One of the first things people who have hard water complain about is about the fact that their soap and detergents do not seem to be working right.
This is usually the earliest sign because it is so obvious and very hard to miss: we all take showers and use soap, shampoo and detergents every day of our lives, and we use it directly on our skins so any change would be felt directly by anyone in a home that has a high level of hardness in its water supply.
Water is said to be hard when it has a higher amount of certain salts dissolved in it, the main salts that cause the harmful effects of hard water are Calcium and Magnesium.
When these salts are combined with soap, they react with the fatty acids in soap and form that sticky scum known as soap curd instead of forming foam. Soap curd is nothing like regular soap: it does not lather and it sticks to your nails, your hair and your skin, being very hard to rinse off, and leaving your hair afterwards with a dull, lifeless and grey appearance and feeling much harder to brush or comb. This will also reduce the cleaning efficacy of soap and detergents and you will have to spend more money in them.
Additionally, reducing the efficacy of soaps and detergents and forming curd will also have a harmful effect over your clothes; washing them with hard water will reduce the intensity of their colors and leave them looking grey and dingy, also reducing the life of the fabrics considerably.
Soap curd will also build up in your bathtub, the tiles of your bathroom, the shower head, faucets, shower curtains and doors and basically everywhere where soap and hard water meet to form soap curd, and it is extremely hard to remove and essentially impossible to prevent from accumulating over those surfaces. Drying very well any surface after it has came into contact with hard water has been suggested to avoid the buildup of limescale and soap curd, and, while this solution might be effective, it will not address the root cause of the problem, it is time-consuming and it is not practical; for example, drying your sink or your entire bathtub every time you use them is not practical at all. Other suggestions include home-made remedies, the most popular being slurry made of vinegar combined with salt and baking soda used to scrub the buildup of curd and limescale; but again, that will not solve the underlying cause and I can’t imagine anyone who will prefer to periodically scrub their whole bathtubs, sinks and bathroom tiles every week or so instead of just addressing the root cause of the problem.
The only definitive solution to deal with this problem is to buy or to rent and install a Water softener to filter out all the dissolved salts that cause hardness in water, or at least a Water conditioner or a Salt-free softener to lessen their negative effects. A Water softener will provide an instant solution and you will be able to feel the positive effects of soft water right away.
External links and resourType of soap recommended for Water Softeners ces