Our definition of hard water is water that contains dissolved minerals in it, or more specifically, calcium and magnesium. The kind of water that creates white residue on your fixtures, buildup on your bathtub and shower walls, hair that feels like someone just coated it with glue, and glassware that is etched and cloudy. Have you experienced any of these?
Although hard water is not a riveting discussion to most, it is an important one. Most of us have a water softener in our home and…..some don’t. Those that do, usually know when their water softener is no longer working properly because they can feel, or see, results of the hardness in their water. Those that don’t have a water softener may have become accustomed to the hard water and may not have experienced the difference between hard and soft water. Whether you own a water softener or not, many don’t understand the negative effects hard water can have in their everyday lives.
First, here is a video that helps you visualize the hard water. You can actually see the dissolved minerals in the hard water compared to the soft water which, despite the yellow color from the added chemicals, remains clear.
Second, here is another video that may help you understand the term Hard Water. As you view it, I would like you to pay close attention to the sound the hard water sample makes as it is agitated in the beaker. It sounds like there is a fine gravel in the water, yet nothing is visible. Compare it to the sound of the soft water.
Hopefully, these videos help you better understand the definition of hard water. Now, let’s get to the meat of this discussion. Here are 10 Negative Effects of Hard Water:
- You will spend more $$ on soaps and detergents– The soap test video was designed to show how soft water can save you money in your use of soaps and detergents. With hard water, you will use 4x or 5x or more soap/detergent and still may not have the same results as soft water. Picture dollar signs going down your drain. Uh oh!
- Buildup of soap scum– during the soap test, also look at the soap scum in the hard water that adheres to the beaker as it is spun. This is in on your fixtures, bath walls, skin, hair, and clothing. Yuk! If you have this in your tub or shower stall, we have a great product to remove it!
- Shorter life of clothing – just as the hard water was noisier when agitated, those same dissolved minerals are hard on your clothing when washed. If you see an unusual amount of lint in your dryer trap, you have hard water because those minerals are beating up your clothes. Little bullies!
- Cloudy or spotted glassware– those same dissolved minerals will scratch your glassware. Not pretty!
- Spotted or dull dishes – same effect as on the glassware. Guests will not approve!
- Dry skin – this can happen because your soap is not thoroughly rinsed off your skin (remember the buildup on the beaker?) Scratch, scratch, scratch!
- Stiff, unmanageable hair – your shampoo in not rinsing from your hair completely. The ultimate bad hair day!
- White residue on fixtures – this is the buildup of calcium from hard water and will have a damaging effect on water using appliances (coffee makers, dishwashers, wash machines, etc.). Can you say tedious cleaning?
- Stained or discolored fixtures and/or clothing– especially if you are on well-water and have an iron content in your water. More elbow grease!
- Your hands don’t glide over your skin in the bath or shower – we’re back to the soap scum. Imagine a snake sliding out of its skin. Uh huh!
If your water softener is over 5 years old, it may not be working as efficiently as it should. Just like your car, your water softener needs regular maintenance to maintain its peak performance. Guess what? We have your solution!
If we can be of assistance, please contact us in the south metro of Mpls/St. Paul at 952-447-2160. In Central MN, call us at 320-587-2950.