Don't you just hate it when you wash the dishes, and no matter what you do, they're still spotty? That gross-looking film probably isn't harmful to you. More than likely it's hard water residue.

If you've ever washed your hands and they still felt slippery after rinsing the soap away, that's another indication of hard water.

According to the United States Geological Survey, "water hardness is generally the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in water". Hard water is typically high in calcium, and when that calcium encounters soap, that's when "soap scum" forms. The harder your water is, the more soap or detergent you're likely to need to get things clean. The more soap you use, the more soap scum you get -- it's a vicious cycle.

Science classifies the hardness of water like this: 0 to 60 PPM (parts per million) is soft; 61 to 120 PPM is moderately hard; 121 to 180 PPM is hard, and anything over 180 PPM is very hard.

Here in Michigan, no community has water that's technically classified as "soft water". We've got moderately hard to very hard water throughout the state. tracks the water hardness of more than 100 cities throughout Michigan. The hardest water in the state can be found in the communities of Birmingham, White Lake, Walled Lake, Zeeland, Gaylord, Redford and Grand Rapids. All seven of those communities have water hardness ratings of 380 PPM or higher (more than twice the number of parts per million to qualify as "very hard" water)!

Several Michigan communities are close to having water that's qualified as "soft", but not quite. Lansing, Battle Creek and Kalamazoo are among the communities with some of the best water in the state. (If you're wondering about Flint, it ranked at #48.) See where your town ranks below!

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