Move over beer, soda, and other beverages; water, and bottled water to be specific, is now king. Bottled water is big business nowadays. Every week, it seems as though a new water product hits the shelves.
And it is not just any old bland still or sparkling water; there is electrolyte-enhanced water, water that promises to offer anti-oxidizing manganese and one that is even capable of eliminating cellulite. Over the past few decades, bottled water has grown to become one of the fastest-selling products in the market.
It does not matter what you are looking for, coconut, watermelon water, or birch water; there is a brand out there to suit every preference. For a substance that is classically readily available, both from the earth and the sky, the commercial allure of bottled water is extraordinary. But bottled water’s glorious appeal is not just about convenience.
If you live in an area that is affected by hard water, then bottled water is more important than you can imagine. The hard water pandemic is something that most homeowners deal with, and it is not just a problem that results in dingy laundry and craggy bathroom faucets. Hard water can slowly wreak havoc all through your house, affecting its resale value and causing costly damages.
I grew up with hard water and I recall my mother complaining about the water always being too hard. As a result, this meant that we always needed to use more detergent and dish soap than normal. My mother would also spend hours on end cleaning up calcium deposits off our tubs and taps.
I was never terribly concerned about hard water that is until I experienced the culprit for myself. So what exactly is hard water and how does it impact your home? Here is what you need to know:
Hard water: temporary or permanent?
Hard water can either be temporary or permanent. Temporary hard water is brought about dissolved carbonate and magnesium minerals. Temporary hard water can be made softer by boiling or through the addition of calcium hydroxide (lime). When hard water is boiled, the process precipitates the magnesium and calcium out of the solution, leaving the water soft once it has cooled.
Permanent hard water, on the other hand, still contains deposits of calcium and magnesium sulfates, but sometimes chlorides can also be detected. These deposits become more soluble as the temperature rises, which means that they cannot be removed through boiling. The only way to remove the hardness from permanent water is by using a water softener, which filters out most of the minerals but not completely.
Dealing with hard water scale
Hard water is usually a nuisance, particularly as far as domestic applications are concerned. Hard water is notorious for leaving scale in sinks, bathtubs, and toilets. If you are dealing with very hard water, it can go as far as clogging the plumbing, which can prevent you from using tap water at full efficiency.
To get rid of the scale, there are several commercial products in the market that help to descale your taps and fixtures. According to Kate Huber, chief editor at NJGamblingFun, ‘’though these products work, they tend to be costly. And because you have to keep buying them over and over, they can be quite an unwanted expense’’. If you do not want to use these commercial varieties, you can go ahead and create your DIY solution.
The most natural, homemade remedies for hard water cost pennies and do not harm the environment. One such solution is a simple application of vinegar. You can spray vinegar on your tubs, toilets, and fixtures before scrubbing to remove the buildup.
For cups, plates, and spoons that have been affected by hard water, simply soak these items in vinegar before giving them a gentle scrub. You may be forced to soak the items a little longer if the hard water in your home is especially hard.
If the water in your home is super hard, you may find yourself using more laundry soap, detergent, and shampoo than someone with soft water. This is because the minerals in the soap prevent soap from creating sufficient lather or foam. The harder the water is, the more soap you will require for cleaning.
Hard water is also notorious for staining clothes. When cleaning your clothes with hard water, soap curds settle on the fabric, making it stiff and rough. To stop hard water from ruining your outfits, consider investing in an iron filter. You should also avoid cleaning your clothes with hard hot water as it typically makes the staining worse.
Hard water and hygiene
Aside from staining clothes, hard water can also have negative effects on your skin and hair. Unlike soft water, which causes your skin to feel silky after a wash, hard water can make your skin drier and itchier than you are used to.
Hard water also creates a thick film around your hair follicles, reducing that silky feeling after your hair has been shampooed and conditioned. To deal with these effects, the best thing that you can do for your hair is to invest in a quality hard water shampoo.
Hard water and water heaters
When hard water is left to build up in a water heater, it will affect its overall performance and energy efficiency. As the limescale continues to build up, your heater will have to work longer and harder, causing it to take longer to complete the heating process. Not only can this greatly reduce the heater’s lifespan by up to 50%, but it can also cause irreparable damage to the unit, causing immature replacement.
When you have hard water, its effects can be observed on your fixtures, plumbing and even on your skin and hair. Hard water has so many negative impacts on not just your health but your home as well. The heavy presence of minerals in hard water typically pipes to clog and with clogged pipes, your appliances are less likely to run as efficiently as they should.
Hard water also has some unsightly consequences in your home. It leaves stains in your sink, bathtub, and showers as well as on your fixtures. Glass showers can also become opaque due to scale buildup. The best thing that you can do to deal with hard water is to soften it, so try and do it as quickly as you can to mitigate the effects.