Hard water isn’t really some fixed concept. It simply means water with a high concentration of minerals. That kinda funky tasting well water at your cousin’s farmhouse is hard water, but so is that bottle of fancy Italian spring water your city-dwelling cousin paid eight bucks for at the grocery store. In fact, according to the USGS classification system, San Pellegrino, a hugely popular sparkling spring water, would be considered “very hard.”
With the exception of areas where there may be harmful things like lead, mercury, or arsenic in the water, there is no reason not to drink hard water, aside from the taste. In fact, hard water may even offer some potential health benefits. There is one downside to this mineral-laden water, however. The solid particles that make the water hard can build up in pipes and on surfaces over time, and while sometimes it’s just a cosmetic issue, other times it can cause damage. Just ask anyone with well water who has ever owned a coffee maker.
Just like the recommendation for “descaling” a coffee maker, the solution to your hard water stain cosmetic woes is that ever-present all-purpose liquid, distilled vinegar. The natural, non-toxic acid is gentle enough not damage your fixtures itself, but tough enough to dissolve and loosen just about all your hard water stains.
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