Hard water is high in dissolved calcium and magnesium minerals. Hard water is not a health risk, but a costly nuisance because of mineral buildup on fixtures and poor soap and/or detergent performance. Hard water affects all aspects of our lives.

Sources of hard water

Water is a good solvent and picks up impurities easily.  Pure water — tasteless, colorless, and odorless — is often called the universal solvent. When water is combined with carbon dioxide to form very weak carbonic acid, an even better solvent results. As water moves through soil and rock, it dissolves very small amounts of minerals and holds them in solution. Calcium and magnesium dissolved in water are the two most common minerals that make water “hard.”  The degree of hardness becomes greater as the calcium and magnesium content increases and is related to the concentration of multivalent cations dissolved in the water.

Indications of hard water

Hard water interferes with almost every cleaning task from laundering and dishwashing to bathing and personal grooming. Clothes laundered in hard water may look dingy and feel harsh and scratchy. Dishes and glasses may be spotted when dry. Hard water may cause a film on glass shower doors, shower walls, bathtubs, sinks, faucets, etc. Hair washed in hard water may feel sticky and look dull. Water flow may be reduced by deposits in pipes.

Dealing with hard water problems in the home can be a nuisance.  The amount of hardness minerals in water affects the amount of soap and detergent necessary for cleaning.  Soap used in hard water combines with the minerals to form a sticky soap curd. Some synthetic detergents are less effective in hard water because the active ingredient is partially inactivated by hardness, even though it stays dissolved.   Bathing with soap in hard water leaves a film of sticky soap curd on the skin.   The film may prevent removal of soil and bacteria. Soap curd interferes with the return of skin to its normal, slightly acid condition, and may lead to irritation. Soap curd on hair may make it dull, lifeless and difficult to manage. When doing laundry in hard water, soap curds lodge in fabric during washing to make fabric stiff and rough.  Incomplete soil removal from laundry causes graying of white fabric and the loss of brightness in colors. A sour odor can develop in clothes. Continuous laundering in hard water can shorten the life of clothes.  In addition, soap curds can deposit on dishes, bathtubs and showers, and all water fixtures.

Hard water also contributes to inefficient and costly operation of water-using appliances. Heated hard water forms a scale of calcium and magnesium minerals that can contribute to the inefficient operation or failure of water-using appliances. Pipes can become clogged with scale that reduces water flow and ultimately requires pipe replacement. Problems with red and black stains in dishwasher and dishes.

 

Testing For Hard Water

If you are on a municipal water system, the water supplier can tell you the hardness level of the water they deliver. If you have a private water supply, you can have the water tested for hardness.  

Contact us today to order a free test kit! You can also test with a homemade hardness test using soap.

Drops of Soap – Homemade Hardness Test

  1. To 12 oz or 350 mls of water add dish detergent one drop at a time

  2. Shake sample and look for suds

  3. Count the number of drops added

  4. When you see suds you are done

Classification        Drops of Soap           PPM           grains/gallon

   Soft                                         1                         00 – 17.1                     0 – 1

   Slightly Hard                      20                        17.1 – 60                   1 – 3.5

   Moderately Hard               30                        60 – 120                 3.5 – 7.0

   Hard                                      40                       120 – 180                7.0 – 10.5

   Very Hard                             50                    180 & above          10.5 & above

AkwaMag Solutions

AkwaMag makes hard water easy. Our pass-through magnetic technology neutralizes calcium lime scale at the molecular level, making it soften and lose its electrical attraction to exposed surfaces. AkwaMag provides solutions to the widespread hard water problem with two breakthrough products: the magnetic water softener and the SuRO™ system. AkwaMag softener improves water quality at 50% lower cost than salt softeners, is easy to install, and requires no maintenance. Applying to reverse osmosis (RO) and deionized water (DI) systems, AkwaMag SuRO™ increases pure water yield to 90% versus the industry standard of 50%, saving water and cost.

 

Summary

Hard water is not a health hazard, but dealing with hard water in the home can be a nuisance.The hardness (calcium and magnesium concentration) of water can be approximated with a home-use water testing kit, or can be measured more accurately with a laboratory water test. Water hardness can be most effectively managed with AkwaMag products!