What Is Better: Soft or Hard Water?
You’ve probably heard the terms “hard water” and “soft water” before, but do you actually know what they mean? Moreover, do you know whether hard water or soft water is better for you? This is something that many homeowners wonder, which is why we’ve put together a brief overview which we hope will help answer any questions you may have.
What Is Hard Water?
Tap water is commonly described as being either soft or hard. This distinction refers to the amount of dissolved metallic minerals within the water, such as calcium, magnesium, and sometimes iron. Hard water contains a high concentration of metallic minerals, whereas soft water contains little to no metallic minerals and often has a higher concentration of sodium.
Is Hard Water Safe to Drink?
According to all the major health organizations, there are no adverse health effects of consuming hard water. In fact, some experts even suggest that consuming hard water can be beneficial for individuals who have calcium and magnesium deficiencies. That said, having a high concentration of metallic minerals in your tap water can make certain household tasks more challenging.
What Does Hard Water Do?
When hard water is heated, it tends to leave behind calcium deposits on surfaces it touches. This crusty, whitish-yellow substance left by hard water is commonly called limescale and it forms on faucets, water-using appliances, and inside your plumbing. Limescale itself isn’t harmful to your health, though it can be difficult to clean and, over time, and if it builds up enough inside your pipes it can cause damage or clogging that will need to be addressed. For this reason, soft water is preferable to hard water as the former won’t cause limescale buildup or damage your plumbing.
When you’re using hard water for cleaning purposes, such as washing the dishes, you may notice cloudy spots or a filmy residue on your plates, bowls, and silverware after they’ve been left to air dry. What you’re actually seeing is tiny little bits of limescale. All it takes to make these spots go away is to wet the dishes and dry them immediately. However, many homeowners feel that their dishes aren’t getting truly clean and wash them multiple times.
Similarly, when you’re showering with hard water, you may feel that you’re not getting truly clean. This is because soap does not come to a lather as effectively as it does with soft water. Rather than forming a full lather, it creates what is commonly call “soap curd.” Hard water can also leave a film on your skin, just as it does on your dishes, which prevents the soap from penetrating your skin and giving you a truly deep clean. Hard water is also notorious for reacting with chemicals in dyed hair and causing the hair to become faded more quickly, so if you’re shelling out money to have your hair colored, bathing with hard water may be working against you.
In sum, while hard water isn’t technically “bad” for you, it can pose a number of problems. Soft water, on the other hand is much more preferable. That’s why so many homeowners who contend with hard water have water softeners installed.
Through a process known as ion exchange, a water softener system removes the calcium and magnesium atoms from your water and replaces them with sodium ions. This effectively softens your water so that you won’t have to deal with spotty dishes, dry skin, limescale build-up, or any other common hard water headaches.
Contact Miami Water & Air Today
To learn more about having a water softener system installed, contact Miami Water & Air today. We’ll be happy to schedule a free consultation at a time that works for you!