Hard water – you must be aware of this term, but unless you haven’t witnessed what hard water actually is, you wouldn’t really know about it! For homeowners living in areas of hard water supply, things can be troublesome. Now, hard water doesn’t have any side effects or dangers to the health but it brings other troubles with it.

What is hard water?

Hard water doesn’t look like anything other than normal water. However, what sets it apart is that it has a high amount of minerals and metals like calcium and magnesium.

Now, the high amount of these minerals impedes the ability of water to react with soaps or detergents and it doesn’t make any soapsuds or foam with soaps and detergents. Thus, it is tough to clean dishes and laundry with hard water.

Also, hard water leads to an excessive buildup of scale in pipelines, taps, and water systems.

So, with this, you can tell that the two major signs of hard water are lack of foam and more scaling on water systems and water fittings. If you’re not aware of the type of water supply in your region and want to know for sure whether your water is hard or not, you can conduct a number of tests.

These tests can be conducted to know the level of hardness of your water and the corrective measures that can be taken to make it better. Now, how to look for signs of hard water? Let us have a look at the different methods that you can use to test the hardness of your water:

The Soap Method

liquid soap


This method is a quick one and is based on the amount of soapsuds made. Basically, what you need to do is take a clear bottle that can hold about 12 ounces of water and has a cap.

Fill the bottle with water – 12 ounces of it – and then add 10 drops of liquid soap in it. Put the bottle cap on and shake the bottle briskly. When you open the bottle, if you see a lot of suds to the top of it, your water is soft.

However, if there are very less suds, keep adding 10-10 more drops of soap to the water until you get a lot of suds. This will give you a rough estimate of your water’s hardness. Generally, it is seen that if the suds are created using 20 drops of soap, the water is slightly hard. 10 more drops, and it is moderately hard, followed by hard, and then very hard.

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This is the quickest and easiest method to know the hardness levels of your water. If the water is very hard, you need to look for corrective measures to make the water soft. This will ensure better soap foam for better cleaning of dishes and clothes.

The other thing to look for is the transparency of water after the soap is dissolved in it. If the water left beneath the soapsuds is clear and transparent, the water is soft. However, if milky or cloudy water is left behind, it is surely very hard.

Please note that the results from this method might not be very accurate and may vary from soap to soap.

Looking for signs of hard water around the house

hard water house

You can determine if your water is hard or not by looking for the signs of hard water around the house. First off, check if there are scales or white residues of water on your taps, sinks, and other fittings. If yes then your water is hard.

The scales and residues are left because of the high amount of minerals and metals present in hard water. These get stuck on your plumbing and also lead to accumulation of scales inside your water supply pipes. Thus, gradually, the water supply is reduced and impeded, ultimately leading to blockage.

Water residues or the ‘whiteness’ of hard water can also be seen on the clothes that you wash. They get dull and stiff after being washed in hard water. Also, as detergents don’t dissolve with hard water, they are also accumulated as a layer on the clothes, damaging them.

The white residue of hard water is also seen on dishes.

To avoid such situations, water softening solutions like installing a water softener must be taken help from secureaqua.com

Using testing strips

water testing

You can also check the hardness of your water and the levels of hardness using testing strips. These strips can be provided by a water company or at shops that sell water softeners.

The strips are available like pH strips and can be tested by dipping them in water. The change of color of the strip signals the hardness of water. Different colors are assigned for different hardness levels.

This is one of the most accurate methods of testing your water for hardness. Using the strips is easy as they come with a guide that will help you test your water in an efficient manner.

Read more: Why is USIC at my house

What to do if the water is hard?

Hard water doesn’t pose any threat to health. However, continuous usage of very hard water is not good for the skin and hair. Also, hard water leads to increased cost of plumbing as it reduces the life of your fittings.

Hard water leaves scales that accumulate inside water pipes, blocking them from the inside. To have an unstoppable water supply, you need to install a water softener.

A water softener works to decrease the amount of minerals and metals in the water and make it soft again! So, if you’re seeing any signs of hard water in your house, and if you think you’re using very hard water, a water softener must be installed with the help of a water company.

If you check and find out that your water is slightly hard or moderately hard, there is no need for a water softener, as such. So, test your water, look for the signs, and make the decision on whether you need water softening solutions or not.

If yes, contact your nearest water company and get it installed to save your plumbing, clothes, dishes, and washing areas from all the scales, build-up, and accumulation that hard water brings with it!

Read more: Electronic water conditioner treatment for hard water

How to Determine If Your Area Has Hard Water Supply was last modified: March 29th, 2022 by Jessica Demore
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