Why Do I Have Yellow Water Stains?

Cleaning your bathroom is already hard enough. But now you have yellow water stains in the tub, sink and toilet? That’s so frustrating! Unfortunately, cleaning products and home remedies may not be enough to fix this problem completely.

The good news is, there are ways you can make these stains go away for good!

Keep reading to learn:

  • What causes yellow stains to appear
  • Potential problems with these stains
  • How you can get rid of yellow stains

What Causes Yellow Water Stains?

When you see yellow water stains on your bathroom and kitchen fixtures, there can be more than one thing that’s causing it.

The biggest and most likely reason is hard water, especially when living in a hard water area.

Did you know hard water issues are found in 85% of U.S. households? Furthermore, Northern Illinois has some of the hardest water in the country at over 15 grains per gallon!

The buildup of hard water minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, can find its way into your water in a few different ways. However, it’s usually a natural result of the minerals accumulating during the water cycle.

But hard water may not be the only thing causing yellow stains in your house. Chemical substances called tannins may also be leaving those stains in your bathroom and laundry. Tannins are usually a problem in well water, but may occur in your city water as well. Furthermore, water in marshy, low-lying, or coastal areas like in Florida are also susceptible to tannins.

What Are the Potential Problems with Yellow Water Stains?

While hard water and tannins create these unattractive stains throughout your house and on your laundry, these issues aren’t considered harmful for your health. However, hard water can continue to cause more irritating and expensive problems in your house, including:

On the other hand, tannins are not considered harmful but only an aesthetic problem. You may find they give your water a yellowish color and an unpleasant odor.

How Do I Get Rid of Yellow Water Stains?

Luckily, there are ways to get rid of yellow hard water stains! Below we have listed some quick removal tips and a solution to prevent those stains from ever happening again.

Quick Removal Tips

To remove hard water laundry stains from clothes, use this step-by-step guide from The Spruce:


Fill your washer with the hottest water that you can use for the type of fabric you are washing


Add 4 times the amount of detergent you normally use and one cup water conditioner.


Wash just long enough to get the clothes wet.


Leave the clothes soaking overnight or at least 12 hours.


Drain and spin your clothes without agitating.


Wash the clothes with a regular cycle, but only with one cup of water conditioner.

In some instances, standard home cleaning products may not work when you try to remove yellow water stains. Here are some other remedies you can try as well:

  • White Vinegar – Pour some white vinegar onto the yellow-stained area, then scrub the stain using a cleaning brush.
  • Baking Soda – Mix baking soda with water or with hydrogen peroxide. After mixing, put a generous amount of paste on the stained area and leave it there for at least 15 minutes. Then, use a rough sponge to scrub the stain and rinse it with
  • Salt with Lemon – Mix some salt and lemon juice. After making it, apply the mixture to the stain with a sponge. Leave the lemon juice on for a few minutes and then scrub the stains clean.
  • Whitening Toothpaste – Apply whitening toothpaste to the stain, then use a toothbrush or sponge to scrub the stain.

You can also try cleaning the toilet, tub or shower after every use, but that’s a lot of work. So, instead of constantly dealing with this problem, let’s look at how you can prevent yellow water stains from even happening!

Prevent Yellow Stains with a Water Softener

To prevent this problem and avoid getting yellow stains, you will want to invest in an NSF-certified water softener. Water softeners remove the excess minerals that create hard water. So, you can say goodbye to yellow water stains and hello to better and healthier water!

In addition to no more stains, a quality water softener will extend the life of your water heaters, washing machines, dishwashers and the whole plumbing system by at least 30%!

Need More Assistance?

Our water softener systems are ready to do the tough job of preventing that nasty buildup and keeping your bathroom fixtures looking their best. Angel Water in Chicagoland and Southeast Florida provides solutions that are best for your family, the environment and peace of mind. 

Please call us today at 847-382-7800 or fill out the form below to get the healthy water you and your family deserve!

Schedule In-Home Water Test

Use the button below to choose a time. Our team will be in touch to confirm the day, time and location of your appointment.