Water is generally referred to by people as soft or hard water, but have you ever wondered what these terms mean. Water is affected by the amount of mineral content in it, classified, ranging on the scale from soft to hard.
The quality of the water supplied to our house differs from one place to another. Around eighty-five percent of the water supplied to people’s homes is hard. But some people use water softeners to remove the minerals from water and make it soft. So if you are thinking about which one you should use hard to soft water, you are in the right place. Here you will learn the basic difference between the two, which will help you know which one is better.
The softness and hardness of water are determined by the minerals of both magnesium and calcium. Water can be tested by using kits at home or by taking the help of professionals for municipal corporations.
Let us know what hard and soft water and how different they are is.
What is hard water?
Hard Water causes several issues in your house. Water that has high mineral content is called hard water. The hard water contains magnesium and calcium, and trace amounts of other minerals. It is a natural result of minerals like magnesium and calcium accumulating when the water passes from one stage to another in the water cycle process. This can happen with the city as well as water.
The more magnesium and calcium dissolved in the water, the harder the water becomes. This is why different counties and cities in the same state can be different depending on the hardness of the water.
It is safe to wash and drink hard water, but you will feel inconvenient and embarrassed with time. Hard water also causes several costly problems such as high water bills as the appliances have to work hard, ugly marks in the tubs and sinks, and the cost of replacing linens and clothes damaged by the water is quite high.
What is soft water?
Soft water has an amazing range of properties, but still, many people do not know what it means to have soft water. Hard water and soft water has a great difference, which is why we must know the way these two can affect your life. So, if you are thinking about what makes the water soft, you are in the right place.
Depending on where you live, you may have used soft water throughout your life but still must not have known that it is soft water. This is mainly because it gets less exposure to it. Soft water has less calcium and magnesium compared to hard water. It does not make stains or damages the appliances. This is the main difference between hard and soft water.
Following are the risks and benefits related to hard and soft water. Read to know them in detail.
Risks and Benefits of Hard Water and Soft Water
In both the types of water you get in your house, you will get different benefits and risks, and the quality of water also varies for both soft and hard water. It mainly depends on the preferences and the type of water that you get supplied in your house. There is a lot of information about soft and hard water, but most are misunderstandings and myths.
Some people think that hard water is contaminated only because it contains many minerals. Mineral content and contamination are two different things. Contamination generally refers to bacteria and germs than mineral content. Minerals are the nutrients essential for the body, through some minerals can cause harm to your health.
Hard Water has high mineral content that starts to build up inside the pipes, mainly in the pipes made with galvanized steel. As a result, excessive magnesium and calcium levels stick inside the pipe and make the pipes clogged. So if you have a house with pipes of galvanized steel, you may face some problems caused by hard water. Otherwise, there is nothing to worry about.
Taste Of The Water
People believe that hard water will taste bad compared to soft water as it has a high level of minerals in it, whereas it is the opposite. Soft water has a different taste compared to hard water. The minerals present in the water make the water taste better, but soft water lacks this taste. The taste can be a bit salty at times if the water softener of your house uses chemicals for filtration.
How can you tell if water is hard or soft?
You can test hard water in your house by using testing kits or simply by this DIY test. Use a clean, clear, and empty water bottle with a cap. Pour some pure liquid soap and water directly from the tap and fill the bottle at least one-third. After you add some liquid soap, shake it. If you see fluffy bubbles, and the water appears milky or cloudy, then the water is hard. The soft water will have copious bubbles, and the water resting below will be clear.
Keep in mind that most of the liquid soap that you use is mainly formulated using detergents. These kinds usually lather with all types of Water. To get the best results, use a basic soap that does not have any detergent, perfumes, or dyes. These can affect, and it will become hard for you to distinguish and learn the type of water you get supplied in your house.
What is water softening?
Removing magnesium, calcium, and other metal cations from hard water is water softening. The soft water that results after the process needs less soap for the same amount of cleaning effort, and also, you can save a lot of soap. The reason is that when you use hard water and soap for cleaning, the soap gets wasted as it starts to bond with the ions of calcium in the water.
The plumbing system’s lifespan also increases when you use soft water as it reduces the scale build-up in fittings and pipes. Softening of water is mainly achieved with ion exchange and lime softening, but it can also increase when used along with nanofillers and the process of reverse osmosis.
Is water softening safe?
Some water softeners use salt or sodium chloride that increases sodium in the water you use for drinking at home. For example, consider the following if you have a home softener.
- If anyone in your house has blood pressure, it is advised to speak to a doctor before using soft water.
- You can also decrease the amount of sodium that you are drinking
- Regenerate your water softer using potassium chloride rather than using sodium chloride.
Both hard and soft water have their pros and cons. Depending on your preference you should choose the one you think is suitable.