Hard water can be quite the problem – it ruins your plumbing, makes dishes harder to clean, and makes your laundry itchy.
So, if you know your water supply is made up of hard water, you would be well advised to do something about it. And ideally, before the situation gets too out of hand.
In this article, we’re going to cover treating hard water by installing a water softener, as well as how to manage various hard water issues.
We will also dedicate a section to answering your most frequently asked questions on the subject.
By the time you reach the wrap-up at the end of the article, you will know exactly what you need to do.
Side note: This article assumes that you have hard water. If you are unsure, check out “How To Test Water Hardness”, which is available on this link.
Treating Hard Water By Installing A Water Softener
Now, this is one of the more common ways to fix hard water, because it is a genuine fix, and it solves the problem at the source in your plumbing, rather than dealing with the issues that arise after the hard water has passed through your home.
A water softener is basically a filtration system that connects to your plumbing, which removes the calcium and magnesium minerals from the water, thereby softening the hard water going to your faucets.
A more complete description of water softeners and how they work may be found here: “What Does a Water Softener Do?”
Once you have an appropriate, working water softener filtration system installed, you need never worry about hard water issues again.
However, as good a fix as it might be, it can be incredibly expensive. Water softeners can often cost hundreds of dollars, and some water softener systems even cost thousands.
So we certainly understand why many people choose to go for cheaper, short-term fixes instead.
But it’s important to note at this point, that despite water softeners being so effective at what they do, they do have their drawbacks, such as adding too much sodium to your drinking water.
But more importantly, before you spend a load of money on a brand-new water softener, it’s important to determine whether you need one.
“Do I Need A Water Softener?” which is available on this link, tells you what level of water hardness indicates the need for a water softener, and lays out the pros and cons of using a water softener so that you can decide for yourself whether or not you need one.
Cheap And Easy Ways To Manage Hard Water Issues
Since water softeners are expensive, it’s worth learning a few tips and tricks for dealing with hard water issues, even if it’s just until you’ve saved up enough money to buy one. Check out these tips!
- Vinegar: You can treat calcium deposits around fixtures by removing them and letting them rest in either regular or distilled vinegar. The vinegar reacts with the calcium and in about an hour the deposit will be gone. Distilled vinegar will also kill mold, bacteria, and other germs.
- Lower the water temperature: Reducing your water’s temperature will delay the accumulation of mineral precipitation in your plumbing. You should also flush your boiler every so often to prevent sediment from clogging up your fixtures.
- Use Lemi-Shine (a hard water cleaning aid): You can use Lemi-shine or products like it to remove any hard water deposits on your crockery and glassware. Such products are specifically designed to withstand the positive charge of the calcium atoms, making your dishes easier to rinse off.
- Use Washing Soda For The Laundry: Washing soda typically contains sodium carbonate, and this is great for getting rid of dissolved magnesium and calcium in the water. Removing these minerals gives you softer water, which makes it easier for your laundry detergent to lather up.
- Install a Faucet-Based Water Softener: You can get water softeners that attach to your faucet or under your sink. These are typically much more affordable than whole-house water softeners.
Answers To Your Most Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Soften Water Without A Water Softener?
Boil it. Boiling drains the hard water minerals, like calcium and magnesium, to the bottom of the pot, leaving the remaining water softened and free of unwanted minerals.
Of course, this will only work for small amounts of water relative to the size of your kettle, or your largest stove-top pan.
It’s an ok fix for handwashing dishes and such, but it won’t get hard water out of your washer or your shower head.
There’s no question that a hard water supply can cause all sorts of problems in both the short and the long term, but lucky for you, there’s a range of solutions to solve the issue.
Ideally, a long-term solution would be best, but if your water supply isn’t too hard, then there’s no need to invest in an expensive whole-house water softening system.
In this instance, you may be able to get away with cheaper, short-term solutions.
The key is to find out how hard your water supply is, then decide where in your home you’re most in need of a solution. Then you can make an informed decision.