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#201 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 dry.

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