Everyone loves to have soft, fresh-smelling laundry, but unfortunately for some, the hard water in South Africa can make this more difficult to achieve. Hard water contains higher levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium, which can leave a build-up of limescale in the washing machine and can make it more likely that your laundry will come out of the wash with a little more stiffness in the fibres.
You might even notice roughness on your skin. So, how can you figure out what the water hardness in your area is like?
Find out if you have hard water by reading the below tell-tale signs. If you think you might live in a hard water area, don’t worry! These simple tips will help you get sweet-smelling smoothness you’re after for without having to pay for an expensive hard water softener.
How to find out if you have hard water
Not sure whether you have hard water or not? Use these tell-tale signs of water hardness in the home to help you figure it out:
- Do you find it difficult to lather up your shampoo and soap?
- Are there rings around your bath tub?
- Do you often see white deposits building up around taps, drains and plug holes?
- Do your clothes feel stiff and rough when they come out of the wash?
- Do you sometimes find that your appliances are working less effectively than usual because of a build-up of scale on or inside them?
Answering yes to the queries above means you might be living in a hard water area. If you are in any doubt about your area’s water hardness, contact your water supplier.
Hard water in South Africa: laundry tips
There’s nothing better than fluffy towels, soft clothes and bedding, but water hardness can sometimes make fabric feel harsher on your skin. What’s more, hard water deposits can build up in your washing machine and cause problems. To keep your laundry soft and your machine in good working order if you’re in a hard water area, follow these simple steps:
- Keep mineral deposits in your washing machine at bay by washing your clothes at 30°C. This is not only good for reducing your energy consumption, but it will also keep your washing machine in tip-top condition. Use a detergent that is just as good at low temperatures, like OMO ULTRA Concentrated Liquid.
- You will need to use a higher dosage of your laundry detergent and fabric conditioner to counterbalance the lack of lather caused by water hardness. Follow the instructions on the product label for hard water areas – this might mean you end up going through detergent a bit more quickly, but it’ll be worth it.
- Keep the drum of your washing machine clean – this will help you avoid a build-up of limescale, which can damage the machine and reduce its cleaning performance. Clean it every couple of months by pouring a cup of white vinegar into the drum and run an empty cycle on the highest temperature setting. You can find out more about washing machine cleaning and maintenance here – it’s a good habit to get into!
- Following these simple steps will help you to keep your laundry soft and fresh, without the need to buy a hard water softener.