A common challenge in the process of cleaning laundry clean across the globe is the presence of hard water. This is the result of your local water supply containing an over-abundance of minerals such as calcium and magnesium in it, and while its primary issue in drinking water is negatively affecting the taste, for clothing it can cause a lot of headaches.

For one, hard water can adversely affect the cleaning power of detergents. This can result in stains, soil and other outside particulates not being adequately washed away in the cycle.

Additionally, it can act like a stain within the water, causing whites to lose their luster and become dingy or gray, and can also result in a yellow hue seeping across your fabrics. Even on darker fabrics or those with strong colors, you may begin to notice streaking where hard water may have built up in the folds of clothing during their time in the washing machine.

Hard water can even affect the quality of fabrics themselves over time. The quantity of minerals within it can build up and leave your clothes with a stiff, rough feel to them. And fabrics that are already weak to begin with may begin to tear apart, leaving them damaged and potentially unwearable.

There are ways to circumvent this issue, however. Some detergents have built-in water softening agents to help reduce this problem, and a water softener or filter system added to your main water line can nix this problem in a jiffy across all faucets in your home, not just for laundry!