When you have hard water, the signs are everywhere and all around you! If you are wondering if you have hard water, you have come to the right place! Because learning what to look for is the first step. Hard water has several damaging effects to our skin, hair, beverages, food, clothing, dishes, plumbing fixtures, pipes, appliances, and more. And these happen to be the areas to concentrate on when looking for signs of hard water. Continue reading to review the tell-tale signs of hard water in your home, and how to reverse its affects for good.
Hard Water Damage
Hard water contains high traces of mineral ions, such as magnesium, calcium, and iron. These hard minerals change the look, feel, or function of hair, skin, clothing, dishes, faucets, drains, bathtubs, water softeners, washing machines, coffee, soup, piping, and much more. The mineral ions leave behind a distinctive white film called scale that forms when water contains high mineral content. This white film is immediately evident around faucet spouts, shower heads, clean dishes, and even around plumbing pipes. The film develops and builds overtime, as hard water goes untreated.
Dishes will often have white spots or appear foggy after a trip through the dishwasher. And no matter how many times you re-wash them, they remain foggy and covered in a mysterious film. As for hair, it is easy to tell if your water supply has gone hard, or if it is hard already. After washing your hair, you may notice that it feels dingy and greasy even though you are sure you rinse all the shampoo and conditioner out. Hair will be heavy, dull, or frizzy, and just not itself in the presence of hard water. When you wash your hair in water that is not hard, you will see a major difference in texture, shine, and manageability. The same result applies to skin. Skin will feel dry or even sticky after a hard water bath.
Hard water tastes bad too, so drinking from the tap is generally avoided by those that have it. It affects the way food and other beverages taste too, like soup, stews, coffee, tea, lemonade, and more. Hard water also affects clothing after a cycle or two in the washing machine. Clothes will fade, shrink, and misshapen as a result of high mineral content. No amount of fabric softener can fix this!
The best way to combat hard water is to install a water softener. Water softeners condition the incoming water supply to the home, eliminating hard mineral ions by replacing them with soft minerals like potassium chloride. Water softeners are expensive initial investments, but substantially increase a family’s quality of life in numerous ways. They pay for themselves twice over if you consider the amount of money saved on repairs to other household appliances that can be damaged by hard water. Plumbing pipes, water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, and more are all at risk of severe damaged if exposed to hard water over an extended period of time.