Hard water is in simple terms water that has a very high mineral content. Hard water can lead to the build of lime scale in your heating system but too can be prevented by a number of means. However, fixing your hard water problems is secondary to first determining if you indeed do have hard water in the first place. Hard water is primarily noticeable when observed in a glass or container as being slightly cloudy in nature. Though the minerals in hard water are not known to damage human health, they can however damage quite a lot of appliances in your house.
Signs in Your Machines
If you have hard water, one of the most prominent signs of it can be found in dishwashers that will often leave spots visible on glasses and plates. Washing machines that are using hard water will also quickly develop lime scale and not only this but will also leave your clothes feeling more taught and stiffer. Additionally, your clothes will appear less vibrant in colour and become more susceptible to wear and tear as the water actually damages fibres in the material.
If your white clothes are coming out of the wash looking a bit dull and dingy this is a definite sign of hard water. The lime scale build up from hard water in your heating system can in fact increase your energy bills significantly as well as slow down the efficiency of numerous other water-based appliances in your house. It is even possible for hard water to cause blockages in your piping system.
Signs on Your Body
Hard water can affect our bodies in quite a noticeable fashion. When showering or washing hands it can often leave a sticky soapy film on your skin that can potentially trap dirt and bacteria. In this way, hard water is known to be detrimental to skin conditions such as acne or eczema as it will only lead to further irritation. Hard water can also leave your hair looking sticky, greasy or dull and in addition can sometimes leave a reddish tint on your hair due to the iron content found within it. When shampooing or utilising body wash you will also find it difficult for the product to lather.
Hard water is also known to leave significant shower scum on glass doors and bathroom tiles. As a more general sign, if you feel you have to use excess soap when washing whether it is in the shower, washing machines or dishwasher this is a good sign that you do indeed have hard water. As a general rule of thumb, the harder your water is, the more soap needed to cut through it.
Some Quick Solutions to Hard Water
Using water softeners is an excellent way of lowering the mineral content in your hard water as they work by altering the calcium and magnesium ions to sodium ions. This in essence results in your water being converted to soft water that is better for your appliances, skin and hair. Some individuals opt to have water softeners fitted only to taps that people drink out of. Failing this, there are many products that can reduce the effect of hard water in your appliances, preventing the build up of lime scale and altogether extended their life expectancy.