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We’ve broken down exactly what hard water is, how it affects us in Australia and what laundry owners can do to ensure it doesn’t negatively impact their business.

What is hard water?

Hard water is essentially water that contains mineral content such as calcium and magnesium. The greater the level of these minerals, the harder the water. For commercial laundries, it’s a nightmare. Hard water can stiffen linen and leave unwanted residue on the clothing. Over time, fabric fibres can degrade, leaving holes in garments.

Hard water in Australia

So how does hard water affect us in Australia? According to the Water Corporation of WA there is approximately 200 milligrams of calcium and magnesium salts per litre of water. Water is safe to drink in Australia, however, overtime the minerals in hard water can build up and become a problem. You’ll find hard water build up in dishwashers, hot water systems, kettles – and laundry machines.

How does hard water effect laundry?

It’s a fact that hard water does not clean as well and effectively as soft water. For commercial laundry businesses, this can be killer. You want your service to be the best. The minerals in hard water cling to fabrics and textiles, causing build up which can deteriorate the fabric fibres overtime. Hard water can make linen feel stiff, and cause discolouration and streaks on coloured fabrics. Compared to soft water, hard water will significantly shorten the lifespan of your linens.

Steps to take to combat hard water

Using purified water to wash clothing isn’t a cost-effective solution, not only for laundromats but also for home washer users. Here are some solutions to consider –


When washing your clothes with hard water, the powdered detergent will attach to the minerals on the clothes instead of washing them. To balance it out, 30% more detergent must be used to get a good wash. However, the costs to use more detergent, at higher water temperatures can outweigh the damaged clothing.

Water conditioners

Instead of using more detergent, consider water conditioners. In the washer, the water can be softened with ion-exchange water conditioners. These products can be purpushed in most grocery stores under water softener, water conditioner or fabric softener.

Removing laundry stains

Removing laundry stains caused by hard water can be time-consuming. It’s best to avoid stains in the first place by using one of the solutions above. However, if you need to remove a hard water induced stain, follow the below steps.

  1. Fill washer with the hottest water appropriate for the fabric needing treatment
  2. Add four times normal amount of detergent
  3. One cup of water conditioner
  4. Soak the clothes overnight or for approximately 12 hours
  5. Drain and spin
  6. Wash the clothing on a regular cycle – add one cup of water conditioner, no detergent needed

We hope this information has been helpful, and if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to contact us at Dependable Laundry Solutions. No matter where you are in Australia, Speak with our expert team for helpful advice on your laundry needs – Call us on 1800 629 824.

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