Detergents are less sensitive to the hardness minerals in water; therefore, they perform better and do not form a curd. Because of these features, detergents, instead of soaps, are used for laundry products.
However, if you are doing laundry in hard water, even a detergent needs some help. Add slightly more detergent than the product label directions recommend. The extra detergent will help soften the water and allow the remaining detergent to do its cleaning job. You can also add a water softener or detergent booster to the wash water to increase cleaning power.
Your local water company, public utility consumer service department or Cooperative Extension Service office can provide this information or refer you to someone who can. You probably have hard water if:
- There's a "ring around your bathtub."
- Soaps and shampoos do not lather easily.
- White residue forms around faucets and drains.
- Fabrics feel stiff, not fluffy.