More than 8 out of every 10 American households are plagued by hard water – water than contains dissolved minerals like calcium and iron. These are not unhealthy but they can lead to other expensive household problems. Hard water can damage plumbing by leaving behind scaly deposits. It can also stain your dishes and clothing. In short, it’s a major inconvenience even though it will not affect your health.

Here are five of the most common household problems that are caused by hard water.

1. Laundry will Fade

Iron and calcium tends to react heavily to laundry detergents and it will compromise your clothing. It wears the colors out and will actually cause the fabric to weaken. It will also leave rust-colored kids in poolstains on your clothing. This is all problematic and can become downright expensive if you end up having to replace your entire wardrobe. Furthermore, clothing that has been contaminated with hard water will cause your skin to feel itchy and scratchy.

2. Spots on Dishes

Just like with laundry detergent, hard water can react to dish washing liquid as well, causing your dishes to look dirty. This is usually more noticeable with dishwashers so if you notice that glasses have spots or streaks when you remove them, then you are probably dealing with a hard water problem. Soap and mineral deposits combine to create “curd,” which will stain dishes. Again, it’s not detrimental to your health but it is going to eventually cause you to have to buy new dishes.

3. Tubs Become Hard to Clean

Bathtubs or sinks that are used on a regular basis must be cleaned to remove soap scum. This is perfectly normal but hard water adds an additional problem. It will leave deposits of lime that is quite resistant to cleaning products. So if you notice that your tub and sink are harder to clean, then you might be dealing with a potential hard water problem. You should expect to devote extra effort into cleaning until you address the problem.

4. Duller Hair

The minerals found in hard water will diminish the natural shine of your hair. It will also leave a buildup on your scalp. They can even block moisture from hair and dry it out even further. You can take extra steps to prevent this by adding moisturizer to your hair but the problem will never truly go away. In fact, more shampooing van make the problem even worse.

5. Buildup in Pipes

Pay attention to the inside of your faucets. If you spot any chalky buildups, then there are likely deposits flowing through your pipes. This will eventually restrict water flow and will clog appliances, like your water heater and showerheads. Plumbing work can be quite expensive so you need to deal with hard water the moment it becomes a problem.

The Bottom Line

You can reverse the effects of hard water as long as you address the issue early enough by installing a water softening system. Call in a professional if the problem becomes too severe.