Like most people, you don’t think about your water until there’s something wrong with it – like when the dishwasher leaves spots on your dishes or the showerhead starts to droop.
But what if we told you that there are simple ways to treat hard water and keep those problems from happening first?
In this blog post, we’ll be discussing 11 easy ways to treat water. So if you’re struggling with hard water, be sure to read this post!
What is hard water?
Hard water is simply water that contains high levels of hardness minerals, like calcium and magnesium.
These minerals are entirely harmless, but they can cause problems in your home.
Water becomes “hard” when it passes through limestone, chalk, or gypsum deposits.
These deposits are found in many areas of the country, so hard water is a fairly common problem.
In fact, it’s estimated that 85% of the United States has hard water.
While the minerals in hard water are entirely safe, they can cause several problems in your home.
That’s why it’s essential to treat hard water and keep these problems from happening.
According to the Water Quality Association, these are the water hardness ranges.
Soft: mg/L <17
Slightly Hard: mg/L 17.1 – 60
Moderately Hard: mg/L 60 – 120
Hard: mg/L 120 – 180
Very Hard: mg/L >180
Hard water symptoms
Most people only think about hard water when they experience its symptoms – like spots on dishes, a dingy shower, or limescale buildup.
But there are many other signs that you have hard water. Check out this list of 11 common hard water symptoms:
1. Spots on dishes and glassware
Do your dishes always have spots, even when you use a dishwasher? If so, it’s likely because of hard water.
Hard water minerals can leave spots on dishes and glassware, challenging to remove.
Mainly it occurs when you use brown well water, further explained in why is well water brown and its solutions.
2. Soap scum
Do you find a white film on your shower door or soap dish? That’s soap scum, and it’s caused by hard water.
Hard water minerals bind with soap to create soap scum, which can be tough to clean.
3. Dull laundry
Do your clothes always seem dull and lifeless? That could be because of hard water.
Hard water minerals can bind with detergent, making it less effective. As a result, your clothes may not come as clean as they should.
Is there a white, chalky residue on your fixtures?
That’s limescale, and it’s caused by hard water. Over time, limescale can build up and cause plumbing problems.
5. Stiff towels
Do your towels always feel stiff and scratchy?
Hard water is probably to blame. The hardness minerals in hard water can make towels less absorbent, so they don’t feel as soft.
6. Dry skin
Does your skin constantly feel dry, even after you shower? Hard water could be the culprit.
The minerals in hard water quality can strip away natural oils, leaving your skin feeling dry and irritated.
7. Curly hair
Do you find that your hair is always frizzy and difficult to manage? Hard water could be the problem.
The minerals in hard water can make hair brittle and more susceptible to damage.
8. Clogged pipes
Are your lines constantly blocking?
Hard water mineral deposits can build up over time and cause plumbing problems.
9. Water spots
Do you notice water spots on your fixtures or in your sink? These spots are caused by hard water minerals, which can be challenging to remove.
10. Slow flow
Does it seem like the water pressure in your home is lower than it should be?
That could be because of hard water mineral deposits in your pipes.
11. High water bill
Have you noticed that you’re paying more for water than ever before?
Hard water can cause plumbing problems that increase water usage and a higher bill.
You likely have hard water if you’ve seen any of these symptoms.
But don’t worry – there are ways to treat your hard water problems from happening in the first place.
11 Easy Ways to treat hard water
Mechanical-hard water treatment system options
1. Use RO system to soft your hard water
RO may seem a bit confusing, but we have the answer. Reverse osmosis systems force water through many fine filters.
Many people use RO to get softened water benefits.
It will eliminate any solid contaminants, such as organic materials and chemicals.
If you are looking for contaminant-free soft water with no added salt, reverse osmosis is a great choice to treat hard water at home for drinking.
It can provide great tasty quality water, like packing bottled water at an affordable price.
Although, RO systems can only supply water to one point of your home unless you have multiple devices.
Reverse osmosis systems can increase water consumption, and regular cleaning is necessary to maintain water buildup safety.
A dirty filter is better than none!
Keep This in Mind
All nutrients will be removed by the water filter.
It can lead to a deficiency of essential minerals, which is unhealthy in the long term.
2. Ion-Exchange water softener
The most efficient method to get soft water is an ion-exchange system.
The hard water minerals that are not purified are exchanged with sodium ions during the ion exchange process.
Only sodium ions are left behind, but no magnesium or calcium is in this ion exchange process.
These systems usually come with two tanks.
- Resin tank.
- Brine tank.
Dual tanks are also available for systems. It will help reduce the downtime during system regeneration by having an extra resin tank.
You can add the following types of water softener salt (Sodium chloride):
Rock salt: This is a cheaper option. However, it has more insoluble substances that can build up in the tank and valves.
They also require frequent cleaning.
Evaporated salt: Evaporated salt is purified and more refined than regular salt. Table salt is an example.
Solar salt: The sun warms the brine pond, and then solar salt (sea salt) is extracted. Sodium chloride crystals are left behind when the water evaporates.
It is also an excellent source to make alkaline water at your home.
Ion exchange softener provides significant water buildup while preventing developing scale deposits and improving your appliance like washing machine, water heater, and dishwasher.
3. Magnetic or Electronic Water Softener
A magnetic or electronic softener or descaler is one of the latest water softening systems to fix hard water in-house.
These devices can be plugged into an outlet or clipped to an indoor pipe that allows water to enter the house.
They create magnetic fields which alter the electromagnetic properties of the dissolved minerals.
It makes the carbonates repel each other and reduces mineral buildup.
However, these devices are not supposed to remove hardness ions like the ion exchange system.
They alter the electromagnetic properties and prevent magnesium and calcium carbonate ion buildup.
4. Showerhead water filter softener
If you feel the effects of hard minerals, then showerhead filters can help treat the hard water supply for hair and skin.
These filters can be easily installed in your shower to filter mineral ions and contaminants as the water leaves the tap.
A showerhead filter can reduce limescale and remove mineral content that can block water pipes.
The investment is worthy of softening hard water for bathing, hair, and skin without soap scum created.
5. Demand Initiated Regeneration System
Demand Initiated System can monitor regular water consumption and only regenerate when needed.
The systems can be set up to run on a schedule for a specific time.
Some of these systems can run out of cold water in high demand.
They are also not eco-friendly because of treated ions and release a very salty solution into the sewer system.
6. Nucleation Assisted Crystallization (NAC) or Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC) system
These systems can make softer water with no salt and a healthier alternative to ion exchange. Are they better?
These salt-free water conditioners don’t work as softeners. These softeners are often called water conditioners or water dealers.
It is challenging to measure tap water softness if minerals remain in the water.
TAC and NAC systems don’t remove mineral content.
They alter the form of minerals to don’t stick to any surface.
The water flows through a TAC medium where the mineral hardness ion of the water converts into a crystal.
That is unbeatable to any surface.
You’ll get the same results when you test the water hardness level after and before water treatment.
TAC systems, which don’t require water or energy, are an excellent option if you want to be greener.
7. Chelation water softener
You can also use a chelation system as a salt-free water conditioner, similar to TAC.
These systems allow the mineral ions to adhere to a chelating agent like nitriloacetic.
It results in minerals being suspended in the water and makes it more alkaline.
This system will not reduce the hardness of minerals, but it will prevent them from being scaled.
It reduces the buildup of limescale minerals.
That makes it a great option to soften hard water for plants because it keeps the water’s healthy minerals intact while preventing scale.
It would be much easier to get rid of limescale and buildup if it were to occur since the ions don’t stick to any surface.
Chemical options treat hard water
8. Use washing soda for laundry
Washing soda is one of many best ways to soften hard water. It is a chemical of carbonic acid salt (sodium carbonate ion).
It can soften both permanent and temporary hard water.
Washing soda removes calcium and magnesium from water, and as a result, you get soft water quality. It makes it easier to use soaps.
9. Treat Temporary hardness with boiling
It is an easy way to soften hard water at home. Temporary hard water is water that contains a lot of calcium carbonate ions.
Softer drinking water is possible because boiling reduces water’s calcium content. Boiling is an inexpensive and quick way to make hard water drinkable.
It can only fix temporary hardness and not permanent. It contains dissolved calcium sulfate, which boiling won’t remove.
10. Use Distilled White Vinegar for Hard Water Stains
Calcium is naturally alkaline, meaning its pH level is higher than 7. In contrast, the standard pH of bottled water is around 7.
It is reactive with acids such as vinegar because it makes up most hard water.
For small fixtures with calcium buildup, you can place them in a warm, all-natural vinegar bowl.
It will dissolve the calcium mineral deposit within about an hour.
Distilled vinegar is another water treatment option for spot and white film problems.
It kills bacteria, mold, and germs and cleans dishware with regular washing cycles.
A buildup of soap scum may occur from water.
It is possible to rinse the scum with just one part apple cider vinegar and three parts filtered water.
11. Use a complex water cleaning aid to remove soap scum
The scum forms when the soap chemicals and dissolved minerals in hard water react.
Lime soap is the white buildup on water fixtures and accumulates in tubs, sinks, drains, and tiles.
The positively charged calcium ions in the water cause soap scum to form. These atoms stop soap molecules from dissolving.
Instead, undissolved molecules attach to surfaces and accumulate. Use a water cleaning solution to fix these side effects.
These products contain a solution to counter the negative atoms found in hard water.
These products make it easier for soap to be rinsed away and prevent them from forming scum.
What Is The Best Treatment Method To Treat Hard Water?
There are many ways to fix challenging water issues in your home.
Depending on how severe your complex water problem is, you can choose the best water treatment.
You may not notice any signs if you have hard water.
In this case, vinegar and hard water cleaning products might be a good option.
You should invest in a descaler if your water is moderately or more hard.
This will ensure that your plumbing system doesn’t get damaged.
Our low-maintenance Salt-Free Water conditioner is recommended to avoid scale buildup and preserve the health benefits of your soft water.
What Are The Benefits Of Soft Water?
Soft water doesn’t contain high levels of minerals, so it doesn’t cause the same problems like hard water.
Here are some of its benefits:
1. Softer skin and hair: The minerals in hard water can strip away natural oils, leaving your skin feeling dry and irritated.
Soft water is gentler on skin and hair, so it can help to preserve your natural oils.
2. Cleaner laundry: The minerals in hard water can bind with detergent, making it less effective. As a result, your clothes may not come as clean as they should.
Soft water provides a more effective cleaning power, so your clothes will be cleaner and brighter.
3. Spot-free dishes: Hard water minerals can leave spots on dishes and glassware, challenging to remove.
Soft water doesn’t contain these minerals, so your dishes will be spot-free.
4. Longer-lasting appliances: The minerals in hard water can cause buildup in your devices, decreasing efficiency, and short lifespan.
Soft water doesn’t contain these minerals, so it won’t cause the same buildup. As a result, your appliances will last longer and run more efficiently.
5. Fewer plumbing problems: Hard water mineral deposits can build up over time and cause plumbing problems.
Soft water doesn’t contain these minerals, so you’re less likely to experience plumbing issues.
6. Better tasting food: The minerals in hard water can make food taste funny.
If you use soft water flow for cooking, your food will have a better flavor.
Hard water is not a health hazard, but it can be a nuisance.
It can cause limescale buildup, which can clog plumbing and reduce the efficiency of appliances.
There are many ways to treat hard water. The best way to fix hard water problems is to invest in a salt-free water conditioner.
This will prevent scale buildup and preserve the health benefits of your soft water.