With 90 percent of the homes in the United States dealing with some level of hard water it would be no surprise that yours is among those dealing with the problem!
But what is it exactly and what hard water solutions do you have to turn to so that you can be rid of it? Don’t fret! We have a great starting point for you here today!
In This Post:
What is Hard Water
Water gets referred to as “hard water” when it contains a large amount of mineral content, especially if it has high levels of calcium and/or magnesium. When heated, calcium carbonate forms in the water.
This compound is also called “scale” and accumulates on appliances, damages heaters, and clogs piping.
How to Check for Hard Water
There are test strip kits to get an exact measurement. But there are a few steps to do a test even without a strip kit:
- Fill a bottle to about halfway with water from your tap.
- Add in around 10 drops of dish soap, keep it as simple as possible (little dye, perfumes, and the sort)
- Cover and shake vigorously
- Inspect your results, if the mixture is sudsy and the water is clear you have “soft” water. But if its cloudy with little lather, it’s hard
In addition to the fixes, there are some changes to your behavior that can help prevent the hard water stains from collecting and forming.
- Do not allow water to collect and dry
- Watch temperatures in the heater. Warmer temperatures cause build-up
Removing stains is easier than you might think. You can use different materials commonly found around the home. These are some of the most common solutions:
- Red Stains (Rust/Iron) – mix cream of tartar and water into a paste, apply to areas and allow to dry, then rinse.
- Blue-Green, Green Stains (Copper) – Combine soap and ammonia and clean using the mixture.
- Brown, black, and other similarly dark (Manganese primarily) – Combine cream of tartar and hydrogen peroxide and clean with this mixture. Let this sit and then rinse
- Soap scum and hard-water marks – Create a paste using white vinegar and baking soda. Apply this to the areas and let stand, then rinse this.
For More Than Cooking
Salt and Vinegar, while great for making pickles also serve a purpose “softening” the water.
One part apple cider vinegar to three parts water is a perfect solution for dealing with hard water and cleaning build-up related to hard water.
Another easy solution is boiling water for use, this will remove the calcium content from the water and make it safer for use. While this is only helpful for batches of water it at least makes them a “temporary soft” solution.
Most common softeners run on a process called “ion exchange”. As the hard water passes through the filter’s chamber the mineral content ions “swap” places with the chloride ions in the softener.
The mineral build-up that caused the hard water initially is left in the softener and the water that continues out is softer treated water.
A salt-free softener relies on a different process from the ion exchanging that a sodium-based softener works on. A salt-less method creates “nanocrystals” from the calcium ions in the water.
With this transformation, the minerals remain suspended in the water but because of the state that they are in after the process, they do not come into contact with any other surface.
Equipment and Filters
Of course finding equipment to install requires a little more of an initial investment but it is a more hands-off method of solving the problem. The solution does help end the problem at the source as well.
With a whole house system, such as a sediment filter, you are targeting all the piping in the home and not just the point of access like when using the faucet or showerhead attachment softeners.
Hard Water Solutions for The Hard Water Solution
While the problem of hard water can affect your entire home, implementing the hard water solutions can be a lot easier than you thought! Especially with these tips!
Now that the waterworks are healthy you can spend time on the rest of the home. See what else you can spruce up but checking out some more of the material we have in store at the blog, today!