First, You need to confirm that's the actual problem. While skin dryness, scale deposits, or spotty glasses are all tell-tale signs, they could be indicative of other problems. Here's how you can know for sure.
Test it yourself
For an informal water hardness test, you can DIY.
1. Fill a cup or a jar with 12 ounces of your tap water.
2. Add 10 drops of liquid soap (not detergent).
3. Attach the lid and shake or stir vigorously for a few seconds.
4. Look for suds at the top. If you have lots of bubbles at the top and clear water underneath, you have soft water, and you can stop testing.
5. If you don’t see thick suds, and the water underneath is cloudy, repeat the process, 10 drops of soap at a time, until you see foam. If it takes 40 drops of soap or more to raise some suds, you have hard or very hard water.
Buy Water Test Strips
Water Test strips can give you results in as little as 15 seconds and can give you a more accurate measurement of the level of hardness in your water.
1. Take the Water test strips out of the bag without touching the testing area.
2. Dip the Water test strips in your tap water for a second or two.
3. Compare the color on the Water test strips to the chart on the package.
Look it up online
Your municipality may have already done water testing.
1. Call your water company or visit your town or county water department website.
2. Check the levels of hardness in your water and recommendations on what, if anything, you should do about it.
Use a TDS Water Meter
That is a Total Dissolved Solids Meter
TDS meters measure the electrical conductivity of water. Pure water is a poor conductor, but dissolved solids carry a distinct electrical charge that correlates directly to TDS levels. The greater the charge — the higher the level of dissolved solids. It’s the quickest way to get a feel of what in your water.
But meters are non-selective, meaning they read only total levels of dissolved solids — they don’t measure specific contaminants. They’re also not sensitive enough to detect uncharged or low-charged ions like lead, pesticides, herbicides, petroleum products and trace pharmaceuticals. If you’re worried about select toxins, it’s like knowing there are fish in your pool without knowing if you’re swimming with guppies or Great White sharks.
The bottom line is — TDS meters are a useful screening tool, but they can’t tell you if your water is safe to drink.
What is the hard water solutions?
Luckily, once you know you have hard water, there’s plenty you can do. You can deal with it on an individual level or throughout the home. Here are our suggestions.
A water softener is an appliance that works by exchanging the calcium and magnesium in hard water with the salt in sodium pellets. If you’re watching your salt intake and don’t want to consume it in your drinking water, you can filter the faucet, have your water softener bypass the kitchen sink, or purchase a softener that works with potassium instead of sodium.
Use vinegar to attack the scale. It’s another short term solution—with hard water, the scale will come back over time.
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Use these in your dishwater or while washing dishes
Using Rinse Aid in your dishwasher is a good starter solution for your hard water problem. It doesn’t actually soften the water, but it does help moisture run off the dishes, glasses, and flatware—if the water is able to drip off your dishes before it dries, it won't leave behind any cloudy mineral deposits.