Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Cleaning Up After Your Water

I'm sure that most of you have noticed by now that the water hardness in Santa Ana sucks. According to The 2006 Santa Ana Water Quality Report, the total hardness (ppm) measured at 408.36 out of 469. The total hardness (grains per gallon) measured at 23.9 out of 27.4. Don't believe me? Check out the tip of your water spigot. Bet ya it's crusty!

So what should you use to get your sinks looking shiny and new again? Well, I'm going to pass on to you what has worked great for me, requiring little or no "elbow grease", giving me more time to do things that I love–like blogging!

After trying multiple products, these guys do the job for me.

  • CLR Spray can be purchased at Target for about $3.00.
  • Bar Keepers Friend can be found at Longs Drugs or Home Depot for about $3.50.
  • Stainless Steel Polish can be found at Cost Plus for about $3.00
  • The furniture polish was bought at Longs Drugs for about $1.50, but it's just a generic version of Pledge.
First Step: Start off with spraying the sink basin, on and around the faucet; including the faucet handles and spigot with the CLR. Now in a spray bottle form, CLR has never been easier to use.

With a non-abrasive sponge, wipe down the area clean of the CLR.

Second Step: Sprinkle a small amount of Bar Keepers Friend on a wet sponge, make a fist with the sponge, resulting in a smooth mashed paste. BKF is fantastic in that it wont scratch your shiny sinks and works well on other stainless appliances.

Rinse the sink clean and dry using a small terry cloth.

(You can stop here if you choose, but completing the next step will help your cleaning effort last a little longer than two days–like three.)

Third (Optional) Step: Lightly spray the (dry) sink basin with the Stainless Steel Polish (or furniture polish), then wipe clean with a paper towel or the small terry cloth used in step two. The polish creates a waxy coating that protects your basin from buildup, buying you a few more days until another cleaning is needed.

Now this method might sound like it takes a long time (or a little obsessive), but I was able to get my sink from nasty to classy in about 3 minutes (see below).

Another solution is to get a water softener; something I've been pondering ever since I realized I needed a method for cleaning the sinks. From what I hear, one or two of our residents have installed a softener–I'm very curious to see how that has worked out for them.

Here's a great article about iron in water.
The Santa Ana Public Works page on the City website.

1 comment :

Erin said...

I own all of those cleaning products!!! yay!