You have a city or well water, depending on where you live and how your house was built. No matter where you get your water, your entire house is likely connected to the same water supply, meaning washing and drinking all come from the same water source. 

So, is well water bad for washing machines? It is safe to assume that even your washing machine uses well water during wash cycles if your water system is connected to a well.

However, while well water is considered fresher for drinking, you may wonder if the same applies to your appliances. 

Let’s get started and discover!


Is Well Water Bad for Washing Machines?

Well water can be damaging to your washing machine if it contains too much iron in it. Or, if the well water is too hard, its scale can build up over time and clog the mechanical system of your washing machine.

This will also lead to your washing machine wearing down over time

Well Water and Washing Machines 

According to the CDC, over 15 million households across the United States rely on well water for a water supply.

In addition to being unhealthy, using water of poor quality can destroy your clothes, towels, bedding, and anything else you wash in the laundry. 

Your clothes and linens’ fibers can be harmed by low-quality water, which can also result in stains or fading. Also, bad water quality can make your washing machine less effective and potentially limit its lifespan, costing you more in maintenance and increasing water and energy costs.

The excessive mineral and chlorine content in well water causes damage to your clothes and washing machine. These issues can be resolved with a home water treatment system. Well water may have a high concentration of minerals, bacteria, and other dangerous contaminants.

While magnesium, iron, and calcium are all good for you in the correct amounts for your health, large concentrations of these minerals mixed with chlorine can harm you and your clothes. If your clothes come out stained reddish after a wash cycle, the well water contains too much iron.

Read more: Do I Need To Connect Hot Water To Washing Machine?

Having Problems Using Well Water

Possible Solutions When Using Well Water

Use the right detergent 

It is safe to wash clothing in well water as long as you do not use any harsh chemicals or phosphate-based detergents.

Instead, you should use an enzyme-containing detergent. Enzymes can break down the dirt and grime that can accumulate on your garments.

Moreover, ensure that the detergent is a low-sudsing one. This is crucial since using too many suds may make cleaning your clothes more difficult.

Also, look for a phosphate-free detergent. In fact, phosphates can aid in the formation of scale in your washing machine.

Bleach solution

As mentioned above, if your clothes keep coming out of the washing machine stained reddish, it means there is too much iron in the well water.

In order to remove the stains that too much iron causes, you should buy two gallons of store-bought water and mix in one tablespoon of bleach in it.

You should let the stained clothes soak in the solution for thirty minutes. The solution will also rid the clothes of any bad smells.

You can also buy Iron Out liquid to remove stains from white clothes and add the product to the rinse cycle after using bleach.

Hydrogen peroxide

Another solution to remove stains from your clothes due to hard well water is by adding ½ cup of hydrogen peroxide or borax to each load you clean.

After the wash cycle is done, you should line dry the clothes in the sun.

Water softener

Since most well water is hard water, it means it has more minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron, all of which can be pretty harsh on clothing and washing machines.

In this case, you should use a water softener system to remove the excess minerals. However, before you invest in a water softener unit, you should get your water tested.

Also read: Can Washing Machines Stain Clothes?

Well Water and Washing Machines


So, is well water bad for washing machines? The answer is that it depends on the amount of mineral content in the water, like containing too much calcium, magnesium, and iron.

The build-up of all of these minerals can cause damage to your water pipes and the mechanical system of the washing machine.