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What in the heck is hard water?

First things first– what exactly is hard water?

glasses with hard water stains placed in dishwasher

Have you done a load of dishes in the dishwasher, taken out the glasses, and noticed they’re cloudy and spotty? That’s hard water. Water hardness refers to the amount of dissolved minerals in your water, like calcium, magnesium, and iron. When hard water droplets dry up, they leave behind chalky, sometimes even rust-colored deposits. According to USGS: You may have felt the effects of hard water the last time you washed your hands. Depending on the hardness of your water, after using soap to wash you may have felt like there was a film of residue left on your hands. In hard water, soap reacts with the calcium (which is relatively high in hard water) to form "soap scum". And the spots and fog you see on your glasses and silverware is just hard-water residue—not dangerous, but unsightly. When hard water is heated, like in a home water heater, solid deposits of calcium carbonate can form. This scale can reduce the life of equipment, raise the costs of heating the water, lower the efficiency of electric water heaters, and clog pipes.

Still not sure if you’ve got hard water? Here are the telltale signs.

Signs you may have hard water: 

  • Cloudy residue on dishes and glassware. 
  • Mineral buildup around faucets.
  • Having to scrub extra hard to remove soap scum buildup from your shower and bathroom fixtures. 
  • There is a ring around the inside of your toilet bowl that always seems to come back.
  • Your appliances are wearing out quickly. 
  • You’ve experienced clogged pipes.

Still not totally sure you have hard water? Give this a try

DIY Water Hardness Test:

  • Fill a water bottle halfway with water
  • Add 10 drops of dish detergent and shake it up
  • If you notice a thin layer of soap suds versus a whole lot, you have hard water.
Graph of in home water test

Okay, you’ve established you have hard water, now what? 

Luckily, hard water doesn’t stand a chance against citric acid! Did you know that citric acid helps naturally soften your water? Citric Acid has lots of these grabby arms called ligands. These “arms” are great at grabbing minerals off dishes and out of water, giving you sparkling dishes. That’s why our plant-based cleaners are formulated with the power of citric acid, to take on those pesky stains and buildup once and for all. Hard water meet your match!

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