Hard water stains can completely ruin the look of a nice looking kitchen or bathroom. Not only are they unsightly, but they’re an indicator that your water supply isn’t up to par. Not to mention, if left unchecked, it could create calcium build-up and other damage.
Luckily, there are several ways to combat these issues and keep your home looking like new. If you’re having hard water problems, this guide has the answers!
What Causes Hard Water Deposits?
Water with high mineral content inside of it like chalk, limestone, calcium, sulfate, and magnesium carbonate. The presence of these types of elements creates “hard” water.
Thankfully, hard water isn’t harmful to your health, but it can cause calcium to build-up on your appliances. You’ll know when your home has hard water because it’ll leave behind mineral deposits. Surfaces like tile, fiberglass, chrome, stainless steel, china, enamel, and porcelain are prone to those hideous white stains.
You may also notice spots on your bathroom and kitchen sinks. There are also different looks to water residue. Manganese stains are brownish or black in color, while iron-rich water is red or white.
Furthermore, if there are green or blue stains, it’s an indicator that your water is acidic and could erode copper or brass pipes.
Issues Caused by Hard Water
Although hard water is manageable and not harmful, it definitely causes problems. It’s one of those things that you shouldn’t deal with if you don’t have to. Here are some common hard water issues:
Wear and Tear on Clothing
Washing clothes in hard water strips the coloring and makes them looking dingy. It alters the softness of the fabric and makes it feel rough. With that type of damage, it shortens the life of your clothing.
Appliances like washing machines, coffee makers, dishwashers, and ice makers take a beating from hard water. It also creates limescale build-up around the seals and valves. As a result, appliances malfunction and don’t last as long.
So far, the focus of hard water problems has been on surfaces, but it affects you personally as well. Washing your hard in water causes build-up. Not only that, but it makes your locks look dull, feel rough, and makes it harder to detangles.
Soap mixed with hard water creates a film on the skin. Unfortunately, that means when you shower or bath, it hinders the removal of dirt and bacteria. Plus, the film that’s left behind causes skin irritation.
Damaging to Plumbing Pipes
Plumbing fixtures that are ruined by calcium build-up are often beyond repair. The chemicals disintegrate the coating and cause severe damage.
Mineral build-up found around faucets, drains, and showers heads also ruin the rubber that’s designed to hold the fixtures in place. This leads to leakage and creates water damage.
Blocked Water Pipes
The magnesium and calcium deposits in your pipes create limescale that reduces water flow. Luckily, this problem doesn’t hinder PVC and copper pipes, but it does ruin steel pipes.
As a result, your home’s water pressure becomes lower over time. Lower water pressure means an increase in limescale build-up. Unfortunately, once your pipes are completely clogged, they must be replaced.
How to Prevent Hard Water Residue
Preventing calcium build-up and mineral deposits might seem impossible, but it’s not. There are a few preventative measures you can take to ensure things continue to look presentable. Here are a few tips and tricks:
Don’t Let Water Air Dry on Surfaces
Mineral deposits are left behind when hard water evaporates. Therefore, wiping surfaces to dry them is the best way to prevent hard water deposits. On glass material like shower doors, a squeegee works best.
Apply Bathroom Cleaner
Another reliable method is to use a shower cleaner. Although it’s tempting to hop out of the shower and clean at a later time, go ahead and do it. Spraying cleaner immediately after helps works wonders on mineral deposits.
DIY Cleaning Solution
If your faucets have already been taken over by calcium build-up, there’s still hope. Soak a rag or paper towel in white vinegar. After soaking, wrap it around the spot with the build-up.
Make sure you let the towel stay wet and full of vinegar. Wrap a rubber band around it to secure it in place. Let the area soak for an hour.
After that timeframe, use a sponge or Magic eraser to remove the remainder of the residue.
Higher Water Heater Energy Use
Limescale build-up within your water heater decreases its functionality and life span. The mineral deposits inside of the heater make it take longer to warm up. As a result, your heater works harder and increases energy consumption.
Use a Water Softener
A water softener is a fantastic way to get a grip on hard water problems. It allows you to handle the issue on a larger scale, rather than fighting calcium build-up as it comes. Also, take a look at this water filter guide to learn another way to improve your home’s water supply.
Say Goodbye to Calcium Build-Up
It would be nice if hard water and calcium build-up wasn’t an issue, but it is. The good news is, you don’t have to tolerate it.
Keeping your bathroom and kitchen clean is a big deal, but mineral deposits make that job much harder. However, if you follow the tips and tricks listed above, you’ll keep your home sparkling!
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