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How does water hardness affect your laundry?

If you live in a hard water area, you may notice a difference in the way that you have to do your laundry. But, how exactly does water hardness affect your laundry?

  • What is hard water?
  • How can I test water hardness?
  • How does water hardness affect laundry?
  • How to do laundry in hard water areas

What is hard water

Hard water is natural water that has a high mineral content. As water travels it picks up minerals from the rocks and soil it comes into contact with. Minerals that can be found in water include calcium and magnesium. In contrast, soft water only contains a small amount of these minerals.

How can I test water hardness? 

If you are unsure if you live in a hard water area, there are several signs to look out for. These include:

  • Spots or a filmy layer on your dishes.
  • Soap and shampoo not lathering.
  • Limescale on faucets, drains, and shower heads. 
  • You have dry, itchy skin.
  • Your clothes are stiff when they dry.

If you have noticed any of these signs, you can do a hard water test. 

Begin by filling a clean bottle with three quarters of water from your tap and add a few drops of liquid soap. Make sure that the lid of your bottle is secured. Next, shake the bottle vigorously for a few seconds. Once you have stopped shaking and the water has settled observe. If the water is cloudy looking without bubbles your water is hard, whereas lots of bubbles on top with clear water underneath indicates soft water.

Image by Kerstin Riemer from Pixabay

How does water hardness affect laundry?

As a result of the minerals found in hard water, it can stop your laundry detergent from being fully effective. This can lead to:

  • Whites coming out with a grey or yellow hue. 
  • Your clothing coming out stiff and harsh.
  • Soil build-up in your clothes. 
  • White or grey streaks on your dark or coloured clothing
  • Weakening fibers so clothing tears are more likely.

How to do laundry in hard water areas?

The key thing to remember when doing laundry is that all laundry detergents can be used regardless of water hardness. If you do live in a hard water area you will need to use more laundry detergent than in soft water areas. This will help soften the material of your clothing so that the detergent can work on cleaning your clothes. As your clothes soften in the wash, it will help release any built-up dirt and minerals from previous washes. 

If you do live in a hard water area these are the doses you need to use:

Normal soiled clothing requires 1 pod, or 55 ml of liquid, or 130 g of powder. 

Heavily soiled clothing requires 2 pods, or 75 ml of liquid, or 180 g of powder. 

One wash load of clothes requires 2 pods, 75 ml of liquid, or 165 g of powder. 

The easiest way to look after your clothing if you live in a hard water area is to use Laundryheap. We will take the utmost care whilst dry cleaning your clothes, and re-deliver them back to you in pristine condition.

To book your Laundryheap service head to the Laundryheap website or download the free Laundryheap app.