When water moves through soil and rocks, minerals like calcium and magnesium get dissolved in it. This leads to the formation of hard water. Though this mineral buildup doesn't create serious health risks, when calcium, magnesium, chalk, lime and other such compounds get dissolved into the water, these can interfere greatly in household cleaning activities.
Hard water may leave behind stains on your crockery and clothes. No matter how much detergent you use, these deposits don't seem to disappear. Any appliance that comes into contact with hard water is bound to get affected.
Water heaters, dishwashers, sinks, shower heads, ice makers and laundry equipment are affected the most. Here are some common hard water problems that people living in regions with a hard water supply may have to face on a daily basis.
Issues Associated with Hard Water
Hard Water Stains
With hard water supply in your area, stains on the dishes and crockery is a normal phenomenon. The dishwasher's interior might also get affected due to hard water. This is one of the most common problems. When you use hard water for cleaning your dishes, prominent mineral deposits are generally seen after water evaporates off the dishes.
When you use a dishwasher to clean your dishes, these mineral deposits get accumulated on the surface of the dishwasher. Sometimes these mineral deposits can also accumulate on the dishwasher's motor seal and damage the dishwasher.
When the mineral deposits and detergent combine to form an insoluble curd, it becomes very difficult to remove the stains. The color of the fabric might also fade with time. Over a period of time, laundering in hard water can make the fabric fibers weak and shorten the life of the fabric.
Just as the soap curd can damage the clothes, your skin and hair might also get affected by hard water. You might have seen that the soaps don't lather much in hard water. Bathing with hard water might cause skin problems. Hard water can clog the pores of your skin and the mineral deposits can cause damage to your hair.
Your hair might also lose its shine. Lime scale buildup on faucets, bathtubs and pipes can also be a cause of concern. You might have to spend a lot of money, if pipes get clogged due to mineral deposits from hard water.
How to Fix these Problems
As far as the removal of hard water stains is concerned, using white vinegar will surely help. Citric acid, lemon juice or acid cleaners can also be used to get rid of the stains. It would be advisable to purchase a dishwasher with an inbuilt water softener.
If laundering in hard water is damaging your clothes, use a heavy duty liquid detergent. Such problems can also be tackled by using an ion exchange water softener. Such water softeners replace calcium and magnesium by sodium.
Since sodium content can have an adverse impact on those suffering from heart problems and hypertension, you must consult a physician before installing such water softeners. The conditioned water contains sodium which is why it must not be used for watering plants.
You can also check out the electromagnetic water softeners. These water softeners use the magnetic field for removing the mineral deposits.
Though hard water doesn't cause major problems when it comes to one's health, mineral deposits can clog pipes and leave behind stains. If you have been facing the aforementioned problems due to the hard water supply in your area, you should invest in a water softener. However, make sure that you buy a water softener that has received good reviews.