Hard Water vs Soft Water
We keep hearing about discussions on hard water and soft water frequently and often wonder about the differences between the two. In areas where it is hard water that is supplied to the households, people feel a lot of hardships because of the water. This article will try to explain the differences between hard and soft water and what they mean to common people.
Essentially the differences between hard and soft water boil down to their composition. Hard water contains a lot of dissolved minerals (mainly calcium and magnesium) whereas in soft water, the only ion present is sodium as it has been treated before being supplied to our homes. Rainwater, when it pours down is soft but when it seeps under the ground, it picks up a lot of minerals such as chalk, calcium, magnesium and lime. As these are essential elements required by our bodies, it has many health benefits and also gets a flavor that makes it palatable. In comparison, soft water does not have any flavor and tastes salty. Still people want soft water to be supplied to households. Let us understand the reason.
When dishes and clothes are washed with hard water, the first problem that is encountered is that soaps and detergents do not seem to make lather. Hard water also leaves residue and films in the form of spots on dishes and clothes. Even our hair, washed with hard water looks dull and listless. This is because soaps have to fight with the contents of hard water and finds it hard to wash properly. Soft water also prolongs life of washing machines and dishwashers as clothes and dishes get clean in shorter time period and there is no residue left on the surface of these appliances. Soft water also helps in saving energy.
However, soft water, though it is good for cleaning purposes, is not good for our health as all the dissolved minerals get removed during its treatment. On the other hand, sodium content in water increase, which is not good for the health of our heart. This is why people use appliances for reverse osmosis and distillation to have better tasting and water that has minerals added to it. This treated water is then good for all purposes, even for our skin that feels smooth. It also makes our hair shinier.
• The difference between hard and soft water lies in their composition
• Hard water contains lots of dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium whereas soft water is one that has been treated and all minerals except sodium removed.
• Hard water poses problems in household chores like cleaning clothes and dishes as it does not make rich lather with soaps and also makes our skin dry.
• Hard water tastes good because of its flavor while soft water is salty because of high sodium content
• Soft water is not good for the health of our heart because of high sodium content.