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How to remove hard water stains from a zinc countertop

Updated February 21, 2017

Zinc is a relatively soft metal that is easily scratched but is highly stain resistant. This makes it simple to remove potential stains from zinc countertops, but you should be aware that sharp tools, coarse abrasives or metal scrapers will scratch the zinc. Potential stains include hard water stains. Hard water stains are made when water containing excess minerals evaporates and leaves the mineral residue on the zinc. Acidic cleaning solutions easily remove hard water stains, but they will etch the zinc countertop. Instead, use neutral pH cleaners and elbow grease. Never use strong chemicals such as bleach or ammonia to clean the zinc as it could etch the countertop surface.

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  1. Mix several drops of mild dish soap with 240 ml (1 cup) of lukewarm water. Mix until suds form.

  2. Dip a sponge into the soapy solution and rub it over the hard water stains on the countertop. Rub hard until the hard water stains are gone.

  3. Rinse the sponge with clear water until it is completely rinsed and no soap residue remains. Alternately, grab a clean sponge and wet it.

  4. Rub the sponge over the zinc counter to rinse away all of the soap residue. If you leave the soap residue on the counters it can leave a rainbow-coloured film on the counters.

  5. Dry the zinc countertop completely with a clean, soft cloth. This will prevent watermarks and streaks from developing.

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Things You'll Need

  • Mild dish soap
  • Water
  • Sponge

About the Author

Kaye Wagner has been working in the fields of journalism and public relations since 2006 and is a recipient of a National Hearst Award. She is particularly interested in home-and-garden projects, as well as beauty and fashion writing. An avid traveler, she also writes travel reviews and guides. Wagner earned a Bachelor of Arts in journalism from Brigham Young University.

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