A significant part of the population deals with hard water every day, and whilst it is not harmful to drink, it can cause so many issues at home that many opt for a block salt softener to help alleviate the issue whilst retaining the mineral benefits of drinking water.

One of the places in which hard water can cause some serious headaches is in your washing machine. 

Hard water interacts with soaps differently compared to soft water, often causing them to struggle to build up a lather. This has the consequence of making washing detergents less effective, and potentially causing clothes to be weaker and colours to fade much quicker.

It can also cause the build-up of some stains such as soil that simply will not wash off easily, as well as stiffer fibres due to the mineral build-up.

As well as all of this, it can also cause a build-up of soap scum, and much like the problems it can cause to your body when trying to build up a lather with soap, this residue is hard to wash away, often requiring more detergent to get the same results.

A water softener will fix pretty much all of these problems easily, but there are other ways you can counter the effects in your washing machine.

The first is to choose a low-pH detergent, often advertised as being ideal for hard water. These often contain vinegar in the formula, which as an acidic liquid counteracts the effects of the calcium and potassium in the hard water, which have a high pH.

Turning up the temperature slightly can also help, and whilst most of the time you only need to wash at 30 degrees Celsius, moving up to 40 degrees can help your detergent work better, although hot water is more damaging to fabrics to watch your washing loads carefully.