Know the Difference Between Hard and Soft Water in Your Home

You may have heard the terms hard and soft water, though you may not understand exactly what they are or how they relate to one another. The average person’s ideas about them are often determined by which one they already use. People who use soft water will notice it when exposed to hard water, and the reverse is also true. Read on to learn the differences as well as methods for altering each.

Hard vs. Soft Water

Hard and soft water look the same. It is only at the molecular level that the differences become obvious. Hard water has large amounts of trace minerals like calcium and magnesium, but soft water such as collected rainwater lacks these. When you bathe with soft water, it does not strip your skin’s natural oils, which can result in a slimy feeling in people who are unused to it. Though hard water takes soap off better, it also tends to leave a residue of scum on bathroom surfaces.

Modified Water

The presence of minerals in hard water can create a buildup in your water heater and plumbing over time, which makes adding a water softener an attractive option for many homeowners. Water can be softened by swapping out the magnesium and calcium for sodium ions of hard water in a special tank called a water softener. However, the sodium adds a flavor, and the water becomes unsuitable for watering plants once it has been softened, so you may need to bypass the softener for irrigation. Alternatively, you can also add a water hardener, which adds minerals to your water.

If you need expert advice on this or any other topics related to home comfort, contact Beyer Boys, a family business operating in the San Antonio area for two and a half decades.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “Mikhail hoboton Popov/Shutterstock”

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