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How do I Know If I Have Hard Water?

January 30, 2024
Thaddeus Ducker
Read Time
3 minutes

Whether you have city water or well water, there is a good chance you have hard water and the challenges that come with it. You may be experiencing dirty dishes even after they’ve been run through the dishwasher, or your shampoo isn’t lathering like it used to. Before you blame your appliances or start searching for a new shampoo, make sure it isn’t your water! So, how do you know if you have hard water? There are some telltale signs, but you can also test it at home, just to be sure!

What is hard water?

Hard water is water with a high level of minerals suspended in it, namely calcium and magnesium. While these minerals are not exactly dangerous, they do create a scale that can build up on your pipes, appliances, and even your hair and skin!

What are the signs of hard water?

In the United States, 85% of the water used is hard water, there is a good chance you have it! You can also tell if you are experiencing any of the following:

  • Feeling a residue on your skin after washing hands or bathing
  • Seeing soap scum on dishes and/or the necessity of more soap or detergent to clean household items
  • Noticing buildup of a white residue in appliances like dishwashers, water heaters, and pipes. Even coffee pots can experience scale buildup.
  • Experiencing dry, coarse hair that may be thinning or breaking, and hair color that fades quickly.
  • Expensive products seem to be “wasted,” as hard water continues to impact their effectiveness.
  • Clogging of pores in the skin, leading to acne, eczema, and other common problems. And
  • Minor health risks including:
  • Differing skin issues
  • Diarrhea

DIY Water Test

After reading the list, you may already suspect that you have hard water. But just to make sure, there is an easy DIY test you can do in the comfort of your own home! All you need is a clear water bottle with a cap and some pure liquid soap. It is important that the soap you use does not contain any detergents, dyes, or perfumes, as this will impact the accuracy of the test. First, fill the bottle from any faucet in your home about ⅓ of the way. Then, add a few drops of your soap and shake it like a polaroid picture (pretty forcefully). If the water looks clear and contains a good amount of bubbles, congratulations! You are in the 15% of the US that has soft water. If the water is cloudy and contains minimal bubbles, you have confirmed your suspicions of having hard water. If you aren’t willing to rely on the soap test, you can also purchase hard water test strips from various online retailers or home improvement stores. They can cost anywhere from $5-$20.

The downfall of these at home water test is that they can tell you if you have hard water, but fail to show the hardness level, and what minerals your water contains. This information is important when trying to figure out a solution.

recently installed faucet for a reverse osmosis water system

Water Treatment Options For Every Home

At Leaf Home Water Solutions, we offer the most comprehensive selection of water treatment products anywhere. With conditioning, filtration, softening, and more, our team is able to correct water chemistry in homes with municipal water and private wells alike.

I Have Hard Water. Now What?

Contact Leaf Home Water Solutions for a fast and FREE water test. A member of our team will scientifically sample and assess your water, so we will be able to show you exactly what is in it. Once we have the results, we’ll also be able to present a solution for your unique situation!

About Leaf Home Water Solutions

We strive to present a custom solution for your home, with your needs and budgets in mind. Backed by the strength of one of North America’s largest home improvement companies, you can feel reassured that you are working with the best team and getting the best products available on the market. With a distinguished digital water test and systems designed to meet the needs of your home, you can feel confident that you and your family are getting the crispest, purest water possible. Plus, our friendly customer service team is always ready to help should any issues arise down the road. Protect your home and family from the effects of hard water and get a custom solution today!

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