For water hardness 20–60ppm (softer water), consider using a liquid detergent. For water hardness 60–120ppm (moderately hard water), consider using a powder detergent. For water hardness 120ppm and above (very hard water) consider adding a laundry booster (eg Vanish) or sodium carbonate to the main wash cycle.
Best for Tough Stains and Hard Water
In fact, in our ratings, 12 Tide detergents (liquids and pods/packs) offer near top-level efficiency in hard water. Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium that can leave residue on your clothes and mineral deposits inside your washing machine.
When washing with hard water, good detergents include extra ingredients that soften the water so the rest can get to work removing the real stains. This is why you'll need to use more detergent to soften the water if you live in a hard water area.
Add a quarter cup of vinegar to each load to help cut the minerals and prevent them from building up. Every now and then, run an empty load with hot water and 1-3 cups of vinegar.
Add washing soda when you wash your clothes – Washing soda or sodium carbonate is soluble in water, and reacts with the hard water minerals calcium and magnesium to soften your water. This allows your washing detergent to produce more lather and work better.
Hard water can also damage your gasket and funnels. As the mineral deposits build-up, it can cause your machine to malfunction and overdry your clothes. In the end, this can cause rusting of the metal parts. If you're already having a problem, you may want to try a cleaning product made for washing machines.
Fabric softener is not a hard water treatment. You may still find your clothing dirty-looking, stiff and rough after washing. Fabric softener can combine with the chemicals in your water to contribute to the soap scum.
How to Get Rid of Hard Water. A home water softener is the most efficient way to remove the minerals that make your water hard. Affordable water softening systems are available from a variety of retailers with capacities to fit your home's water usage and hardness.
Vinegar makes a perfect fragrance-free fabric softener and works well for hard water. To use vinegar as a fabric softener and static reducer: Add 1/4 to 1/2 cup of distilled white vinegar to the final rinse cycle of your washing machine.
It's formulated to deliver a deep clean for all of life's messy moments. Persil laundry detergent is great for everyday laundry, even activewear, as it not only helps brighten and whiten your clothes, but also helps fight tough stains.
SWASH by Whirlpool, Liquid Laundry Detergent
SWASH by Whirlpool is the best nontoxic laundry detergent out there. This detergent helps unlock tough dirt, stains, and odors while being gentle on fabrics without leaving any residue behind.
Liquid detergent can be easy to over or underdose because of an overzealous pour or a difficult to read measuring cap, but is an easy to dispense option due to the convenient packaging. Powder detergent is simple to measure out, but may be difficult to deposit into your washer without spilling.
Synthetic detergents can lather well in hard water because synthetic detergents form soluble calcium and magnesium salts with hard water.
Soften your kitchen water by boiling: Boiling will make the salts in water sink to the bottom of the boiler. You can then scoop out this water or pour the water in another pot leaving the deposits in the end. Install an ion-exchange filter to your kitchen faucet or use a water pitcher filter.
Add Baking Soda to Water
A temporary fix, but one that works. In a bathtub, add around ½ cup of baking soda. Although baking soda cannot soften the water fully, it, being alkaline, changes the pH of hard water to make it more suitable for skin and hair.
Skip using fabric conditioner when washing cashmere, moisture-wicking activewear, and more. Caroline is a freelance writer for MarthaStewart.com.
The Reason Hard Water Damages Hair
It can also make hair dull, frizzy, stiff, and more prone to tangles. These effects are heightened when hair is washed with hard water over a long period of time. The buildup may be more difficult to penetrate with serums, masks, or other treatments.
Liquid detergents washed equally well in both soft and hard water. Powdered detergents were better than liquids in soft water. Water hardness affected powdered detergents, and, depending on the detergent type, 10-15% to > 30% extra detergent was needed to obtain a result similar to that of soft water.
Hard water also negatively impacts the efficiency and lifespan of any appliance that requires water for operation. This might not be such a big deal for a coffeemaker, but it has the same effect on water heaters and refrigerators.
The blue crystals in OxiClean™ Versatile Stain Remover are made of water softener molecules which help your detergent work better.
Pods are best for people who tend to have the same size loads all the time and have laundry that isn't very heavily soiled, according to Johnson. They're also the least messy and easiest to transport, which is why they're a good pick for people using communal laundry rooms.
Pods and Pacs
Both laundry detergent sheets and pods are quick, convenient, mess-free, and pre-measured (inciting major benefits over liquid and powder detergent). Pods and sheets not only perform better because they are measured correctly, but also because they have more concentrated cleaning ingredients.
Laundry pods are the best laundry detergent to use if you frequently wash smaller loads. They aren't the best laundry detergent to use when washing big loads and heavily soiled clothes.