What’s the Difference Between Hard and Soft Water?

What’s the Difference Between Hard and Soft Water?

Hard vs. Soft Water

Based on your geographical location, your groundwater can have varying levels of minerals like calcium and magnesium. Some studies show that the presence of these minerals is beneficial to our health, but substantial evidence has yet to be found. On the other hand, too much of these minerals in water (known as hard water) can definitely cause issues.

Read on to learn the differences between hard and soft water, health and appliance concerns of hard water and how to keep high concentrations of minerals out of your water. 

What is Hard Water?

As previously mentioned, minerals can seep into water anywhere between its source and your tap. High concentrations of these minerals will harden your water, and while hard water is harmless when ingested, it can cause trouble for your skin, hair and home. 

Damage to Hair and Skin

Hard water tends to strip the oils your body naturally produces, also leaving behind mineral buildup or residue on your skin. If you’ve ever still felt dirty after taking a shower, hard water may be a contributing factor. Over time, your hair may become brittle or frizzy, while your skin will dry out and become more sensitive. 

Spots and Residue

When using appliances like showerheads, faucets, washing machines or tubs, there’s usually water left behind. As the water evaporates, the minerals will build up in a white, chalky residue called scale. You may also see spots or streaks of scale on utensils, glassware or your shower walls. You’ll need special products to remove this residue, as it can be tough to get off with standard cleaning practices. 

Reduced Lifespan of Appliances and Pipes

Although minerals themselves are too small to cause blockages, they often react with other substances in drains and create scale build-up. Internal blockages cause drainage issues and increase pressure in plumbing systems, to the point that your pipes may get pinhole leaks. Prolonged hard water exposure can cause serious (and costly) damage to your plumbing and water-using appliances, too.

What is Soft Water?

Soft water lacks an excess of minerals like calcium and magnesium. If your water is hard, which we can determine with a free water analysis, it can be softened by installing a treatment solution like a water softening system

Scale Prevention

One of the obvious advantages of soft water is preventing scale. With soft water, you’ll no longer have to continually clean up buildups of it around your home. Plus you’ll likely save money and headaches in the long-term with longer-lasting appliances that work better. 

Saving Your Hair and Skin

Soft water is more gentle on your hair and skin, leaving behind no mineral buildup and allowing shampoo and soap to do its job. Soft water will also leave some natural oils behind when you shower, which help keep your skin hydrated. 

How Kinetico Can Help

Address hard water problems at their source by contacting Kinetico to schedule a free water analysis.