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Why Does New Jersey Tap Water Leave a White Residue?

Published by Passaic Bergen Water Softening on

A black sink and faucet in a kitchen with a sunny window and items at the end of the counter

We hear this complaint all the time from new NJ residents “I just moved to New Jersey and the water turns everything white.” Oh yeah, we know. Locals of New Jersey are familiar with this phenomenon and we have our ways of dealing with it. Everyone has their own tricks. You may have heard of the vinegar way from the neighbors or that that CLR cleaning products are effective. You may be resorting to fabric softener and moisturizing soaps to fight this white residue effect on your clothes and skin. But what exactly is that white stuff that the NJ tap water leaves behind?

Welcome to Hard New Jersey Tap Water

It’s minerals from “hard water”. The water here in New Jersey is extremely hard, one of the hardest sources of water in the nation. What does that mean? The water is highly rich in earth minerals like calcium and magnesium, which dissolve in water but also stay behind when water evaporates or washes away. In the plumbing industry, we call it “scale.”

Common Household Problems with New Jersey Tap Water Scale

  • Water Spots on Dishes
  • Constant Scale on Sinks and Tubs
  • Stiff and Sour Laundry
  • Dry and Cracking Skin
  • Dull and Stiff-Feeling Hair
  • Poor Tasting Tap Water
  • Underperformance of Soap and Detergent

Scale is essentially calcium deposits and magnesium deposits left on everything the tap water touches. That white stuff on your faucets and in sinks and tubs? That’s scale. So are the water spots on your dishes when they come out of the dishwasher. The thing making your hair and clothes stiff after washing? That’s scale, too. Scale is also what makes your hands feel dry after each wash and your skin feel dry after bathing. What causes frequent clogs in NJ pipes and drains? That’s also scale buildup inside the pipes. Hard water affects every aspect of household life.

Home Remedies for New Jersey Tap Water Scale

Local Jersyites have a ton of home remedies to cope with the extremely hard water in our region. Ask your neighbors, coworkers, and nearby family members and you’ll get a laundry list of possible solutions. Everyone has their own tricks for softening, dissolving, and sudsing in the face of water laden with too many earth minerals.

  • Vinegar Wash
    • Vinegar is the most natural way to fight scale because it dissolves that hardened residue and helps to wash it out or away from buildup sites. However, in NJ, you must use cups and cups of vinegar in everything you do to keep the scale at bay. Vinegar is more effective in regions with mildly hard water.
  • Fabric Softener
    • Fabric softener can help combat the stiffening effect of clothes washed in hard New Jersey water. This works for some time but the double buildup of minerals and softener wears clothes out faster than you may be used to.
  • Moisturizing Soaps and Daily Lotion
    • Hard water minerals dry out your skin and hair rapidly. You may quickly notice cracking hands from frequent washing and increased dry skin health issues. Using moisturizing soap and daily lotion is advised to keep your skin healthy if bathing in hard New Jersey tap water regularly.
  • Constant Drain Flushing
    • You will want to flush your drains with vinegar and boiling water to prevent scale buildup slowly narrowing your pipes and causing clogs.
  • Concentrated Detergent in Laundry and Dishes
    • The mineral content in hard water prevents detergent from sudsing and cleaning to its full ability. This means concentrated detergents are more commonly used here in New Jersey to fully clean loads of laundry and dishes.
  • Scrubbing
    • In a home with hard water, you will find yourself scrubbing scale off of everything all the time. Use of vinegar or CLR products can help, but scrubbing is a known and constant challenge.

Water Softener: How to Live in New Jersey Without Hard Water and Scale Troubles

Of course, your best neighbors will point out that a water softener is the ideal answer. Even those living temporarily in New Jersey will rent a water softener to reduce the overall mineral content of the tap water. Installed in-line, a water softener removes most of the minerals from your tap water before it comes through the taps. This can save your dishes, laundry, skin and hair, and your scrubbing arm in one simple move.

A traditional water softener uses a container of salt while the latest softeners use custom-designed resin beads. When water is run through the softening chamber, the resin or salt attracts the mineral molecules and unpairs them from the water molecules that flow through. This leaves your tap water with significantly less mineral content.

If you plan to live in New Jersey for a few years, buying a water softener for the entire home is a valuable investment. To choose your water softener and schedule an installation, contact us today!



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