Your tap water should always be clear. If it looks cloudy or milky, set it down for a few minutes to see if it clears up. If it does, your water might have just contained trapped air bubbles. If it stays cloudy or foamy, your water could contain elevated levels of heavy minerals or something worse. In that case, it’s time to get your water tested.
If your water has an unusual smell, it could be contaminated. A strong rotten egg smell can indicate that your water contains high levels of sulfur. This is usually not dangerous, but it can be unappetizing. Likewise, if your water tastes like a swimming pool, it may contain high levels of chlorine. A water filter may help eliminate excess chlorine and sulfur.
Check to see if your hands feel slimy after washing them with soap and water. Hard water is often characterized by a buildup of substances like calcium or magnesium, which can leave deposits on your sink, faucet, or drinking glass. It might also be the reason why your hands feel slimy after washing them with soap and water, or you have to use more laundry detergent to clean your clothes.
Often contaminants have no taste, but in some cases, they might. A metallic taste could signal the presence of excess iron or copper. Rusty pipes can release metals like these and others like manganese, zinc, copper, and lead into local water supplies, giving the liquid a metallic or salty taste.