How Safe is Your Tap Water and How to Test Water Hardness

woman drinking water

Tap water is an essential part of our daily lives, so it’s crucial to know how safe it is because it will directly affect our health for better or worse. Depending on where you live, it might be okay to drink straight from the tap and use it for washing and cooking food. But even then, your hard water might be unsuitable for the health of your skin and hair.

In this blog, we’re going to talk about tap water and how to test water hardness. If you’re also wondering “Where can I get my water tested for free?” and “Which is the best shower head filter for hard water?”, then keep reading because we have the answers.

Is Your Tap Water Safe?

If you live in the US, then the answer is typically “yes”. Public water systems in the US are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the CDC says that it’s one of the safest in the world.

But water contamination can still happen as in the case of the Flint Water Crisis where more than 100,000 people were exposed to elevated levels of lead.

If you’re unsure about your tap water’s safety and quality, then you can check the EPA website for a Consumer Confidence Report (CCR) of your local water supplier.

What is Hard Water and How to Test Water Hardness?

Water with high mineral content, usually calcium and magnesium, is called hard water. Hard water is completely safe for drinking but some people don’t like the taste and prefer to have soft or neutral water instead.

Besides, hard water brings with it its own challenges such as damage to appliances and pipes from limescale buildup, skin dryness and eczema, hair dullness, and even hair loss.

Before we tell you how to test water hardness, it’s important to know the signs of hard water.

Common Signs of Hard Water

  • Mineral stains on clothes and dishes
  • Stains on bathroom floor and faucets
  • No lather formation with soap and shampoo
  • Soap scum while washing hands
  • Dry skin and dull hair

If you notice any of these signs, then it’s important to test your water for excessive minerals and resolve it as soon as possible. Some CCRs include details about water hardness but if it’s not the case for you then you can contact your local water municipality to confirm whether your suspicions are true.

If you want to know how to test water hardness at home, then you can call a reputable professional to conduct a test or you can purchase an at-home testing kit.

But if you’re more interested in knowing “Where can I get my water tested for free?”, then you can use the two methods below to test your tap water’s hardness yourself quickly and cheaply.

How to Test Water Hardness At Home:

1. Conduct a Soap Test

person washing hands with soap

Hard water and soap don’t mix well. When they come in contact with each other, there’s no lathering. Instead, the minerals in hard water react with the soap molecules to form a precipitate known as soap scum.

You can easily conduct this test on your skin. If you notice a filmy layer instead of foamy lather and bubbles, then it’s safe to say that the water is hard. Alternatively, you can also put some soap and water in a bottle and shake it to see whether it becomes foamy or not.

2. Conduct a Visual Test

Another method for how to test water hardness is simply observing your sinks, faucets, and bathroom floor. Hard water leaves visible traces, often reddish or white in color if it repeatedly comes in contact with a surface. Prolonged exposure also leads to scaly deposits.

You will also notice spots on your metal and glass utensils as well as your clothes if you wash them in hard water. If the water pressure in your house is low, it could also indicate a sediment buildup from hard water.

What Do You Do If You Have Hard Water?

Now you know the answers to “How to test water hardness?” and “Where can I get my water tested for free?” But what’s next if the results indicate that you indeed do have a hard water supply?

You might not want to leave hard water as it is because it might not only ruin your household items but also your skin and the health of your hair. So the only solutions are to soften the water using a water softener or to alleviate hard water symptoms with a water filter.

Water filters contain resin beads that filter out the excessive minerals using a process known as ion exchange. A water softener is typically installed where the water enters your house so all the water gets softened.

A filter, on the other hand, works by reducing the effects of hard water. Filters are ideal for fast-moving water from faucets and showerheads because they cannot be softened using a water softener.

AquaBliss’s Multi-Stage Shower Filter is the best shower head filter for hard water as it not only prevents scale buildup, but also removes chlorine, dirt, and bad odor. It takes only a few minutes to install and helps you revitalize your skin, hair, and nails instantly.

Whether our tips on how to test water hardness leave you with a positive result for hard water presence or not, we highly recommend investing in a shower water filter to improve your hair and skin health.

The Bottom Line

Drinking water that’s contaminated with toxic chemicals and germs can leave you with a number of health issues along with hefty hospital bills. But even water that’s technically safe to drink, such as hard water, can rack up your expenses.

So no matter where you live, knowing how safe your tap water is in terms of contaminants and hardness, and how to test water hardness is something that should be at the top of your priority list.

At AquaBliss, we have some of the best shower head filters for hard water that can help you minimize the adverse effects of hard water and enjoy softer-feeling water with only the best minerals present. See our collection to find one that suits your needs!

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