When you wash your clothes in hard water you may not notice a difference in your colors but you will certainly see a difference in your whites. Hard water has the unique ability to make every white article of clothing you have a nice dingy color and depending on how hard the water actually is will depend on how dingy the hard water stains are. There are many products sold on the market today that claim to remove hard water stains, but many of them are expensive and most don’t work. So how do you remove hard water stains from your clothes?
Removing hard water stains starts before you ever touch your clothing. If you haven’t already you should have a water softener installed as this will keep the rust and calcium build up down and thus lessen the stains on your whites due to hard water. But really no matter what you do with hard water, there will be dingy hard water stains to deal with. Here is how you can get rid of these stains:
• Use acid: This sounds a lot scarier than it actually is. The acid will actually eat away the hard water stains and if you use a mild acid it will not harm your clothing. Believe it or not you probably have that mild form of acid in your home right now as it is in the form of vinegar. To be effective you can spot treat hard water stains with the vinegar or to treat whites that are dingy you can fill your washing machine with water and add a good amount of vinegar and simply let the clothes sit for a few hours. Then turn on the washing machine and let it run its course.
• Wash normally: Once you are done with the vinegar stage, leave the clothes in the washing machine and do a normal load. This is the point where you want to examine the detergent you are using. You can actually buy detergent that makes your hard water softer and if the detergent you have on hand isn’t so then you need to go get some. After adding the detergent, wash you whites as normal.
• Bleach the load: Once washed again leave the load in the washer. Run another cycle but this time bleach your clothes. Of course you know to skip this step should you be allergic to bleach or you are washing colors.
• Wash one more time: Using the special detergent you have just acquired give the whites one more washing.
• Dry the clothes: Now that you have gone through that whole ordeal you can go ahead and dry the clothes as you normally would in the dryer.
Your clothes may not come out as white as new, but they will definitely be a lot less dingy than before you started. In addition to using the special water softening laundry detergent you can also from time to time use some vinegar in a normal load of laundry. This will help to fight the effects of the hard water and keep your clothes looking as hard water free as possible.