Adjusting to Life with Hard Water

hard water

If you’re not used to it, the hard water in Stuttgart can come as a sur­prise. Get­ting used to life with hard water might take a lit­tle while, but we have some help­ful tips for you!

What is hard water?

Hard water usu­al­ly refers to water with a high con­cen­tra­tion of cal­ci­um and mag­ne­sium ions. You’ll hear Ger­mans talk­ing about “Kalk”, which is a short name for cal­ci­um car­bon­ate. Water can also be described as hard if it has dis­solved met­als like alu­minum, zinc, iron, and so on.

Hard water has a vari­ety of effects, some of them quite obvi­ous, while oth­ers only show up in the long term.


Hard water doesn’t pro­duce a soap lath­er as eas­i­ly, so you may find that you don’t get as much in the way of bub­bles when you are wash­ing up. Soap can also react with cal­ci­um car­bon­ate to form a film on your hands, so you may need to rinse your hands for longer.

Cal­ci­um car­bon­ate deposits also show up any­where hard water is allowed to evap­o­rate. If you don’t like your sink, show­er, or floors look­ing streaky, you’ll need to wipe them dry after cleaning.

In order to avoid spots on your glass­es and sil­ver­ware, be sure your dish­wash­er has its rinse agent topped up and the salt dis­penser filled with dish­wash­er salt (a very coarse grained vari­ety). If you use all-in-one tabs that con­tain both rinse agent and salt, you should still use addi­tion­al rinse agent and salt if your water is real­ly hard. About once a month you’ll need to clean the fil­ters at the bot­tom of the dish­wash­er. You might also find it help­ful to run a cycle with a spe­cial clean­ing tab.

Cal­ci­um car­bon­ate can also build up in oth­er fil­ters. Be sure to clean out your wash­er and dry­er fil­ters reg­u­lar­ly. If you notice your water pres­sure drop­ping, check your faucet and show­er head.


Although not every­one enjoys the fla­vor, the min­er­als in hard water can help you get your dai­ly rec­om­mend­ed intake of cal­ci­um, mag­ne­sium, and even iron. How­ev­er, peo­ple with high blood pres­sure may need to be wary of the sodi­um lev­els in hard water. There are water pitch­ers with fil­ters as well as faucet fil­tra­tion sys­tems you can pur­chase if you pre­fer to drink soft­er water with­out hav­ing to buy bottled.

The water in Stuttgart is care­ful­ly mon­i­tored and reg­u­lat­ed by the Drink­ing Water Ordi­nance at the water util­i­ty com­pa­ny. How­ev­er, the actu­al qual­i­ty of the tap water in your home will depend on the pipes it trav­els through. Depend­ing on the sys­tem and the age of the pipes, the water might not meet those same stan­dards when it comes out of your faucet.

Hard water can also con­tribute to dry skin and hair. Dry skin can in turn lead to itch­i­ness and flak­ing, while hair may turn brit­tle and break. Hav­ing a hand cream next to your sink and mois­tur­iz­ing reg­u­lar­ly can help alle­vi­ate dry skin. Besides reg­u­lar­ly con­di­tion­ing to keep hair soft and flex­i­ble, using a chelat­ing sham­poo can help remove min­er­al buildup. If you’re par­tic­u­lar­ly sen­si­tive, you could con­sid­er a water soft­en­ing sys­tem for your home, or at least for your shower.