5 Simple Hard Water Treatments

Hard water can have devastating effects on plumbing, water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, and other household appliances.

By: Alex VanScoy

Hard water – and we don’t mean ice – is a common issue faced by homeowners and renters in high sediment areas. Water is considered “hard” when high levels of dissolved minerals are found within its makeup. When that water evaporates, it leaves behind the mineral deposits on the surface. These deposits are referred to as hard water stains.

A common misconception about hard water is that it is unhealthy. But in fact, it can actually help increase your intake of daily-recommended minerals and prevent disease – nature’s “one-a-day.” Although hard water is not a problem for the human body, it can have devastating effects on plumbing, hot water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, and many other household appliances.

The most annoying hard water problem is that it leaves white residue on dishes, glassware, and sinks. In addition to making your dishes and sink dirtier, hard water buildup also reduces the lifespan of plumbing systems and contributes to problems such as rusting, reduced effectiveness of cleaning agents, and scale accumulation in pipes. This scale accumulation stemming from hard water buildup can also result in water heaters and plumbing systems using more energy, in turn costing more money in the long run for you.

Although hard water is not a problem for the human body, it can have devastating effects on plumbing, hot water heaters, dishwashers, washing machines, and many other household appliances."However, there are also a few other hard water treatment options you can try out in your home.

Here a few hard water treatment options you can try out in your home.


Since the majority of hard water is calcium, it is highly reactive with acids like vinegar.

Place small fixtures that are covered in buildup into a bowl of hot, all-natural vinegar to dissolve the calcium deposit in about an hour. Another common hard water treatment recommendation for white film and spot problems on your appliances is using distilled vinegar. This will kill mold, bacteria, germs, and help clean dishware through regular wash cycles.

You may also notice a build-up of soap scum from hard water that vinegar can help get rid of. A simple rinsing with 1-part apple cider vinegar and 3-parts filtered water will do the trick.


Not many people realize that running hot water through the hot water heater contributes to hard water stains and mineral buildup. This is due to the mineral precipitation process that takes place in the hottest part of the plumbing system. Over time, the hot water heater will accumulate scale from hard water buildup. Reducing the temperature of the heater will help delay the accumulation.

It is also important to flush the heater every so often to keep sediment from clogging up the fixture. In areas with hard water, this is especially problematic as it contributes to the amount of time it takes for your hot water heater to accumulate unnecessary junk at the bottom of the tank.


Ever notice with hard water, you usually have to use extra soap for it to foam? This is because soap molecules are negatively charged on one end to help the molecule dissolve in water.

The other end of the molecule works to keep oil particles suspended in the water. Hard water works against the molecule because it contains positively charged calcium atoms. The two form a bond with no charge, rendering the soap molecule unable to dissolve.

To help get rid of hard water deposits on dishes and glassware, use a product similar to Lemi-Shine. Products like this work to treat years of hard water buildup, stains, and film. Products that are specifically formulated for hard water are made to withstand the positive charge of the calcium atoms so that soap can be rinsed off easily.


As mentioned above, it is important to treat hard water buildup on appliances. This rule applies to pipe systems as well. Over time, calcified buildup becomes hard to remove. We recommend cleaning pipes and appliances regularly to keep from having to replace them too soon with simple appliance cleaning solutions that are available from many brands. These solutions include cleaners that are acidic, abrasive, chlorine-based, and more to help with hard water problems.

As mentioned above, vinegar is an inexpensive substitute for some more expensive packaged appliance cleaners. For smaller appliances such as coffee makers, run two cups of strong white vinegar water through them on a regular basis to help prevent hard water buildup. This will ensure that it’s being cleaned thoroughly in areas that are hard to reach and will keep tea and coffee tasting great while lengthening the lifespan of the appliance.


For the long-term, comprehensive protection for pipes and all appliances against hard water, the best thing to do is invest in a descaler. The Aquasana Whole House Salt-Free Water Conditioner is the healthier choice for the human body, as it will not expose the immune system to the unneeded salt.

Different from a traditional salt-based water  softener, this effective softening substitute tackles typical hard water problems using proven salt-free Scale Control Media (SCM) technology designed to prevent scale formation and protect plumbing from corrosion. 

So how does SCM technology work and why do we emphasize that our system is “salt-free”?

SCM technology alters the structure of the hard minerals into a crystal structure that prevents the minerals from binding and forming scale buildup. Unlike salt-based water softeners, Aquasana SCM technology will not demineralize your water nor will it negatively affect the environment by adding excessive amounts of sodium into our communal water system. 

Furthermore, using our Salt-Free Water Conditioner means you won’t need to worry about purchasing heavy salt bags and doing complicated and frequent replacements (most water softeners need new salt every 6-8 weeks). In fact, our Salt-Free Water Conditioner is incredibly low maintenance, as it does not require electricity or wastewater drainage and the system lasts for 6 years. As a testament to the quality of our system, it comes with a 6 year warranty. 

Take a look at our Salt-Free Water Conditioner to learn how it can help get rid of hard water problems including scale buildup on plumbing, stains on dishes, and calcification that shortens the life of frequently used appliances such as your washing machine and dishwasher.