You’re cleaning the bathroom and suddenly you spot a white deposit on your bathtub faucet. You scrub and scrape at it, but it takes a lot of effort to get it to slowly flake off. What is that nasty substance?
These mineral deposits are a sign that you have hard water.
But is hard water a bad thing? Not necessarily. Let’s look at hard water vs. soft water so you can determine which one you need.
What Is Hard Water?
Hard water contains a high amount of minerals like calcium, iron, and magnesium. When rain falls to the earth, the minerals in the environment seep into the water. These minerals are responsible for slimy well water and mineral deposits in plumbing.
Rainfall in geographical locations that have chalk and limestone deposits leads to a hard water area. You are more likely to have hard water if you live in one of these areas. If your water comes from a well, proximity to an untreated pond or lake can affect the hardness of your water, too.
Hard water may also leave spots on glassware and stains on clothing. You may notice soap scum and a film feeling after washing.
Soft water does not contain many minerals. Your clothes will endure less wear and tear in the washing machine. You might notice a bit of a salty taste in your drinking water.
People often use a water softener to treat hard water problems in their homes. Ion exchange is the most common and efficient method for water softening tanks. Other water softening options include chelation systems and reverse osmosis.
Hard Water vs. Soft Water
Which type of water is right for you? People often think that hard water is bad and that soft water is the way to go. However, there are benefits to having hard water.
Because it is rich in minerals, hard water is good for drinking. It can help keep your body healthy. The sodium in soft water can cause problems for people with high blood pressure who need to avoid salt.
Using salt in water softener processes can corrode your pipes and contribute to environmental problems. Increasing chloride levels in freshwater pose a threat to fish and wildlife. It is important to ensure that your appliance is properly maintained so that it doesn’t cause more problems.
Softening your water will extend the life of your appliances and clothing. It also ensures that soap will leave your body feeling cleaner. Hard water can cause dry skin and hair and even reduced water pressure.
Each type of water has benefits and drawbacks, so the decision to soften water depends on your personal needs.
Choose the Right Option for You
Now that you know all about hard water vs. soft water, you can make a more informed decision on what to do in your home. If you need to soften up your water, select the appliance that works best for your needs.
For more tips on keeping your house happy and healthy, check out our Home section.