What Hard Water Means

What is hard water?

You may have heard of hard water and be wondering what it means and whether it is a good or a bad thing.

Hard water is water that contains high levels of calcium and magnesium. The more calcium and magnesium dissolved in the water, the harder the water becomes. This is why certain cities and counties within the same state can have varying degrees of water hardness.

Hard water is nearly impossible to avoid in the US. The stats tell us 85 percent of homes in the US have been diagnosed with hard water. You can refer to our hard water USA map to see if you live in an area with hard water.

Two Easy Ways to Test for Hard Water

    1.  Check Your City's Website

If you enjoy reading, the easy way is to check your city's annual Water Quality Report that is available on your city's website for anybody to read. They tell you where your water comes from and what’s in it. 

    1. In-Home Water Test

You can test for hard water in your home by taking a clean and clear bottle. Fill one-third of the bottle with tap water. Then, pour a few drops of pure Castile liquid soap into the bottle and shake. Make sure you use pure liquid soap because it doesn’t contain additives that will create suds in hard water.

If you have soft water, your bottle should still be filled a third of the way with water and two-thirds filled with bubbles from the soap.

If you have hard water, the water in the bottle will be cloudy and there will be a thin layer of bubbles.


 Hard Water Bottle Test


What are the signs that your toilet is suffering from hard water scaling?

 When you start looking around your home, the signs are hard to miss. The first place you can find evidence of hard water is looking at your faucets. If there’s white, rusty scale buildup around the mouth of the faucet, you have hard water. You can also find this scale on toilets and in other water-dependent appliances. Speaking of water-using appliances, if your toilet is no longer flushing s as well as it used to, hard water might be the culprit. If detergent doesn’t clean away scum, that can also be because hard water is diminishing the detergent’s effectiveness.

Some common signs that the water flowing through your toilet tank is hard are: 

  • Ugly yellow or brown stains in toilet bowl that comes back with every flush;
  • brown film inside your toilet tank;
  • flushing system that doesn’t function well;
  • foul smell due to bacteria buildup in the pipes;
  • scale buildup on faucets and ugly stains on white porcelain;
  • low water pressure due to clogged pipes.

Hard Water Affects your Home and Health

 While hard water is safe to drink and wash with, over time it can lead to inconvenient, embarrassing and costly problems, including problems with your toilets like:

  • Bacteria buildup in the pipes that can significantly affect your health;
  • flush malfunction and clogged septic pipes; 
  • the cost of replacing internal toilet parts ruined by hard water;
  • higher carbon footprint and higher use of harmful detergents.

The Cost of Hard Water

 When hard water scale buildup forms in your pipes, it slows the efficiency of your water-using appliances such as toilets.

 Here are some numbers to back it up:

  • Over 10 years, it’s estimated your water bill will be $1,500 more if you have hard water;
  • the lifespan of your toilet decrease by 30-50%;
  • annual costs for toilet detergent, bath soaps and lotions jumps to $1,039 more without a water softener.
You save 75-80% on these costs with Pulitamin Magic Eco Balls water softener.