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Watch Your Water: The Harmful Effects of Bathing in Hard Water

December 28, 2018

There’s no shortage of ways in which water is essential to us. From staying hydrated to cooking our meals, water is life. And when it’s time to get clean, the water in your shower or bathtub is something you heavily rely on. But sometimes, the chemical makeup of water can hide unwelcome surprises. Hard water, i.e. water that is high in mineral content like calcium and magnesium carbonates, has some unpleasant properties you’ll want to avoid. Here’s a closer look at the effects of bathing in hard water.

Less Effective Cleaning

Here’s something you may be surprised to find out - on a chemical level, hard water actually diminishes the cleaning power of your soap. The calcium and magnesium ions in hard water react chemically upon coming into contact with fatty acids present in soap, forming insoluble lime soap. Calcium ions from hard water take the place of sodium ions in shampoos and soaps, which ultimately equates to soap scum and lime deposits being scrubbed directly onto you.

Hard Water and Hair

One of the most common questions about the effects of bathing in hard water concerns its impact on hair. In short, the effects aren’t good at all. Hair washed in hard water may become dry and frizzy, or it may take on a duller appearance. Color-treated hair may also fade more quickly than normal. Most serious of all, hard water can even contribute to hair loss. Calcium can accumulate at the base of hair follicles, which can cause breakage and difficulty in regrowing hair.

More Than Skin Deep

Your skin can feel the full effects of bathing in hard water as well. On your scalp, the buildup of calcium can cause the dryness and flaking known as dandruff. Across the rest of your body, hard water creates even more dryness, itching, and occasional red patches of skin. And not only can it aggravate skin conditions like psoriasis, it may actually contribute to new conditions. Dermatologist and author Anjali Mahto writes that hard water can damage the natural barriers of the skin and increase the risk of developing eczema.As you can see, the effects of bathing in hard water are not to be taken lightly. Managing the mineral content of the water in your shower or bath will have long-term health and wellness benefits, and we’d be happy to make that happen. Our new Green Energy water softeners are effective and cost-efficient, so contact us today and see which of our two models suits your home best!