Do you develop itchy skin and scalp after every shower? Are you constantly cleaning up those stubborn white spots on your clothes and utensils? Also, do your appliances wear out faster than they used to and you have no clue what to do?
If yes, then hard water might be the culprit behind these! According to WHO, while hard water may not cause any serious health hazards,
It has its many cons and be a hassle in the long run. But don’t worry about it! This article covers the effective means by which you can convert hard water to soft water.
But before we get started, let’s understand what is hard water and how to identify it.
So What Is Hard Water?
According to U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), over 85% of U.S. households have a hard water supply.
Hard water is defined as water with high levels of minerals such as calcium, magnesium, limestone, etc. When groundwater seeps into the soil, it absorbs a great deal of these minerals.
When the same water is supplied by the pipes, this leads to the formation of limestone and various other build-ups. The more calcium, magnesium and lime are dissolved in the water, the harder the water becomes.
Water hardness is determined by milligrams of calcium carbonate per litre and is measured in portions parts million (ppm). Water greater than 120 ppm is considered hard water.
4 Simple Steps To Identify Hard Water
1. Stubborn Spots On Clothes And Dishes
Regardless of how well you wash your clothes or dishes, there are still traces of those nasty white spots left behind? This happens because soap/detergent does not react well with hard water and leaves tough soap residue on your utensils, sinks and even your bathroom floor.
2. Dull Skin and Hair
The presence of high calcium levels in hard water, when combined with soap, harms the protective barrier of the skin. This causes the skin to become dry and irritated.
In addition, excessive minerals in hard water mix with your hair products and form a film on your hair and scalp. This buildup blocks your scalp from soaking in moisture, leaving your hair dry and brittle.
3. Awful Smell And Taste
If your water has a metallic odor or taste, it is a definite sign there is hard water or some kind of bacterial contaminant.
This is due to the excessive amount of iron present in the water.
4. Reduced Water Pressure
The ions in hard water can corrode water pipes and shrink their diameter. As a result, the water flow will be reduced.
Now that you know what hard water is and how to identify it, let us jump to the very specific reason we are and learn how to treat hard water.
Converting Hard Water for Drinking
Using an RO Water Purifier
Drinking large quantities of hard water may have a negative impact on a healthy person’s body. Therefore, it is always a better idea to invest in a good quality RO water cleaner.
The Best RO water purifier converts hard water into soft water in the most efficient way and makes it potable for drinking. Moreover, it is a feasible method.
Converting Hard Water for Kitchen
Boiling is one of the quickest and most cost-effective ways to turn hard water into soft water. However, you need to know that it is only a temporary solution.
Boiling at higher temperatures eliminates the calcium content of the water, the result is softer water.
Here’s the right technique of boiling water:
- Boil water at a high temperature (70° C) for approximately 10-15 minutes.
- Allow it to cool for a few hours while the minerals settle at the bottom of the container.
- Add the water to a clean container and your water is ready to drink.
Tip: To remove that flat taste of boiled water, pour it back and forth between two containers. This adds air to the water and will give it a better taste.
Ion-Exchange Water Filter
Depending on their type, ion-exchanger filters can be fixed to water taps or stored in pitchers.
The ion-exchange technique works by making the hard ions calcium and magnesium) soft through exchanging them with the sodium from the salt.
Using a Hard Water Softener
A permanent hard water softener may be the most efficient solution for kitchen and bathroom taps.
The hard water softener can be fixed to a kitchen tap. It eliminates the minerals out of the water before releasing the water from the tap. However, it can’t filter out dirt and impurities. This means that you will also have to use a secondary filter.
Converting Hard Water For Bathroom
If you have sensitive skin or if your hair becomes dry and brittle after each shower, this is because of the harsh nature of the water. Consider the following methods for dealing with it:
Hard Water Softener on Bathroom Faucet/Shower:
Just like the way you can fix hard water softeners in your kitchen, similarly, you can use the same product in the bathroom as well to make the water soft.
Converting Hard Water For Washing Clothes
Constantly washing your garments with hard water can leave spots on them and make them dull. Therefore, the following methods may be used as a solution:
Using Vinegar Solution
Just like boiling, vinegar can also be a feasible way of treating hard water.
Because of its acidic nature, vinegar can eliminate white stains from your utensils and clothing, etc. For this method you need,
- 1 tsp of distilled white vinegar
- 3 cups water
Simply apply or dissolve the vinegar with an equal amount of water. Rub the stains well and rinse them with water.
Using Water Softening Liquid
Detergents, when they react with hard water, leave soap foam on your garments and make them dull and stiff. Hence, using liquid detergents instead of powders can better resist the hardness of the water.
1. How can I test my water hardness at home?
Fill a bottle with one-third of tap water. Add few drops of liquid soap and shake it well for a few seconds. Examine if are any bubbles appear or if it turns cloudy, indicating that your water is hard.
2. What is the most effective method of treating hard water?
When treating temporary hardness in water, boiling can be a useful method.
Whereas, for mild hardness, you may opt for an RO water purifier. For very hard water, ion exchange and water softener are the right choices.
To summarize, from those ugly stains on your clothes and utensils to decreased life span of your electrical appliances and your hair and skin woes, hard water can be a nuisance!
Now that you are familiar with the multiple ways of converting hard water into soft, you can select any of them, depending upon which suits you the best.
If you have any further queries regarding the same, feel free to share them with us in the comments section below! Also, do let us know which method worked for you the best. if it turns cloudy. If yes, then your water is hard.