9 (Urgent) Signs of Hard Water at Your Home


In Brief: Signs of Hard Water at Home

Nine keys signs of hard water at home are less lather formation, odd taste and smell of the water, stains on plumbing fixtures and inside the bathroom, spots on your kitchenware, dry and irritable skin, brittle and dry hair, stiff and lifeless laundry, lower water pressure, and early breakdown of appliances.

Hard water is a common problem in homes around the world.

Most of the times you might not notice the signs of hard water at your home and continue using it.

Through this article, we will try to help you understand why using hard water is a problem and how to find if the water you are using is hard water.

Why Hard Water is a Problem for Your Home

Water which is rich in deposits of minerals like calcium and magnesium is called hard water.

Other dissolved metals like aluminum, barium, strontium, iron, zinc, and manganese can also cause hard water.

There a few issues associated with using hard water in your daily life from drinking to washing to using it for your laundry.

  1. Hard water tastes strange compared to soft water.
  2. Though there are is not enough evidence at the moment to support the claims that hard water has a serious adverse effect on health, hard water is known to make your hair drizzly and skin dry.
  3. Hard water also affects your laundry routine as clothes washed with hard water wear out soon.
  4. Hard water can clog the pipes resulting in lowered water pressure, repairing and replacements.
  5. Appliances like washing machines, dishwashers are prone to hard water-related effects.
  6. You may have to put extra effort into cleaning your dishware and bathroom due to the stains and soap scum formed by hard water.

What are the Signs of Hard Water?

There are a few easy indications you can observe and find for yourself if the water you are using at home is hard water or not.

1. Less lather formation

You are using hard water if your soap causes less lather.

This is because the calcium inside the hard water reacts with the soap scum and results in less lather.

Due to this, you may need to wash your hands longer than usual.

Also, some of your detergents might not be as effective when they are dissolved in hard water because the active ingredient inside it is affected by minerals in the water.

2. Water tastes and smells odd

Hard water is known to have a peculiar metallic taste compared to soft water due to the presence of an excessive amount of minerals.

Iron in the water is mainly responsible for this taste.

If you think your water tastes and smells muddy or moldy this might be due to the excessive scale build-up by the running hard water in your pipes.

Sometimes the hydrogen sulfide gas or a type of bacteria reacts with magnesium in the hard water and gives your water a rotten egg smell.

3. Stains on plumbing fixtures and inside the bathroom

Take a look at your pipes, faucets, showerheads, porcelain toilet seat, sinks and if you see some rusty brown or greenish color residue this is more likely to occur due to the hard water.

The minerals in the hard water accumulate on to the plumbing fixtures and cause these stains.

Soaps usually form white sticky soap residue/curd on bathroom tiles, walls, and bathtubs, etc.

When mixed with hard water. This soap scum needs to be cleaned often and forms again when you use hard water.

4. Spots on your kitchenware

If you find white spots on your dishes, silverware this is a sign the water you are using is hard water.

Calcium carbonate in the hard water makes dish wash soap less effective and stick on to the walls of your dishwasher and cause white spots on your utensils.

5. Dry and irritable skin

If you are bathing with hard water, it might leave you with a sticky feeling on your skin.

This is because of the sticky soap curd layer formed due to the reaction between your soap and the hard water.

This layer sometimes traps the bacteria and soil on your skin and makes it irritable and itchy.

Also, the minerals in hard water can absorb the moisture in your skin and makes it dry.

Laundry done with hard water leaves the soap residue on your clothes and makes your skin itchy.

6. Brittle and dry hair

Do you feel your hair is dry, brittle, sticky and unclean even after shampooing? This is an indication you are using hard water.

Hard water makes it difficult to form lather and rinse your hair after applying shampoo or conditioner. The minerals in the hard water can buildup shampoo a residue in your hair.

This leaves your hair coarse, dry and forms dandruff.

If the hard water has excessive amounts of minerals it makes your break your hair resulting in thin straw-like dull hair and ultimately hair loss. Hard water also makes your dyed/colored hair fade quickly.

7. Stiff and lifeless laundry

Your stiff and rough fabric after washing is a great sign of the presence of hard water as doing laundry with hard water causes the soap curds to stick to the clothes you are washing resulting in a dingy fabric.

Further, due to this soap curds, the dirt from the fabric is not removed properly and gives your clothes a sour odor.

Hard water also changes the color of your fabric and makes it lifeless and dull as the minerals in the water react with detergent and damages the fiber.

8. Lower water pressure

If you notice a lowered water pressure from your faucets or showerheads this might be because your pipes are clogged with mineral deposits from the hard water.

9. Early break down of appliances

Not only your pipes and faucets but hard water minerals scale can pile up on your appliances like washing machine, dishwashers, coffee makers, humidifiers, water heaters and makes them wear down quickly.

Minerals in the hard water can also clog your ice makers and in your refrigerator.


We have listed a few signs that you can easily observe at your home and verify if you are using hard water.

We hope now you got a better understanding of the problems caused by hard water and how to notice them in your daily life and help you take appropriate actions against them.

About Anthony White

Anthony has vast experience in critically analyzing and writing on products and gadgets. He spends a lot of his time over internet tracking the latest tech developments. When he is not doing that, he can be found pursuing his love of gardening.