Hard Water Definition

A lot of people ask me “what is hard water” so I decided to share a hard water definition

Hard Water Definition

So, What’s The Hard Water Definition?

Definition in the dictionary at thefreedictionary.com says:

hard water - water that contains mineral salts (as calcium and magnesium ions) that limit the formation of lather with soap

Minerals such as calcium and magnesium and sometimes a few others are picked up by water as it runs over the ground, rocks, soil, etc.  When water picks up and contains an excessive amount of minerals the water is called hard. Hard water is found in about 85% of the United States so it’s a common occurrence. But no matter where hard water is found it is almost always a problem.

Problems beyond the hard water definition of “no soap lather”

The hard water definition above mentions that soap won’t lather when you have hard water, but here are some of the other problems you will find in hard water areas. The harder the water is the worse the problems will be.

  • Soap won’t lather
  • Laundry won’t get clean
  • Dishes have spots and white film on  them
  • Hair and skin won’t get clean
  • Skin problems can occur
  • Hair can be dull
  • Scale forms in sinks and tubs
  • Showerheads become corroded
  • Appliances wear out quicker
  • Can affect flavors of coffee, tea, other beverages

If you have hard water or suspect that you do it is fairly easy to figure out. According to this website http://video.about.com/plumbing/Test-for-Hard-Water.htm  you can test for hard water using an empty water bottle and some dish soap.  Fill an empty 16 oz. water bottle with about a cup of water.  Add 10 drops of liquid dish soap. Put the cap on and shake. If the water becomes very foamy your water is not hard. If there is little or no foam you definitely have a hard water problem.

So, if you’re worried that the hard water definition might apply to you, try the test above, or look for a testing kit. Do it yourself test kits for determining the hardness of your water are available online, at Target, Wal-Mart, and some hardware stores. Prices begin at around $10.

How Is Hard Water Measured?

Hard water is measured in PPM or parts per million. This chart from http://www.fcwa.org/water/hardness.htm  shows how hardness is measured.

Water Hardness Scale

Grains Per Gallon

Milligrams Per Liter   (mg/L)or Parts Per Million (ppm)


less than 1.0 less than 17.1 Soft
1.0 – 3.5 17.1 – 60 Slightly Hard
3.5 – 7.0 60 – 120 Moderately Hard
7.0 – 10.5 120 – 180 Hard
over 10.5 over 180 Very Hard

How to Solve the Hard Water Problem

Once you determine that your water is hard according to the hard water definition, what can you do to solve the problem?

Some folks invest in a whole house water softener system. These cost about $3,000 and require constant maintenance. Large amounts of salt must be added to the softener unit. The water is filtered through the salt which replaces the minerals that cause your water to be hard with huge amounts of sodium. This can cause a whole new set of problems.

A much better solution is the Aqua Magnets water conditioning system. Aqua Magnets offers an eco-friendly way to eliminate your hard water problems. No salt or chemicals will be added to your water with this system. It attaches simply and easily to the pipes that supply water to your home. It is so easy to install that you can do it yourself. No maintenance will be required.

With Aqua Magnets your laundry and dishes will be cleaner. Your hair and skin will be healthier. Your appliances will last longer. Best of all you water will be safe and healthy for your family, your pets, and your lawn and garden.

If you have hard water, give Aqua Magnets a try. Make it so the hard water definition above no longer applies to you. There’s a money-back guarantee, so you have nothing to lose!

[Image credit: Clearly Ambiguous]