The difference between hard and soft water is the amount of dissolved minerals present in the water. Minerals like magnesium and calcium are often present in water, and its degree of hardness is determined by the saturation level of these minerals.
Most water that we drink has a degree of hardness to it. Water with less than 17 milligrams per liter of mineral content is called soft water. Anything over 180 milligrams per liter is considered very hard water. The hardness of the water is determined by how much mineral it has dissolved as it traveled through the ground.
If you do not live in an area with naturally occurring soft water, you will either have to accept that you have hard water or pay for a water softener. Many people have opted for the latter, but there are some considerations to go over first.
Problems With Soft Water
Soft water has many advantages over hard water, but it is not as healthy for you. The minerals in hard water are good for the body, and most people prefer the taste of hard water. Furthermore, if the soft water is not naturally occurring pure water, it must be softened artificially, which adds sodium to the water.
Many people do not like the taste of soft water, and others with heart issues or who are on special diets may not be able to drink it.
The Advantages of Soft Water
Soap lathers up easier and also washes away easier with soft water. Clothes washed in soft water keep their vibrant colors longer and dishes do not dry with as many streaks and spots. Washing machines do not have to work as hard and therefore last longer.
Sediment and scale do not build up on surfaces like bathtubs, faucets and sinks. This means less cleaning for you. Perhaps more importantly, sediment does not build up in the pipes, reducing clogs and the number of times you have to call the plumber.
Hard water may be better for drinking, but soft water is better virtually everywhere else and means less expense for you. A water softener is an investment that can save you a lot of money and hassle down the road.