Did you ever wonder how those nasty stains show up on your bathtub, sink or other water based appliances? Well, the answer has everything to do with hard water. So, what exactly is hard water and why does it leave those ugly stains all over your stuff?
In simple words, hard water is water that contains a lot of minerals, but mostly calcium and magnesium. The hardness of water is determined by how much calcium and magnesium it contains.
Water conditioning systems that are built to reduce the amount of these minerals in your water are called water softeners. Their goal is to make your water soft and to provide a few additional benefits. But we will talk more about that later.
It is estimated that 90% of homes in the United States only have access to the hard water and even though some homes may have access to the soft water, for example if they live in an area where water doesn’t pass through the bedrock full of minerals, soft water sources are usually very rare.
Here is how you can find out if you are dealing with hard water:
- Spots on dishes and water based appliances (They are usually calcium carbonate deposits).
- Stains on your clothes.
- Weaker water pressure throughout the entire home (Calcium deposits form inside of the pipes, reducing the diameter of the pipe through which the water flows).
This is how the soft water feels:
- It makes your clothing whiter, brighter and less scratchy.
- Clothes have less wear and tear damage.
- Good water pressure throughout the whole home.
Keeping the surface dry
Some water based appliances like shower or sink are wet all the time and it might be harder to keep them dry. But, if you don’t allow the hard water to sit too long on them, you will significantly reduce the amount of minerals that accumulate on these surfaces. All this hard work will eventually help you prevent those ugly stains from forming all over your home.
Cleaning agents for hard water
Hard water stains are difficult to remove, store-bought cleaning agents can make this job a lot easier.
There are two main types of cleaning agents:
- Strong cleaning agents (Those that use bleach or similar components)
- Oxygen-based cleaning agents (They are non-toxic cleaners that are safe for your pets and kids)
There are also some home-made remedies that you can make by yourself that will help you remove the hard water stains, such as vinegar and lemon juice. They are natural cleaning agents, but they can only be effective if you use them before you start to see the signs of staining.
Prevention is better than the cure
If you want to completely forget about the hard water problem, then you might consider investing in a water softener. Water softening systems are completely safe for you and your family.
Water softeners come in many different shapes for different sizes of homes. The softener itself is usually installed in the basement or the garage where water enters the house.
The softener is directly connected to the house water supply and all the water that comes into the house has to first pass through the water softener.
The water enters through the top of the water softener and as it’s passing through the tank, it gets filtered by resin beads. The mineral deposits cling on to the resin and the softened water can now freely pass through the house.
At some point, the resin beads are going to reach their maximum capacity and they will have to be regenerated. The amount of water that is passing through the tank is calculated and when it reaches a certain amount, the tank will be regenerated by itself.
Hard water stains can completely ruin the way your home looks. Those hard water stains can make your newly bought appliances look like they are post apocalyptic. There are a few different ways you can prevent hard water stains from happening by either using vinegar and lemon juice or by installing a water softener that removes minerals from your water and makes it soft. Hard water will always keep on running through your home unless you decide to buy and install a water softener, which would be the most expensive way to treat your hard water problems. But nevertheless, it would be the most efficient way.
You can also use cleaning agents to remove the stains, but beware, most cleaning agents for hard water usually contain strong chemicals that can be harmful for your pet or family.