How to Remove Water Spots from Windows

window water spots

Do you long for spotless windows? The glass may be pristine on the interior, but it is likely that rain and snow have left hard water spots on the exterior.

Fortunately, you can remove these without too much difficulty and have your windows shining brightly in no time.

Learn how to eliminate spots on windows in the following sections:

What Causes Water Spots on Windows?

It's important to evaluate why hard water spots developed in the first place before you work to remove them. Spots form when mineral-rich water is left to dry rather than being wiped off the glass. As water evaporates, it leaves behind minerals that build up and create chalky white deposits.

While rainwater can cause spots to form on windows, there are other causes worth evaluating.

Some questions to consider as you attempt to find the culprit:

  • Is a water sprinkler close by and spraying the windows?
  • Are your gutters leaking rain from the roof onto the window glass?

Address these problems, and you might just put a stop to water spots altogether!

Some windows come with factory-applied treatments to help prevent water spots. If your windows lack this feature, you can apply a glass sealant, carnauba paste wax, or a rain repellent product. These treatments allow rainwater to roll off the glass instead of beading up on the surface, reducing the formation of hard water spots.

How to Get Water Spots Off Windows

Before you treat your windows with a product to prevent water spots, it's important to clean them first.  

This table shows four methods for cleaning and removing water spots from windows:

Cleaning Method


Vinegar and water

Spray the glass with a solution of equal parts water and white distilled vinegar. Be sure to thoroughly saturate the areas with the most prominent buildup. Allow the solution to sit for a minute or two, re-spraying the glass as it dries. Wet a small, rough towel with the vinegar and water solution, and scrub the glass with the towel. Dry the window with a soft cloth or paper towel, and if you still see water spots left behind, repeat the process.


Slice a lemon in half and rub it on the glass with a fair amount of pressure. The natural acidity of the lemon removes hard water stains with ease. Mop up the lemon juice left behind with a soft cloth or paper towel. Finish with a spray of glass cleaner and wipe it away with newspaper for a streak-free shine.

Baking soda and water

Create a paste made with baking soda and a small amount of water. Apply the paste to a cloth and scrub the window vigorously to allow the abrasive granules of baking soda to remove the hard water spots. Thoroughly rinse the glass with water, and then use traditional glass cleaner and newspaper to remove all residue and streaks from the window.

Store-bought cleaning products

Commercial cleaners are available with the specific purpose of removing water spots. For the best results, follow the directions printed on the label of the product you choose. Some products aren't specifically made to clean windows, so they may leave streaks. To avoid this, finish the treatment with a spray of glass cleaner and wipe dry with newspaper.

How to Keep Hard Water Spots Off Your Windows

Tired of trying to keep your windows clean? There is an easy way to maintain crystal clear windows with little maintenance for years at a time: apply a hydrophobic coating. This is a clear, invisible barrier applied to your windows that repels water, reduces cleaning time and protects the glass surface. Glass Doctor offers a hydrophobic coating service. Find a local Glass Doctor location, or contact us to get an estimate for your home.

Glass Doctor Offers Other Home Window Services

Hard water spots are a nuisance, but there are many other issues that can happen to your windows. If the glass is cracked, foggy, or defective, your local Glass Doctor can help.

Our home glass services range from window repair and replacement to double pane window installation and window tinting. Give us a call at (833) 974-0209 or request an appointment online to benefit from the many services we provide!