Are you unsure if your home has hard water? If that’s what’s running through your pipes and coming out of your faucets, it could be causing all sorts of problems.
Hard water can lead to clogged plumbing, leave behind soap scum making it hard to clean, cause appliances to wear out, and much more. Even if your water is being treated by the city you live in, that doesn’t mean hard minerals are being removed.
85% of homes across the U.S. have hard water, and the average hardness level is 13 grains per gallon. That’s considered “very hard.”
There’s a simple way to see if your home has hard water without having any test performed. All it takes is a clear water bottle and a some pure liquid soap. Follow these steps to put your water to the test.
1. Fill a Clear Container with Water
First, find a see-through container like an empty plastic water bottle. We’re using fancy Erlenmeyer flasks because we want to look more scientific.
Fill your container about a third of the way to the top with water from your faucet. For our test, we have both hard water and soft water so you can see the difference in the end.
2. Squeeze in Some Pure Liquid Soap
Next, squirt about 10 drops of soap into your container. Pure liquid soap is best. Don’t use soap labeled as detergent because it is formulated with additives that will skew results of the test.
Castile soap works well because it only has a few ingredients and does not have dyes or perfumes.
3. Shake Vigorously!
This is the fun part. Shake your container for at least 10 seconds to mix up the soap and water in an attempt to make soapy bubbles. Don’t forget to put the cap on first!
4. Look for Suds and Water Clarity
Now it’s time to check out the results. If your container has a good amount of suds at the top, and the water underneath the bubbles becomes nice and clear, then you likely have soft water.
However, if you don’t get many suds after shaking, and your water looks cloudy, that is a good indication you have hard water. You can keep adding more soap to continue this test. The more soap you need to create bubbles, the harder your water is, and the more soap you’re wasting to clean your home and laundry!
Why Does This Happen?
Hard water contains minerals like calcium and magnesium, which prevent soap from creating suds and also keep it from cleaning effectively That’s because the soap is binding with the dissolved minerals, forming the cloudy liquid and leaving behind residue on your shower, dishes, hair, skin, and clothing.
Detergent is formulated with additives that will make suds in hard water, which is why we told you not to use that kind of product for this test. However, the harder your water is, the more soap and detergent you’ll need to use to get suds.
You may already be experiencing signs of hard water in your home. Do you find it hard to get a good lather in the shower? Is your hair and skin dull and dry? Is your bath tub covered in soap scum. Those are all signs you are bathing in hard water.
The right water softener from Water-Right® can remedy those problems.
Get an Accurate Test of Hardness and Water Quality for Free!
This DIY test for hard water in the home is informative, but not completely accurate. You still don’t have a precise number for the hardness level of your water. Plus, there are a lot of other factors that impact water quality.
Water-Right’s network of water treatment professionals is equipped to provide free in-home tests to homeowners. During that time, your water will be tested for hardness, total dissolved solids, ph levels, and more. We’ll work with you to determine the cause of any water problems, like strange odors, taste, or appearance.
If you own your own well, your water should be tested on a yearly basis due to constant environmental changes.
Learn more about how our free in-home water consultations work here on the Water-Right® blog!