Soft vs Hard Water: Everything That You Need to Know

Find out the what is hard and soft water, and the main differences between them

You might be wondering what is the difference between soft vs hard water, isn’t water just water? Almost, but not entirely.

You may have hard water or soft water in your home, nevertheless, I think the latter is more likely. It has been estimated that hard water is found in more than 85% of the U.S. [1].

Why does soft water differ from hard water, and what impact does it have on you? The following information will answer all your questions about hard or soft water.

What Is Hard Water?

Normally, hard water is excessively enriched with naturally occurring minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

Water that contains a greater concentration of these minerals will appear higher at the hardness level. Despite being essential for daily health, magnesium and calcium are not essential to water.

Your home can be negatively affected by hard water. Clothing, dishes, and showers may appear stained or coated with a film after you use water to clean them, and it is also possible that particles could be trapped inside your washing machine or dishwasher.

Increasing the temperature of hard water can cause calcium deposits to form, and these substances can greatly affect the performance of your machines and their lifespan if they accumulate. The same applies to your pipes and coffee maker.

What is Soft Water?

There are no harsh minerals in soft water, and on the contrary, hard water can damage your house and health. Therefore, you and your home will be safer.

Because it lacks calcium and magnesium, soft water prevents scale buildup on appliances and pipes around your residence.

The most crucial benefit of this method is that it leads to a more effective formulation of soap compared with hard water, which contains inactive ingredients.

Health benefits of soft water include the ability to combat dryness and sticky skin caused by low humidity, cold weather, and hard water.

Which effects does this have on your body? Each wash results in smoother, silkier skin and hair. Water Softener helps soften water so that it can be more efficiently cleaned.

Difference Between Soft vs Hard Water

Calcium and magnesium amount is a primary determinant of the hardness of the water. As a result of higher mineral levels, water becomes harder.

Water softening systems reduce mineral concentrations in water.

While soft water typically contains higher levels of sodium or salt, it usually has lower levels of calcium and magnesium.

Can you Determine if Water is Hard or Soft?

It’s hard to tell if water is soft or hard by looking at it. You might be able to recognize problems by how your dishwasher or washing machine works and how the water feels.

There are several signs that water is hard:

  • Your hands feel greasy after being washed: soap scum is formed when calcium reacts with soap. A hard water might require rinsing hands for a longer period.
  • You’ll find spots: when glassware and silverware come out of the dishwasher, they may exhibit these stains. Calcium carbonate is usually present in these deposits.
  • The stains are mineral-based: washing machine residue appears on clothes after they have been washed. As a result of hard water, clothing can wear faster.
  • Your home will have less water pressure: the length of the pipe can become significantly smaller due to mineral deposits formed in the pipes, which reduce water flow.

There are several signs that water is soft:

  • If you are washing clothes, dishes, or even your hands, lather up well for a healthy lather.
  • A cleaner, less worn-in wardrobe, with fewer mineral stains.
  • Your home has healthy water pressure.
  • Some tastes are imperceptible, such as a slight sodium taste in drinking water.

Advantages of Soft Water

Work can be accomplished more efficiently with soft water so that house workers will love it.

Cleaner items will result from better lathering soap, you will have sparkling glasses and healthy hair, and additionally, scum will not accumulate on the shower curtain.

The skin and clothes remain softer, and the savings from using less soap and detergent with soft water are time-saving and financially advantageous.

Having soft water also helps prolong appliances such as washing machines, dishwashers, and water heaters.

A water softener can lower household energy bills significantly, which is important to remember at a time when energy costs are rising.

Disadvantages of Hard Water

There are several disadvantages of having hard water at your home, such as:

  • Hard water can make soap difficult to lather, thus not suitable for washing
  • Scum can form from soap reactions, wasting the soap
  • The formation of calcium and magnesium carbonate will lead to the furring of tea kettles
  • Water pipes become clogged with hard materials. Carbonates of calcium and magnesium form on the surface because of the process

What Next

By now, you should be aware of the main differences between soft and hard water, and what each type of water can cause.

If you have hard water in your house and need to deal with it, the best option is to buy a water softener, to ensure that you and your family will have access to good water.