It stains your bath and taps, makes your hair dull and flat and eats away at your monthly budget: hard water is the root cause of many problems faced by homeowners across the UK.
But what exactly is hard water and why is it so much of a problem?
How is hard water formed?
Hard water is produced when natural, soft rainwater passes through limestone underground on its way to wells and reservoirs. Mineral compounds such as calcium (Ca) and magnesium (Mg) dissolve into the water and the presence of these ions hardens it.
Water is commonly known as the ‘universal solvent’; however, the addition of these minerals changes the property of water by reducing its ability to form a solution with solutes such as washing detergents and shampoos.
Hard water is visible in the following ways:
- Your shampoo doesn’t lather well, the bubbles created by your foaming bath soak disappear quickly.
- Soap residue is left in your bath and shower.
- Your skin is dryer due to the soap residue left after washing.
- Limescale deposits can be seen in your kettle.
Levels of water hardness range from slightly hard to very hard. The hardness levels of your water supply depend on where you live in the UK and the types of rock that make up the landscape around your home.
Do you live in a hard water area?