Worried You May Have Hard Water? Try This Easy DIY Technique to Find Out!

Worried You May Have Hard Water? Try This Easy DIY Technique to Find Out!

Hard water in your home can cause a host of potentially expensive problems. If you are among the 85% of homes dealing with hard water, you might think it’s normal to have to keep paying to repair and replace appliances. You have become accustomed to hard water stains and soap scum, and clothes that wear out quickly, but never come fully clean. Itchy skin and heavy hair are part of your everyday life.

If all of this sounds familiar, but you aren’t sure that you have hard water, there is a simple do it yourself test you can perform at home to find out!
What You’ll Need:

  • 1 clear plastic bottle, an old water bottle will work
  • Pure liquid soap

First, fill your water bottle to about 1/3 from the top, straight from the tap. Next, add about 10 drops of liquid soap into the bottle. Pure soap is best, as anything labeled “detergent” will contain additives that will alter the results. If at all possible, use a soap that does not contain dyes or perfume. The less ingredients on the list, the more accurate your results will be. Next, close your bottle and shake it vigorously for no less than 10 seconds. If you feel like the star of a shake-weight commercial, you’re on the right track!


You should have created a good amount of sudsing at this point. The water beneath the suds should settle and become clear. This is a good indicator that your water is soft, or at least not hard enough to be causing you many problems.

If you didn’t obtain clean [or, in some cases, any] suds, or if the water becomes cloudy in this process, you may be dealing with very hard water. You can continue the test by adding a few more drops of soap, and shaking again. The more soap is needed to create suds, the harder your water is. This is a good indicator of how much soap you’re wasting trying to clean your dishes, clothes, and home.


Soap binds to the minerals that are commonly found in hard water. Magnesium, calcium, iron, and other solids trap the soap, preventing it from doing its job and leaving both dirt and undissolved soap solids behind. This is what prevents suds from forming, even when water is agitated. This also explains the ring in your bathtub, the buildup in your washing machine, and the lingering odors on your clothes.

Now that you’ve seen how hard water reacts to pure soap, imagine what happens when using detergent. Detergent contains additives, perfumes, and dyes. These are only more vehicles for hard water to deposit itself, hitching a ride onto your skin, fabrics, and appliances. The harder your water is, the more detergent you will need to use to remove dirt, and even then, the dirt is often only redeposited rather than washed away. Now your home is dirty, and with a bonus layer of soap scum

While this cycle can turn pretty vicious, the treatment for hard water is painless and cost-effective. A water softener is an easy and environmentally friendly solution to all of the negative effects of hard water.

Be Sure

While this DIY test is a good indicator of the hardness of your water, there are many factors that contribute to mineral deposits. Our water treatment techs are trained and equipped to assess your water quality, and help you determine the variables that may be affecting your supply.

Our team of professionals will test your water for ph levels, total dissolved solids, hardness, and all other variables that can make your water wonderful, or worrisome. And the best part? We are happy to provide this service at no cost. You can learn more about our water treatment process Here.

If you have serious concerns about the safety of your water, you can have your water tested at our Clean Water Center for answers. Safe water isn’t just our job, it’s our passion.