Hard & Soft Water
"Hard" water is water that contains an excessive amount of minerals.
It can dry your skin, make your hair dull, and leave mineral deposits
in sinks, around faucets and in pots and pans used to boil water.
These deposits should be removed on a regular basis -- they can corrode
faucets and pipes and cause rust in sink and tubs.
- If you don't know if
you have "hard" or "soft" water, here's a quick way to find out:
Make a cup of tea in a glass mug. First, using a microwave oven,
bring the water to a boil in the mug, place the tea bag in the
hot water and steep for a couple minutes. Remove the bag. If the
tea is clear, your water is on the soft side -- if there is a
film on the top or the tea is cloudy, your water is on the hard
side. There are test kits you can get at hardware stores that
will measure just how hard your water is and then you can determine
what type of filter or softener you can install to remove the
mineral deposits before they can do any harm!
- Hardwater stains can
be removed by heating up some white vinegar and applying it to
the stained area for about 15-20 minutes. Rub with a rag (I use
old terrycloth towels or washcloths as rags), rinse and dry. Repeat,
if necessary. When you rub the area, dampen the rag with vinegar
and sprinkle it with baking soda - buff the stains. Rinse and