Disadvantages of Hard Water – Knowing the disadvantages of hard water is important. It would make you be more careful in dealing with hard water. We all know water is an essential element that all living things need. You can find water anywhere on earth since it’s a natural present from mother nature.
There are two classifications of water, they are hard water and soft water. Well, in this article we are focusing on the hard water, what it contains, why it’s dangerous to our health, and so on. If hard water is also a problem in your house, you might need this information.
What Exactly Hard Water Is
Scientists called it hard water because this kind of water contains hard material such as Calcium and Magnesium. It’s described as “hard” because the amount of each mineral ions are highly charged.
The water becomes hard occurs naturally where it percolates through chalk or limestone that has calcium and magnesium ions. The water is considered “hard” depending on the concentration of multivalent cations.
When the water has more than 60 mg/L (milligrams per liter) up to 180 mg/L as calcium carbonate, it considered as a hard water, from fairly hard to very hard water.
Moreover, The character of hard water could be permanent and temporary based on bicarbonate minerals. It would be temporary because of the dissolved bicarbonate minerals that yield bicarbonate & carbonate anions and magnesium & magnesium cations.
You can reduce the hardness of this water with the heat from boiling or the addition of calcium hydroxide to the water. For water with permanent hardness, it’s because of the existence of calcium and/or magnesium sulfates. It needs to be softened only by using a water softener.
What Hard Water Can Do to Your Home
Well, the disadvantages of hard water would be exposed in this part because most of the hard water effects are bad.
As we know, hard water contains some heavy minerals like magnesium and calcium. Those kinds of minerals can make the pipes becoming clogged. That’s the main reason why the appliances in your home will run less efficiently.
This kind of issue would lead to damaged appliances and skyrocketed bills on energy. Even, that clogged pipes would cause it to leaks which can shorten the appliances’ lifespan. In conclusion, the appliances in your house would only work half as long as they should.
For the laundry, if you regularly use hard water to wash the clothes. It would ruin the fabric gradually by breaking it down.
Stains in showers, sinks, and bathtubs can also be a problem caused by hard water. If you have a glass shower, it could easily become opaque and look dirty. You can prevent this thing to happen by softening the water.
What Hard Water Can Do to Your Hair and Skin
Another part that contains disadvantages of hard water you should concern about, it might surprise you that your skin problem comes from your home’s water supply all along.
As we know, hard water contains dissolved magnesium and calcium that cause the water to have a problem to form a solution with soap. Then, it would leave a scummy residue behind. The real problem is that scum from soap would also build upon the skin of yours.
The combination of dissolved minerals and soap would lead to a residue that clogs the pores, just like the clogged pipes. When it happens to your skin, it would break out and worsen the conditions which lead to eczema or acne. You can keep dreaming about having nice lather.
For the record, our body produces oils that are distributed through the skin pores. So, if you have the clogged pores, it would trap the oils and form some pimples and zits. Wait, there are still more. hard water would make your skin itchy, irritated, and dry.
Because of the dissolved minerals, hard water can strip moisture from your skin. It makes the oils from your body having a problem to hold in the moisture and lubricate the skin. Another cause of hard water is making you look older than you actually are.
According to a Dermatologist, many hard water impurities such as magnesium and calcium can form free radicals which can destroy healthy skin cells. You will be dealing with fine lines and wrinkles. It can also cause a collagen breakdown that always keep your healthy skin.
There are also some disadvantages of hard water on hair. Well, hard water would make your hard never feels clean. It’s quite hard to achieve shining hair without special treatment from the hair salon. Your hair will be dealing with dandruff too.
Hard Water VS Soft Water
If hard water is so bad, is softening the water the only solution? Well, the answer is yes. Even though there might be some other solutions, I believe water softening is the best one you need for your home and your health.
Soft water contains sodium ion which is the only compound left in the water. Naturally, you can get soft water directly from the sky. Rainwater is naturally soft water, it would be no longer become soft water after it touches the ground. When it happens, rainwater will soon become the hard water.
With soft water, you can prevent the problem of clogged pipes, unhealthy skin, stains, damaged appliances, energy bills, and more. So, softening the hard water is a good solution to keep the quality of your life in the right way.
As you can see, soft water offers plenty of benefits and advantages. However, there are some other issues that you may face when using soft water regularly. Consuming soft water is not recommended for you who have circulatory and hearth problems.
The Benefits of Hard Water
Besides the disadvantages of hard water, you may find hard water has a few benefits that would be useful for you. Here are some benefits of hard water you can concern about:
- When it’s boiled, it’s ideal for drinking. It can make your bones and teeth stronger because of its high amount calcium and iron.
- The magnesium and calcium give a better taste to the hard water. So, the taste will be better than the soft one.
- Drinking it regularly will minimize heart disease.
- The quality of hard water is great for making beers according to some brewers.
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There are actually some more advantages you can get from hard water. From those benefits, I believe that hard water is the best option when it comes to consuming or drinking.
The Treatment of Hard Water
It’s not necessary whether your water is too soft or too hard, it can be regulated by a treatment system which makes it good for the family.
You can turn the hard water into soft water by reducing the contained minerals concentration. As said before, you can just boil the water or adding calcium hydroxide in order to remove temporary water hardness. That’s how to soften hard water with temporary hardness.
On the other hand, the only way how to soften hard water with permanent hardness is to use a water softener. Using water softener, you can treat the water with ion-exchange resins. It would exchange the hardness ions with sodium ions.
It’s recommended to hire professionals to install the water treatment system in your home in order to make it safe for drinking and great for washing. Some people would freak out dealing with the high price of water softener but it’s worth it.
Having much better water for you and your family and the pipes are clear makes the high price seems more affordable than you think. When you are on a budget but you really need this treatment system, you can start with a simple one such as the simple shower head water filter.
How to Remove Hard Water Stains
Another question that comes to mind besides water softening is to way to remove stains caused by hard water. There are three ways you can try to remove hard water stains or spots in the kitchen and bathroom.
1. Cleaning Light Spots
The first method is to clean the light spots. You can begin it by making a vinegar solution that consists of water and white vinegar mixture, 50:50 portion. The only option is white vinegar, you can switch it with other types of vinegar like Apple cider vinegar.
Next, using the spray bottle, you can start spraying it on the scummy surface. Vinegar has a pungent smell which is okay and safe for all materials except wood. Spray it thoroughly and don’t miss any spot.
Then, you can wipe the sprayed surface with a towel. The light stains from hard water would easily come right off. After that, you may start to rinse and squeegee the wiped surface clean. Then, using a clean cloth, you need to buff dry the surface to get it dry.
Finally, you can repeat the steps with other elements like shower heads, toilets, and others.
2. Cleaning a Tougher Scum
The second method is useful if the scum is tougher than just light spots like before. After you have the white vinegar and water mixture in a spray bottle, you can begin this method.
The first step is to let the vinegar sit on the spots for a few minutes. Don’t wipe it right off after the vinegar sprayed. Obviously, the tougher scum needs more time to break down. Leave it that way for about 5 to 10 minutes before wiping.
You can use a scrub brush to get rid of the thicker deposits. Another way you can try is to soak a towel in the vinegar mixture. Then, drape it over the surface of Staines. You can have it to clean the bathtubs and shower floors.
If the first step is not enough to get rid of the stains, you can try this second step. There are some bathroom cleaners that contains hydrochloric acid which is stronger than vinegar. This is a harsh chemical. You have to be careful in using this to clean the stains.
You have to wear gloves when cleaning with this hydrochloric acid. Then, the room should be well-ventilated. Open the doors, windows, and turn on the fans. After the cleaning steps, make sure to rinse the surface with water and let it dry.
3. Preventing Hard Water Stains
After the light and hard cleaning for hard water stains, this part is not about how to remove hard water stains, but it’s about how to prevent the stains.
The first thing you have to keep in mind is to always dry the surfaces after you use it. For example, in the bathroom or showers, the tiled and glass walls tend to be left wet or splashy. You have to dry them before you leave the bathroom.
The next thing to do is to use water softener liquid or powder. Add water softener to the washing machine in your house. it would help prevent the buildup or calcium deposits. You can but the powder or liquid at hardware stores.
The last solution you can do to prevent hard water is to get a water softener system. Well, it’s not actually the last solution, it’s probably the best and easy solution we recommend. It’s highly recommended if your water source gives you the extremely hard water.
Choosing a Water Softener
After all, the best solution for dealing with the disadvantages of hard water is to get a water softener unit. Choosing a water softener can be pretty challenging. You have to choose it based on the needs, sizes, budgets, and how hard your water is.
You also need to do some measurements of your house’s space in order to find the best water softener products for you. Of course, the best ones come with a reasonable price.
If your budget is enough, you don’t have to worry about measurement and other troublesome things. Hire a professional to choose and install the water softener unit for you.
You know, there are plenty of disadvantages of hard water and you may be dealing with some of them right now. The needs of getting a new water softener system for your house depends on how hard your water is. You can try other solution besides using a water softener. So, choose it wisely.