Explained: Hard Water Vs Soft Water

Water is an essential compound that comprises a lot of chemical elements. We use water for various purposes, especially for drinking. Two major types of water are utilized by most people at home. One is hard water and the other one is soft water. The chemical substances present in water like the hardness or softness might show some impact on your energy. Hard water and soft water have significant benefits besides the limitations. Getting to know the major differences between hard and soft water aids you prefer the right one for home purposes. For the unknown, a doubt arises in the mind that, what’s the difference between hard water and soft water? For those who are seeking an answer for it, here is the right post. This post clearly explains each detail about Hard Water Vs Soft Water. Have a look! 

What is Hard Water?

The water we see appears to be crystal clear. But, water is not just in the clear liquid form that we usually look into. There is much more in water such as chemicals and minerals. When the concentration of such minerals increases, it leads to the water hardness. One can find out what type of water they have been using by determining the amounts of magnesium and calcium in it. The water comprising identified amounts of natural minerals such as calcium and magnesium is known as hard water. Sometimes, these natural minerals are advantageous for health and also enhances water taste.

Advantages of Hard Water

Knowing hard water benefits helps people in understanding whether to use it for drinking purposes or not. We furnished the list of some of the significant advantages of hard water in this post. Check it out!

  • As mentioned earlier, hard water has higher amounts of minerals such as calcium and magnesium. Despite having increased concentrations of these minerals in the water, it doesn’t affect the health. 
  • Moreover, drinking hard water helps people in consuming an adequate amount of the aforementioned minerals daily. 
  • Even if an individual drinks hard water, there is no harm to his or her health. Some of them find the taste of this water slightly bitter. 
  • One can use hard water for drinking purposes daily. Drinking hard water is beneficial as it comprises vital minerals such as magnesium and calcium. These minerals help in the proper functioning of the heart, digestive system, and blood sugar levels. It even helps to combat some diseases like cancer.
  • Sometimes, hard water shows a notable impact on the skin and hair of an individual. Using hard water for bathing may cause an itching sensation of the skin. It eventually leads to dry skin and hair might become rough.

Disadvantages of Hard Water

Besides the benefits, there are some adverse effects of hard water on household appliances. To know whether there are any health risks of hard water, just read on this post. 

  • Hard water shows some negative impact on household appliances such as water heaters, washing machines, taps, pipe interiors, and more. One can find a layer of limescale forming on these appliances when treated with hard water. As a result of this formation, it constrains the easy flow of water through pipes. It eventually results in clog formations and leads to the replacement of pipes.
  • One can witness limescale formed in a water heater when used to heat hard water. It diminishes the heating capabilities of the heater. It further drives you to purchase a new one ditching the old one.
  • The usage of hard water in the preparation of a few beverages might change the taste, odor, and color of it. Moreover, it causes corrosion issues to those utensils.
  • After washing utensils with soap using hard water, it leaves spots on them after they’re dried.

What is Soft Water?

Treating water using some water softening systems to diminish the mineral concentrations present in water is known as soft water. After lessening the mineral content from hard water, it becomes soft water. While hard water comprises increased levels of magnesium and calcium, the soft water comprises higher levels of sodium i.e., salt. Soft water tastes a bit salty.

Advantages of Soft Water

Before heading to know the difference between hard water and soft water, let’s check the notable advantages of soft water. Check the list of primary benefits of soft water furnished below:

  • Soft water is a pure form of water that’s a bit salt to taste. However, it might be negligible. 
  • Using soap with soft water is rapidly effective. Even after using soft water for cleaning utensils, it doesn’t leave any spots.
  • Soft water isn’t harmful to hair and the skin.
  • Soft water efficiently works as a cleaning agent. One can save money by paying minimal water bills by evading the process of washing clothes again and again. You don’t require increased bath time as this water removes the soap scum easily.

Disadvantages of Soft Water

There are some of the limitations of soft water that every individual must note before using it. 

  • The consumption of soft water may not help people in consuming essential minerals. Instead, it just increases the sodium consumption into the body. Drinking soft water is not preferable.
  • Soft water is not recommended for those who are suffering from various heart issues. The increased sodium content in soft water might be risky for those people. 
  • People suffering from high blood pressure problems aren’t suggested to consume soft water. The increased sodium content in this water may be a risk for such people.

Till now, you have seen the benefits and limitations of both soft and hard water. Besides the pros and cons, you can even check the difference between hard water and soft water in this post. 

Difference Between Hard Water and Soft Water

There are significant differences between hard water and soft water. We furnished the list of some of the differences in the tabular form:

Hard WaterSoft Water
Good for drinking purposesSometimes, not suggested for drinking 
Comprises minerals like calcium and magnesiumComprises increased sodium content
No lather forms upon treating with soapsForms some lather upon treated with soaps 
Not good for skin and hair as it renders drynessHair and skin becomes soft
Beneficial for drinkingBeneficial for bathing, washing and cleaning utensils
Doesn’t cause health problemsMight cause health problems like high BP and heart issues
Used in the natural formTreated through various water softening systems
Damages household appliances due to the limescale formationNo adverse impact on household appliances

How to Differentiate between Hard and Soft Water?

Most people might be confused about how to find whether the water is hard or soft. It’s not possible to find the type of water just by looking. There are a few indications that help people recognize it like hard water or soft water. This helps people in understanding more about Hard Water Vs Soft Water. Just take a look!

Hard Water Indications

Through a series of indications, one can recognize whether it is hard water or not. 

1. Leaving Spots

  • Sometimes, the spots of the soap might remain on the glasses or other utensils upon cleaning. 
  • It’s because of the deposits of calcium carbonate present in hard water.

2.  Needs a long time for washing hands

  • When you wash your hands with soap with hard water, it takes a longer time.
  • You need to rinse your hands with more water to clean the soap scums present on your hands.

3. Pipes get clogged

  • Due to the mineral deposits settled in the pipes, it diminishes the water flow.
  • It eventually narrows the interior diameter of the pipes.

4. Stains remain on clothes

  • The mineral stains present in hard water remains on the clothes upon washing them in a washing machine. 
  • As a result, clothes will be damaged soon due to the roughness of hard water.

Soft Water Indications

1. No lather

  • Upon washing clothes or cleaning utensils, you may not find any lather forming on your hands.

2. No water clogs in pipes

  • The soft water doesn’t form any clogs in pipes and helps in the easy flow of water.

3. Tastes salty

  • Sometimes, the soft water might taste a bit salty due to increased sodium content in it. 
  • Still, it may not be the same for all sources of soft water.

4. No stains

  • The clothes that are washed using soft water remains clean sans any sort of mineral stains. 
  • It eventually enhances the lifetime of the cloth. It evades easy damage to the material.

These are the fundamental signs to determine whether it is hard water or soft water. However, it may not be true in all cases. Sometimes, these signs may vary. 

The Bottom Line

That’s all! This is everything you need to understand about Hard Water Vs Soft Water. We presume this article has given a detailed explanation highlighting the difference between hard water and soft water. By now, you might have understood what type of water can be utilized for various needs. Mostly, health experts suggest that one can use soft and hard water daily. Hard water can be used for drinking purposes while soft water can be useful for bathing and household appliances. Still, people can drink soft water without worrying about any sort of side effects. If you are not willing to drink soft water comprising higher sodium levels, you can just use it for washing. However, one can use any type of water depending on their requirements. If you have any queries, drop them in the comments section. Get to know more about types of water, water dispenser models, and more on this website.