Hard or Soft Water, What’s the Difference? Which Type do I Have at My Home?

Written by Posted On Monday, 21 October 2019 12:20

While some might claim not to notice the difference between hard and soft water, there are many who do. It can leave both your skin and hair feeling rough and harsh. However, hard water can have more effects on your body than making your hair and skin feel unpleasant, and it can also have an impact on your home as well. Here are a few things to consider if you are currently using hard water.

What Exactly Is Hard Water?

The hardness or softness of water generally refers to the amount of minerals in it. Hard water tends to contain high levels of both calcium and magnesium. While these are important minerals for your health, having too much of them in your water can potentially cause problems. You may primarily notice the effects of hard water skin and on your hair as well.

Effects of Hard Water on Your Home

With hard water, much of the time you can feel the mineral deposits in the water, and you may even be able to see them as well. It is these deposits that can make your clothing turn gray, or leave streaks and cloudiness on your dishes. You might also notice that soaps and shampoos do not lather very well with it, and that it requires extra soap to clean things sufficiently.

Effects of Hard Water on Skin

While one of the most noticeable effects of hard water can be what it does to the texture of your skin, there are other effects that it can have on you as well. Hard water can contribute to clogging pores, creating acne and exacerbating existing skin conditions, such as rashes. It can also have a negative impact on your scalp, by either causing dryness and dandruff or making existing issues worse.

Effects of Hard Water on Hair

Hair is also often impacted by hard water as well. Not only can hard water cause it to have a more rough texture and to tangle more easily, but it can also cause it to become more brittle, and break off easier, too. Another issue with hard water and hair is that it usually doesn't enable you to rinse all of the shampoo or conditioner out of your hair, leading to a build up of product. Over time this can make hair appear greasy and dull and cause it to become difficult to manage.

What Is Soft Water?

Soft water is water that has had many of the harsh minerals removed from it. It tends to contain low levels of ions, particularly calcium and magnesium. This gives it a smoother feeling, which in turn can make skin feel softer and hair more smooth. Soaps and shampoos will generally be able to attain a rich lather with soft water, and your skin and hair will be left feeling cleaner than with hard water. One of the most common ways that people switch to soft water is by purchasing a water softener. However, in situations where it is not possible to purchase a water softener, there are filters that you can buy and attach to your shower head that can also help to remove some of the unwanted minerals. 

The Bottom Line

There are many benefits to having soft water, however not everyone is able to attain a water softener or otherwise change the quality of their water. In this situation, checking on your health can be important. This could be especially true if you are experiencing any skin or scalp conditions that do not seem to improve over time or that do not have another cause that you are aware of.

So, whether you are concerned about the health of your hair and scalp, are experiencing skin issues, or simply want to ensure that no harm is being done, checking in with a doctor and seeing if soft water might improve your health could be a good option for you.  

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