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Ways ‘Hard Water’ can ruin your home

Don’t you just dread ‘housework’ when you know you have stubborn limescale deposits everywhere? All the chemical cleaners and miracle hacks in the world, just don’t cut it, or if they do work, they take a lot of time, effort and cost to make a difference – then a couple of days later the limescale is back.

Well, the solution is simple – install a water softener and limescale will be a thing of the past.

And it’s not just the limescale you can see that is the problem, oh no. Everywhere that dastardly villain hard water touches – it leaves its mark.

Cloudy surfaces – so much rubbing and scrubbing of kitchen, utility and bathroom surfaces. Whether they are marble, granite, quartz, glass, polished wood, stainless steel, laminate, tile, copper or ceramic, hard water will leave behind a deposit of limescale which will dull the surface over time on its own, without bringing harsh chemical cleaning products into the equation.

You will often see warning symbols of cleaning products to remove limescale or descalers, so why would you have these hazardous substances in your home, if you don’t have to?

Most descaling agents include acetic acid, citric acid, glycolic acid, formic acid, lactic acid, phosphoric acid, sulfamic acid or hydrochloric acid. These chemicals dissolve calcium carbonate (CaCO3) and magnesium carbonate (MgCO3) found in limescale. During this process they release carbon dioxide gas (CO2) and a soluble salt, which you then try wash away with – hard water taking you back to square one.

We all know CO2 accounts for 76% of the total greenhouse gas emissions – mostly from the burning of fossil fuel, but we all want to do our bit to reduce CO2 right?

To be more environmentally friendly, and to protect our wildlife and natural water sources, let’s flush less chemicals down the drain.

Talking of down the drain – do you have horrid black or green streaks from the cistern into and around your toilet bowl? Yes – that too is the villainous hard water’s fault. And it may mean you have a leaky loo, with water constantly trickling into the bowl. If you are on a water meter this could be costing you money as well as elbow grease to remove it.

Getting bunged up – shower heads, pipes, taps, boilers and kettles can be adversely affected with limescale especially when it’s hot water. This often results in reduced flow of water, and white goods like dishwashers and washing machines being less efficient until , ultimately, they may break down completely.

Limescale can also settle in your heating system pipes reducing the pipes overall thermal efficiency.

But hard water doesn’t just take its toll on your home, it can also have a daily impact on you.

Daily ablutions – Washing your skin and hair in hard water can result in dry skin and dull hair. With softened water your hair will feel silky and soft and look much shinier – you might also reduce the amount of shampoo and conditioner you use.

Your skin feels cleaner, smoother less irritated. That tight feeling after a shower or bath will be a distance memory. Some skin conditions, like eczema or acne, can be improved – see this BBC report about a trial for eczema sufferers or download this report from Kinetico.

And, have you noticed the soap scum ring around the sink or bath after bathing? Or inability to make a lather? This is caused by the presence of calcium ions (Ca2+) in hard water, due to rain-water flowing through rocks, gathering salts – which in the South West of England is very prevalent. Watch this quick Fuse School film which explains this phenomenon.

Add to this that your laundry, especially towels, should be brighter, whiter and depending on the quality, softer – your daily ablutions could be more like a spa day every day with a water softener.

  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Limescale
  2. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Descaling_agent
  3. https://www.c2es.org/content/international-emissions/#.
  4. https://www.wildlifetrusts.org/actions/watch-what-you-wash-away

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