What Is The Difference Between Hard Water and Soft Water?

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It’s easy to hate hard water when you see water spots on your glassware, soap scum in your sink, or scaly white buildup in your bathtub.

Hold off on the water softener, though. Good reasons exist to keep some hard water in your life.

Hard Water vs. Soft Water: What’s the Difference?

Hard water contains lots of minerals, especially magnesium, calcium, sodium, and iron. Deposits of these minerals form the soap scum, water spots, and scaly buildups.

Soft water, by contrast, contains very few minerals. 

Why Water Arrives at your Utility Company Hard

Rainwater is naturally soft. However, most water filters and percolates through porous deposits of chalk or limestone before it reaches the utility company.

This process fortifies the water with dissolved sulfates and chlorides. The water supply can also become temporarily hard from deposits of unstable bicarbonates.

Benefits of Hard Water

The minerals in hard water aid bodily functions and prevent certain heart diseases. Your daily water intake can supply you with up to 100% of your daily recommendation of those minerals.

Soft water hydrates the body less efficiently. It is also more electrically volatile, potentially stripping lead from the insides of pipes into the water supply.

Many people also think hard water tastes better.

Benefits of Soft Water

The scaly deposits building up in your bathtub also build up inside your pipes. Eventually, they may become clogged and precipitate expensive plumbing disasters.

Since most people consume to much salt, the sodium in hard water can increase the risk of hypertension. Hard water also inhibits the formation of soap lather, decreasing its efficiency.

Conclusion: Hard water is better for drinking and cooking; soft water for cleaning and showering. Water softeners sometimes feature bypass valves, providing access to both.

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