Ever wonder why there are white flakes floating around in your tap water?  The answer may surprise you.

Tess/TSM

I've been trying to wrap my head around why there are small white flakes floating around in my glass after pouring from the faucet.  I've never experienced anything like this until I moved to Kalamazoo, Michigan.  These flakes float around and then sink and collect at the bottom of the glass.  I decided to do some research and found out the white flakes are the result of having hard water.

Flakes are caused by calcium carbonate and magnesium carbonate precipitates. When hard water is frozen or boiled, the carbonates in the water come out of solution, appearing as whitish flakes and attaching to containers.   This calcium is the same as that in dairy products and is harmless. -southbendin.gov

 Pros and Cons of Hard Water

  • Hard water has a high mineral content which stops our soaps and detergents from doing their job 
  • When you move to a place with hard water (like I did...), you'll notice your clothes, skin and hair start to look lifeless and rough.  I noticed my skin starting to break out and no matter how much soap I used, I never felt clean.
  • We all need calcium and magnesium in our diets and hard water contains high amounts of these minerals.

It is claimed that if your hard water is rich in these minerals then an individual can receive all of their daily does of minerals from drinking the water. - watersoftenercritic.com

  • Hard water is said to add to the taste of the water
  • Hard water minerals can build up in your pipes which reduces the efficiency of your appliances
  • Because of the amount of minerals hard water contains, it can smell "earthy" in some areas and like sulfur in others.

How to Know If You Have Hard or Soft Water

If your water leaves soap scum on your tub, sink or dishes and causes scale buildup in your pipes, you probably have hard water.  If you're still not sure, you can try the simple 2-step in-home test:

  1. Fill an empty water bottle 1/3 of the way full with water from your bathroom faucet.  Add a small amount of soap that is FREE of dyes and perfumes.
  2. Shake it for a few seconds and pay attention to the bubbles.  If the water is cloudy with little to no bubbles, then you most likely have hard water.

Hard vs Soft Water