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Washing Machines Hate Hard Water – Your Clothes Do Too!

Hard water is water that has a high content of dissolved minerals, especially calcium and magnesium. Hard water does not pose any health risks but can be a problem with the accumulation of minerals in areas where water

Hard Water, Heavy Metal

Hard Water, Heavy Metal (Photo credit: Kino Praxis)

is used such as the kitchen and bathroom. It also brings about laundering problems as the soap and detergent does not work as well with this type of water. 

When water moves through the soil small amounts of minerals are broken up and are held in the solution. The minerals that hold the most are magnesium and calcium and the how hard the water is depends on how much of these minerals is in the water.

One of the biggest problems with hard water has to do with the laundering of clothes and other washables. Washing machines hate hard water (other appliances do too). Items that are washed in hard water are more often than not a little faded and the feel of them is not as soft. It’s also common for them to have scratchy texture.

Dirt from the soils on the laundered items can even put more hard minerals into the water used for laundering. If hard water is continually used it can harm the fibers in laundered items and can decrease the life of these items by up to forty percent.

It also presents problems for water that you bathe in. When using soap to bathe in hard water, a residue will be left on your skin. This residue can decrease the removal of bacteria and soil on the body. The curd in soap can interfere with normal and healthy skin as it takes away the slight acidity in the skin. Hard water can cause irritation in the skin as well. In washing hair with hard water it can make it lifeless and dull and it is not as easy to manage.

Appliances that use water, such as dishwashers or washing machines are much less efficient when you are using hard water in the operation of them. This can translate to higher energy bills. If the hard water is heated it brings about a scale of magnesium and calcium which comes in the form of limestone deposits. These deposits can lead to less efficient water using appliances and sometimes can lead to the breakdown of them as well.

Clogged pipes are a result of using hard water as the water flow gradually is reduced. Eventually the pipes are so clogged that they need to be replaced to function properly.

Unfortunately living with hard water is a fact of life for many people. For them it’s a matter of treating the water before it causes too much damage.