A breakdown on Hard Water vs. Soft Water — and Why It Matters

Both soft and hard water can be utilized for all housing activities, and what kind of water is used depends on the water source and local soil conditions. Both types can also be used for watering plants or drinking without any observable effect, but in time hard-water tends to have adverse effects on certain systems.

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Soft Water vs Hard Water

Soft Water

This is treated water in which the only ion is sodium. This water has low quantities of minerals than hard-water. The hardness of water is generally measured by parts-per-million or grains-per-gallon. Hard-water has a rating of about 4 to 10 or above grains-per-gallon, and soft water has 1 to 3 grains-per-gallon, though interpretations can vary.

Advantages of Soft Water

  • Soft water does not leave any mineral deposit on the inside part of the pipes, as it passes through the pipelines thus it causes less damage..
  • Soft water makes the skin feel smoother and your hair softer. In addition, it’s easy to clean off the soap using soft water.
  • If you use soft water to wash your utensils, they will retain their original color instead of attaining the reddish touch of minerals.
  • Clothes washed and rinsed in this water have a longer shelf-life when compared to clothes washed and rinsed in hard-water. Soft water has less count of minerals, and thus clothes rinsed using soft water have higher likelihood of having a longer shelf life.

Disadvantages of Soft Water

The main disadvantage of soft water is that it’s completely devoid of vital mineral contents. It is also known to cause serious coronary diseases and heart ailments.

Hard Water

Hard water contains a significant amount of dissolved minerals like magnesium and calcium. Hard water is generally not harmful for your health. As a matter of fact, hard water may be beneficial because it’s rich in minerals and it also reduces the solubility of potentially toxic metal ions such as copper and lead. However, there are some industrial applications where this type of water may result to damages or inefficiencies in pipes and containers. In such situations, water softening methods are used. Water softening helps to exchange metal cations with sodium ions.

Advantages of Hard Water

  • Drinking hard water is good for your health because it supplements the essential amounts of minerals like magnesium and calcium.
  • Hard water provides useful calcium ions for healthy growth of bones and teeth
  • Hard water tastes better and is believed to reduce the number of heart illnesses

Disadvantages of Hard Water

  • Hard water uses more soap to get things clean. Hard water also leaves behind a number of minerals on the top surface of your skin, resulting to roughness and dryness.
  • Hard water leads to higher electricity bills in the event that you are using a water heater to heat the water.
  • Washing your hair with this water means that your hair will at last attain a natural reddish touch, which is not easy to get rid of in any natural way.
  • Minerals that are found in this type of water can combine with the dirt in clothes thus causing clothes to lose their brightness.
  • Pipes through which hard water passes need to be replaced regularly. This is because hard water forms a hard layer on the inner part of pipelines, which eventually leads to decay of the pipes.

Hard vs Soft Water

There is no definite winner in this comparison, as the end result greatly depends on what you are used to. Individuals who have been using soft water all the while are bound to feel that hard water tastes a bit weird, and individuals who are used to hard water are bound to feel weird with that smooth skin attributed to soft water.

The most ideal water is a combination of both soft and hard water. The safest bet is to use a water softener system to soften hard water, and there is also the ability to install a shut-off valve so hard water can be turned on and off at the turn on a dial.

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