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How to test water hardness (test method for home)

There is a simple way to get to know if your home has hard water without mailing samples and waiting for laboratory results. Here is a simple and different way how to test water hardness at home.

How to test water hardness at home

Water hardness test method at home

  1. Emailing or giving a call your local water municipal 
  2. Quick testing at home using liquid soap
  3. Use a water hardness test kit
  4. Use of Water hardness digital meter
  5. Ask water softener Company for a free test
  6. Checking signs of hard water in your house.
  • Emailing or giving a call your local water municipal 

One of the easiest methods you can know your water hardness at home is by emailing or giving a call your local water municipal.

They can provide detailed information where your water comes from and what contaminants it contains. If it is hard water, there can tell you the level of hardness.

Most local water municipal post reports online. These results do not reflect the water quality directly from your faucet but as it leaves the water treatment center.

They give results in common units. For instance, they can give you a number like 3.5 – 7.0 meaning moderate hard. To learn how to interpret the units

Soft: 0-3.5 grains per gallon (gpg),

moderate: 3.5-7.0 gpg,

hard: 7.0-10.5 gpg, and

very hard: over 10.5 gpg

  • Quick testing at home using liquid soap

Using liquid soap is one of the simple ways to tell whether your water is hard.

You only need pure liquid soap, not the one labeled with perfumes, detergent or dyes because it is added additives that may give wrong results (you can use Castile oil), clean empty clear bottle or container with cap.

Fill your clean bottle one-third full and add few drops of liquid soap close the bottle and shake for few seconds. If there are no bubbles and water appears milky/ fluffy then your water is hard.

Video on how to test water hardness at home using liquid soap

  • Use a water hardness test kit
10 best Water hardness test kit to buy in 2019

Using liquid soap is not the most accurate way to find out your water hardness level mostly if you want to install the softener system or want to know the exact number in grains per gallon or parts per million. This is where a water hardness test kit comes in if you don’t want to send the sample to the laboratory.

Test kits are available in most local stores, or you can order on online stores like Amazon. The price ranges from 5 dollars to 20 dollars.

The kit mostly test total hardness in grain per gallon (GPG) or parts per million (ppm)

Some brands like Baldwin meadows test kit 9 in 1 sell more advanced test kit that evaluates more comprehensive assessment for well water,  spa, pools, hot tub, and aquarium for copper, PH, lead, Nitrite, alkalinity, Iron, Chlorine and nitrate.

The hardness test kit contains a test strip, color chart, test tube or bottle making them easier to test your water at home.

The test strip is simple to use. You need to fill water from your water sink in the testing bottle/ tube then dip one end of the test strip pad in water for 2-seconds, remove, shake off excess water, wait for 40 seconds and match the strip color using the color chart.

You should not use test strip on running water from the tap because it may give inaccurate results.

Best water hardness test kit

 NameImagetest forcompatible waterWhere to buy
1Hach 145300 test kittotal hardnesstap waterCheck price at Amazon
2Watersafe WS425Whardness, test for iron, chlorine, copper, lead, nitrates, bacteria, pH, nitrites and pesticideswell waterCheck price at Amazon
3LaMotteChlorine, Bromine, Alkalinity, pH, Total Hardnessswimming pool or spaCheck price at Amazon
4Hach 2745250 test striphardnesstap waterCheck price at Amazon
5Industrial Test Systems Test Striphardnesswater treatment, food, beverage, spa, pool, and medical industriesCheck price at Amazon
6Test assured Bulk Test Stripshardnesstap waterCheck price at Amazon
7Hone Forest Test Stripshardnesstap water, fish tank/aquariumCheck price at Amazon
8JNW Direct Test Stripshardnesstap water, well water, spa, pools, hot tub, and aquariumCheck price at Amazon
9Baldwin Meadows 9 in 1 test stripshardness, PH, lead, copper, alkalinity, Iron, Nitrite, nitrate & Chlorinewell water and tap waterCheck price at Amazon
  • Use of Water hardness test meter
Water hardness test meter


The Water hardness digital meter is an electronic gadget that tests your water hardness they give a result on LCD.

The hardness test meter is more expensive than test strips and can be found in most online stores.

Watch the video on how to use Water hardness test meter

  • Ask water softener Company for a free test

Most of these companies may request you send the samples, but others come at your home to test the water.

  • Checking signs of hard water in your house.

You may find your soap does not lather well when bathing, during laundry or cleaning dishes, your bathtub, shower or sink is covered with soap scum, and you see signs of spotty home appliances.

Testing your water hardness may help choose the appropriate water softener system or help you know whether the already installed system is working effectively.

Back to you which method do you use to test your water hardness at home. Share with us comment section below.

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