Removing mildew/rust/calcium/etc in bathrooms – for example – can be challenging, It’s important to keep in mind that mildew/rust/calcium is “alkaline” by nature and is best cleaned with Acid based cleaner. Always use acid to clean alkaline based stains… Or use alkaline (degreaser) to clean acidic contaminants such as food residue.
Acid – NOT – Bleach
Mild acids such as phosphoric acid (in consumer/commercial products such as “Bang” or “Foamy Q&A”) or oxalic acid (Barkeepers Friend) all are great on removing hard water stains and buildup from any surface. They are safe on stainless steel as well. Note – avoid any product that contains Hydrochloric Acid (HCL) as it can ruin chrome and stainless steel and is usually overkill anyway.
Say NO to bleach. Bleach has been proven in multiple studies to be ineffective at removing germs fully (which is why hospitals use QUAT’s – another subject for later – instead of bleach). Bleach is also alkaline by nature and is not suited for cleaning “alkaline” based contaminants such as hard water. Bleach is dead in the modern cleaning world.
One of the best ways to increase the energy and efficiency of cleaning chemicals is to apply heat, friction or both. If you have a vapor cleaner – even the hand held consumer versions – then pre-spray the acid based cleaner and blast off with high heat. Make sure you use distilled water in the vapor cleaner as, after all, you are removing hard water to begin with!