Kimbro Air
Kimbro Air
HendersonvilleTN 37075
 (615) 824-8098

How to Deal with Hard Water in the Winter

How to Deal with Hard Water in the Winter

 If you’ve ever washed your face and felt a tacky residue on your skin afterward, you are likely feeling the after-effects of hard water. While having hard water in your home isn’t harmful to your health, it can wreak havoc on your skin and take a toll on the condition of your hair, clothing, and appliances. Estimates from the U.S. Geological Survey indicate that more than 85% of the water that consumers use in the US can be classified as being some degree of “hardness” due to high to elevated levels of chlorine, sulfates, copper, calcium and magnesium.

What Causes Hard Water?

Minerals like magnesium and calcium interact with the chemicals in bath products, shampoos and soaps, preventing them from dissolving completely. Because they don’t dissolve, they don’t lather properly, leaving a scummy residue that makes your skin feel dull and dry, fades hair color, and leaves locks frizzy and brittle. Over time, this buildup can clog pores, creating skin care problems and leading to dull, limp hair.  

Combating the Effects of Hard Water

The signs that you have hard water from your tap are generally obvious. While you can request that your plumbing professional test your water, or use an at-home test, if you have a ring around your bath, residue built up on your plumbing fixtures or tiles, a clogged showerhead, or a white, chalky buildup in your water kettle, chances are you have hard water.

To protect your hair and skin from the harsh effects of hard water, here are some easy tips to follow:

  • Wash your hair with a chelating or clarifying shampoo. Chelating shampoos have anti-static properties and clarifying shampoos remove chemicals such as chlorine and eliminate mineral buildup on your hair. Hard water often has elevated sulfate levels, so look for a brand specifically formulated for hard water that doesn’t include sulfates or parabens which can make hair sticky.   
  • Replace your showerhead. While a complete home water softening system will solve your home’s hard water problem, they can be expensive to install and are not always a feasible option. A filtering showerhead improves your water and helps skin and hair by removing unwanted chemicals and enhancing the pH balance. The filter is built into the showerhead or can be installed to the fixture in-line above the showerhead.Using a humidifier adds humidity to your indoor air, which can help your skin and hair retain moisture. 
  • Give your hair an acidic rinse. An acidic rinse solution such as vinegar or lemon juice will neutralize the alkalinity, remove buildup, and add bounce and shine to your mane. Simply mix 1/3 cup of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar with a quart of boiled or distilled water. If boiling tap water, make sure to strain out any white residue at the bottom of the pan. Shampoo your hair and rinse well. Pour the acidic solution over clean hair, leave on for a few minutes and rinse with cool water.
  • Use a humidifier. During the winter months, not only are you likely to be showering and washing your face with hotter water, but you are probably cranking the heat up on your HVAC system as well. Hot, dry air leaches moisture and removes the thin layer of oil that traps moisture in your skin, causing dry, itchy skin and scalp, and exacerbating painful conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Using a humidifier adds humidity to your indoor air, which can help your skin and hair retain moisture. Depending on the size of the room and your personal needs, you can select a tabletop, mini-console or whole house humidifier. If you plan to use tap water to fill your humidifier, choose a humidifier that features a mineral filter cartridge, otherwise, experts recommend that you use distilled water.

For more information about increasing your family’s home comfort levels during the cooler months, call the HVAC experts at Kimbro Air, or request service online. We have been proudly serving the HendersonvilleNashville and surrounding communities since 1944. If you are not sure if we cover your area, visit our service area page or call our office to find out how we can help.