Water is defined as a universal solvent. It is a transparent, colorless, odorless, and tasteless substanceand very important for people. It is what we use to wash our hands, take a bath, wash our clothes and plates, drink, cook, and more. Did you know that water is categorized into two types? Those two types are hard water and soft water.
Even though they are called hard and soft water, these are not determined by how they feel or how the water appears to be. Water hardness pertains to the amount of dissolved calcium or magnesium in the water. Hard water contains a high amount of minerals, while soft water contains little to no minerals.
If you want to further understand water hardness, you’re in the right place. Today, we are going to talk about what hard and soft water is.
What is Hard Water
Hard water, as mentioned above, contains an excessive amount of calcium and magnesium, which are two naturally occurring minerals in the water. Therefore, the higher amount of these minerals the water contains, the higher it will rank on the hard water scale. Both calcium and magnesium are essential to everyday health, but they are not essential for water usage. In fact, hardness in water can have damaging effects on your home.
When you use water for cleaning, you may notice spots or residue on your dishes, clothing, and shower. You may also find particles inside your appliances like the laundry machine or dishwasher. It’s because when hard water is heated, calcium deposits form. If these calcium deposits build up, they can damage the performance and lifespan of your appliances greatly. Aside from your appliances, hard water can also damage pipes. And to make matters worse, hard water can also increase your heating costs, as well as the efficiency of your appliances with a plummet.
Aside from your things at home, if your water is high on the water hardness scale, you might also notice some effects on your personal hygiene. It’s because hard water can leave a feeling of residue on your hands, skin, and hair upon washing. With this, your hair and skin might feel drier and more brittle.
Your water supplier is the one responsible for testing the water hardness before distributing it to your community. If the water in your place is high on the water hardness scale, you can combat this by softening your water. You can do this by using a water softener. It can help reduce impurities in your water, including calcium and magnesium. And this can provide you with cleaner water, appliances, hair, and skin.
What Can Happen from Too Much Hard Water Damage?
If problems caused by hard water are left unresolved, the mineral buildup can cause damages and lots of expenses for you. For example, the mineral build-up in your hot water tank and pipes can cause inefficiencies, and they are very expensive to replace.
Aside from that, too much hard water damage can make you spend a lot of money buying cleaning products to remove the stains. You will also need to buy more laundry and dish detergents, hand soap, bathing soap, and as well as lotion to keep your skin moisturized.
Can Hard Water Stains Be Removed?
Hard water stains can be removed through natural and homemade ways. Some of the solutions you can try are half water and half vinegar mixture, vinegar paste and baking soda, and lemon juice in a spray bottle.
You can also buy cleaners that are made specifically to remove soap scum and hard water build up. Soap scum is when soap and hard water mix up and create undesirable rings in your tub, and as well as stick to your clothes, dishes, skin, and hair. However, most of these cleaners contain hydrochloric acid, which is a harsh chemical that should only be used as a last resort if the natural ways don’t work.
If you want to prevent hard water stains, the best way is to get a whole house water filtration system. This way, the mineral build-up will never have the chance to occur in your pipes or heater.
What is Soft Water?
Soft water, unlike hard water, does not contain harsh minerals that can damage your body and your home. It means that soft water is more gentle. It can prevent scale buildup around your home, especially on your appliances and pipes. Aside from that, it can also increase the effectiveness of soaps you use at home, unlike hard water that can inactivate your soap’s ingredients.
When it comes to health, soft water can fight the dryness and stickiness you feel due to cold weather, low humidity, and hard water. It means that when you use soft water, you will have softer, silkier hair and skin after every wash.
Water Softening Safety
Compared to hard water, soft water is better because it does not stain and does not make your skin dry. However, if you have hard water at home and you opt to use a water softener, keep in mind that it is essential to clean and maintain the equipment because microorganisms and fungi can form on the resin of a water-softening system.
In addition to that, another safety concern about water softening systems is the additional sodium added to the drinking water. If someone in your household is on a low-sodium diet, you need to speak with the manufacturer of the softening system to know how much sodium is added to the water. Some usepotassium instead of sodium to soften the water. However, if you have health concerns, it’s better to consult a doctor first to know how water softening could affect you.
If your water leaves soap scum on your tub, sink, or dishes and causes scale buildup in your pipes, there’s a high chance that you have hard water. If you are not sure, or if you have an old and untreated plumbing system at home, it is better to have your water tested for levels of hardness and other contaminants.
We hope the information we shared helped you further understand what hard water and soft water are.