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 already know that your water supply is hard. If you don’t already know whether or not you have hard water.
We strongly recommend that you check out some of our other articles, such as the one titled “How To Test Water Hardness”, which is available on this link.
Please feel free to scroll ahead to any section that jumps out at you. Here goes.
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 sorts the problem out right at the source in your plumbing, rather than dealing with the issues that arise only once the hard water has passed through the plumbing.
For those of you who don’t already know what a water softener is, it’s basically a filtration system that’s connected to your plumbing, which filters all the calcium and magnesium minerals out of the water.
So that the only water that passes through is soft water that is completely free of calcium and magnesium.
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 can even cost thousands.
So we can 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.
But more importantly, before you go ahead and spend a load of money on a brand new water softener, it’s important to determine whether you really need one.
To that end, we strongly recommend that you read our article titled “Do I Need A Water Softener?” which is available on this link.
This article will tell you what level of water hardness indicates the need for a water softener, and it will lay out all the pros and cons of using a water softener, so that you can decide for yourself whether or not to invest your money in one.
Cheap And Easy Ways To Manage Hard Water Issues
Since water softeners are so 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 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 yourself a water softener that attaches to your faucet, or ones that go under your sink. These are typically much more affordable than regular, whole house water softeners.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Can I Soften Water Without A Water Softener?
I’m very pleased to report that you can, in fact, soften water without the aid of an expensive water softener. All you have to do is boil it.
The boiling will have the effect of draining the hard water minerals to the bottom, including the likes of calcium and magnesium, thus leaving the remaining water softened and free of unwanted minerals.
Of course, this will only work for relatively small amounts of water relative to the size of your kettle, or your largest stove-top pan.
So it’s an ok fix for doing the dishes and such, but it won’t help you 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 whole range of possible ways to deal with 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.
I guess the real key here is to find out just how hard your water supply is, and decide where in your plumbing that you’re most sorely in need of a solution. Then you can move forward.