The minerals in hard water interferes with the action of detergents, stains fabrics and makes them wear out faster. Calcium and magnesium cause scale, whereas iron and manganese cause stains. Mechanical water conditioners are appliances that remove the minerals that cause hard water through ion exchange. In addition to solving the above-mentioned problems, mechanical water conditioners can decrease plumbing repairs and increase the efficiency of hot water heaters and other water appliances. For mild problems, you can just use extra detergent, as most contain some water-softening ingredients. There are also powdered water softeners you can add to the wash water.
Treat as quickly as possible. Blot the stain and sponge with cool water until no more red comes out. If the fabric can withstand boiling water: Rub table salt into the stain. Lay the stained fabric facedown over a large bowl, and hold it in place with a rubber band. Put the bowl in a bathtub, and pour a quart of boiling water onto the stain from a height of 2 to 3 feet.