hard water versus soft water

14 Feb. 20

What is the difference in hard water versus soft water?

When it comes to the quality of water you’ve probably heard the terms hard water and soft water before. But what exactly is the difference? At first, you might think it has something to do the velocity at which water travels out of the faucet, but water pressure is not generally affected by whether water is hard or soft. Instead, it is regarding what is found inside your water. Your skin will react differently to hard water and software water. It can even change the taste of your drinking water.

Thankfully, there are ways to treat any water issues with the help of Quality Water of the Carolinas. But before you reach out and contact the water purification specialists, here is what you need to know regarding hard water versus soft water.

Hard water versus soft water – What’s the main difference?

When looking at hard water versus soft water you’ll discover the main difference is the kind of minerals found within the water. Hard water will have higher amounts of calcium and magnesium. Other metal minerals may be found within the water as well.

On the other hand, soft water has higher levels of sodium in the water. It may not necessarily have a salty taste to it (it would need a significantly higher level of sodium within the water for this to happen), but salty water can dry out your skin and cause other skin irritants.

While the difference in hard water versus soft water is the kind of minerals found within the water, each kind of water will cause different issues within your home. To help with the issue you will want to know how to identify one from the other.

Determining If You Have Hard Water Or Soft Water

Hard Water

With hard water, you will have a strange feeling like there is a thin layer of film clinging to your skin even after you wash it. This happens when you use soap and the soap binds with the calcium in the water. What results is known as soap scum. Another way of knowing if you have hard water is after you wash your glasses. When you notice spots on the glasses it is because you have calcium stuck to the glass. It is not soap as you may assume (although, much like washing your hands, the soap in the dish detergent and the calcium in the water can form a kind of soap scum as well).

Have you ever pulled out a shirt or pair of clothing from the wash only to notice there is a strange discoloration on it? It’s as if someone added bleach to the load without you knowing about it. Well, you don’t have a little gremlin running around, looking for ways to ruin your clothing. You have hard water. This is known as a mineral stain. If there is a large collection of minerals in the water and it clings to one area of your clothing it may alter the fabric’s color. This is most likely going to happen on clothing that has been dyed. Additionally, the added minerals will cause your clothing to wear out faster.

Soft Water

Soft water, on the other hand, does not do any of this. First, your clothing will not suffer from mineral stains and you will not have that nasty soap scum clinging to dishes or to your hands. You may actually have slightly better water pressure though. That is because over time the minerals in hard water will clog on the plumbing, causing the water to slow down and less water to reach a faucet and showerhead. However, with soft water, in some instances, there may be a slight tang of sodium in it, although usually it is next to impossible to taste it (usually only individuals with a very keen sense of taste, such as small children, will be able to pick up on the sodium).

Are There Health Concerns?

One of the most important areas of hard water versus soft water is if there is any kind of health concern. For starters, it is technically safe to drink both hard and soft water. In fact, when you drink hard water it may help you get your daily dosage of calcium or magnesium. However, if you suffer from any kind of heart condition or high blood pressure you’ll want to avoid soft water because the small amount of added sodium aid in elevating your blood pressure further.

Hard water can dry out your skin and hair. It is also more likely to smell strange and pick up odors. This is not the case when you have soft water. If you are a coffee lover, some people will swear by hard water with their coffee. The mineral elements will react to the coffee beans in a slightly different way. However, much like the soft drinking water, unless you are an expert or can really dive into the taste, chances are you will not be able to tell the difference.

Correct Your Water Issues With Quality Water of the Carolinas

Whatever water issue you are experiencing it is important to take care of it. Even if the city deems it “safe” it doesn’t mean it won’t cause problems inside your home. You shouldn’t smell like chlorine when you get out of the shower and your clothing shouldn’t smell like old eggs after washing them. Plus, strong mineral deposits in the water will cling to the interior of your pipes, which can cause bottleneck issues, burst pipe problems, and end up costing you thousands upon thousands of dollars to repair all the plumbing in the house. It’s far easier and less expensive to correct the water from entering your home.

So if you want to fully diagnose what is going on with your water supply, Quality Water of the Carolinas can help. All you need to do is reach out and give the team a call at your earliest convenience.