How ‘hard’ your local water supply is can have a significant impact on the effectiveness of your cleaning products. Across Australia, the water hardness varies dramatically in each of the capital cities.
The mineral content in the water, namely calcium and magnesium, and to a lesser degree iron, manganese and barium salts will determine the level of hardness of the water. The table below give an indication of the water hardness in each of the capital cities. In Sydney for example the water hardness is low whereas in Brisbane it is on the upper end of the scale.
Generally in harder water areas, the cleaning products used for regular cleaning tasks are not as effective as in the softer water areas. Hard water will lessen the effectiveness of a detergent for example as the chemical properties of the cleaning product will go to work on softening the water before taking effect on the surfaces to be cleaned.
A couple of things that you can do to improve the effectiveness of your cleaning products in hard water areas. The First is to use a water conditioner to soften the water and the Second is to use hot water where available as this can reduce the hardness of the water.
Hard water can also contribute to unsightly limescale. Limescale is a build up of mineral deposits due to the high alkalinity of the water. Tell Tale signs are scale build up around taps and other washroom fittings. Un-treated this build up can cause damage to expensive fittings over time.
A quick and easy, natural cleaning solution is white vinegar. The acetic acid in the vinegar neutralises the lime scale and makes it easier to remove and slows build up when used in the regular cleaniing process. It’s also cheap and safe to use.