How Hard Water Ruins Laundry and How to Fix It?

How Hard Water Ruins Laundry and How can you fix that? – Are you not satisfied with the way how your washing machine is cleaning your clothes? If you have changed to a new location, know your water quality first before blaming your washing machine or detergent.

The low quality of laundry can also be due to the hardness of the water. This problem can happen in all the places where the water is hard. Hard water not only causes damage to the skin and hair but also to clothes while doing laundry.

How do you know that hard water is causing damage to your clothes? Here are some of the signs that you can notice.

  • The laundry will get yellow or grey very easily.
  • Clothes after laundry do not remain fluffy; rather, they get stiff.
  • The clothes will have weakened fabric, and they will tear out quite easily.
  • In the case of coloured clothes, you will notice grey or white streaks all over them.

How Hard Water Ruins Laundry?

The minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and others in hard water do not go well with the detergents. Thus, when you do laundry in hard water, the detergent does not dissolve well in the water, leading to several problems you have. Thus, if you have a higher mineral concentration in the water in your area, you will have more laundry problems.

As per research conducted by Purdue University, if you are continuously washing clothes in hard water, they will get damaged much faster than the clothes being washed in soft water. The research mentioned that the hard water mixes calcium concentration with the detergent to form a curd-like substance that sits on the fabrics and leaves a residue. Also, this substance attracts dirt and makes the clothes even dirtier than before.

When the residue dries out on the fabric, it becomes a starch-like substance that stiffens the fabric. This is also a major reason why the fabric gets weakened and soon starts tearing very easily.

How to Fix it?

When you see that you are not getting good laundry results, you may often start using more detergent. But doing this, you are worsening the situation even more. Also, this will mean that you will have to spend extra money on detergents. If, by chance, the extra use of detergent damages your machine, this will lead to even bigger expenses.

Here are some of the other ways that you can use to fix this problem.

●      Use Liquid Detergent

One of the best ways to try out is to make use of liquid detergent in place of powder detergent. Many detergent companies make use of nonionic surfactants in liquid detergent that resists the harshness of hard water. Thus, when the liquid detergent does not react with the minerals present in the water, it does not damage the fabric.

Hard water ruins laundry
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●      Laundry Borax

If you are using powder detergent only, you can mix half a cup of laundry borax with the detergent in the water. This substance works as a hard water softener as it produces a complex of soluble calcium. This again helps in stopping the reaction of the detergent with the calcium available in hard water. This will help again in keeping your clothes protected from any laundry damage.

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●      Home-made Detergent

You can also prepare a home-based laundry detergent by mixing pure soap with borax that you can use for your laundry. It would help if you got a water test done to understand the level of hardness in the water. Based on this test, you can add up the borax in the soap.

Also, read 5 most amazing kitchen appliances, here.

●      Hard Water Softener

If you wish to have a permanent solution, you can install a hard water softener in the water tank so that you can stay away from the ill effects of hard water. This hard water softening system helps by dissolving sodium in the water that removes or dilutes minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

You can also install a hard water softener on the tap that is used for washing laundry. The most popular and most effective hard water softeners are the ion exchange hard water softeners like the hard water softener from Kent.

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Hard Water Softeners will not only save you from your laundry woes but will also increase the life of your expensive washing machines. You can learn more about water softeners and water purifiers and check out their detailed and in-depth reviews at

Wrapping Up

Hard water can cause trouble in several ways, such as by damaging your skin, hair, and even your clothes. This can be a reason why your clothes are losing their luster and quality with each wash. You cannot change the quality of water that you are getting in a location. But you can try out different hacks in either softening the water or protecting your fabric from the impacts of hard water.


©Dipika Singh. This article is the property of the site’s author. Any unauthorized use or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Dipika Singh (Gleefulblogger). With the right and specific direction to the original content.

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  1. Ruchi Verma says:

    This is something very informative, I am happy that I am using liquid detergent for my laundry. Thanks for sharing such great tips!!

  2. Hard water ruins a lot of things. I didn’t know about liquid detergents and borax helping contain effects of hard water. This was definitely helpful.

  3. Hard water has many negative effects. On hair, laundry, digestion. Luckily, we use liquid detergent for laundry and we have water purifier for drinking water. But I have seen many who face many challenges until they find a solution to hard water..

  4. Hard water ruins hair and skin too, not just clothes. A good RO purifier is the only way to avoid it’s negative effects. A liquid detergent is a good idea.

  5. Milan Singhal says:

    Hard water no doubt has adverse effect on body, clothes , so care should be taken to fix the issue. Thanks for sharing the tip of using laundry borax.

  6. I am happy that I shifted to liquid detergent long back. Though I had a wonderful experience with the hard water softener, somewhere clothes were still losing their shining, liquid detergent came into the picture as savior.

  7. I had no clue about this buddy, have to ensure it if our water is hard, will take it up on priority.

  8. Oh nice one. I didn’t know hard water was bad for our clothes too. I knew it was bad for our skin and hair and health in general. This combination sounds interesting to try out.

  9. I do use liquid detergent for laundry since so many years. but still many times get a problem due to hard water supply. laundry borax is really new to me and seems like a great option to keep our cloths safe from effect of hard water. thanks a lot dear for sharing this information.

  10. Honestly, I had no idea that hard water actually affects laundry negatively – I only knew that it wrecks one’s hair. Thanks for sharing these tips though, I am sure they will be useful to many.

  11. We do get hard water in our locality and I can see the damage it causes to the washing machine as well. Recently I have also started using water softener so that the clothes are not damaged as well as the skin and hair. Hard water indeed is not good for health and its better to use solutions to soften the quality of water for overall health.

  12. I really liked the ideas you have shared to help the laundry to turn out good incase of Hard water. I will try the Borox and liquid detergent idea. Thanks for sharing this.

  13. I swear by liquid detergent. I have experienced how my new clothes look old so soon when using detergent powder.

    This is a really good post and I want to try the diy homemade detergent powder as mentioned in the post!

  14. Dr Bushra says:

    No doubt hard water ruined the condition of the clothes. I do use mix of powder & liquid detergent but never tried water softener. Would check out

  15. The trauma of using hardware and the damage of clothes and skin is there for everyone in the metros especially. I have to try Borax so that I could get a reprieve from this headache.

  16. We don’t have hard water here but my cousins have. They used to tell how difficult it is. I am sharing this post with them.

  17. We have been using only organic laundry detergent now a days because that is safest for clothes. Hard water ruins fabric life and softness and I can’t handle it.

  18. hard water is a reality in gurgaon! i didnt know that apart from skin and hair, it can also be ruining our clothes! definitely going to get this and add to our daily wash load.

  19. Thank you for this really practical and useful blog. We also get a degree of hardware and I have been using liquid detergent. But borax seems like a good idea too.

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