Have you ever heard people debating about different water types? Does your hair texture feel different when you’re traveling compared to showering in your own home? What about that slightly “off” taste? It might sound like a marketing ploy to rope homeowners into purchasing unnecessary equipment, but there are a few ways that water types can affect your day-to-day lifestyle.
Often referred to with a negative connotation, hard water contains a high dosage of dissolved minerals. The abundance of minerals are typically calcium and magnesium, which is beneficial to the body in small doses, but can also have risks if the count is too high. Effects of hard water are commonly discovered in the physical sense, and can be noticed by mineral buildup spots. Do you think this water type might belong to your house? Below are a few tell-tale signs…
- Soap scum is a buildup of solid substances from the combination of soap and hard water. The calcium and magnesium (minerals found in hard water) have a chemical reaction with the soap, creating its own concoction. Soap scum can be found on your clothes, inside the shower or sink, and among other places. A common misconception is that soap scum is a result of a low-quality detergent, when in fact, it is due to hard water.
- Dish spotting is more than just aesthetically unappealing, but it indicates that the soap is difficult to rinse off. If you’re noticing white spots or even feeling a residue on your freshly washed dishes, this is (yet again) the buildup of minerals in the hard water.
- Shower issues can also occur more easily. The minerals can leave soap scum on your body after bathing, which might potentially lead to dry or irritated skin.
- Laundry troubles might appear in the form of weakened fibers and fabric discoloration if you wash with hard water. Yellowing is very common from the abundance of minerals present in the liquid, as well as streaks of gray in various spots on your clothing items.
- Appliance damage is a serious concern for homeowners. The hard water scale can wind up clogging and damaging appliances that run on water. This constant wear and tear can decrease the amount of time that your dishwashers and washing machines operate smoothly.
- An unusual flavor of water is one of the worst ways to learn that you do, in fact, have hard water. While it is the preferred drinking water (in comparison to soft water), it can have an odd scent or taste in some cases. A metallic aftertaste might mean there’s too much iron involved, meanwhile an earthy, unpleasant smell is a sign of bacteria and other impurities.
Treated water (with the only ion being sodium) is known as soft water. This type of water is ideal for chores involving appliances that involve water, because of its high-quality performance. It has been through a filtration process, leaving it clean and ready for various tasks. Dishware looks and feels cleaner, in addition to showers being free of soap scum. While its title depicts a naturally soft type of water, it does have a saltier taste, making it a less desirable drinking option. Additionally, if the water airs on the side of too soft, it can leave your after-shower hair looking greasy and flat, as well as a filmy residue on your clothing after being washed.
At this point, you’re probably wondering if there’s anything you can do to remedy these issues. Don’t fret! Combining the qualities of both hard and soft water for the best solution is achievable. For those with hard water, implementing a water softener into your home will combat the intensity of mineral buildup. Once the calcium and magnesium hits a more subdued level through an ion exchange, you will notice a vast difference in your water performance.
To stray away from drinking soft water with increased salt levels, having a professional review your home’s water filtration system will point you in the right direction. With guidance, you can soon decide what your preference is, and how to go about obtaining your preferred water experience. For more information, you can call Graydon Faulstick Plumbing at 570-992-0447 or 610-381-4171.