The harm of bathing in hard water
Water is a basic hygiene tool for our bodies, but not all water is healthy. And we are not talking about obviously dirty water from open water bodies, but about the water that we use every day to wash and bathe. Clean at first sight, the tap water contains harmful substances and their compounds. In this article we will talk only about calcium and magnesium salts, otherwise called hardness salts.
Signs of hard water
To understand what kind of water comes out of your faucet, pay attention to household items in contact with water:
- white streaks are visible on clothes after washing
- white stains are visible on the inside of kettles and pots
- detergents do not foam properly and require extra consumption
- vegetables take too long to stew, and meat is stiff after a few hours of cooking
- the heating elements in household appliances burn out: electric kettles, boilers, dishwashers and washing machines
Chemical analysis of water will help to determine the exact amount of hardness salts. American standards consider water with a total hardness of up to 7 mg-eq/dm3 to be safe. European standards are more demanding for water European standards are higher - the total hardness should be not more than 2,5 mg-eq/dm3.
If you live in one of the larger cities and use water from the central water supply, the hardness content may be within American norms because utilities consider these norms when treating water. In small towns, utilities may not purify water from hardness salts because it is expensive. Water from a well on your summer cottage or country house can be very hard, especially if the well is deep.
Danger for your body
Bathing in hard water, you put your skin at risk of early aging and skin diseases. The reason is that hard water reacts with detergents - soaps, shower gels, shampoos - and forms insoluble "soap scum" that are not washed off the skin and cover the whole surface of the body after bathing. The slags destroy the natural fatty film that protects the hair and skin from the harmful effects of the environment.
When bathing in hard water, the skin becomes dry, flabby, begins to peel, pores clog, itching, allergic reactions, dermatitis appear. Due to lack of moisture small wrinkles become noticeable - the first sign of aging skin. Hair also suffers from such water: dandruff appears, from which it is impossible to get rid even with the help of special shampoos and medicines. Over time, the hair becomes brittle, faded, split, it is difficult to comb and style.
Hard water is especially harmful for children, as it destroys the body's natural defenses and lowers immunity. Immature baby body is not yet able to cope with the effects of an aggressive environment, which leads to the development of diseases. British scientists have concluded that bathing in hard water provokes the development of eczema even in totally healthy children. In this case, the risk of developing the disease increases by 87%; in genetically predisposed children, the figure is higher. More details on the results of the research can be found in the journal "Allergy and Clinical Immunology"
It's not just the hardness salts that matter for baby bathing, but also other contaminants in the water.
Ways to Soften Water
For food and household use, hard water must always be softened. Here are a few ways to soften water:
Boiling and settling. Boiling causes some of the hardness salts to settle as scale on the walls of kettles and pots. Another part precipitates out as a precipitate when the water settles for several hours. This method is not always convenient: it is not suitable for large volumes of water, and does not remove all compounds of calcium and magnesium.
Adding alkalis: borax or baking soda. This method requires compliance with the exact proportions, mistakes in dosage can lead to even worse results. Such water cannot be used for drinking and cooking, but it can be used for washing hair and dishes, for hand and machine washing.
Freezing and thawing. The method is labor-intensive and time-consuming. It is necessary to pick up plastic or plastic containers and free up space in the freezer. Then you can act in two ways: either freeze the water for ¾, and not frozen water with substances dissolved in it to drain, or freeze completely, and then under a stream of hot water to wash out the muddy ice from the middle, leaving only its transparent areas. This method is also not suitable for large volumes of water.Filtration. To effectively clean the water from hardness salts, we suggest using the 20 - Stage Replacement Shower Water Filter. This filter is suitable for apartments and offices. If the water has an excess of other elements such as iron, manganese in addition to excess hardness salts, one filter is not enough for complete water purification.