What is Hard Water?

Hard water:

When content of dissolved minerals are more in water, it is known as hard water.

Calcium and magnesium

are the major minerals found in hard water. Hard water does not risk your health. It is more of a nuisance. This is because of the minerals in it and it perform like a detergent.

Water is known as a

universal solvent

. It picks up impurities easily. Pure water is tasteless, colorless and odorless. It turns hard due to the mixture of calcium and minerals.

Types of Hard Water:

Temporary Hardness:

Temporary hardness of water caused due to the presence of calcium (Ca) ions and bi-carbonate in water. This hardness can be removed by adding lime


to the water or by boiling it.

Boiling promotes the formation of carbonate from the bicarbonate and precipitates calcium carbonate out of solution, leaving water that is softer upon cooling.

Permanent Hardness:

This hardness is something that cannot be removed by boiling. It is actually caused by the minerals present in water. When the temperature rises, the minerals become more soluble in water and harden the water. This hardening of water can be removed using as water softener. Through the water softener, the calcium and magnesium is exchange with sodium ions.

Problems with Hard Water:


: Clothes, when washed in hard water feel harsh and scratchy. Washing clothes regularly in hard water can reduce the life of clothes by 40%.


: Bathing regularly with hard water leaves the soap to stick on the skin. The soap cover may not remove the bacteria on the skin. This may also lead to irritation.


: When you wash your dish in a dishwasher, hard water may leave a cover of dirt on you dish. This does not pose as health risk. But it may lessen down the crockery’s quality and also be a problem to clean it.

Lime Formation in Solar Water Heaters

: Solar heaters are used for heating the water in swimming pools. If hard water is passed through it, lime deposit might be formed. This would reduce the overall performance of the heating device.

Hard water Benefits:

Hard water cannot be called as a health hazard.

National Academy of Sciences

has stated that hard water can contribute to calcium and magnesium to humans. Its not always that nutritious foods fill the gap of minerals. Hard water is a worthy alternative.

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