Try Our DIY Hard Water Check

Try Our DIY

Hard Water Check

As Lincoln and Omaha’s experts in water purification, we know that the water provided to both of those cities isn’t the highest quality possible. Quality Water Services has been helping Nebraskan families get access to purer water since the 1960s. First, though, you have to know what kind of water you’re actually dealing with. Fortunately, there’s a very simple way to test the hardness of the water coming out of your home’s faucets! This week, we’re spilling the secret on a DIY tip to check the hardness of your water so you can better understand your system!

water pouring out of a shower head running smoothly after a hard water check

What is Hard Water?

According to the University of Nebraska – Lincoln, hard water, “contains high amounts of dissolved calcium and magnesium… [it] is not a health risk but can be a nuisance because of mineral buildup on plumbing fixtures and poor soap and/or detergent performance.” If the concentration of minerals is high enough, hard water can also leave residue on skin and hair after showers, dishes, and even inside appliances like coffee makers, washing machines, and dishwashers. Installing a water softener is the best and most affordable option for decreasing the effects of hard water, but how do you know if your home needs one? Try this DIY test at home to see if you might be battling hard water.

What You’ll Need

For this test you’ll need pure liquid soap (make sure it is not labelled “detergent” and is as free as possible of dyes and additives for accurate testing) and a clear plastic water bottle with a tight fitting cap. If possible, remove any label on the plastic bottle so you can see what’s going on.

The Process

To test the mineral buildup in your water, fill up a clear water bottle about ⅓ of the way to the top. Add ten drops of the pure liquid soap and screw the cap tightly on the bottle. Once the cap is on tightly, shake the bottle for about ten seconds. At this point there should be plenty of suds and the water on the bottom of the bottle should clear out rather quickly.

a water heater with hard water stains all over it

Analyzing the Results

If there is a good amount of suds and the water becomes clear, there’s a good chance that your water is at least of good quality. However, if there aren’t many suds, the suds dissipate quickly, and/or the water at the bottom of the bottle becomes cloudy, you may be dealing with hard water.

The pure liquid soap is attracted to the minerals that have built up in hard water like calcium and magnesium. These particles can hinder the amount of suds in the bottle, and the liquid soap will attach to any particles left in the water at the bottom of the bottle, creating the cloudy effect.

Double Check Your Conclusions

It’s always important to get a second opinion about the quality of the water in your home. You can order a test kit online or, for the expert opinion, call Quality Water Services to schedule a water test today. Then, if you feel you’d like to enhance the quality of your home’s water, talk to us about installing a soft water system today. We have options to buy or rent for as little as $25/month!