Are you noticing a lot of soap scum or limescale building up on hard surfaces in your home? We’ll dig into the nitty-gritty of these irritating issues caused by hard water in your home’s water supply — and what you can do about it.

What is hard water?

If you’re worried about and wondering what causes hard water, we want to put your fears to rest. Hard water is simply an overabundance of “hard” mineral ions like calcium and magnesium (and sometimes iron) in your water. They, unfortunately, build up on the surfaces of your showers and tubs, faucets and fixtures, and dishes and utensils — but don’t pose an immediate threat to your wellbeing.

How to tell if you have hard water.

Hard water is easily seen as the white scum and streaks, called limescale, left behind on surfaces. You can also tell that you have hard water if you have difficulty getting a good lather with soaps.

Besides what you can see, hard water also leaves scaling behind on appliances, water heaters, and pipes. Some of the issues you may face are —

  • Dry and brittle skin, nails, and hair.
  • Unsightly staining that takes hours to clean.
  • Dishes, cups, and clothes that don’t feel clean.
  • Reduced efficiency of appliances.
  • Weaker water pressure.
  • Clogged pipes that may need to be replaced.
  • Costly repairs and higher than average operational costs.

Hard Water in faucet

How to remove hard water stains.

If you’re currently struggling with hard water, you may be spending hours getting your fixtures and appliances clean. One simple home remedy is to use vinegar. We know it’s not the most pleasant smelling stuff, but equal parts of white vinegar and fresh water (not your hard water) will take the soap scum off within 15 minutes of sitting there. Wipe clean with a microfiber towel for a great sheen.

If you’re still having trouble after that, you can use a more potent mix of ¾ parts vinegar to ¼ water and add some baking soda. You can create a paste to use with a scrubbing brush, which should eliminate water stains.

Hard water vs soft water.

We measure water hardness in grains per gallon (or ppm). The higher the number of grains, the harder your water. If you have <1 grain of hardness per gallon, you have soft water. If you’ve struggled with hard water, soft water will feel silky smooth, and if you try to use the same amount of soap you used with hard water, you may feel some residue on your skin from over-soaping! Great water should give you a good lather with a small amount of soap. When you’re looking for how to test if you have hard water, there are some basic tests you can do at home — but to find precisely how hard your water is, NH Tap can test it for you and provide some great options for water softeners.

Is hard water safe to drink?

You don’t need to worry about any health risks with these minerals, as most of them are great for your health. But that being said, there are much better ways to absorb calcium and magnesium!

How to treat hard water.

When you want to soften hard water, ion exchange is the gold standard. Our simple water softener system uses a smart-metered, efficient system to distribute softened water throughout your whole home!

Here’s how it works —

Step #1: Water enters the top of the water-softener tank and flows down through the resin beads.

Step #2: The resin beads hold a negative charge, which attracts the positively charged minerals in the water (a process known as ion exchange).

Step #3: The mineral deposits cling to the resin beads, and the now-softened water exits the tank and flows throughout the house.

Our system is perfect for New Hampshire homeowners with backup power sources, computerized distribution for smart salt usage, and easy ongoing delivery and full-service packages set to auto-pilot.

What’s Next?

Schedule your free water test today, or contact us to learn more about our water softener solutions — and how you can enjoy hard water-free living and a better clean feeling in every aspect of your home!

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