How Can Hard Water Affect Your Appliances?

You may be wondering what exactly is hard water and how it can affect your home. Essentially, having hard water means that your water contains an excessive amount of calcium and magnesium. However, when you hear this information for the first time, it may not be clear why this is a problem. Hard water can cause several issues with your home water supply:

  • High amount of soap scum on dishes and glasses
  • Residue or filmy texture on your hands after washing
  • Damage to appliances from build-up
  • Increased costs (more soap needed to get things clean, appliance maintenance, etc.)

Luckily, water softeners can resolve these potential problems. Water softeners can:

  • Save you money on soaps, detergents, and cleansers
  • Lower water heating expenses
  • Extend the life of all your major water-focused appliances
  • Brighten your clothing
  • Give you smoother skin and healthier hair
  • Remove soap scum and water spots

Did you know that most manufacturers recommend the use of soft water for appliances? In some cases, using hard water may even void your appliance’s warranty. Compact deposits materialize whenever water is heated, and this can clog your pipes and add to your heating expenses. When these deposits start to accumulate, they lower the effectiveness of your appliances and shorten their lifespan. Let’s take a closer look at how hard water can damage your appliances and what types of appliances are impacted by hard water in your home.


If you are noticing that your dishes aren’t coming out looking shiny, spotless and clean, a water softener may be necessary. Unfortunately, the high levels of minerals in hard water don’t interact well with cleaning agents and your detergents will not be as effective. This can cause spotting and soap scum on your dishes and glasses when drops of hard water dry. Over time, your dishware may even begin to appear permanently milky or cloudy. While some products such as rinse aids can combat the problem, this type of solution is similar to putting a band-aid on a more complicated injury. Why spend more money on rinse aids over time when you could invest in a water softener and solve the issue once and for all?

If soap scum isn’t such a high priority for you, then consider your dishwasher’s overall performance. Hard water will put more strain on the equipment, and the last thing you want is having to replace a dishwasher that could have lasted much longer with a water softener.

Washing Machines

Just as hard water in a dishwasher will increase the amount of soap used, using hard water in a washing machine will increase the amount of detergent used. Also, you might see a similar effect when it comes to your clothes: whereas water softeners make your clothes look bright and feel soft, hard water will give the fabric a rougher texture. You may even find that your clothes have a powdery white coating (this is referred to as “scale”) due to mineral build-up. As time goes by, the colors in your clothes will diminish, losing their vibrancy. You likely spend a lot of money on clothes for yourself and your family, and you don’t want these to go to waste.

That powdery white coating won’t just harm your clothes, either; it will also build up in the system itself. With this build-up on the interior parts, the washing machine will slowly deteriorate as it struggles to function.

Water Heaters

That tricky white coating or “scale” will accumulate in your water heaters (electric or gas), too. Over time, scale settles in the base of the tank. The water heater will have to work twice as hard to increase the temperature of your water supply and pass through the scale.

This will increase your energy costs, and eventually the water heater will fail. With softened water you can avoid this type of water heater failure, and you can avoid dealing with cold water until the problem is resolved. By installing a water softener now, you could save yourself a great deal of money, time and hassle in the future.

Learn More about Hard Water with Hague Quality Water of Maryland

If you are concerned about hard water or the overall quality and contents of your water, we are here to help with your water improvement projects. The WaterMax® is a premier water softener with more than 50 years of engineering and science behind it! Call Hague Quality Water of Maryland at (410) 881-3638 to learn more.

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