How To Tell If You Have Hard Water?

Hard water leaves behind mineral deposition on faucets and sinks when evaporated. Also, your hair and skin feel dry, spotted utensils and low water pressure is another sign of hardness. If you are experiencing this problem you probably have hard water at your home. Soft water is always preferable over hard water it is because it does not cause damage to houses and appliances.

Most of your time is betrothed in house cleaning and scrubbing? You definitely need some help then. Hard water contains minerals like calcium and magnesium generally that makes soap less effective and leaves scale on fixtures. There are many methods by which you can determine you have hard or soft water. It is recommended to buy a test kit for accurate results. Well, this purchasing guide will help you with hard water issues. Just stay tuned!

Method 1: Easy DIY Testing:

This is a very simple method which allows you to test water hardness instantly. However, it does not give those accurate results but you can still perform this as it is easy to do and gives you a hint that there is some issue with your water.

Materials required: clear bottle, liquid detergent, tap water

  • Take a clear bottle (360 ml) with a tight cap. You can also take a transparent airtight container.
  • Fill water to the top of the bottle leaving little space.
  • Add 10 drops of liquid soap (dishwashing gel) and close the cap tightly.
  • Now shake the bottle vigorously. Do you see a lot of bubbles? Also, the water is clear then water is soft.
  • If not add 10 drops more soap to it. Again shake for a few seconds and look for soap suds. Keep adding 10 drops until you get desired results.


  • 10 drops: soft water
  • 20 drops: slightly hard
  • 30 drops: moderately hard
  • 40 drops: hard
  • 50 drops and more: extremely hard

Soap scum with hard water looks cloudy on the other hand soft water suds look clear. Moderately hard and extremely hard water causes problems in the household. Generally, slightly hard water does not affect much.

Method 2: Notice Hardness Level:

  • Look for White Scale: Whitish cast or scaling is left behind sink, shower and bathtub. This is also happening in your pipes. This cannot be eradicated with DIY fixes and requires installing a water softener. If this is not treated early it will clog pipes and will damage the plumbing system.
  • Dry and Stiff Laundry: Hard water makes clothes clingy, dry and stiff. When extremely hard it does not clean clothes as even high-end detergents fail. The fabric looks dull and a strange sour odor is revived.
  • Spots on Glassware: Have you noticed those white spots on glassware? This is an obvious sign that can be removed by vinegar and baking powder. Even you can use glass polishing to reduce damage.
  • Dry and Dull Hair: Skin feels irritated and hair looks dull because a thin soap film is formed after bathing which is slippery. Head scalp feels itchy and dandruff is rooted as natural oils wash out completely.

Method 3: Testing Hardness Level:

Water hardness level can be tested through testing units. Look for ppm and gpg in water:

  • 3.5 to 7 gpg is moderately hard
  • Ppm or American hardness degree: 60 to 120 moderately hard

You can ask for more details via the water supplier of your area. Ask for a water hardness testing kit from companies. Some water-based companies offer free test kits you can call them for a sample and before you test always check given instructions before.

Testing through strip: You can buy these strips online. Take a glass of water and dip strip straight in the water for a few seconds. It will indicate the hardness level match it with the packet details. Do not use strip directly below tap water it will show wrong results.

Testing via Traditional Titration Kit: These are precise in comparison to online kits. Take water in a small container and drop chemical drop by drop. The number of drops used to change the color shows the hardness of water.

Testing via Professional Lab: This is more expensive but the most accurate water hardness detection method. This will provide a detailed report of contaminants, minerals and all type of bacteria or virus present in water. It is a good idea to send a sample for testing via a laboratory especially when the water in your area is very hard. This is vital if you have a pool, spa or water-related businesses. If you don’t find any lab in your area you can ask the agricultural department for help.


Detecting hard water is easy and takes a few minutes. Even if you pay attention to the faucets, laundry, and dishes you will get a hint that something wrong is with water. Identifying hard water can save your dishes, faucets, utensils, clothes, plumbing, and appliances from getting damaged. When you are trying to check water quality or hardness level try the mentioned steps and will come out with accurate results. This will help you in taking necessary actions i.e. installing a water filter or softener.

How To Tell If You Have Hard Water?

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