Have you noticed soap scum in your tub or sink? The reason could be that your home has hard water, which means it has a high level of calcium and magnesium ions. Adding soap to hard water creates soap scum, which can stick to your hair, skin, clothes, and dishes and will cause unattractive rings to develop in your sink and tub. In this blog, we’ll explain how to tell if you have hard water and why it’s important to soften your water as soon as possible.
For more than 20 years, Tri-County Water Services has been providing water treatment services in homes and businesses throughout southeastern Pennsylvania. Our professional and fully insured team has the equipment and experience to make sure your water is clean, clear, healthy, and sediment-free. Call 610-857-1740 to schedule a hard water test.
How to Tell If You Have Hard Water
The most accurate way to test for hard water is through an independent laboratory. At Tri-County Water Services, we can provide a detailed analysis of your water to identify any minerals and contaminants. If you use a well or another private water source, or if you own a business that relies on clean water, we recommend that you get a water quality test at least once per year.
The “shake test” is another less precise method to tell if you have hard water. Here’s how it works:
- Fill a clear water bottle with at least 12 ounces of water from your tap.
- Add 10 drops of liquid soap to the bottle.
- Replace the bottle cap and shake it for a few seconds.
- Open the bottle and look for suds at the top. If there are lots of suds at the top, you probably have soft water. If there aren’t any suds or if there are only a few bubbles, move on to the next step.
- Add 10 more drops of liquid soap and shake again. Keep adding soap and shaking until suds begin to form at the top of the water. The more drops it takes to create suds, the harder your water is. If 30 drops of soap are required to create suds, your water is moderately hard, but if 50 or more drops are required, your water is very hard.
It’s important to note that some liquid soaps (especially dishwashing detergents) do not react much to hard water, so it’s usually best to use a liquid hand soap for the “shake test.” If your water fails the shake test or if you’ve noticed the telltale signs of hard water (rings in your tub or sink, a layer of soap scum on your skin, stiff or dull hair) contact Tri-County Water Services to schedule a hard water test.
Why You Should Soften Your Water as Soon as Possible
Hard water is not a health risk, but having soap scum on your skin and hair is very uncomfortable. Hard water can also increase your water heater bills and shorten the lifespan of your plumbing and appliances due to mineral scale buildup.
The professional team at Tri-County Water Services can test your water to find out if it needs to be softened and to identify any contaminants. Call us today at 610-857-1740 to schedule a water assessment.