January 16, 2011

Hard Water Does Go Down Good

When I was little I did not like drinking water. My sister did not like drinking water. My mother did not like drinking water. Nobody liked drinking water.

Odd that a fluid so vital to the functioning of the human body should be so distasteful to us? What we didn't know was that our distaste was due to the fact we were drinking adulterated, chlorinated, California city water. When we moved to New York we discovered, well, something amazing in life that we'd long been missing out on: water. (It. like. actually tastes good.  And it hits the spot- endlessly refreshing.)

New York has been blessed with with some of the most amazing water in the world due to the rich mineral deposits in our soil. Even NYC has great water because they pipe it down from the reservoirs around where I  live. In fact, the peculiar quality associated with NY pizza has been attributed to our water. When two brothers moved down to North Raleigh, NC, they opened a pizzeria named Fuhgeddaboudit [Forget-about-it]- sporting genuine NYC pizza (which my last semester's marketing teacher, an x-military Italian gentleman, pronounced completely legit). Their secret? They ship down NYC water to use in their dough.

In our current home we have some of the tastiest well-water I have had anywhere (even guests remark on it). When we moved in- suddenly our whole family fell in love with this simple, so often abused, liquid.

Then, about five years ago, our dishwasher stopped cleaning our dishes. It was a combination of filter and human-loader problems, but the short of it was we bought a new dishwasher.

Then sometime this year it got even worse. Our dishes- particularly our glasses- were coming out with this white film on them- sometimes an almost granulated white substance. At first we thought it was soap. But no.  Our dishwasher was fine- the man who came out to "fix" it informed us that we have (quite) hard water. Hence its goodness, but it also meant we were doomed to calcium-build up.

Our once clear glasses came to look eternally unwashed- or like they had been sitting out  in the sun after holding milk. It was gross. I could never bring myself to return to an even freshly acquired glass because I couldn't get over the fact that it looked dirty. Bringing out our dishes for guests was always an embarrassing hassle- entailing either extra cleaning or an awkward explanation about our calcium problem (no, this glass isn't dirty- it's calcified).

We discovered one remedy: vinegar. By washing our dishes in vinegar we could remove the calcium build up- but this could only be done on occasion since vinegar isn't good for a septic system. The only other option was a water-softener. But water-softeners are also bad for one's septic because they dump out iodine, and, to boot, they remove all the wonderful elements from the water (which is why we actually drink it in the first place!).

Our glasses were doomed.

Then tonight happened. We were having dinner with some friends nearby when suddenly my Dad remarked something to the effect of, "Wow, it's been such a long time since I've drunk out of such a clear glass."

"Oh, we used to have such a problem with calcium build up."

You can imagine the eruption that ensued. "WHAT DO YOU DO?!"

"Phosphates." she said. "We use phosphates. They used to have phosphates in the dish detergent and then  a couple months ago they made the companies take it all out." (EPA laws or something. Because the government loves us.)

She bounded over to a cabinet and returned with a box of Finish. "They don't sell it in the stores." she tells us. "I get it on Amazon. But it's just so worth it- our glasses were grossing me out before."

We agreed with vehemence- and were given a box of phosphates as a take-home present.

So that was our problem. The government made the companies take out all the precious, cleaning, water-drinking-inspiring phosphates from our dish detergent which instigated months of discomfort [not to mention made us waste tons of water (and energy!) by our constant rewashing of dishes]. But now we have our phosphates. And I, particularly, am looking forward to a nice good ol' glass of hard water in a sparkling clean glass.

1 comment:

  1. Sweet! [/pun :-P] I'm sending this to my folks. We use a water softener. We used to just use pure well water at our old house, and it tasted way better than the softener water. :-)