What Is Hard Water?
“Hard” water is water that contains large amounts of dissolved minerals in contrast with “soft water”. The presence of these minerals in the water makes it difficult to wash with ordinary soap.
Hard water is formed when water percolates through deposits of limestone and chalk which are largely made up of calcium and magnesium carbonates.
Instead of good suds, the soap combines with the hard water’s minerals to form a scum that is difficult to rinse away. The minerals also form hard, crust like deposits in pipes and boilers.
Wherever water hardness is a concern, water softening is commonly used to reduce hard water’s adverse effects. Hard water can be softened by filtering it through machines that treat it with chemicals.
Water in which ordinary soap will make good suds is called “soft” water. Modern detergents work in any kind of water.