Over 80 percent of American households have hard water. While it’s unlikely to threaten human health (though some experts dispute this), hard water causes problems like clogged plumbing pipes and a lack of soap suds.
But just what is hard water? Hard water contains a high concentration of minerals–specifically calcium and magnesium. It might look just like soft water, but these microscopic minerals can still be found through testing.
If you’re keen to learn more about hard water and its effects, read on.
Minerals Cause Hard Water
As we mentioned above, hard water is defined by the number of minerals it contains. These minerals leach into the water from the soil around, say, a well or reservoir, leading to undesirable situations in our home.
Most notably, hard water makes it challenging to create soap suds when using laundry soap, detergents, or body soaps. This means items (and our bodies) won’t get as clean as they would with soft water. It can also cause a build-up of mineral deposits inside plumbing pipes, meaning they’ll eventually have to be replaced as water can no longer flow through them efficiently.
To work out whether you have hard water in your home, you can pay for testing, or you can simply research water hardness by zip code.
It Can Destroy Your Plumbing
What’s wrong with hard water? Well, one major problem is its effects on plumbing.
Limescale build-up–that white, crusty stuff you see in your electric kettle or around your faucets–not only looks unsightly but can decrease your water pressure.
Your appliances might not run as efficiently because soaps don’t perform well in hard water. This might also result in your appliances breaking down or wearing out sooner.
It Has Few Adverse Health Effects
Most experts agree that hard water doesn’t cause any severe health issues. In fact, the World Health Organization even states hard water may have some benefits for human health. For example, calcium and magnesium are essential nutrients and are abundant in hard water.
Despite this, some people find washing in hard water causes dull hair and skin, which may even exacerbate skin conditions like eczema. Dealing with hard water may also increase the time spent managing a household due to poor soap performance and dealing with clogged pipes.
You Can Turn Hard Water Into Soft Water
Thankfully, it’s easy to find out how to soften water.
Some simple, cheap home remedies include boiling water and leaving it to cool, adding washing soda to your washing machine, or installing faucet filters.
You can also invest in a water softener system. This is a pricier option, but one of these systems will treat the water in your entire home, keep your pipes clear, and save you time.
Understanding Hard Water Is Simple
If you are concerned about hard water in your home, consider investing in a water softening system. This will ensure soft water is pumped through all of your plumbing pipes, keeping them clear. It will also provide you with sud-generating soft water perfect for effectively washing yourself, your clothes, and your dishes.
For more helpful homeowner tips and tricks, take a look through the other blogs on our website.