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  • Mason Sherrill

Hard Water Hacks

This might seem silly to some but, lo and behold, here I am writing about tap water. Unfortunately, I learned the very hard way (pun most definitely intended) that if you have hard water it can make a difference in certain areas of your home. Hard water contains higher amounts of minerals, and if you're curious about how your water measures up you can easily test your water at home using these strips.

Sourdough Starter

I killed so much sourdough before I decided to test my tap water for hardness level. If you have been struggling to get a rise from your starter or you've been killing starter make sure you're using purified water. It's crazy the impact it makes. Within two days of switching from tap water to purified I had a happy, bubbly starter ready to go.

Calcium Deposits

If you drink coffee or tea and use tap water to make it then you probably get some build up in the coffee pot or tea kettle. Here are recipes for cleaning and descaling a tea kettle and coffee pot. Likewise, this same issue can occur in essential oil diffusers. For this I recommend just using purified water in your diffusers. If you'd rather use tap water but have found you have hard water or just need a clean slate for your diffuser, here are some instructions to clean it using vinegar.


Adding a water softener, along with the detergent you normally use, to each wash load can really help combat hard water. Since adding a softener, I have noticed cleaner and better smelling clothes! I personally like using Charlie's soap booster, one scoop per load for normal laundry. For extra dirty laundry, like my kitchen towels and rags, I use a 1/4 c. borax per load. You can also use Washing Soda, this typically works well for water that has medium hardness levels.

Cloth Diapering

Oh, if I could go back and share this info with myself and save myself hours of washing out diapers to no avail, I would. If you have hard water you must use a water softener! My wash routine includes rinsing off of any solids from the diapers then running them through one hot water cycle with 1 scoop of Nellie's laundry soap or 2 Tbs of a liquid free & clear detergent and 1/2 c. of borax (yes, a whole half cup). You can start with 1/4 c. of borax to test and see if that sufficiently rinses your diapers, but if you notice any sudsy feeling in the diapers after a full wash, bump up the amount of borax. Then, I do a cold water rinse cycle with another 1/4 c. borax, no detergent. Sometimes I set my washer to the rinse cycle and let the basin fill with water, put in the borax and let the diapers soak for an hour or two if I've noticed any stinking or lack of cleanliness in the diapers. Cloth diapers are really a test and adjust-as-you go type of experiment so I highly recommend buying from Nora's nursery. They're wonderful for many reasons, but in regards to wash care and routines I found their customer care to be above and beyond my expectations!

If you've got other hacks for hard or soft water please drop them below in the comments.

Happy homemaking!

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