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Between keeping on top of work, running a household and taking care of the kids, the last thing you have time for is dingy, gray laundry. Laundry tips and tricks are always good to know. You may be counting on your washer to get clothes squeaky-clean, but if you have hard water, even the best washer may have difficulty accomplishing that task.

Hard water can stain clothes, cause colors to fade and turn whites yellow. It can also cause your laundry detergent to leave a white, soapy film on your wash, making your clothes and linens stiff instead of soft to the touch. If hard water is wreaking havoc on your laundry, these laundry tips may help you get your clothing clean and pristine without a lot of rubbing and scrubbing.

Dealing with hard water stains in laundry

  • Getting the stains out. It’s frustrating when you grab an outfit for yourself or a little one at the last minute, only to discover that it’s full of ugly, dingy stains. A white shirt that’s slowly morphed to gray just isn’t as attractive as it was in its original condition. Place the garment in a bucket and cover it with equal parts of water and lemon juice. Let the item soak for 30 minutes to remove the mineral stains. Then wash as described below.
  • Wash cycle solutions. If you must continue using hard water to wash your clothing, add one cup of white vinegar to the wash cycle to keep those stain-causing minerals away.
  • Rinse cycle solutions. To keep your whites white and your colors fresh, you can add another cup of white vinegar to the rinse cycle for stain-free laundry that’s super-soft to the touch. Don’t worry about your clothes smelling like vinegar; the pungent smell goes away as the clothing dries. Not only does vinegar get rid of the hard water stains, it’s also a chemical-free fabric softener.
  • Removing hard water stains from the washing machine. Part of the problem with hard water stains is that the minerals in the hard water also stain the inside of your washing machine, causing those stains to be transferred to your laundry. No amount of dealing with laundry stains will be effective if you don’t also clean your washing machine. At least once a month, run your wash machine on a full cycle without laundry in it, adding two cups of white vinegar to the wash cycle.
  • Avoid setting the stains Laundry that comes out of the washing machine stained should be tackled before it’s placed in the dryer. The heat from the dryer is likely to set the stain, making it impossible to remove.
  • A permanent solution. As helpful as these tips are, there is a permanent solution that will allow you to avoid dingy clothing and spending time on stain-removal. Having a water softener installed will help get rid of the presence of minerals in your water and relieve you of stain-removal duty.

Make life a little easier

While these tips can help you get rid of and avoid stained, dingy clothing from hard water, you can make your laundry nightmares disappear completely by having a water softener installed. Say “goodbye” to gray, yellowed clothing, rust stains and the need to clean out your washing machine. You’ve got better things to do anyway, like spend time with your family.

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Felicia Baratz-Savage

Felicia is a lover of the good things in life: cats, wall decor, scented candles and gadgets. She loves writing and enjoys blogging on behalf of Sears in her spare time.

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3 Responses to Laundry Tips: How to Deal with Hard Water Laundry Woes

  1. Kelley johnsen says:

    Great tips that I need to try. Thank you.

  2. Bethy says:

    Awesome thanks for sharing these tips…. I have the hard water problem as of now so I will clean that washer 🙂

  3. This is some really good information about doing laundry in hard water. It is good to know that it would be smart to know that it would be smart to add some white vinegar into your washing machine if you are using hard water. It might be smart to get a soft water system installed in your home.

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