The Parchment Paper Trick To Clean Hard Water Stains

There are several reasons why a roll of parchment paper is essential in any kitchen. It can keep even the stickiest of foods from clinging to baking pans in the oven and prevent dough from spreading too thin under heat. Parchment paper can also promote more even baking while providing a layer of protection for any greasy food drippings that may otherwise dirty up your oven.

As vital as it is for cooking and baking though, there's more uses for parchment paper. Don't believe it? Just ask TikTok. According to cleaning hacks surfacing on the social media platform, parchment paper can be used to remove stains left by hard water on faucets and kitchen sinks. Who would've thought the waxy paper could have such versatility?

Hard water stains are essentially deposits of minerals left behind by hard water as it dries and evaporates. These stains are awfully stubborn and tend to require considerable elbow grease along with heavy-duty cleaning solutions to rid. Or, as TikTokers claim, just some parchment paper. 

To try this hack, crunch up a sheet of parchment paper, rub it all over the mineral deposits, and watch the hard water stains come right off. In some cases, it's been seen to wipe away months' worth of hard water stains in mere seconds without requiring much physical effort.

Other ways to get rid of hard water stains

Although TikTokers vouch for the effectiveness of parchment paper, it's not the only trick that can get rid of the foggy stains left by hard water on kitchen sinks and faucets, or even on glass cups, cutlery, and stainless steel appliances. Baking soda and vinegar have long been used as more than just cooking ingredients — they are also trusty supplies used to keep a kitchen clean. The combination of the two can cut through any stains left by dried-up mineral deposits and make things sparkle, too. 

You could either make a paste by mixing equal parts of baking soda and water or whip up a liquid solution with equal ratios of vinegar and water. Apply either one of these two DIY cleaners on the stains, give them a few minutes to work their magic, and then gently scrub the solutions off.

If the hard water stains seem particularly persistent, you could always use both the baking soda paste and the vinegar water solution for a one-two punch. Apply the paste on the stain and spray it with vinegar water until the baking soda fizzes and foams up. Wipe it off and then cover the stained area with a towel soaked in vinegar for a few minutes before rinsing it down with water. Hydrogen peroxide mixed with cream of tartar also makes a powerful cleaning paste, but if you happen to be in a pinch, even just a fluoride toothpaste can get the job done.

More unexpected ways to clean a kitchen

Beyond just parchment paper, you may be surprised to find that there are other unique cleaning supplies lying in plain sight all over your pantry. Take aluminum foil, for example: When squished into a ball, foil doubles up as an abrasive scrubber that can get rid of grease build-ups on ovens, grills, stoves, pans — you name it!

A halved lemon can be dipped into salt and used as a sponge to clean all that food residue hiding between the fissures of a wooden chopping board, and its juice combined with salt will take care of rusty kitchen knives. Salt too can do wonders: Mix it with dish soap to get rid of mucky coffee stains lining your mugs or mix it with ketchup to make copper utensils sparkle.

If you need to clean the blades of your coffee grinder, simply pulverize a few grains of rice in it. Looking for something to absorb liquid spills? A slice of spongey bread is all you need. And if you want to give your stainless steel sink a deeper clean after getting rid of those pesky hard water stains, dry flour will give it a good polish, proving there are so many creative ways to a clean kitchen!