Problems with hard water and how to overcome them

Many people have encountered the term “hard water” many times but still aren’t sure what it actually is. If water is deemed to be “hard”, this means it has a higher concentration of certain chemicals and minerals than “soft” water. These minerals include magnesium and calcium.

Can I turn hard water into soft water?

Water softening solutions are often used to reduce these concentrations and produce “soft water”. This type of water normally has higher concentrations of salt or sodium. It’s not normally easy to tell whether water is “hard” or “soft” just by glancing at it. However, hard water can feel different and do certain things to items like plates and cups.

Signs you’re in a hard water area

If you feel film on your hands after you’ve handled cups, plates and other items that you have washed, you may be receiving hard water from your taps. This film is created when soap reacts with calcium. You may also see spots on your glassware and silverware. These spots are normally calcium carbonate deposits. Another sign that you’re sourcing hard water from your taps is mineral stains. You might see them on your clothes after they’ve been through the washing machine. Low water pressure can be another symptom of hard water and can be caused by mineral deposits in your pipes which shrink them and result in reduced water flow.

How do I know if I am receiving soft water?

If you’re receiving soft water, your clothes may appear cleaner. They may be free of mineral stains and may last longer. You may experience little or no problems with water pressure, but you might be met with a slight sodium taste when you drink tap water. Thankfully, there aren’t any big health risks attached to drinking hard water. It can dry out your skin and hair, and your scalp may become itchy if you regularly wash your hair with hard water. The pH balance of the skin can be altered by hard water and make it more vulnerable to infections, especially if you have eczema. Water softening systems may help if you do live in a hard water area and wish to prevent these issues.

Are there any advantages to hard water?

Hard water can deliver some benefits. It can provide you with your recommended daily amount of calcium and magnesium. Some have claimed that it may help your cardiovascular system, though this hasn’t been supported by strong evidence. If you do receive soft water through your tap, you may wish to source your recommended intake of calcium and magnesium by changing your diet or taking a multivitamin.

If you have high blood pressure, it may not be wise to try and soften hard water. People with soft water who are worried about their sodium intake can swap tap water for bottled water. The vast majority of people can consume both soft and hard water without experiencing any serious side effects. A softening system can help if you do wish to reduce your intake of hard water.

Contact us

If you need advice on hard water and how to overcome it, talk to Ability. Get in touch by calling us on 0800 889015, completing the form on our website or

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