Hard Water Vs. Soft Water- What's the Difference?
There are two distinct kinds of domestic water; hard and soft water; although the difference in both hard and soft water is imperceptible to the eye, both have a significant impact on our homes and lifestyle.
Hard and soft water have a significant impact on our homes and lifestyle
Even though most households require water to stay functional, it is no lie that we pay little to no attention to the type of water running through our taps. So long as the water running through our pipes and faucets is clear, then that's all that matters, right? However, water isn't just water; the water we use in our day-to-day lives contains chemicals and minerals that most of us are oblivious to. Categorically, there are two distinct kinds of domestic water; hard and soft water; although the difference in both hard and soft water is imperceptible to the eye, both have a significant impact on our homes and lifestyle. Typically, we differentiate hard and soft water by their mineral concentration, but that isn't comparatively exclusive.
Hard water depicts an appreciable amount of dissolved Calcium and Magnesium. When testing for water hardness, the concentration varies based on the present grains of the minerals calcium and magnesium per gallon. Subsequently, hard water can either be slightly, moderately or extremely hard depending on the amount of GPG present. In contrast, soft water contains sodium or salt but is however free from any harsh minerals. One can detect a slight sodium taste with soft water when drinking, although the difference is relatively small, almost unnoticeable. Calcium and magnesium are essential for healthy body functioning; this makes hard water more preferable for drinking than salty-tasting soft water.
The appearance of hard water deposits is evident in households that utilize hard water from their electrical appliances to cutlery and stained bathtubs.
Characteristically, hard water leaves a film upon washing which is identified as scum. The layer formed when using hard water is usually a result of soap reacting with calcium to form calcium carbonate. The appearance of scum is evident in households that utilize hard water from their electrical appliances to cutlery and stained bathtubs. Cleaning your home with hard water thereby requires more effort, soap and water for a spotless effect. On the other hand, soft water forms a rich and bubbly lather with soap that makes cleaning easy and effective- you wouldn't have to give the dishes a second wash.
Scale build-up is quite common when using hard water. Because hard water contains calcium and magnesium, when temperatures are high, water evaporates, leaving these minerals deposits in your pipes, faucets and heaters. With time, the minerals suspended in the water precipitate end up solidifying into scale that accumulates, causing severe damages to your water piping system and appliances. Scale build-up can also significantly reduce the water pressure in your household or, worse, call for a whole new water pipes installation.
Hard water tends to lessen hair shine and lustre, leaving it feeling dry, flat and frizzy.
Healthy as the minerals calcium and magnesium may be for consumption, our hair and skin may not respond the same way. Dermatologists have reported allergic reactions to calcium and magnesium for some of their patients, potentially shifting from dry and itchy skin to eczema if prolonged exposure to these minerals. In addition to the detrimental effects of hard water on the skin, one may experience dullness and loss of bounce to their hair. Hard water tends to lessen hair shine and lustre, leaving it feeling dry, flat and frizzy. Conversely, soft water helps prevent dry and sticky skin, especially in cold and humid areas. The absence of minerals in soft water also translates into smooth, silky hair.
Most detergents contain harsh chemicals that remove dirt from your fabrics; however, incorporating minerals like calcium and magnesium into these cleaning agents makes them more harsh.
Typically, hard water is harsh due to the mineral concentration in it. When cleaning using hard water, especially in laundry, one will notice brown stains or discoloration on their clothes; these are mineral stains. Mineral stains usually show up when you take your clothes out of the washing machine due to the minerals' harsh reaction in the water with soap and the fabric. The result of consistently doing your laundry with hard water is inevitable tear-and-wear. Most detergents contain harsh chemicals that remove dirt from your fabrics; however, incorporating minerals like calcium and magnesium into these cleaning agents makes them more harsh. Consequently, your clothes end up discoloured, dull and worn out with the first few washes. On the other hand, soft water lathers well with soap, which means you would only have to use little detergent to get your clothes cleaned up and not worry about the detergent reacting with the water minerals.
Benefits of using hard water vs. soft water
Although both hard and soft water have unequivocal properties, they each have their perks. Before you base your decision on this guide for water softeners, you might want to weigh in all the pros and cons of using hard and soft water. Every household has different needs, and depending on the lifestyle one requires; you may find yourself inclined towards one type of water. Below are some of the proven advantages of utilizing both hard and soft water in your home:
- ● Hard water has a richer taste than soft water- however small; a distinct flavour is noticeable with hard water.
- ● Soft water helps significantly cut back on your energy bill because it requires less energy to heat your showers.
- ● Due to the absence of minerals in soft water, it lathers and forms bubbles easily; this lets you save some coins on detergent purchases.
- ● Hard water contains essential minerals that are necessary for strong bone and teeth formation. Consuming hard water can therefore serve as a dietary supplement for magnesium and calcium deficiency.
- ● The use of soft water guarantees a prolonged household appliance lifespan and better performance. Items like water pipes, electric kettles and dishwashers will function efficiently, giving you value for your money.
- ● For improved digestive health and bowel movement, hard water is a definite go-to! Magnesium and calcium ease up constipation.
- ● Soft water assures you of efficient cleaning throughout your household, which ultimately saves you the physical strain. One will unlikely notice white spots and mineral stains on the silverware and clothing after chores
Hard water may make up the most significant water percentage available worldwide; however, soft water will always hold first place in most households. Even with all the outstanding benefits of hard water, soft water remains the practical option for homes. Since naturally occurring soft water is relatively scarce globally, water softeners' introduction has been a ground-breaking solution. When weighing in the best choice of water to use around your home, water softeners would be the best bet.
With the scarcity of naturally occurring soft water, the introduction of water softeners is a ground-breaking solution.