First of all, you need to know what hard water actually is and how do you come to know if the water you are being supplied with is hard or not?
Hard water is water that contains high amounts of minerals, especially magnesium and calcium. This type of water is not much harmful for daily use, but the minerals might clog the drains and also might leave marks on the surfaces of marble or even the utensils in which it is being used. It might also damage our hair and skin.
But you do not need to worry. This problem can be solved in simple ways. Hard water can be softened in many ways, either by boiling or by treating it with certain chemicals.
Quick solutions for softening of hard water
There are many ways by which you can make your hard water turn soft. Here are some quick solutions to avoid hard water and its consequences:
- Replace tap water with bottled water. Quit using your tap water, but this can be damaging to the environment, so you can only use this for use on a smaller scale.
- You can easily soften the water used in the kitchen by boiling it. Boiling makes the salts settle down at the bottom of the container, and then you can get the purified water from the top in another container.
- Start using a showerhead along with the shower filters to avoid the negative impact of hard water on your skin and hair health.
- It is advised to use a good quality moisturizer after using hard water on your skin. It saves your skin from damages like drying out.
- Add some quantities of vinegar (preferably apple cider) or lemon juice to your regular shampoo. It will minus the harmful impacts of minerals on your hair and will help them grow soft.
- Use apple cider vinegar or white vinegar to clean the left marks of minerals from hard water. Vinegar has been found useful in removing the stains and spots from your fabric or floor tiles.
- If you use a dishwasher in your house, then it is useful to set a low temperature for drying the dishes. This helps to prevent the white spots from appearing on the dishes.
- Stop using hot water for washing your clothes if you have a supply of hard water. Wash your clothes with cold water because hard water has a less negative effect when in a cold state than a heated one. It reduces the chance of fading of your clothes and wrinkling.
Methods of softening water without a water softener
Here are a few methods that can help in the softening of water. These can be adopted by a common man without requiring specialized water softening equipment. Each of the following is explained in detail with reference to the use of water for different purposes.
- Softening water for kitchen
- Softening water for laundry
- Softening water for the household
1. Softening water for kitchen
The minerals dissolved in hard water affect your cooking. If you use hard water to wash the vegetables, they lose their color and freshness. They become hard and tough, which affects the texture of cooked food. You can soften water for kitchen use by the following methods.
2. Boiling the hard water
Boiling hard water can only remove temporary hardness from water. It does not work for every home, but you can try it at least once to check if it works for you. The procedure is carried out as follows:
- Take the water in a container and boil it.
- Let it cool for some time, and you will see the white minerals settled down in the bottom layer.
- You can now scoop up the topwater in a separate container leaving the minerals behind.
Buying an ion exchange filter
Get yourself a small ion exchange filter. It can help in softening the water for drinking. It does not usually remove all the contaminants from the water but makes the taste grow better. However, it can remove the contaminants if a second filter is attached to it. Soft water tastes way better than hard water, but some coffee drinkers prefer to have a coffee made from hard water.
Softening water for laundry
Hard water affects your clothes as well as the washing machine. It might block the plumbing pipes and drainage. It also wears down the water-consuming machinery and makes them expire really quickly.
Hard water can leave stains on your washed clothes, and it makes the colors fade away from them. It makes your whites look actually odd. You can use the following ways to soften the water for laundry use.
Adding water conditioners to your laundry
To avoid the consequences of hard water, use water conditioners that are nonprecipitating. These conditioners trap some of the minerals while washing. Make sure that you choose a conditioner that is nonprecipitating. This is because the precipitating ones might leave their mark on your clothes. Find yourself a good nonprecipitating conditioner and then add the second batch of it in your washing machine during the rinse cycle.
Without this, the minerals latch onto your clothes.
Using vinegar in your laundry
If you are trying to remove the stains that hard water has left on your fabrics, households, tiles, porcelain, or machinery, then try this method.
- Take some distilled white vinegar and dilute it with an equal amount of water.
- Add a few drops of it to the stains.
- Scrub thoroughly on the stains and the entire surface
- Rinse off the stains.
This works the most effective if the water is slightly hard. Otherwise it is a temporary solution for removing the stains and marks.
3. Softening water for the household
Dissolved minerals in hard water can leave soap scums on bathtubs, sinks, shower surfaces, laundry machines, floor surfaces. They can block the pipelines. It can potentially reduce the life expectancy as well as the efficiency of machinery, especially water-consuming machines.
For the entire household problems, you need to fix a water softener in your house, but if you can not have one, you can create one yourself. Otherwise, you can use the following methods.
Using bottled water
For small purposes, you can use bottled water. But bottled water will cost a lot of money and is not environmentally friendly if you want to use it for the entire household.
It is definitely a very good option if you need low quantities of water.
Using the method of reverse osmosis
Reverse osmosis can remove the unwanted minerals from water to make it soft and hence it can be used for softening purposes.
Hard water causes damages to skin, hair, and if prolonged, then it might also cause some serious health problems. It also affects your daily household items. Hence you need to use soft water. Use these methods and get easy access to soft water.