If you hear the term “hard water” for the first time, you might not know what it means. However, it’s an issue that could be highly relevant to your home’s plumbing. Read ahead to learn everything you need to know about hard water and better understand what it could mean for your laundry, dishes, bathing, and even your drinks.
What Is Hard Water?
Water can’t pass the eye test. Even if it appears to be crystal-clear, you’re not holding a glass of pure H2O. Water picks up some passengers along its long road to your tap as it passes through the ground—namely, deposits of minerals such as magnesium and calcium. When these dissolved minerals exist in high concentration, we refer to this as “hard water.” Even if you receive water from a municipal source with local water treatment, these mineral deposits can remain dissolved in your water.
What Does It Do in the Bathroom?
Bathrooms are difficult enough to maintain. Adding hard water into the equation makes this upkeep even, well, harder. The minerals in hard water react with the sodium ions in your soap, but not in any way that gets you cleaner. In fact, this reaction reduces the efficacy of your soap, yielding less lather and preventing your shampoo from working, and leaves behind deposits of that dreaded soap scum. This nasty buildup can continue to accumulate in your shower or bathtub. The same goes for scaling—deposits of minerals that stay behind and leave a telltale white film on surfaces. Have you noticed that your shower head sends sprays off to the side, or water doesn’t pass through the holes at all? That’s hard water at work, plugging up tiny openings and making your mornings more frustrating.
What About in the Kitchen?
As hard water enters your kitchen sink and dishwasher, your problems will continue. Are you a coffee or tea drinker? Boiling hard water for coffee and tea doesn’t just mean a weaker cup of your favorite morning drink. It also leaves behind scaling in your kettle or coffee maker, making it work harder—or eventually not at all. Mineral buildup in your dishwasher can cause the appliance you rely on to fail.
In the Laundry Room
Letting the minerals in hard water settle in your clothing leaves you with duller colors and stiffer fabrics. Think back to that soap scum from the bathroom—your washing machine effectively leaves calcium in the fibers of your clothes, and it suffers accordingly. Hard water can even reduce the lifespan of your washer.
Throughout the House
What you should know about hard water more than anything else is that it doesn’t just affect individual fixtures—by leaving ever-growing deposits in pipes and reducing water pressure, it can harm your entire plumbing system. We partner with Kinetico to provide reverse-osmosis systems that effectively soften your hard water. You can rely on our home plumbing services to make your whites whiter, your coffee stronger, and your life easier.