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Hard Water Symptoms: Is Your Home Suffering From Hard Water?

Hard water is a problem that affects millions of homes in America. In fact, it is estimated that hard water is present in 85%of homes in America according to the Chicago Tribune and a U.S. Geological Survey. Although hard water is not a life or death problem, it can cause serious issues within your homes plumbing systems.

If you have never had your home tested, you may want to be on the lookout for these four signs that your home has hard water:

1. Spots or a Filmy Residue on Dishes

Hard water contains several minerals that interact with items that are submerged and washed in the affected water. This interaction often leaves behind white spots or a filmy residue that just won't go away—no matter how much you wash them. It may also leave behind rings or stains in your bathtub or shower.

2. Dirty or Scratchy Clothes

Even after washing your clothes, you may notice that they just don't smell clean—or look clean. You may even notice that white or bright clothing is dull after washing. Sometimes, you may even notice white clothing becoming discolored to a dull yellow or grey color.

The clothing you wash may also be quite scratchy or itchy—even after using a softening agent. In severe hard water, you may also notice a musky or pungent smell in clothing after they have been washed.

3. Stubborn Soap Scum

Soap scum is usually a sign that your bathtub needs cleaning. However, stubborn soap scum may indicate that you have hard water. The stubborn scum occurs because the minerals in the water lodge themselves on porcelain surfaces and collect soap. Cleaning will rectify the issue, but it is only a temporary fix.

4. Dry Skin and Hair

Hard water can also affect your body. The minerals in hard water make it difficult to remove soap, shampoo, and oily residues from the skin. After washing yourself, you will probably feel "squeaky" clean and dry. After showering, you may notice that your hair and skin is dry—no matter how much moisturizer you apply.

The Solution to Hard Water

If you have noticed any of these signs in your home, you should get your water tested. You can purchase a test kit at a home improvement store or consult a local plumber. If it turns out you do have hard water, don't fret. You can eliminate the hard water in your home by installing a water softener. To learn more, contact a company like Benjamin Franklin Plumbing with any questions or concerns you have.