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If you live in a hard water area and have tried to your wash clothes in hard water, you will know what a terrible state they come out of the washing machine in. Do you get dingy or graying clothes? Do you get stiff or harsh feel to fabrics, or how about yellow or gray streaks on white shirts?
The quality of the water used when washing clothes is an important factor, and one that is frequently overlooked. A high level of minerals in a water supply can cause several laundry problems. Hard water contains high amounts of calcium and magnesium minerals. It’s these that wreak havoc when washing clothes, and cause the unsightly stains and streaks on precious items of clothes. Continuous laundering in hard water has been shown to damage fibers and shorten the life of clothes by up to 40 percent.
It is a fact that hard water does not clean as effectively as soft water (which has low amounts of dissolved minerals) and most of the detergent added to the washing machine actually goes to soften the water instead of cleaning the clothes. As a consequence more detergent must be used with hard water compared to soft water. Using more detergent is not only expensive, it is also a major pollution hazard. As detergents contain phosphates they can cause water pollution when they pass into the water course.
If you have any of the above symptoms on your clothes you may live in a hard water area yourself. But do not worry; there are some easy solutions to combat these symptoms. Take a look at the areas in the US that suffer from hard water!
According to the United States Geological Survey, 89.3% of US homes have hard water. The softest waters occur in parts of the New England, South Atlantic-Gulf, Pacific Northwest, and Hawaii regions. Moderately hard waters are common in many of the rivers of the Tennessee, Great Lakes, Pacific Northwest, and Alaska regions. Hard and very hard waters are found in some of the streams in most of the regions throughout the country. Hardest waters (greater than 1,000 mg/L) are in streams in Texas, New Mexico, Kansas, Arizona, and southern California. There are many areas where the water is completely unsuitable for washing clothes, and it is a common problem that most people will have to cope with and some time in teir lives.
The Solution for Clean Clothes!
o A water softener or conditioner is the best long term solution to resolving the issue as it will soften the water and remove the hard water minerals that are the main cause of the problem.
o If this is not possible try using water that is as hot as the fabric label recommends. Water that is at a higher temperature will work clean much better than at a lower temperature.
o Add the correct amount of low-foaming phosphate detergent or heavy duty liquid detergent.
o Another top tip is to use a powder or liquid softener that will help the water form a lather and increase the efficiency of cleaning while also causing less damage to the clothes themselves. This ensures clothes coming out of the washer are brighter and cleaner.
Do you have other issues that your hard water is causing you, such as hard water stains on fixtures and fittings, or water that tastes unpleasant? Would you like to know how to test your water, or learn easy-to-follow solutions to eliminating hard water problems completely? If so, then go to our popular website at Hard Water Stains Tips.
write by Phedra