Water Hardness Test Strips Resources and FAQs
What is water hardness?
Hard water is high in dissolved minerals, largely calcium and magnesium. As water passes through soil and underground mineral deposits, it can pick up traces of calcium and magnesium which subsequently dissolve.
The major factor that determines the hardness of your water supply is the nature of the underground geology and the original source of the water. Some locations will have water that is naturally low in calcium and magnesium – so-called “soft” water – while other water supplies will be very hard, containing a high level of minerals. Well and municipal water supplies are both affected by water hardness.
Why is water hardness important?
The term “hardness” was originally used to describe water that was literally “hard to wash with.” Minerals causing hardness prevent soap from lathering by forming insoluble “waxy” soap deposits. That's why, hard water can cause a variety of problems, examples include:
Soap scum build-up on shower tiles, bathtubs, and sinks • Difficulty rinsing away soap and shampoo
Dry and itchy skin
White mineral deposits on glassware
When mineral-rich (especially magnesium and calcium) water is heated, insoluble scale forms. Such a scale build-up harms many appliances in the home and can reduce water heater efficiency or cause premature failure of water heaters and boilers all together.
Chances are if you are located in North America you have hard water. About 85% of homes have hard water. Hard water is also common in the UK (around 60%) and Canada. These Health Metric test strips make monitoring water hardness easy. No need to mess with chemicals or pay for an expensive laboratory test. Simply dip the strip into the water and compare it with a large color chart on the bottle.
Helpful Resources and Downloads
If you want to learn more about water hardness and how it may affect you, here is a great website to look up.