Hard water definitely can pose its own challenges…
Here are a few helpful tips!
Are Your Cloths Starting to Feel Stiff?
Hard water can result in lime (calcium and magnesium) buildup over time. This may result in your Norwex cloths feeling harder or perhaps almost seeming to repel water and not wet as easily. You can soak your cloths in undiluted vinegar for a few minutes, wring out well, and then launder. If you regularly add vinegar to your rinse cycles, it may help reduce this problem in the future and will soften your other fabrics as well. Please note: If you are still using a commercial laundry detergent which contains ‘fillers’ (read: added stiffness and static) then the vinegar will help counteract both the static & the stiffness. Also note, when we had hard water, and I was noticing that my cloths were stiffer and less quick to absorb. Since I have been adding vinegar to my rinse cycle, I’ve noticed that they are feeling more absorbent again. I also LOVE to do the “Deep Clean” soak method in a concentrated bath of Norwex Ultra Plus Laundry Detergent… (“Deep Clean” = 1-2 scoops in a large bowl filled with hot water & then let cloths soak there overnight. Then launder, but without the usual detergent since there will be quite a bit of detergent yet in the cloths.) Some people with really hard water choose to use distilled water when cleaning to be sure to not to leave hard water residue.
Are Your Cloths Stinky?
I’ve been amazed by the Norwex dish cloth and microfiber cloths because I can use them longer between laundering without them starting to stink. The silver agent in the fibers is absolutely incredible at keeping the bacteria-count from sky-rocketing and getting s-t-i-n-k-y. However, if you have experienced some odor issues with your cloths, please read on for some helpful hints.
With any cloth that has developed an odor in which normal laundry washing does not fully remove: rinse in vinegar, then boil the cloth(s) in a pot on the stove for 10 minutes to thoroughly allow the fibers to swell open and release anything they are holding onto including anything coating the silver, making it ineffective against bacteria or organisms and allowing odors to occur. Then launder as normal and the cloths will be fresh. I find that I need to boil one or two of my cloths occasionally…often it’s my own fault as I’ve wiped up milk or washed dishes with an incorrect cloth and allowed the silver to be coated in oils that are in dirty dish water, or haven’t rinsed out my cloth well after cleaning before hanging it to dry. Another thing to note: the Body Cloth does need to be laundered more often– that’s why they come 3 to a pack. As it collects the oil & exfoliates your skin, it will coat the microsilver in the fiber, making the antibac* properties ineffective. When this happens, the bacteria can thrive. Be sure to RINSE OUT your cloths well, wring out tightly & HANG TO DRY… between uses for the best results! And launder every 2-3 days instead of once a week.
Note on Well Water: Because well water does not contain any chlorine, this may result in odor issues with any cloth, including Norwex cloths.
Other Hard Water Solutions
For deep-cleaning toilet bowls use Norwex DeScaler: quickly pour a bucket of water into the toilet so the toilet (FYI: this is called “Bucket Flushing”) will automatically flush down most of the water without refilling the bowl. Spray the built up area with DeScaler, let sit for about 2-3 minutes, then clean with the Sanira Brush. A good quality pumice stone (you can find “Toilet Pumice” made just for this purpose!) is also great at removing tough stains in the toilet and it won’t scratch the porcelain (see tips below). Another great use for the Norwex Magnet Ball is to place it in the toilet tank to soften water so that hard water stains are not left in bottom of bowl.
For tough soap scum and hard water marks in your tub and shower or any other difficult job there are a number of things which work…some requiring more elbow grease than others but all effective.
• Damp Enviro Cloth and some good old-fashioned elbow grease!
• Cleaning Paste and damp enviro cloth, or Bathroom Scrub Mitt, or damp white dish cloth….a Spirisponge can be wonderful to get “gunk” out of shower door tracks.
• Damp micropad
• Descaler and damp enviro cloth, blue kitchen scrub cloth or white dish cloth (amazing elbow grease in a bottle)….wet shower or tub, spray Descaler, wait about 3 minutes, wipe away easily with enviro cloth, blue kitchen scrub cloth or white dish cloth, then rinse. Use caution on grout around tiles…a few people have had concerns with staining and I’m not positive if they have left it on too long or whether it is an issue of some grout being unsealed vs. sealed.
For top load standard washing machines where no water softener is present, the Magnet Ball can make your water “act” much softer than it is. Place it in bottom of washing machine, where it can stay permanently or can be used between dishwasher or standard washer. You now cut the amount of laundry detergent used in HALF (yep! The magnet ball pays for itself very quickly because your detergent is more effective and you need much less of it!!). With a bag of Norwex laundry detergent you would normally get 40 loads from one bag in an area of hard water. With the magnet ball you will now get 60-80 loads from that same bag! Note: do NOT use the magnet ball in a front load HE machine….it is not necessary, there is a much lower amount of water, and the drum spins so much faster you could damage the machine.
Using the magnet ball in your dishwasher: place magnet ball in bottom rack over a rung so it stays in place- and allow it room for water to pass by it (i.e. not covered/blocked by dishes!). Use 1-2 teaspoons of Norwex dishwasher detergent (or your favorite detergent); no rinse agent is usually needed (but vinegar can be used if desired). Dishes and glasses often come out sparkling and clear without the need for chemical rinse agent sprayed all over them.