The Main Difference Between Hard and Soft Water
Did you know that not all water is equal? For example, tap water is different from distilled water; the former contains minerals while the latter is free from contaminants.
Other types of water include mineral water, sparkling water, and alkaline water. Not only that but water can also be classified as soft or hard, depending on the number of ions that are present.
Interested in learning more? Want to know about the difference between hard and soft water? If so, you’ve stumbled on the right page.
We’ll be going over what they are and how they’re different below. Keep reading to learn more!
What Is Hard Water?
Hard water is water that contains high amounts of dissolved minerals, primarily magnesium and calcium (as chlorides, bicarbonates, and surfaces). It forms when natural water flows over the ground or rocks containing calcium or magnesium compounds, such as limestone, chalk, or gypsum.
While hard water isn’t associated with any health risks (i.e. it’s safe to drink), it can contribute to itchy hair and skin. Not only that, but the mineral content can change the pH balance of your skin, which can make it more vulnerable to infections.
For this reason, many people choose to use water softeners in their homes (something like this water softener system).
What Is Soft Water?
Soft water is water that contains little to no mineral content. In fact, all water starts off as soft in its natural form as rainwater; it only becomes hard once it comes into contact with the rock layers on the ground.
However, it does contain higher concentrations of sodium. Given that, it’s not recommended for individuals with high blood pressure (high salt intake can raise blood pressure).
It’s also worth mentioning that soft water is more likely to pick up lead from inside old water pipes due to the absence of minerals.
Hard vs Soft Water: How to Tell
Hard water tends to leave a film of residue on skin, clothing, and dishes; this is caused by the soap reacting with the calcium in the water.
Not only that, but it also has a tendency of leaving behind white, crusty deposits around faucets and drains due to its mineral content. The same goes for your clothes; they may be covered in mineral stains after washing.
In contrast, soft water lathers easily. There won’t be any soap scum, which makes it ideal for cleaning clothes, dishes, as well as your skin.
Due to its sodium content, however, it may taste a bit salty to those with sensitive taste buds.
Understanding the Difference Between Hard and Soft Water
The main difference between hard and soft water is its mineral content. Hard water contains high levels of calcium and magnesium, while soft water has minute amounts of salt. With that said, both are safe to drink.
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