Do you notice a lot of scaly buildup in your shower? Does it feel like you simply can't get clean? If the answers to these questions are yes, then you may have hard water. Hard water contains extra minerals that cause a lot of problems. Check out these five solutions to hard-water problems you face in the shower.
Water Softener to Stop Hard Water at the Source
A water softener is probably your best solution for fighting hard water in the shower because it stops the problems before they start. It does this by removing the calcium and magnesium ions, which cause the scaly buildup. The water softener replaces these ions with something better, such as sodium. Only a small amount of sodium is added (about 12.5 milligrams per 8-ounce glass), but it's enough to fix the problems. Water softeners range in price. The most common (salt water softeners) costs between $153 and $460 to install a whole-house system.
Shower Head Filter for Smoother, Cleaner Hair
If a water softener just isn't an option (you can't afford one, are on a low-sodium diet or you like the extra minerals in your drinking water) there are other solutions to various problems. One problem you may experience with hard water relates to your hair. Hard water leaves your hair feeling rough, and it makes it harder to clean the hair. A shower head filter may offer some relief. Although a shower head filter won't filter out the calcium and magnesium, it does filter out some impurities and leaves your hair feeling smoother, healthier and cleaner after washing. Of course, a shower head filter won't fix other problems associated with hard water, such as lime scale buildup.
Special Shampoos and Soaps to Remove Buildup
Of course, if you're simply worried about your hair and skin, there are cheaper solutions available. Shampoo specifically designed for use with hard water has ingredients that remove harmful minerals from your hair. You can also use shampoo with argan oil or argan oil alone to smooth your hair. You can also find body washes that are better for use with hard water. These soaps usually include detergents that don't bind with the mineral ions in the hard water, so you can get a better clean. Soaps with moisturizers are also good because hard water can dry out your skin.
Vinegar for Smoother Hair and Hard Water Stains
Vinegar is a great natural solution for hard water problems. First, you can use apple cider vinegar instead of argan oil to help smooth your hair if you wash it in hard water. However, white vinegar is great for getting rid of those pesky hard water stains in your tub. You can use it on the tub, tile, glass and faucets to get rid of mineral deposits. Make a solution that is half white vinegar and half water. Simply spray it onto the hard water and rise it. For tougher stains, you may need to allow the solution to sit for a while so it has more time to destroy the stain.
Cream of Tartar and Baking Soda to Fight Stains
Another natural option for eliminating hard water stains is to use cream of tartar. Mix the cream of tartar with some water until it forms a paste. Apply it to the stain and let it sit for about 30 minutes before washing. You can also use a baking soda paste to fight hard water stains. Again, mix the baking soda with water until it forms a paste. Leave this paste on for about an hour before cleaning.
Hard water causes many problems in your home, and it can wreak havoc in the shower. Your best bet is to get a water softener, but there are many other remedies to fight the symptoms of hard water. For more information about hard water or water softeners, contact a contractor in your area or visit websites like http://johnsonwater.com/.