses. Glass cook top with burned on food, tried all kinds of combinations of scrubbing implements and products. A few minutes with Bio Clean and the top looked like new. Professionally cleaned shower door, not soap scum, I thought it was acid etching. A few minutes and the glass is radiating clean!"

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