What is Hard Water?
Hard water is water that has elevated levels of minerals like calcium, manganese, iron and magnesium inside of it. The level of hardness within the country and individual neighborhoods can vary a great deal, but some studies indicate that almost 85% of the households in the United States have an elevated level of hardness in their water.
Water that is considered soft or slightly hard has 0-17 or 17-60 milligrams per liter of dissolved minerals in the water. Water that has 60-120 milligrams is considered moderately hard, water that is 120-180 milligrams is considered hard and water that has over 180 milligrams per liter is considered very hard.
What Are the Signs That You Have Hard Water?
Some of the signs that you are experiencing the effects of hard water include:
- Feeling a film left behind on your hands or body after you have washed them
- Spots on silverware and glasses that are in the dishwasher
- Mineral stains on clothes, particularly light-colored clothes, when taking them out of the washing machine
- Low water pressure in your home due to mineral deposits in the pipes
What Are the Effects of Hard Water on Your Laundry?
Beyond the signs listed above that you have elevated levels of water hardness, there are laundry-specific signs that can also indicate the effects of hard water at play. Some of these signs include:
- Skin irritation
- Soaps, detergents and shampoos that will not lather
- Laundry that feels stiff
- Laundry that still seems dirty even after washing and drying
- Laundry that is discolored
- Fabric that is ripping or tearing more often
- White deposits visible on taps and drains
- And more!
Hard water makes it difficult to get laundry clean because it prevents your detergent from easily mixing with your water. When soap does not lather properly, soap scum can be left behind on your clothing. This residue often means needing to wash clothing again, and it can also prevent your clothes from feeling like they are fully clean. Wearing clothes that are not fully clean can sometimes lead to chafing, dryness and irritation.
The harsh nature of hard water can also lead to the premature fading of dark fabrics. This can look like red-brown spots and streaks on clothing from elevated iron levels. In the most extreme cases of hardness, the minerals can weaken clothing fibers and lead to tearing and holes. In general, most people who are experiencing the effects of hard water will notice themselves needing to purchase new clothes more often or make repairs to their own clothing frequently.
What Can Be Done About Hard Water in Your Home?
If you are not sure if your water has a hardness problem, Atlantic Blue Water Center can provide testing to determine the exact hardness level. A water test is the best way to know exactly what is going on with your water. Once testing has been completed, we can recommend the right filtration, softening and treatment solutions to you so that you have water that is clean, safe and healthy.
The effects of hard water on your laundry can be prevented and eliminated entirely by investing in a water softener. Water softening solutions counteract the heavy mineral levels in your water so that the water used throughout your home, including in your dishwasher and washing machine, will be free from elevated levels of minerals and safe to use and drink. Water softeners are affordable, particularly when compared with the cost of the effects of hard water, and Atlantic Blue Water can help you find the perfect solutions for your home. It’s better to invest in a great solution now instead of spending hundreds of dollars extra over the course of a year as a result of hard water that cannot be used as efficiently as soft water.
Avoid the Effects of Hard Water on Your Laundry Atlantic Blue Water Center
We provide water treatment and water softening solutions for homeowners that want a cleaner water supply and softened water that is safe and appropriate for use in all of your appliances. We’re also focused on providing additional education on water treatment, water quality, and issues associated with water contaminants. Call us at (410) 751-9200 to schedule your in-home water testing appointment today.