Water is crucial for life – not only do we need to drink water day to day to live, but a lack of water can cause numerous health and skin problems. From acne and dehydration to muscle cramps and other problems, many common complaints can be improved simply by making sure to drink more water.
Many people in the world don’t necessarily have this option; in fact, the majority of the world’s population is deprived of clean drinking water, which can lead to more severe health problems.
Luckily, countries like the UK and the US are blessed with this precious gift of nature. But did you know that there are two types of water available for our daily use? Do you use water that comes from municipal resources? If yes, then you might have hard water.
Hard water and soft water are different and leave a different impact on our daily life. Many of us, unless we have a rainwater tank, are using hard water in our daily lives, which affects our health.
We’ll explore how hard water is affecting your everyday life – perhaps without you even noticing. But first, let’s get an understanding of the differences between hard and soft water.
Hard water is the term commonly used for water that contains a high level of calcium and magnesium. The term was coined by European settlers in America when they encountered difficulties in washing and other chores they might usually use water for. They noticed that soap would not lather correctly and that an unwanted substance became encrusted on the things they were washing. So they eventually called it hard water.
It is the opposite of hard water. Softwater is safe for drinking, easy to digest, and contains the exact amount of suitable nutritious components for health. It does not have excessive calcium and magnesium substances.
Read the hard vs soft water comparison in detail.
Eight Ways Hard Water Impacts Your Daily Life
If we use hard water is used in our daily lives, it has an impact. Here are the eight effects of hard water.
1. Effects on the water storage tank and tankless water heaters:
We store water in the tanks, and for warm water, it is stored in tankless water heaters. According to numerous studies, water heater units work more efficiently if soft water is used compared to hard water.
The water tank efficiency is reduced in some cases by more than 48% when hard water is used. The hard water also decreases the heating unit’s life span by more than 1.6 years as compared to soft water.
2. Effects on Soap and detergents:
Soap and detergents react negatively when combined with hard water. Because hard water is already filled with many components, the detergent is inhibited from reacting in the way it’s designed to.
It eventually means washing clothes and dishes becomes more difficult. On the other hand, when soap or detergent is mixed with soft water, it is easy to create a rich, foamy lather, and you may need less soap and detergent for the washing process.
3. Effecting dishes and utensils:
When detergent and soap do not dissolve properly in water, it eventually has an effect on your utensils. Not only this, but also the magnesium and calcium found in hard water is also tough on dishwasher components, and dishes do not wash properly.
You might have noticed that sometimes when you take dishes out of the dishwasher they seem to be covered in a white film, hard to wash away. This is all due to hard water.
4. Effects on hair and skin:
If our clothes and dishes are being affected, how is it possible that our body is not? If you experience dry hair and dry skin issues, it can be due to the effects of hard water. Skin problems like itching, dryness, and dandruff can all be due to the use of hard water. As a result, you may need to use more moisturizer for your skin and conditioner for hair.
According to a study, soft water makes your skin smooth and clean, while hard water does not. When people were asked to wash their face with soft waters, and then with their regular water, they claimed to feel like soap was not coming off. This is because they have never felt such softness on their face before.
By contrast, when you wash with hard water, you may feel like soap has washed off the skin because of the resistant feeling you get when you wash your face, but in reality, hard water forms a layer on top of the skin.
The calcium and magnesium in hard water react with fatty acids in soap and stop your skin from being cleaned effectively. Hard water also affects your hair, effectively building up a layer of limescale. This causes itchiness, dryness, and might result in hair loss.
5. Effects on plumbing and water appliances:
Hard water causes scaling on water-using appliances, such as kettles, and it speeds up the rusting process. The scaling causes loss of efficiency and appliance breakdowns.
For example, it affects the heating coils in coffee makers, and it clogs the holes and water passages in washing machines, faucets, and dishwashers. The scaling can affect the water flow in pipes in just a few years.
6. Effects on Clothes:
When you wash your clothes in hard water, it affects the fabrics. The rough molecules of calcium and magnesium damage it badly. So you might get torn or worn-through clothes sooner than expected.
7. Time efficiency:
While it is not only difficult to wash and clean with hard water, it also takes longer, causing long-term effects on time efficiency.
When you get torn clothes, malfunctioning appliances, and rusty faucets, all this eventually means spending more on these products. This is costly both long-term and short-term. If your skin and hair are affected, you will need to spend more on conditioners and lotions and might have to visit a dermatologist.
Hard water affects our lives in many ways, many of them negative. So it is better to use soft water instead as much as possible. There are lots of water filters such as, faucet water filters, whole house filters, water softeners, and much more available in the market that treat hard water and make it fit for daily usage.