How Does Hard Water Affect Appliances

You may think that hard water is simply a rusty nuisance, staining your sinks and clothes, but hard water has a high mineral content that can wreak havoc on your appliances. Hard water is a serious problem in many homes and businesses.

Here’s how hard water can affect household appliances and water using machines:

Hard water stains washing machines & clothes

Automatic Washers

You may have noticed that hardness minerals interfere with the cleaning action of soaps and detergents (i.e. little to no lather). As a result, larger amounts of cleaning agents are needed to counteract the hard water, and even then, laundry results are not as effective as in soft water.

But the biggest issue is that these minerals can build up on the washing tub, lint screen, pump mechanism and other moving parts. This build up can actually cause failure of the appliance.


Like washing machines, dishwashers subjected to hard water not only struggle to clean dishes, but the mineral deposits on the dishes can etch the surface, leaving glassware permanently dull and cloudy. Plus, the mechanism of the machine can get clogged with calcium and magnesium carbonates, which shortens the life of the appliance.

How does hard water affect appliances

Hot Water Heaters

Water heaters operating on untreated hard water consume significantly more energy than units operating with softened water. The calcium and magnesium found in hard water also forms a rock-like scale when heated. In one case, we found over 40 pounds of sediment in a 10 year old water heater!

Ice Maker, Electric Iron, Automatic Coffee Maker, and Other Water Using Appliances

Without exception, all appliances that use or process water work less efficiently with hard water, and mineral build up significantly shortens the life of these appliances.

The Solution

The solution is, quite simply, to replace hard water with soft water. Soaps and cleaning agent use can be reduced up to two-thirds, clothes will feel softer, and stains eliminated in sinks, toilets, showers and appliances.

But the biggest advantage of soft water is that mineral deposits will be greatly reduced or even eradicated, extending the life of water-using appliances.

Not sure how hard your water is? Get a free water analysis and let our experts recommend the right water softening solution for you.