How to Fix Hard Water in Your Home: A Guide on Everything to Know and Do

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It is not ideal to have hard water in your home. Check out this guide on how to fix hard water along with other important information.

Over 90% of all American homes have hard water. 

If left untreated, hard water can have devastating effects on your plumbing, your appliances, and your skin. That’s why we’ve put together this guide to help you learn how to spot as well as how to fix hard water problems in your home. 

So let’s get started!

What Is Hard Water?

Hard water contains high levels of dissolved minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. As the water dissolves, it leaves behind these minerals, which can create hard water stains on a variety of surfaces. 

But hard water isn’t unhealthy. 

In fact, the minerals in hard water can actually help you reach your recommended daily intake of minerals and strengthen your immune system. So what’s the problem with hard water?

Here’s a closer look. 

The Problem with Hard Water

While hard water won’t hurt you, it can ruin your plumbing system and several household appliances.

The minerals found inside hard water can buildup in your plumbing pipes. Over time, it can form a block that clogs a large part of your system. This can take a lot of time and money to repair. 

As this mineral buildup forms, it makes your water-based appliances less efficient. That means you’ll have to spend more on your energy bill to run the washing machine, dishwasher, or water heater. 

So hard water is less efficient and costs more money than soft water. 

Signs You Have Hard Water in Your Home

The first step in fixing hard water is knowing the warning signs.  

Once you know the signs of hard water, they are easy to spot. Here are a few of the things you should keep an eye out for in your home. 

Mineral Buildup 

Remember, as hard water dissolves, it will leave all the minerals behind. This can form a white, crusty buildup around your faucets. 

These crusty buildups might be ugly, but they can also cause other problems. 

As they form, these buildups can restrict the flow of water from the faucet. If pieces of the buildup dislodge, they can also fall into your cups when you turn on the water to get a drink. 

Soap Scum

The minerals in hard water will mix with your bath soap, leaving behind a sticky, slimy residue in the tub. 

You might also find this residue on your shower curtain or loofas. While this residue isn’t hard to clean up, that’s only a temporary fix. Unless you deal with your hard water problem, you’ll be washing up soapy scum after every shower. 

Dry Skin 

Hard water can make your skin dry and itchy. Not only is this annoying, but it can also lead to razor burn when shaving and more money spent on lotion every month. 

Your hair is affected by hard water, too. The minerals in the water can leave your hair limp and flat. Colored hair will fade faster than normal. So, if you’re treating your hair more often than usual, it might be your water’s fault. 

Itchy Clothes 

If your clothes come out of the washing machine feeling stiff or scratchy, you have hard water in your home. 

Like your hair, hard water will also make the color in your clothes fade faster. In fact, your clothing could have a much shorter lifespan if you wash them in hard water. 

Spots on Glass Dishes 

Do you find small spots on your glass dishes after they come out of the washing machine? That’s another good sign you have hard water. 

The spots on your dishes are much like the mineral buildup on your faucets or the soap scum in your shower. As your dishwater mixes with the dish soap, it will leave spots of soapy, mineral mix behind. 

Bad Water Heater

If you have to wait a long time for your water heater to kick in, it might not be the appliance’s fault.

Just like your water faucets, a mineral buildup can form inside your water heater. This can prevent the heating element from working properly. At some point, it might stop working altogether. 

How to Fix Hard Water

It’s important to understand the difference between fixing your hard water problem and fixing the symptoms of your hard water problem. 

There are many DIY methods that can remove the mineral buildups from your faucets, and there are additives you can put in your washing machine that’ll help protect your clothes. But these are all temporary fixes.

If you don’t deal with the source of the problem, you’re simply spending money and time that you don’t need to spend. 

So what’s the best way to fix hard water?

The most efficient and effective way to fix hard water is to install a water softener in your home. Water softeners remove the minerals from your water, turning it from hard water into soft water. 

If you’re a DIYer, you can install the water softener yourself. But it’s a good idea to talk to a professional about what size and type of water softener will best meet your needs. 

Understanding How to Spot and Fix Hard Water

Once you know how to spot the signs of hard water in your home, it’s time to learn how to fix hard water. While there are several DIY options, your best bet will be to find and install a quality water softener.

This will help you save money on your energy bill and on your appliances in the long run. 

Want to learn some other helpful DIY guides? Make sure you keep exploring the rest of our blog! 

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