Here are some basic science facts to begin with.
Water covers around 71% of the Earth’s surface, out of which 3% is fresh. But is the entire 3% available to us? No.
Only 0.5% of the Earth’s fresh water is available for us. Such a meager amount is also divided into hard and soft water, adding to humanity’s troubles.
Even though hard water is not necessarily a catastrophe for our health, it has other disadvantages.
Let us look at the major cons of using hard water in your day-to-day life.
What is Hard Water?
To understand its drawbacks, it is necessary to learn the constituents of hard water.
Hard water is nothing but water loaded with calcium, magnesium, and manganese. It is formed when the water filters through sulfates, limestones, and chalk.
The most common source of hard water is groundwater.
In India, hard water is majorly found in Gujarat, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, and Rajasthan.
Disadvantages of Hard Water
Even though hard water can be consumed for drinking to an extent, it has other drawbacks, like the following:
When you try to create foam using hard water and soap, you will see no lather. This is due to the contents of hard water. It contains Ca+2 and Mg+2 ions that precipitate with the soap. This makes it difficult to lather on the skin.
If you try to bathe or wash your clothes with hard water, you might not be able to get the required foam.
If the hard water is unfiltered, it might taste like chalk or chemicals. This is due to the minerals present in the water.
However, you can get rid of it by filtering it.
Leads to Clogging
The minerals present in hard water are too small and minute to clog your pipes and drains. But when they react with soap, it forms a scum that hardens with time. This leads to physical and solid blockages in the pipes and drains along with garbage disposal.
It can disrupt the function of the pipes and lead to water dripping in your walls, mold growth, and indoor flooding. In addition to that, it can also lead to reduced water pressure.
Deteriorates Laundry Quality
Along with no lather, your laundry won’t feel wholly cleaned with hard water. The residue will fade your clothes and also make them hard and brittle.
Hard water can leave residue and brown stains on your utensils, especially on stainless steel. This is due to the high mineral content.
Even though your utensils will be cleaned, they will appear dirty.
Apart from utensils, hard water can also leave behind some stains on toilets and faucets. These stains might be difficult to get rid of.
Decreased Durability of Appliances
Due to the residue left behind by hard water, your geysers, dishwashers, and washing machines might corrode earlier than usual. This means you will have to spend more money in getting them either repaired or replaced.
Due to its mineral content, hard water can leave your skin dry and itchy. As it does not lather with soap, your skin will also feel “unclean” even after washing it.
If you have sensitive skin, hard water might not be the best option. It can trigger acne, eczema, or psoriasis,
As it will strip the natural oil and moisture from your skin, it will look dehydrated and dull.
It goes without saying that when hard water affects your skin, your hair gets affected as well.
The calcium and magnesium present in hard water prevent the penetration of moisture in the hair strands. This leaves the hair dry and brittle.
The minerals leave crystals in your scalp and render the shampoos and conditioners useless. Even if you buy the most branded and expensive shampoos, it will not make your hair soft till you use hard water.
It increases the frizziness of the hair and reduces its volume. Lastly, it can also cause infections, dandruff, and bacterial growth in the scalp.
Long-term Effect on Organs
If you consume hard water for an extended period, i.e., years, it might lead to kidney dysfunction. Studies also show that hard water can worsen calcium stones (type of kidney stones) due to its presence of calcium.
Treatments for Hard Water
As hard water won’t necessarily affect your health, you can still try the following solutions:
Invest in Water Softening System
A water softening system will convert the hard water to soft water as soon as it reaches your house water supply. Even though this investment might be heavy on the pocket, it is the most reliable treatment for hard water.
Go for Faucet or Under-Sink Softener
If the first method is too expensive, you can go for a faucet or under-sink softener. The installation charges are low and get the work done.
Remove the Stains with Apple Cider Vinegar
The stains on utensils, faucets, sinks, and toilets can be removed with apple cider vinegar. Mix equal parts of apple cider vinegar and water and spray it on the stains. Leave it for a few minutes and clean it with a cotton cloth.
Dealing with hard water can be difficult. But effective solutions can make it easier. If you have money to spend, go for a water softening system covering the entire house. If not, you can invest in a faucet or under-sink softener.
After completing this graduation in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Manipal University in 2013, Ankit began rummaging the current Indian market of technology and science. At apolloedoc, Ankit’s job profile consists of cumulating, researching, testing, and verifying products related to tech.
He has a knack for details and catches even the tiniest advantages and flaws that can make or break the product. Since last year, he has been writing for apolloedoc and has been our knight in shining armour when reviewing home appliances.
Ankit’s favourite pastimes consist of jamming onto his guitar with a couple of friends and constantly updating and learning new things! He is also a big-time pet lover and has a cute little pug named Oreo back in Chandigarh. He has bagged many achievements in his college by participating in multiple extracurricular activities.
Writing is something that comes to Ankit naturally. He has his own blog where he posts about coding languages and even provides coaching to students from 12th grade to 2nd year of college. At apolloedoc, Ankit beautifully showcases his knack for the written word by lucidly explaining information in an unbiased way.