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How To Clean White Residue from Aquarium Glass?

Last Updated on June 11, 2024 by admins

Want to learn how to clean aquarium glass white residue? Click to find out how to make a crystal clear aquarium with very little effort.

Each of us needs to clean the aquarium every once in a while. It is essential if you want to provide your fish with a beautiful and clean habitat for a healthy life. How and how often you clean your aquarium depends on the materials and waste that has accumulated in it.

Keep in mind that it is normal for dirt and algae to accumulate in your aquarium. Their appearance does not always mean that you are irresponsible; it is all part of the cycle. If you have noticed a build-up of white residue on the walls of your aquarium tank, you don’t need to panic. We have a solution for that too!

Continue reading to find out the best methods for how to clean aquarium glass white residue.

Why Is My Fish Tank Foggy?

The white buildup is caused by minerals present in the water, and they can make your aquarium glass look cloudy, streaky, and hard to see through. Any household that has hard water can experience a dull white, chalky build-up of sediment around aquarium glass, bathtubs, sinks, faucets, and showerheads.

It is formed because water rich in minerals evaporates, leaving these minerals as a precipitate. In addition, they can come from your pet fish, pebbles, and other decorations that make up the fish habitat.

White sediment usually consists of carbonate and lime and accumulates over time on the aquarium glass. Stains can also occur due to the appearance and spread of white algae on the aquarium glass.

How To Clean Aquarium Glass White Residue

These are the best (and easiest) ways to clean your aquarium glass from white residue. Most important of all is to take your fish pets out of the aquarium first and to put them in a temporary but safest place.

Razor Blade Or Scraper

Similar to the previous one, this method might work only if the build-up on the aquarium glass isn’t too hard. It is important to keep in mind that you need to be extremely careful as it can damage the aquarium glass.

Material needed:

  • Blade or probably
  • Scrapper
  1. Gently use a razor or scraper to remove white residue from the affected areas.
  2. Add a little water if needed.

Sponge & Rock Salt

If you have fresh white residue on your aquarium glass, this method will definitely help you.

Material needed:

  • Foam sponge
  • Rock salt
  1. Insert the foam sponge into the water for a few moments.
  2. Add a fair amount of rock salt to the wet sponge.
  3. Use the section with the rock salt to remove the white residue.
  4. After the salt dissolves, make sure to add more rock salt.

As already mentioned, this method only works on fresh residue. If these first two instructions on how to clean aquarium glass white residue were not helpful, don’t be discouraged because there are other methods you can try. Therefore, keep reading.


Material needed:

  • Spray bottle
  • Vinegar
  • Scraping tool
  1. Put undiluted vinegar in a spray bottle and spray it on areas with white residue.
  2. Leave it to soften the white residue for about 12-15 minutes.
  3. Use a razor blade, scraper, or damp cloth to remove it from the glass.
  4. Take breaks during scraping to apply a little more vinegar if needed.


This is one of the oldest, but certainly the most proven methods for removing white stuff on aquarium glass.

Material needed:

  • 1000 grit sandpaper
  • Scissors
  1. Cut the sandpaper grain into smaller pieces that you will use for scrubbing.
  2. Scrub the areas where you have white residue.
  3. Change a new piece of sandpaper if necessary.
  4. Repeat until you see a significant improvement.

Vinegar, Cornstarch & Alcohol

Material needed:

  • Toothbrush (hard if possible)
  • Vinegar
  • Spray bottle
  • Cornstarch
  • Isopropyl Alcohol
  • Cloth
  1. Add undiluted vinegar to a spray bottle, and spray it all over the surface of the aquarium glass.
  2. Use a toothbrush to brush the areas soiled with white residue.
  3. Apply cornstarch and isopropyl alcohol to the affected areas.
  4. Wipe the treated areas with a damp cloth.

Read more about Cleaning Aquarium Rocks With Vinegar

Pumice Stone

Using a pumice stone is a great way to remove dirt and even calcium buildup. Most importantly, it is very simple.

Material needed:

  • Pumice Stone
  • Vinegar
  1. Wet the pumice stone.
  2. Apply a good amount of vinegar to the dirty aquarium glass.
  3. Carefully scrub the areas where the white residue is located.

why is my fish tank foggy

Aquarium-Safe Cleaners

If you decide to use cleaners, never use regular detergents as they may be fatal for fish. Instead, opt for an aquarium cleaner that you can get at your local pet store. Only they can guarantee that they will not harm your aquatic pets or plants.

  1. Move your pets to a temporary tank.
  2. Use the aquarium cleaner on the walls of your glass tank.
  3. Repeat until the buildup starts to fade.
  4. When completely dissolved, rinse the container thoroughly and let it dry.

Read more about How To Fix A Leaking Aquarium Without Draining?

In Conclusion

These were the simplest instructions for how to clean aquarium glass white residue. However, keep in mind that maintaining an aquarium isn’t an easy task. You will need to be determined especially if you want to get rid of algae and white stuff on aquarium glass.

Remember, the longer the residue is present, the harder it will be to clean. Therefore, regular cleaning and inspections will provide your fish with a beautiful habitat, a good and healthy environment in which they can thrive.

Read more about The Best Aquarium Light To Prevent Algae

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