The Differences Between Hard and Soft Water

The phrases “hard water” and “soft water” have likely come up if you are a homeowner or have noticed the effects of water in your household. You might be curious as to what causes water to be either hard or soft, as well as if one sort of water is healthier for you to drink, wash your face, clothes, and more.

The two types of water will be compared in this blog, along with their advantages and disadvantages and what you need to know about water softening.

Hard vs. Soft Water

The calcium and magnesium content of the water is the main factor in determining hardness. Hard water is determined by how much calcium and magnesium it contains, while soft water often has higher amounts of sodium and salt.

Which water do you have?

When determining which water your household has, it may be tough to tell just by looking at the water, but there are other things that indicate if you have soft or hard water.

Hard water disadvantages include:

How do your hands feel after washing them?

You may have hard water if your hands feel like they have a thick coating on them. This feeling is caused by the calcium in the water reacting with the soap.

Low water pressure

Mineral buildup in the pipes can result in a decrease in your water flow.

Spots on your kitchenware

Spots could be visible on freshly cleaned silverware and glasses. These spots are often caused by calcium carbonate deposits.

The look and feel of your hair

Does your hair look lifeless and dry? It may be from the harshness of hard water taking the moisture and shine out of your hair. It can also reduce the foaminess of shampoo and soap, which can leave your hair feeling unclean.

Stains on your clothes

Do you keep getting random stains on your clothes and are unsure where they come from? The stains may be caused by hard water. Hard water can also wear your clothes out more quickly.

Soft water disadvantages include:

Soft water does have some disadvantages, but they are less apparent than hard water disadvantages.

Risks to your plants

Plants are delicate and don’t like to be watered with anything high in sodium. Watered with soft water may stunt the plant’s growth or kill it altogether.

High sodium levels

People with diabetes or excessive blood pressure are sensitive to high salinity or salt levels and should avoid using soft water.

Harmful to sea life 

Aquariums cannot be securely filled with soft water. Fish need exact pH levels in their habitat to stay healthy, yet soft water is particularly prone to pH changes and may be harmful to the fish.

What you should do if you have hard water

Installing a water softener in your house may be the best solution for your hard water issue. This will specifically help your plumbing system and other areas that your hard water could be impacting. Water softeners can save your plumbing equipment, clothing, skin, hair, and more by removing hazardous quantities of minerals from your water. A water softener can also reduce any repairs that hard water may cause.

Next Steps

The best place to start if you suspect your water is hard is with a water filtration test from a qualified Chas Roberts professional. They will investigate and suggest the best course of action.

Chas Roberts is the largest HVAC and plumbing provider in Arizona and has been family-owned and operated for over 75 years. Contact us for reliable, quality service.