Easy Ways To Test For Hard Water

What is the difference between hard water and soft water?

Hard water is water that has many dissolved particles like calcium and magnesium. This kind of water is not ideal for cleaning within your home. Hard water takes longer to bubble up than soft water, meaning more soap is required for it to do its job. This can be wasteful and end up costing you a lot more money. Not to mention, hard water leaves a film on just about everything from glasses to skin, it can be hard to feel clean.

Soft water, on the other hand, is quite pure, with the only notable soluble being sodium. When it rains, the water that falls is naturally quite soft. This kind of water is great for washing clothes and dishes.

How do I know if I have hard or soft water?

Signs you have hard water:

  • Watermarks on dishes
  • Filmy feeling on the skin even after soap in the shower
  • Little to no lather in the shower
  • Need to use more laundry detergent to get clothes clean 

If you want to be sure whether or not you have hard water, you can take your water to a test facility where they are able to test water hardness. But this can be annoying and time consuming. There are a few ways that you can check your water hardness right from home.

What you will need

  • A tap in your house
  • A clear bottle or glass with a lid
  • Dish soap

The process

  1. Fill bottle or glass halfway with water you want to test
  2. Add a little bit of dish soap to your container
  3. Shake vigorously
  4. Let sit for about 15-20 seconds


If there are bubbles at the top and your water is clear at the bottom:

You have soft water, there should be lots of bubbles with this process. If you are still having problems with your water, you may want to get it professionally tested.

If there are little to no bubbles, and the water is cloudy:

You likely have hard water, the water has too many minerals to form bubbles. The water is cloudy because that is where the soap is, which is why you constantly find water marks on your glasses and feel a soapy film.

What to do about hard water?

If you want to soften the water in your house, Water Direct offers a variety of entire home water softeners. No more difficult soap scum, bath stains, glass stains, and cleaner hair, laundry, and skin. Check out the options we have and contact us if you have any questions.