What is Hard Water and How Does It Impact Cleaning?

A cleaning-related topic that is rarely discussed is how hard water negatively impacts cleaning. And because an estimated 85 percent of the United States has this type of water, it can have vast implications for the entire cleaning industry.

“The Midwest and parts of the Northeast are hammered when it comes to hard water,” says Lee Chen, President, and COO of ProNatural Brands, LLC, manufacturers of natural, sustainable, citric acid-based cleaning solutions.

“Among the most impacted states are Ohio, Michigan, Kentucky, Kansas, Oklahoma, New Mexico, large parts of Texas, Montana, Nevada, Idaho, and New York.

Understanding Hard Water

As to what hard water is, Chen explains it is water with a high mineral count. Among the minerals commonly found are calcium, magnesium, bicarbonates, and sulfates.

“While drinking small amounts of this type of water can have moderate health benefits,” says Chen, “when it comes to cleaning, hard water is problematic. It reacts with many traditional cleaning solutions, minimizing their effectiveness.  Further it can scratch surfaces such as glass, and often leaves soap scum buildup, which can be difficult to remove.”

According to Chen, this is one reason many cleaning professionals now use citric acid -based cleaning solutions. Citric acid-based cleaners are made from lemons, limes, oranges, and other citrus products and “are generally viewed as safe, environmentally friendly, biodegradable, and sustainable cleaning solutions.”

They also have what are termed chelating properties (pronounced kee-lat-ing). One of the benefits of chelating agents is that they naturally soften water, producing more foam when cleaning surfaces, and adjusting the pH of the water. The result is they improve overall cleaning effectiveness.

“This also means less water may be needed,” adds Chen. “Because so many of the states with this type of water are now experiencing chronic drought conditions, any steps we can take to reduce water use has large-scale benefits for entire communities.”

ProNatural Brands LLC | Superior, Professional Performance, Naturally.

For more information, visit: Home – Pronatural (pronaturalbrands.com)


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