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Hard Water & Soap Scum: A Boise Plumber’s Guide To Good Riddance

Last updated April 23, 2021 by Totally Boise

Tired of wearing through your fingertips to strip that crusty hard water buildup from your faucets? Or worse yet, the unsightly soap scum from your showers? Use these pro tips from Boise plumber Brad Adams and say goodbye to your hard water problems for good.

Your Hard Water Is, Well… So Healthy It Just Loves Hanging Out

Yep - that’s the simple truth, hard water is simply water that’s chock full of minerals, mainly calcium and magnesium, and it’s so healthy it just loves hanging out around your house. Most tap water in the Boise area is groundwater pumped from the aquifer system, and the minerals it contains are simply from the soil it passed through. These minerals are often healthy for the insides of your body, but not the insides of your home including your plumbing pipes, appliances, faucets, bathtubs and showers.

Getting rid of hard water stains Boise Plumber
Getting rid of hard water stains Boise Plumber

How Does Hard Water & Soap Scum Build Up?

The hard water buildup you see clinging to your faucet or shower head is called limescale. When hard water evaporates from the outside surfaces of your plumbing fixtures, tiny mineral particles are left behind that quickly accumulate into the crusty buildup you see. Limescale deposits also form inside your water heater, pipes, dishwasher, and washing machine, negatively impacting the performance of these appliances and reducing their lifespan. Soap scum forms when soap reacts with the calcium in hard water, creating a film of soap, minerals, and often trapped dirt. This film is the unsightly gray or white layer on the surface of your bathtubs, showers, and sinks that makes it look like you don’t clean, when in fact you do - the scum just won’t budge!

This Plumber’s Tricks To Preventing Hard Water Buildup & Soap Scum

As professional service plumbers in Boise, we understand the science of water. One thing’s certain: you can’t change the water in our aquifer system, but there are a couple of things you can do to prevent buildup and soap scum. No buildup or scum means no tedious scrubbing, happy appliances and pipes, and shiny showers & tubs.

#1: Eliminate Hard Water In Your Home With A Water Softener

The best way to rid your home from the perils of hard water is to remove the minerals that make your water so hard. Water softeners filter out hard minerals such as calcium and magnesium, eliminating them from your home’s water altogether. They provide you with water that won’t leave limescale deposits in or on your appliances and plumbing. Along with saying goodbye to fighting with hard water buildup and soap scum, you’ll also enjoy softer laundry and use less detergent and soap. As long as it’s properly maintained, there’s simply no comparison to the pristine results a quality water softener will give you.

Though they may be the most commonly known solution, water softeners aren’t your only option for dealing with hard water. The next one we plumbers carry in our bag of tricks is well worth considering.

Getting rid of hard water stains Boise Plumber
Getting rid of hard water stains Boise Plumber

#2: Treat Hard Water With A Salt Free Water Conditioner

Salt free water conditioners are a great alternative for those who don’t want the maintenance of a water softener. Water conditioners don’t remove the hard minerals, rather they transform them from particles into crystals that can’t easily adhere to your plumbing or appliances. Depending on the hardness of your water, a conditioner may greatly reduce or completely eliminate limescale buildup and soap scum. The main benefit to water conditioners is their low maintenance as they don’t require any salt or tank cleaning like water softeners do. Additionally, because conditioners don’t remove the natural minerals, your family will continue to enjoy the health benefits of consuming these minerals in your water.

Why It’s So Important To Choose The Right Option For Your Home

Water softeners and water conditioners each have their own advantages depending on circumstances, and it’s important to determine which one is best for your situation so that you get the results you’re expecting. For example, if your water is very hard a salt free conditioner will not be as effective and may not perform as you’d hoped. On the other hand, if you keep an extremely busy lifestyle and don’t want to hassle with the maintenance of a water softener, a conditioner may be your best solution. No matter what your situation, we always start by testing the hardness of your water; based on its hardness measurement and the effects of it we see in your home we can make recommendations about what might be best for you.

If you’d like to explore a water treatment solution for your home, we’re five star, full service plumbers who are experts in all types of water quality solutions. Call Brad today at 208-519-6500, or visit us on the web at

Getting rid of hard water stains Boise Plumber




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