If your shower gets a buildup of soap scum, your pipes are clogged by water scale, or your freezer produces cloudy ice cubes, you are experiencing hard water problems. Hard water can not only cause costly issues for plumbing systems and home appliances, but it can also harm people’s skin and hair.
Avoid these hard water problems by learning more about your home’s water quality and what hard water treatment system is right for you.
Effects of Hard Water
Precipitation of minerals that form rock-hard deposits also known as limescale causes scaling on pipes, drains, and faucets.
Hard water deposits can be found in plumbing, water heaters, dishwashers, and washing machines, wasting energy and causing early failure of all water-using appliances.
Mineral deposits that collect on the inside of pipes cause plumbing to work harder which can lead to higher water bills.
Clothes that are frequently washed in hard water will fade faster than clothes washed in softer water. Many notice a lack of suds in their soap, requiring more detergent or soap for laundry, dishwashers, shampooing, and bathing.
Unsightly white buildup around your faucets and fixtures are hard to remove, and you will start to notice discoloration in the bathtubs, showers, and toilets.
The combination of soap and hard water forms “soap scum” that can’t be rinsed off, leaving unsightly spots and deposits on bathtubs, dishes, glassware, and shower doors.
Dry Skin & Hair
Body soap and hard water together cause the formation of scum known as “curds.” This occurs when calcium and magnesium form insoluble salts, remaining on the skin even after thoroughly rinsing.
Frequent showering in hard water can cause dryness, rashes, and irritation of the skin which can lead to premature aging. Hard water has a similar effect on your hair, causing rough and tangled hair.
What Causes Hard Water?
Hard water problems are caused by an abundance of minerals in the water. Sometimes boiling can remove the hardness, but some water with a high mineral content—that which is high in calcium and magnesium sulfates—cannot. As water dissolves or suspends, it exchanges elements and compounds with many things it comes in contact with during its travels. Therefore, all freshwater sources likely contain varying quantities of calcium and magnesium. Depending on your water supply’s geographical location, your water may also contain elevated levels of aluminum and manganese.
How to Remove Hard Water Stains
In an empty spray bottle mix 50 percent water and 50 percent vinegar. Spray the mixture on your hard water stains, and let it sit for 5-15 minutes. Use a small brush or toothbrush to scrub away the stain. Wipe the surface clean with a wet towel. If this does not remove the stain, add some baking soda to the vinegar and water in a bowl and use the brush to apply it to the stain. Additionally there are hard water stain removers you can find in a grocery or hardware store.