How To Soften Hard Water – 7 Effective Hard Water Treatment Ideas

Hard water is a nuisance that can be tricky to deal with, even for those with tons of experience. Whilst it isn’t something that can cause any major damage to human health.

How To Soften Hard Water - 7 Effective Hard Water Treatment Ideas

It is certainly an issue that can be costly if left for too long, as well as one that can be extremely irritating. But what exactly is hard water, and how can it be treated?

In this guide, we are going to be looking at seven particular ways that you can try and treat hard water naturally in your home. We are also going to have a look at the benefits of a water softener as well. Let’s get started.

What Is Hard Water?

Hard water is a common issue that occurs due to minerals- the major two that cause hard water being calcium and magnesium- being absorbed into the water in your home.

This happens when the water in your area travels over rocks, taking deposits of gypsum, limestone or chalk with it, all of which are largely made up of magnesium and calcium sulfates, carbonates and bicarbonates.

Some of the issues that can crop up from hard water include the following:

  • Rust Stains: High mineral content in water can cause porcelain to stain with rust over time, which can leave your pristine bathroom and/or kitchen looking less than impressive.
  • An Excessive Buildup Of Scale: Scale buildup and deposits can become prominent in your plumbing when you are dealing with hard water, such as limescale. If you aren’t sure as to what scale looks like, be on the lookout for a tough, whitish scale with a hard texture that isn’t easy to wipe away. 
  • Clothes That Are Dingy After Washing: Calcium and magnesium tends to leave a dingy film behind when combined with soap, so if hard water is used in your washing machine it can lead to clothing that looks dull- and sometimes just plain dirty- after washing. 
  • Fading Colors: As well as leaving behind dull residue, hard water can also cause colors on clothing to fade. 
  • Loss of Absorbency: Towels that are put in to wash with hard water can lose their absorbency over time and eventually become unusable.
  • Non Lathering Soap: As mentioned, the reaction between calcium and magnesium ions can lead to a dingy film. When combined with bars of soap, it will cause soap scum rather than lather. 
  • Dull Hair: Because of this reaction between soap and the ions in hard water, your hair will not get the refreshing wash you expect. Instead, you might find that your hair is turning dull over time because of the hard water in your plumbing. 

Treating Hard Water

These are just a few of the issues that can occur thanks to hard water making its way into the plumbing in your home, but there are various ways that you can go about treating it.

The first thing that is likely to spring to mind is a water softener, but there are other ways that you can try and help with the problem too. With this in mind, let’s take a look at seven ways that you can naturally treat hard water in your home.

1. Boil Your Water Before Use

Boiling your water is only suitable for dealing with what is known as “temporary” hard water. This means that the hard water is mostly made up of calcium bicarbonate.

Boiling your water will lead to a dissolution of these minerals, removing the calcium content and leading to softer water.

Whilst it does not solve the problem of “permanent” hardness- relating to water with both magnesium and calcium content- it can make a difference if your problem is not particularly severe.

2. Distilled White Vinegar

This kind of white vinegar is excellent when it comes to getting rid of some of the residue left behind by hard water, thanks to its high acid content.

This acid is able to neutralize the alkaline in the calcium content, which is the main offender when it comes to the marks and stains left behind from hard water.

Make sure to put some elbow grease into it with some hard scrubbing, and don’t forget to leave the vinegar to soak for a while for the best results.

3. The Appropriate Cleaning Products

Having the right cleaning products is essential for hard water issues, and thankfully there are a wide range of products available for hard water staining due to how common the problem is.

These products are a great short term solution when it comes to cleaning, but you’ll need something more in order to stop the issue of hard water all together.

4. Sodium Bicarbonate Or Washing Soda When Washing Clothes

Sodium bicarbonate- found in washing soda- can remove the magnesium and calcium within hard water. It is also soluble when put into water, allowing for detergent to lather and clean your clothes more effectively.

5. Water Filters On Taps

Another solution that could help with the problem of hard water is having water filters fitted to your taps. Filters allow for water that is able to lather soap much easier, which is bound to lead to improvements in your dishes, sinks and other areas.

  6. Water Softening Products

There are also products that you can find to pop in your washing machine in order to make your detergent go further, which should lead to cleaner and softer clothes.

7. A Water Softener!

Of course, the final option we have to talk about is a water softener. A water softener is able to solve all the problems caused by hard water in a permanent way, rather than some of the temporary solutions that we have talked about here.

It is likely to be the most effective way to deal with hard water, though the other solutions we have mentioned are great ways of holding back the problems whilst you are saving up or waiting for your water softener to be installed.

The Benefits Of A Water Softener

The Benefits Of A Water Softener

Whilst we are on the subject, let’s take a quick look at the general benefits of a water softener:

  • Saves You Money in the Long Run
  • Soft, Clean Clothes
  • Fewer Stains on Your Sinks and Utensils 
  • Better Hair and Skin
  • Save on Time Spent Cleaning
  • Takes Away Any Unpleasant Tastes in Water

These are just a few of the numerous benefits of utilizing a water softener!

Final Thoughts

So there you have some methods of naturally softening water as well as some tips as to how to go about cleaning up the issues that hard water can leave behind.

The most effective method of softening water and avoiding these problems is to simply invest in a water softener. However, this isn’t always easy for everyone, as softeners can be a bit pricey.

Some of the tips that we have mentioned here can be helpful for those who might need to wait a little before they can get a water softener. Hopefully, our guide has given you some useful tips when it comes to softening the water in your home.

Mandy Anderson