Hard Water Myths: Busted

Hard Water

Hard water serves more than 50% of municipalities in Canada[1], yet many are misinformed about how hard water works, what it contains, and how you are affected by it. Here we take a look at some of the myths, and debunk them with real facts.

Myth 1 – Hard Water is Harmful to Your Health

You may have heard that hard water can have damaging health effects, but evidence has shown it can be somewhat beneficial. The World Health Organization says that "there does not appear to be any convincing evidence that water hardness causes adverse health effects in humans". 

Myth 2 - Minerals in Water Are Contaminants

There are some myths to do with hard water being full of unhealthy contaminants, but this is purely a myth. Hard water contains compounds – calcium and magnesium, specifically. These aren’t the same as water contaminants, which include disinfectants, micro-organisms and inorganic chemicals.

Myth 3 – Water Softeners Purify Water

It’s important to know that while minerals themselves are not contaminants, equally water softeners do not purify water. Water softeners are designed to remove, or reduce, hard water conditions on water with high calcium content. Their sole purpose is to collect minerals from the water. This means they will not take care of chemicals, sediment or even micro-organisms. These can be taken care of through proper filtration, or even a carbon filter system.

Myth 4 – Hard Water Will Cause Cloudiness in Glasses

While it’s true that hard water can affect your glasses, it doesn’t cause cloudiness (which is irreversible damage to the glass). What it does cause is the accumulation of deposits on the surface of the glass, which can make it look streaky. These marks are easy to avoid, however, when you use Finish® Jet-Dry, which helps prevent minerals from settling on the glass, to help glasses come out sparkling.

Myth 5 – Hard Water Ruins Kettles

Although hard water does contain the elements that produce calcium carbonate scale, it’s not true that this will increase the time it takes to boil water. If you are worried about the effects of scaling on your kettle, then half-fill the kettle with water, add two tablespoons of white vinegar, and leave for four hours. Once the time is up you can empty the kettle and clear off loosened scale. Rinse, and repeat (if necessary).

1 http://www.ccme.ca/files/Resources/supporting_scientific_documents/cwqg_pn_1040.pdf

2 http://www.who.int/water_sanitation_health/dwq/chemicals/en/hardness.pdf

 

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