Hard Water vs. Soft Water
You’ve undoubtedly heard of hard water and soft water, and blamed something in your life on having one or the other, but do you really know the difference, and which is better? Let’s break it down.
First, let’s talk about what classifies water as hard or soft; it all comes down to minerals. Hard water has higher concentrations of mineral deposits, especially calcium, magnesium, and iron, that usually collect as the water passes through the soil on its way to the water supply. Soft water indicates the absence of these minerals, or at least far lower amounts.
Pros of Hard Water
- It can increase your daily intake of essential minerals (the calcium, magnesium, and iron mentioned above).
- It tastes better.
Cons of Hard Water
- It leaves residue everywhere. Hard water makes it harder for soaps to later and rinse away; this leads to build up in hair, on clothes, and on surfaces (like soap scum in your shower) and can lead to everything from dry skin and hair to faded laundry.
- It can wreck your appliances. Mineral deposits in appliances like coffeemakers and humidifiers and even fixtures like faucets can reduce their functionality and wear them out sooner.
Pros of Soft Water
- It’s better for your skin and hair; lack of minerals means soap lathers well and is rinsed away more efficiently.
- It reduces build-up in your appliances and pipes, extending their lifespan and function.
Cons of Soft Water
- Drinking it isn’t ideal. The salt used in the water softening process increases sodium levels, and the process of softening can cause water to pick up things like lead from pipes.
- It can be wasteful. The regeneration process uses extra water, which can be a concern if you’re worried about your water bill or environmental impact.
Like most things, the ideal option is somewhere in between hard and soft water. If you have hard water, one way to achieve this balance could be to install a water softener but leave the line to the drinking and cooking water out of the system, allowing you to benefit from the minerals contained in it. And if you’re worried about the waste from water softeners but also tired of being itchy after a shower, shop around for high efficiency options until you find something you’re happy with. No matter what you choose, we’re only one call away to get your project started - call today for a free estimate.