Research shows that 1/5th of UK residents have no idea if they live in a hard or soft water area, despite the fact that hard water has a severe impact on our home appliances.
At Home Appliance Geek, we regularly consider hard water vs soft water, such as when recommending the most appropriate dishwasher detergent, or explaining how to descale your kettle.
Essentially, understanding the hardness level of your water enables you to make more informed home appliance purchasing decisions, and ensures you understand how to maintain your appliances effectively.
But how do you know if your water is hard or soft? And if you already know that the water in your area is hard, then how hard is it exactly?
UK Hard Water Map
Harvey Water Softeners has built a very handy tool to check how hard your water is.
Simply input your location and the tool will tell you the exact hardness level of your water and will display the value on a scale to help you understand what that exact figure means.
For those interested in how the UK is affected by hard water, they also have a map displaying water hardness across the UK (below).
Useful Information and Facts about Hard Water
Water hardness is measured in ppm (parts per million), which refers to the milligrams of calcium carbonate present per litre of water.
The hardest water in the UK is in Ipswich with a measure of 368ppm, while the softest water in the UK can be found in Edinburgh which has a measure of 23ppm.
Hard water is caused by the makeup of the local regions earth; rainwater is naturally soft but takes on calcium as it perpetrates through the rock, calcium, magnesium and other minerals in the earth. The water in the south and south-east is the hardest due to the limestone regions in those areas.
The reason hard water has such a huge effect on your home appliances, skin and hair are due to a few key reasons:
- The excess calcium is responsible for limescale deposits
- The minerals in hard water strip out moisture from hair and skin
- Hard water doesn’t lather as easily and doesn’t mix as well with shampoos and detergent
Your bathroom and home appliances require more regular and deeper cleaning to prevent limescale deposit from building up, and you need to use more moisturiser and shampoo products to keep your hair and skin clean and moisturised.
Those living in hard water areas may already be familiar with this fact, and have struggled with the negative effects of hard water for a long time now!
Founder of homeappliancegeek.com, avid cook, and lover of Asian food.
Signature dishes include Thai Red Curry, Chicken Saag, Bibimbap and Sushi.
Massive clean freak; a habit baked-in after spending 9 years in the catering industry.
The one appliance he couldn’t live without? Easily the dishwasher (total relationship saver!).