Many of us use water filters these days, or are at least familiar with the reasons why we may need a water filter to get toxins out of the water we consume. When it comes to water softeners, on the other hand, many of us are in the dark. The truth is that nearly 80% of homes in the United States are serviced by hard water, which can cause damage to belongings, fixtures, and even your own hair… but a lot of us don’t even realize what’s going on. So how do you know if you have a hard water problem? What are the signs that you do need a water softener?
Soap scum (ring) around your tub – No matter how hard you scrub that tub, that unsightly ring doesn’t go away, right? Don’t worry, it’s not dirt, per se – or it’s clean dirt, at least. Hard water causes the soap you use to precipitate out of the water, so you’re left with a scum residue that is a combination of soap and dirt around your tub where the surface of the water usually sits.
Just can’t seem to work up a lather – Do you feel like you’re using a lot of soap for bathing, dishwashing? Is your hair getting worn out because you keep throwing more and more shampoo on to work up a lather? These are signs of hard water. High levels of calcium and magnesium ions in the hard water prevent the soap from lathering properly, causing you to throw in more soap in response.
Stain on clothing after laundering – You pull your laundry out of the washer, fully expecting a bright, batch of clean clothes and you get a streaked mess instead. Hard water can really do a number on your clothing. It can result in a general dinginess, graying, or yellowing, a stiff feel to the fabric, or even gray streaks on your colored materials. If you begin seeing strange discolorations like this on your clothes, it’s a good sign that you’ve got hard water.
Spotting on your glasses – Same goes for your glasses, dishes and flatware. If you’ve begun seeing odd spotting, streaks, and discolorations on everything that goes you’re your dishwasher, that’s a sign of hard water. Crystal is particularly susceptible and coarse yellow circles can build up on your best glassware after some time.
“Scales” on your fixtures – If you have hard water, you will begin to see scaling on the fixtures on your sink and even on your pipes. This kind of buildup can cause damage to your entire system, reducing flow time on your water and even damaging your boiler performance.
If you are seeing any or all of these signs in your home, you may need a water softener. Consider looking into water softener options as a remedy – it will protect your belongings and your home in the long run.