Do you notice unsightly white, mineral-deposits on your faucets, bathroom tiles, or bathroom glass panes? This is called hard water stains and it’s caused by mineral-rich tap water.
There are two types of water hardness: hard water and soft water. Soft water is water with little to no mineral content like rainwater. When rainwater falls to the ground, it’s infused with minerals. As the water passes through rocks, sand, and soil, minerals accumulate in the water and from there will develop certain “hardness.” The hardness of water is measured in grains per gallon. The degree of hardness is graded from 1 to 10.
What is Hard Water?
Hard water is water with high mineral content. It’s formed when water percolates through accumulation of minerals with traces of magnesium and calcium deposits. High water has high levels of mineral salts, particularly magnesium ions.
Although water contains a myriad of minerals, the calcium and magnesium content in hard water makes it somewhat harmful to one’s health. When heating hard water, the minerals precipitate out of the water, creating white deposits known as mineral deposits which are hard to remove. The stains affect the performance of your household appliances. Using hard water to wash clothing also leads to poor sudsing because most soaps and detergents do not lather well in such kind of water.
Although hard water is harmful to industrial settings where the hardness of the water used is being monitored to prevent boilers and cooling towers breakdown, drinking hard water is generally not harmful to one’s health.
Is Drinking Hard Water Harmful to Our Health?
Other than affecting the performance and shortening the life span of your home appliances, there is no clear health risks from drinking hard water. However, there are studies that suggest a link between cardiovascular disease mortality and consuming hard water. But the results of tests based on this theory remain inconclusive.
That said—while there is nothing wrong with drinking hard water—it’s best to drink filtered water instead. This way, you don’t absorb excessive minerals into your body. If you’re having problems with the hardness of the water you use in your home, you can use water softeners.
You can purchase a water softener unit to take care of hard water problems. The unit might be expensive and using soft water might also increase your water usage. The sodium level in soft water is also high so this might be a health consideration in some households.
Removing Hard Water Stains
So how do you remove ugly mineral deposits from using hard water? You can use distilled vinegar to dissolve the hard water stains. You can also mix one part water and one part apple cider vinegar and use the solution to scrub the white spots away.
Common cleansers won’t remove hard water stains. As such, always look for tile cleansers that are designed specifically to remove hard water stains.
Finally, minimizing the heat from your water heater also helps hard water from precipitating into mineral deposits.