White scaling on faucets, soap scum on tubs and sinks, dingy whites from your laundry, and cloudy white dishes and glassware are not signs of poor housekeeping but are rather signs of hard water from the municipal water supply. Are you also tired of the worst tap water that has a high amount of dissolved minerals and chemicals that ruin your whole cleaning process or badly affect your hair and skin? Then this blog helps you a lot. From testing hard water to problems and solutions of hard water on hair and skin and lastly some ways to eliminate hard water from your home, we have covered it all.
What is Hard Water?
The phrase “Hard Water” originated from the challenging nature of using the water-filled with minerals, calcium, sulfates, and bicarbonates. Hard water needs a lot of effort in cleaning households and yourself too. It forms scum and affects the lathering ability thus takes more amount of detergents, shampoos, and soap. Moreover, high mineral content bounds you to deal with hair and skin problems. There is a long list of hard water damages to water running appliances in the home such as scaling and stains in the dishwasher and washing machine. Hard water in the dishwasher leaves water spots or cloudy looks on your dishes and fades the colour of your clothes more quickly while laundry. Hard water greatly affects the lifespan of your households. If you are observing signs of hard water in your appliances, learn about the problems caused by Hard Water and How to Fix Them.
Moreover, hard water is extremely problematic when it comes to your skin and hair health. It is the enemy of the shine and texture of your hair. What it does to your scalp, hair and skin are discussed further in this blog.
How can you tell if you have hard water?
Hard Water gives you several clues of its presence. Yes! 10 telltale signs or symptoms of hard water show that you are getting hard tap water in your home such as;
- Greenish limescale deposit and stains on porcelain (sinks, fixtures, and tiles) in the bathroom.
- Less leather while washing yourself or clothes and high soap scum formation.
- Low-pressure and uncleaned shower head.
- Clogged pipes due to the buildup of calcium, magnesium, and other mineral deposits.
- Bathroom and kitchen faucets are not flowing freely.
- Mud-like, metallic or mouldy taste tap water.
- Clothes with soapy residue. Your laundry becomes dull or grimy due to hard water.
- Itchiness and dryness from the mineral present in the hard water.
- Hair problems such as dullness, hair loss, frizziness and slow hair growth.
- Inefficient household appliances such as clog valves in the washing machine, dishwasher, or water heater.
But if the signs are unclear or you are not sure how much mineral content your tap water has or how to test if you have hard water. Carefully go through with the below methods of testing hard water both by test kit and DIY method.
How to test hard water at home?
Testing the water is the most effective way of determining the hardness. There are many ways to test the water such as DIY soap suds home test or test kits. You can buy these kits from online stores such as Amazon. With the help of test kits, the level of hardness is ranked from moderate to very hard based on the presence of mineral content in water. These tests will show the level of hardness in terms of grain per gallon (GPG).
Below is the scale to rank the quality of water;
- Soft water (0-1 GPG)
- Moderately hard water (1-7 GPG)
- Hard water (7-10 GPG)
- Very hard water (over 10 GPG)
You can test the hardness of your tap water by the easy and simple soap suds method. For this, you will need a clean glass or plastic bottle with a tight-fitting cap. Fill the bottle 1/3 full with regular tap water (should be about 8 – 10 ounces). Now, add ten drops of dishwashing liquid or hand wash; use pure liquid soap, not “detergent,” and shake well for at least 10 seconds. Set the bottle down and examine the results.
If the soapy solution foams up quickly, creating many suds, and the water below the suds layer is relatively clear, you probably have at least reasonably soft water.
If the solution does not foam up nicely, creating only a shallow layer of suds, and the water below the suds is cloudy, you likely have hard water.
Health risks associated with hard water
A massive amount of people are consuming hard and unsafe water all around the world, also in the well developed US states. Many states in America are exposed to the worst tap water such as Florida, California, Arizona, and many others. Worst or contaminated tap water is a significant etiological factor all around the world, causing many diseases such as cardiovascular problems, diabetes, reproductive failure, neural diseases, and renal dysfunction, and many others.
Signs of Hard Water on Hair
Water that is high in minerals (calcium + magnesium) poorly affects hair. It produces a film on the hair and makes it difficult for moisture to absorb. Resultantly, the hair is left dry and prone to breakage.
Here are some symptoms of hard water damage on hair;
- Dry and itchy scalp
- Split ends
- High dandruff concentration
- Hair loss and thinning
- Slow hair growth
- Dull and frizzy hair
- Increase hair fall
Tips for Washing Hair in Hard Water
There are several ways to save your hair from hard water such as apple cider vinegar rinse and lemon rinse after washing your hair, installing a filter or mineral shower head, or using bottled water. The damage done by hard water is reversible by using a high-quality sulfate-free moisturizing shampoo, leave-in conditioners, and masks.
ACV (apple cider vinegar) is known for hair benefits for centuries. It helps regulate the PH balance and acidity levels of hair. If you are having dull hair from hard water it solves the alkalinity imbalance found in your frizzy hair and makes it shiny and smooth again.
Signs of Hard Water on Skin
The water in your home has a significant effect on the condition of your hair and skin. Eczema, psoriasis, and other types of skin allergies are highly observed in hard water areas in the US. Minerals in hard water sap the skin moisture and cause dryness, clog pores, itching, and flaking. Here are some symptoms of hard water damage your skin is facing;
- Dull and unfresh skin
- Uneven skin tone
- Clogged pores
Beautiful, smooth, and even skin is the dream of every individual and many of them spend dollars on creams and lotions but in many cases, the only thing that is restricting the skin to moisturize and nourish is hard tap water.
Solution for saving your skin from hard water
Prevention is better than cure!
Find out the ways to eliminate hard water such as installing a filter shower head or water softening system. But if your skin is already damaged by hard water try using a ceramide-enriched moisturizing cream when your skin is still damp from the shower. This post-shower moisturization will heal the skin and reverse the previous damage.
How to eliminate hard water? – Bottom lines
If you are experiencing hair fall, thinning, dandruff, or frizziness in your hair or skin irritations or allergies, here are some one-stop solutions;
1- Install a filter shower head
The filter shower head is the easy, simple and quickest solution of stopping minerals, chlorine, bacteria, and germs from the water. Eco shower technology offers the best shower head you’ll ever experience. Three types of filter beads technology clean and purify and enrich the water. It removes 99% chlorine and minerals from your water while increasing pressure up to 200% and reducing water wastage up to 30%. After using soft water from the eco shower filter head, you will notice a visible difference in your skin and hair quality.
2- Use bottled water
You can also shift to bottled water for washing your hair. It is not a long term solution also expensive but some people believe that their hair is worth the money spent on bottles.
3- Buy a water softening system
You can also buy a water softening system, it is a one-time investment but gives you a lot of relaxation. You can have a soft and clean water supply in the whole house.
Hard water harms the hair texture and shine. However, the right approach can help in protecting and improving your hair from undesired hard water effects.