What Is The Difference Between Hard Water And Soft Water?

Perhaps you have never really given much thought to the water you drink, cook with, use to clean your home and do laundry with. However, the water that comes into your home can actually be either hard water or soft water. Hard and soft water are similar, but they are also very different. There are certain purposes that each type of water may not perform equally. While one may taste better, another may be better for cleaning.

These are some ways that hard and soft water are not the same:

Hard Water

Hard water is more natural. It is rain water or water from streams, lakes or rivers that has not had any of the natural minerals it absorbs from rocks and the earth removed. Hard water does tend to taste better than soft water. Those natural minerals improve the taste and make it more suitable for drinking or cooking with.

However, hard water is not the best for cleaning purposes. Calcium, iron and magnesium are the most common minerals in hard water and these often prevent soap products from lathering and cleaning properly.

Over time, deposits of calcium and magnesium can clog pipes and prevent water from going through the drains in a home correctly. Some hard water also has excessive amounts of iron which can make it irritate the skin, damage the hair and impossible to consume.

Soft Water 

Soft water is water that has been treated with certain products or processes to remove the unwanted minerals. This can be done by having an exterior water softener installed on your water pipes before they reach the water tap. Normally, sodium or potassium chloride is used to remove the calcium, iron and magnesium in hard water.

Once the minerals are removed, there is often a noticeable difference in the taste of water. This is especially true if sodium is used to soften the water. The water may taste too salty and could even cause health issues for those who have high blood pressure or heart problems.

However, softened water is much better than hard water for cleaning purposes. Household cleansers, laundry detergents and dishwashing products work wonderfully when combined with soft water. You will get brighter, cleaner results and stains are more easily removed. Soft water even works better with bathing and hair care products and leaves your skin and hair soft and smooth.

Water softeners can make a huge difference in the quality of the water in your home. If you normally buy your drinking water, but still want better water in your home for cleaning and bathing, having a water softener installed is a great option. Need more help? Try contacting a company like Metro Water Conditioning Inc. with any questions you have.