It varies from location to location, but most water is hard when it comes out of the ground. Hard water has over 17 milligrams per liter of mineral content, usually magnesium and calcium. The water collects and dissolves these minerals as it moves through rock under and over the ground.
Many people prefer to have softer water and systems are available for purchase which will soften water, but there are many factors to consider. In general, hard water is better for the inside of your body, soft water for the outside and everything else.
Better for the Body
Hard water has minerals our bodies need and is actually healthier to drink. Most people think it tastes better and cleaner. Soft water is easier on the skin, doesn’t leave behind a film after a bath or shower and leaves hair feeling lighter and smoother after a shampoo.
Soft water can also be a health hazard in some cases. When we artificially soften water, we add sodium, which many people cannot consume due to heart and vascular problems. If you do not have naturally occurring soft water, you may have to live with the hard water.
The Soft Water Advantage
In every other aspect, soft water is superior to hard water. It preserves the longevity of your clothes and leaves them looking brighter, it allows soap to lather and rinse more easily – which means washing machines do not have to work as hard and will last longer. Dishes have fewer spots when washed in soft water.
Soft water creates little to no sediment buildup in showers and sinks, which makes keeping them clean much easier. It clogs the inside of pipes far less for the same reason, which means fewer repair calls to the plumber.
A water softener is an initial expense, and its required maintenance and flushing are ongoing expenses, but for those who prefer soft water, it may be worth it. You can reduce many expenses down the line from replacing dishwashers to having a plumber fix and replace your pipes. Even clothing lasts longer, which is why some people opt to install a water softener in their homes.