Hard Water 101: What Is It and Is It Safe?

In the United States, 85% of people live in a hard water area, yet only 30% use a water softener.

If you are one of the unluckier ones living in a hard water zone, you need to consider what damage might be happening to your property.

Please take a look at our guide to understanding better the hard water facts and how it may affect you and your home.

What Is Hard Water?

Water becomes hard when it has more minerals like calcium and magnesium dissolved into it. These minerals appear in the water during the water cycle when the water moves from the sea to the land via the sky. The more minerals it collects on the way, the harder the water.

There is a simple test to identify the hardness of the water. Wash your hands in it with soap. When you have finished washing, if you can feel a soap film on your hands, the water is hard.

When it comes to hard water vs soft water, soft water is often preferred due to its more gentle and less damaging properties.

Is Hard Water Safe to Use?

Yes. It is safe to use for washing, but it can cause some commonplace problems with a hard water supply. These include:


Glass and Metal items in your dishwasher or on the drainer may have hard water spots on them once they have been cleaned. You will need to polish them afterward to remove the spots, or else they tend to look foggy and unclean.

Furring up of Appliances

Limescale in your kettle will occur much more quickly if you are using hard water. Eventually, flakes of limescale will begin to break away and end up at the bottom of your tea or coffee.

If left untreated, it will stop the kettle from functioning altogether. The same goes for other appliances like the dishwasher and the washing machine.


Clothes that are washed in hard water can develop mineral stains. Colors will fade more quickly in hard water. You will start to see a quicker degradation of your clothes if they are washed continuously in hard water.

Limescale Buildup

As well as in your appliances, limescale will develop on your faucets. It is ugly and unpleasant and will block the flow of water. This is common in showerheads, where you may notice the flow of water becoming weaker over time. This is due to a build-up of scale in the showerhead nozzles, which need to be cleaned.

The same will occur over time in your pipes, eventually causing your water pressure to start to drop across your household.

But, is hard water safe to drink? Yes. Many believe that the minerals found in hard water provide health benefits.

Hard Water vs Soft Water

Soft water in a household presents none of these problems. So it is ideal to try and discover a way to soften the quality of the water in your home. You can install devices in your home that will soften the water as it flows into your property.

Water Softeners run the hard water through the resin, which is electrically charged. This replaces the calcium and magnesium with sodium, altering the mineral composition and making it softer.

Water softeners are safe if maintained regularly. They do require sodium to be added to the system to keep the transfer of minerals operational.

The Hard Water Facts

Hard water is not good for your property. If you suspect that you live in a hard water area, you should have your water professionally tested.

Hard water properties benefit from water softening treatments sooner rather than later to avoid costly repairs.

If you found this article helpful, please consider reading another on our blog.

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