A common issue for many homeowners (or renters), especially those in high sediment areas, is hard water.
Water is “hard” when there are lots of dissolved minerals in it.
As water evaporates, it leaves behind mineral deposits, which are known as “hard water stains.”
One very common misconception is that hard water is not healthy. However, the truth is that there are many ways that it can actually help with disease prevention and increase your consumption of minerals.
Therefore, hard water is not really an issue for your body, but it can be devastating on your appliances, plumbing, and hot water heaters.
The most annoying thing about hard water is the white residue it leaves behind on your sinks, dishes, and glassware. Hard water is devastating for plumbing systems, reducing the lifespan and contributing to scale buildup in pipes, rust, and decreasing the effectiveness of your cleaning products.
Additionally, hard water scale contributes to your appliances using more energy, which will cost you more money long-term.
Hard Water Solutions for Your Home
Below, you will find some solutions for hard water in your home.
Due to the fact that most of hard water is calcium, it reacts with acids such as vinegar. If you have small fixtures covered in buildup, place them in a bowl of hot vinegar to dissolve the buildup within an hour.
Another recommendation is to clean appliances with distilled vinegar. This not only kills germs, mold, and bacteria, it also cleans your dishes through a regular wash cycle.
Finally, you may notice soap scum buildup from hard water, which vinegar can also help with. Simply rinsing with 3 parts water and 1 part apple cider vinegar will be effective.
You may not realize it, but running your hard water through the hot water heater increases the occurrences of mineral buildup and hard water stains. This is due to the fact that mineral precipitation occurs at the hottest part of your plumbing system.
In time, scale will accumulate in your hot water heater. When you reduce the temperature of your water heater, it will delay this accumulation.
In addition, it’s important to take the time to flush your water heater from time to time to prevent sediment from clogging the fixture. If you are in an area with hard water, this is especially a problem because it decreases the amount of time that it takes for unnecessary junk to accumulate at the bottom of your tank.
Have you ever noticed that when you have hard water, you need extra soap to get it to foam? This is due to the fact that the molecules in the soap are negatively charged on one side, which helps them dissolve in water.
The other side of the soap molecules works to keep oil particles suspended in water. Hard water fights this because it is packed with calcium atoms, which are positively charged.
The combination of these two results in a bond that has zero charge, which means the soap molecule cannot dissolve.
In order to decrease hard water spots on your dishes, you’ll want to use a product that is designed to withstand the calcium atom’s positive charge so that the soap can easily be rinsed off.
As stated above, it’s critical that you take the time to remove any hard water buildup on your appliances. This also applies to your pipes.
If allowed to build up for any length of time, it becomes hard to remove calcified buildup. You should make sure that you’re cleaning your appliances and pipes on a regular basis to avoid having to replace them too soon.
There are a variety of products to choose from that are chlorine-based, acidic, and abrasive.
Above, it was mentioned that vinegar is a great, inexpensive solution in lieu of the more expensive packaged cleaners. For your small appliances, such as a coffee maker, you’ll want to run 2 cups of white vinegar water through on a regular basis.
This will thoroughly clean those areas that are hard to reach, and keep your tea/coffee tasting delicious. In addition, it will increase the lifespan of your appliances.
While hard water is not dangerous for your body, it’s not good for your appliances, pipes, and more.