Every modern home has a steady source of water, and where it comes from will have some amount of influence on what is in the water when it comes out of your tap. No matter where your water comes from, whether it’s from a municipal water supply or a local well, the contents of your water are influenced by what is in your aquifer or water table. If there’s a lot of potassium in the rocks of your region, for instance, there will be trace amounts in your water. However, when your water is too full of minerals like calcium and magnesium, it becomes “hard”, a risk to your pipes and appliances, and much more difficult to work with. If you’ve been wondering whether or not your taps run hard water, here are six definite ways to know for sure:

1) Hard Water is Causing Flaky Scum On Your Bathtub

If your bathtub, shower walls, faucets, and sinks are all covered in a flaky off-white scum, this the first distinctive sign that you are dealing with hard water. This scum is called “scale” and is what hard water leaves behind on every surface or item it touches. Scale occurs because the water is packed full of heavy minerals, more than it wants to hold, and those minerals stick to anything the water flows over or through. You may also notice a certain amount of unusual staining where your water has been which is also a result of unwanted elements like iron in your water.

2) Soap Doesn’t Lather Properly

When water and soap touch, the water begins to break down and dissolve some of the soap, allowing it to lather up and create a nice scrubbing substance. Unfortunately, all those minerals in the water making it ‘heavy’ keep it from dissolving the soap and weigh down any lather you manage to produce. This means that it’s harder to clean anything and you might be dealing with undissolved soap as well.

Hand Wash

3) Your Clothes are Stiff and Sour After Washing

That scale doesn’t just stick to the bathtub and sink, it sticks to everything including your clothes as they go through the washing machine. When you combine the problems of scale building up in the fabric and the soap not achieving a proper cleaning lather, your clothes simply aren’t getting as clean as they should. Stiff clothes means that there are minerals building up in the cloth while the sour smell can either result from insufficient cleaning or improper drying because the fabric can’t breathe.

4) Skin Irritation and Breakouts

If you or your family members have been suffering from dry, itchy skin, this is the result of minerals left when you wash absorbing your natural moisture and damaging your skin health. These minerals can also get into your pores, clogging them and causing unpleasant breakouts which will persist no matter how many times you wash your face with hard water.

5) Your Hair is Getting Dull and Limp

Remember that scale is everywhere your water has been. When you wash your hair, scale sticks to it as well. This has much the same effect as coating your hair in a fine layer of chalk. If your hair has been limp and lackluster since you moved to your current location, it’s very likely that hard water is the culprit.

6) Constantly Clogging Pipes

You can scrub the scale off your bathtub, shower walls, sinks, and fixtures, but you can’t scrub it out of the inside of your pipes. When hard water flows through a pipe, it constantly leaves behind a layer of scale, but then the next layer of scale is on top of the previous. This, as you can imagine, eventually results in a clog. If your pipes or water-running appliances have been having problems, hard water may be the cause.

Is your home suffering the ill effects of hard water running through your tap? The good news is that there is an easy solution. All you need is a water softener which runs in-line with your water heater and will remove the minerals from every tap in your house. For more information about hard water or water softening, contact ustoday!