Before the electric pump draws it up into daylight, the well water here has had a long and mysterious career. Fabulously icy, and stony-sweet, it’s divine -- and as hard as nails. It's taught me this:
- For calcification around fixtures, spray with 50 percent vinegar, let it sit, wipe like you mean it, and then – wearing eye protection -- use a kitchen knife to chip off what remains.
- Rinse hair and face with bottled water or rainwater to stave off ratty “stonewashed” hair and ashy skin.
- A “stonewashed” effect will suffuse all your fabrics eventually. Laundering them inside out will help them last a bit longer.
- Drinking glasses will look like you just drank milk from them unless you use a dishwasher armed with Jet-Dry. Alternately, buy drinking glasses by the case, or explain to your company that the glasses aren’t really dirty, that you honestly did wash them, that the hard water clouds them up. Hard water also wears out glass so that it breaks more easily.
- Use a filtration pitcher for most of your drinking and cooking. Your coffeepots and pans will last longer. Filter the water you give to pets.
- In your sink or washtub, detergent will look not sudsy but like scum. The harder the water, the less suds you get. But the detergent is still working. The fact is that sudsing agents are added to detergents and shampoos merely for show. Hard water fights on the side of reality. I find that fantasizing about luxurious lather is almost as good as the real thing.