There are some things that totally turn me off of food—a dry piece of chicken, too much salt on something, cheese that has been left out of the fridge too long. The same goes for drinks, too. If you've ever seen white flakes floating in water from your kitchen faucet, you may be inclined to dump it out and buy a bottle of water instead.
Not so fast, though—there are many benefits of drinking water, even the kind that's not perfectly clear. The white fragments swirling around in your glass of water don't mean it's unsafe to drink!
What are the white flakes in my water?
Next time you fill up a glass of water, take a closer look—if there are white flakes floating around, you probably have hard water. Put simply, your water is nutrient-dense, specifically in calcium. It's not necessarily a bad thing, but there are pros and cons to using hard water at home.
Our diets require minerals like magnesium and calcium, and hard water has high amounts of both. It doesn't taste like the water in a 24 Pack plastic bottle - hard water has more taste and flavor. Because of the nutrients, the smell is stronger with the taste. It's been described as an "earthy" scent, which sometimes is comforting. Others describe it as smelling like sulfur or rotten eggs, so it really depends on how hard your water is actually.
Although drinking hard water is completely safe, letting it flow through your house may cause some problems. Due to the high concentration of nutrients and minerals in the water, it is more likely to accumulate on your pipes and sink taps. It can also cause water spots on your dishes. Hard water, when used frequently to shower, may dry out hair and skin as well.
Do I have hard or soft water?
Not sure if your water is hard or soft? Here's a trick that may help you come to a conclusion.
The first thing you have to do is take a clean water bottle. Fill up one-third of the water in the kitchen tap or bathtub, then add a small amount of soap without dyes and spices. Shake up the bottle, and then watch it closely. If there is a good amount of bubbles, the kind you would expect from soap, then you most likely have soft water. However, if the concoction has few or no bubbles, then you probably have hard water.
Next, check out our guide to how much water you should drink to stay hydrated.
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