Last Updated on December 12, 2022 by Mattias
Have you ever wondered why some of your clothes don’t last for a long time? Or why does your fluffy new towel feel like sandpaper against your skin after a shower?
You’ve done your regular laundry routine and maintenance on your washing machine. But still, something isn’t right. If that’s the case, it can be a good idea to keep reading because your home can be exposed to hard water.
Perhaps you’re wondering if it’s possible to get a water softener to solve your laundry problems and how hard water affects your washing machine.
In this article, you’ll find out, and hopefully, you won’t have any problems anymore.
How Does Hard Water Affect Your Clothing?
Hard water can do a lot of harm to your clothes and sometimes even destroy them. You can find ugly stains on your sheets, clothes, or towels, and hard water can cause problems like itchiness and dry skin for those with sensitive skin.
Read also: How To Add Salt To Water Softener
DIY Test And See If You Got Hard Water
Many people use a lot of heavy chemical detergents for their laundry, and one way to see if that soap is still left in your laundry is by doing this DIY home test.
1. For the first step, take a small cloth.
2. Soap the cloth in treated water.
3. Once it’s soaked with treated water, rinse the water in an empty bowl.
4. Pour the water into a small jar with a lid.
5. Give it a shake for about 20 seconds.
6. If you can see any suds remaining, that’s how much detergent is left behind.
Suppose you can see a lot of detergent after doing this test with a small cloth. Imagine how much it’s in your clothes, bedsheets, underwear, and everything we wash.
Let’s say you wake up in the morning, and the first thing you do is take a shower. And the water in your shower also contains hard water, then you grab a towel to dry yourself, which is filled with soap, and put on your clothes which also is filled with soap.
I think you get the point. Because if you have this problem. You and your family are exposed to detergent residue 24/7.
Think about the negative impacts hard water has on every laundry load.
Read also: How To Remove Hard Water Stains From Toilet
Why Should You Use A Water Softener For Your Laundry?
Most of us know how to maintain a good washing machine but are completely unknowing of the impact hard water has on our washing machines. It may decrease their lifespan by three years and damaged parts.
4 Signs Of Hard Water in Your Home
So what are the effects of hard water, and how can you spot them? Here’s a list of signs that you might have hard water in your water supply:
- A white film on your shower glass
- Ugly spots on your dishes
- Stains near your drains
- Your laundry is still dirty when you take it out
Read also: 9 Reasons Why Your Softened Water Tastes Salty
10 Signs That You Got Hard Water In Your Washing Machine
So how can you spot that hard water in your washing machine? It’s pretty simple, and perhaps you’ll even see some of these signs and conclude right away: “I got hard water in my home.”
Signs to look up for:
- Clothes can become greyish or yellowish after washing
- Soil build-up that doesn’t go away
- Your laundry is still dirty after a wash
- It can weaken the fabric fibers on your clothes, which can cause tears in your clothes.
- You can get grey or white streaks on colored clothes.
- Soaps/Detergents don’t work so well.
- Dissolved minerals in cleaning products.
- Minerals prevent proper mixing.
- Soap scum is left behind.
- Detergent deposits in your laundry from the high concentration of chemicals
Read also: Will Water Softener Water Kill Plants?
How To Combat Hard Water Laundry Problems
So how can you combat the hard water? Here are a few things to consider.
Use a High-Quality Detergent
In hard water, most powered laundry detergent ingredients become attached to the minerals in the water instead of cleaning your clothes. So if you want good results, you need to use up to 30% more detergent at a higher temperature. Using more detergent and higher water temperatures will increase your monthly energy bill and damage your clothes.
You can use a liquid laundry detergent instead of your usual detergent. Because they contain something called nonionic surfactants, and that chemical is resistant to the hardness of the water.
Wash your laundry in warmer water
Using a warmer temperature can combat hard water’s effect on your laundry. This will not make your hard water issue disappear, but you will see better results on your clothes. But it’s also good to know that hot water can damage your clothes and will need more energy, as we discussed earlier.
Water softener tablets for washing machines
Using softener tablets for your washing machine is a good alternative if you don’t want to invest in a water softener. The tablets can make your white clothes shiny, and the colors will stay bright.
One effective method is to put in the bottom of the washer, then your laundry, detergent, and fabric softener. This product will also clean the washing machine and make it last for a longer time.
Installation of a water softener
For the best results, you should install a water softener. But if you’re dealing with hard water, the best option would be to install a whole house water softener to protect your home from hard water.
5 Advantages of Using Soft Water in Washing Machines
Your washing machine hates water hardness, and so do your clothes. Even the best washing machines can’t handle hard water to 100%. Only a water softener can solve that problem for you.
Some brands can handle hard water on a low TDS level, but that won’t solve your hard water problem.
Increased Washing Machine Lifespan
Did you know that using a water softener can increase your washing machine’s lifespan by 40%? That’s what the Water Quality Association discovered in 2009 when they did a study and investigated the consequences of hard water in American households and what effects it can have on your daily appliances.
Reduced detergent consumption
You can reduce detergent use by 50% by using soft water and saving energy simultaneously.
Reduced Maintenance Costs
Two hard water problems are limescale build-up and soap scum build-up. By using soft water, you can prevent any limescale build-up in your washing machine and all the surrounding pipes in your laundry room. The buildup of limescale is something you want to avoid at all costs.
Easy Stain Removal
Are you tired of hard water stains on your laundry? Perhaps your clothes came out with ugly stains, and you did one extra wash cycle just to remove the stains. But they are still there, right? The bad news is that they might be hard to get rid of.
But the good news is that it has been discovered that softer water can remove stains far better than hot water or more detergent. Washing your clothes in softened water with the minimum amount of detergent and the lowest wash temperature can give your much whiter and cleaner clothes.
If you want to reduce your household bill, the most effective way is to save energy. If you invest in a good water softener, it will even improve your appliance’s effectiveness.
Using a water softener takes less water to get your clothes clean without any scale buildup than excessively hard water can do. You will save energy and get lower energy bills in the long run.
What happens if I use hard water in my washing machine?
Hard water can force you to do expensive repairs due to breakdowns and mineral buildup in the screens that filter the water inside the washing machine.
Can hard water make your laundry smell?
Hard water can make your clothes smell sour, and you might notice that your washing machine smells if you live in a hard water area.
Does white vinegar soften hard water?
It’s safe to use and can combat hard water stains.
Read also: 12 Best Kitchen Faucets For Hard Water + Buyers Guide
Water Softener Washing Machine Summary
I hope you liked this article and got all the answers you were looking for.
As you discovered, hard water can cause “hard” problems, and if you don’t deal with them, it can have severe consequences.
The impact of hard water across the United States is more common than most people know. Around 85% suffer from hard water, so you’re not alone if you got problems with hard water.
If you got any questions or need help, you can always contact us.
Meet Mattias Jonsson, the head of content at RainSaucers. Passionate about gardening and water-related topics, he’s dedicated to providing expert information and resources to help improve your home, health, and wallet. Learn from his research and experience.