People who shower with hard water can encounter many unpleasant side effects. However, linking these side effects to the use of hard water isn’t always obvious, which often results in their hard water issue going unsolved for quite some time. Those who know what hard water can do to the body overtime are apt to finding immediate solutions for their homes, most of which revolve around water treatments.
There are often misconceptions surrounding the term hard water, especially since it can be misconstrued for heavy water, which is an entirely different phenomena. The term hard water is used to describe a high mineral content found in a residential or industrial setting. In order for water to be deemed as hard water, it needs to have accumulated a fair amount of chalk and limestone, which is often found in plumbing. Once the water has been percolated with these minerals, it’s content becomes high in calcium and magnesium carbonates.
For many people the topic of hard water is controversial, as some believe it to hold moderate health benefits. Those who have encountered hard water in an industrial setting will beg to differ, however, as hard water is prone to eating away at boilers and many other industrial water containers. Knowing this, many people are concerned about the health affects hard water could have on the human body, and are looking for ways to soften their home’s water supply.
How to Identify Hard Water
A lot of people aren’t aware about the existence of hard water, which by default puts them at risk as hard water might be present in their very own home. Luckily, there are easy and inexpensive ways to conclude whether or not your home is dispensing hard water.
- First and foremost, get a clear water bottle and fill it with about 10 ounces of water from the faucet.
- Secondly, add 10 drops of liquid soap to the bottle and give it a good shake. Once the soap has begun to foam up, settle the bottle down and survey its actions. Make sure to use liquid soap and not liquid detergent, as both these liquids can give different results. The best liquid to use for this experiment is liquid dish soap.
- Should the solution have difficulty foaming and give way to a thin layer of suds and cloudy water, your home is most likely infiltrated with hard water.
* Should the solution soap up with ease and harbor clear water and plenty of suds, this can be an indication that your home’s pipes are flowing with soft water.
There are many other ways to test for hard water, but the one above is going to be the easiest. Not convinced that your home is flowing with hard water? Then take things up a notch and hire a plumber to perform tests or purchase a Hard Water Testing Kit.
How Hard Water Affects Skin
People who shower with hard water can encounter some health issues along the way, as hard water is filled with minerals that can leave residue on supposedly freshly washed skin. This occurs because hard water has difficulty foaming when paired up with soap, causing it to leave behind scummy residue on your skin. What you might not know, however, is that hard water can cause skin conditions to arise since it isn’t allowing skin pores to properly breathe through the soap scum build up. The following are a few skin conditions that can arise due to repeatedly showering with hard water.
One of the worst side effects of hard water is that it can actually expedite aging. This is because the minerals found in hard water can target a person’s healthy skin cells and damage them. This damage can then start to breakdown collagen and form lines and wrinkles on a person’s face and body.
While most people have encountered acne at some point in their lives, there are others who simply cannot free themselves from its grip. These people often alter their diets, buy face washes and creams, and sometimes even take medications with the hopes of vanquishing their acne. What not everyone knows, however, is that hard water can actually be a leading cause to acne. Since hard water clogs pores and lathers people in soap scum, it can easily cause them to break out.
If you are constantly showering with hard water, chances are your skin is prone to being itchy and dry. This is because soap scum can strip your skin’s healthy oils, leaving it dry and susceptible to blemishes and discomfort. Since the minerals found in hard water have the ability to strip both healthy oils and moisture from the body, it is important to take charge and find a functional water softener.
How Hard Water Affects Hair
Just like skin, hair can be affected from showering with hard water. Showering with hard water can cause hair to have a dry, limp, and dull look to it due to the water’s high mineral content. When washing hair with hard water, the shampoo does not reach its most vital phase, therefore failing to thoroughly clean and rinse hair. This can cause a person to have an itchy scalp therefore causing them to be prone to dandruff. More than that, however, hard water negatively affects hair by stripping it of its natural oils, shininess, and bounce. Encountering hair damage due to hard water is very common in America, especially since more than 60% of its population is using hard water for their everyday needs.
How to Keep Your Hair and Skin Healthy
If you are aware of the presence of hard water in your home and looking to lessen its many side effects, you won’t have to look too far for a water solution. If you want to keep your skin and hair free from the grasps of hard water, why not try one of the following solutions?
A Water Softener
Perhaps one of the best ways to treat hard water is by purchasing a water softener. This water treatment is going to help breakup the buildup of calcium and lime scale, as well as other harmful minerals, causing the water to soften. While having a water softener installed can be expensive, it is the most efficient way to get rid of hard water and its many harmful side effects.
A Shower Filter
Having a shower filter installed can also help keep lime scale and chlorine at bay, however, it isn’t going to get rid of it like a water softener will. While there are some alternative ways to treat skin and hair damage caused by hard water, the best way is to find a water treatment solution that will stop hard water from being present in your household or business.
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