It happens: your kid or someone else ends up running over a sprinkler head, and now you have a ginormous water fountain in your front yard. Not exactly the DIY water feature you wanted- amiright?
Most of the hard water stains formed on doors, or car windows close to your yard or lawn are usually caused by the sprinklers you use to keep your grass green. Since the glass is usually exposed to the sun and wind, the water dries much faster than your surfaces inside the house. Keeping the sprinklers away from your doors and other glass will prevent them from getting damaged.
If this cannot be avoided, consider installing water filters or using water softeners to ensure that the water that gets in contact with your glass does not contain any minerals.
BUT! Since you're reading this far, I'm going to hazard a guess you came here to find out HOW TO REMOVE THOSE INFERNALLY AGGRAVATING WATER SPOTS! Well, you've come to the right place!
That DIY geyser in your yard will stand no chance against the following remedies for removing the pesky spots left behind like a calling card saying "neiner neiner neiner!".
Salt and Water solution:
This is probably the easiest solution to cleaning stubborn hard water glass stains. It is something that you can easily make. All you need is salt and water. How does it work? The salt scours the stains away. The mixture should not be too watery. Balance it so that it forms a paste. Use the paste on the stained area. Scrub it until the stain fades away. Once done, use a clean cloth to wipe off the residue. You do not want to leave more stains on the surface.
2. White Vinegar
Vinegar is acidic. However, it is not as concentrated as hydrochloric acid. It is very effective in loosening the mineral deposits that form stains on glass surfaces. The beauty of using white vinegar is that it does not corrode surfaces; more so, it is not toxic. You, therefore, don’t need to cover your eyes while using it, and you can have your kid use it to remove the spots for you, if they broke the sprinkler in the first place!
Also, you could do something to make it more effective: add fresh, not bottled, lemon juice to it (using bottled lemon juice is not as effective as using a fresh cut lemon) Remember that lemon juice is also acidic. Here is how you go about it.
Mix lemon juice and vinegar in a spray bottle. It works best when warm. Spray the warm vinegar and lemon juice mixture and let it sit for a few minutes, then wipe it with a lint-free cloth. On top of increasing its effectiveness, the lemon gives the cleaning product a refreshing scent. We recommend lemon, but in a pinch, you can also use lime, orange or any other of the citrus variety, although I'd imagine grapefruit probably wouldn't be as effective. The lemon is SEVERELY underrated in it's powers for cleaning!
3. The Holy-Grail of cleaning: The Magic Eraser...
Ahhh yes, the magic eraser. The ONE thing you've found that you hide from everyone in the house because they're just SO EXPENSIVE. But hey, it takes that cream of wheat your toddler decided was going to make a WONDERFUL window dressing putty mishmash right off. So why not use it for hard water spots? The truth is, Magic Erasers are just tiny rectangular pieces of melamine foam with a cleaning agent inside. That said, it's not the cleaning agent that makes them so effective, it's the material. I personally have found they don't work as well as the lemon juice for the really set in stubborn like "trying to find your 10mm socket" kind-of-hard stains.
The Final Word...
If you notice the spots immediately, the melamine sponge MIGHT work for you, and usually everyone has one lying about. But if it doesn't work, or your hard water deposits are no match for the Magic Eraser, definitely try the lemon juice or vinegar. You can also use equal parts water, lemon juice and white vinegar (do not use apple cider, it will not work the same as the acidity is not as high as the white), mix it up in a spray bottle, and hit them bad boys and say "adios" to those unsightly, repulsive splotches.
But you should REALLY get that sprinkler head fixed...