5 Simple Hard Water Solutions
A Salt-Free Solution
A common household pest that simply won’t go away – hard water – and we don’t mean ice. It 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 isn’t healthy. In many ways, it can actually help prevent disease and strengthen your intake of daily-recommended mineral values – 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 quality of hard water is that white residue on dishes, glassware, and sinks. Hard water reduces the life span of plumbing systems and contributes to problems such as rusting, reduced effectiveness of cleaning agents, and scale buildup in pipes.
Additionally, scale accumulation stemming from the buildup can result in water heaters and plumbing systems using more energy, in turn costing more money in the long run.
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.
Here are a few solutions to hard water in the 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 recommendation for white film and spot problems on your appliances is using distilled vinegar. It will not only kill mold, bacteria, and germs, it will also clean dish-ware through regular wash cycles.
You may also notice a build-up of soap scum from hard water that vinegar can help with. 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 at the hottest part of the plumbing system. Over time, the hot water heater will accumulate scale. 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.
3. Rinse Aid
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 minimize hard water deposits on dishes and glassware, use a product similar to Lemi-Shine. Products like this work to remove 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.
4. Appliance cleaners
As mentioned above, it is important to remove buildup on appliances. This rule applies to piping systems as well. Over time, calcified buildup becomes hard to remove. Clean pipes and appliances regularly to keep from having to replace them too soon with simple appliance cleaning solutions that are offered from many brands. These solutions include cleaners that are acidic, abrasive, chlorine-based, and more.
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. 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.
5. AQUASANA SALT FREE Softener
For long term, comprehensive protection for pipes and all appliances, the best thing to do is invest in a descaler. The Aquasana Salt-Free Descaler is the healthier choice for the human body, as it will not expose the immune system to the unneeded salt.
More than just a softener, this effective softening substitute tackles typical hard water problems using proven salt-free SCM technology designed to prevent scale formation and protect plumbing from corrosion. 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 SimplySoft 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.