Hard Water vs Soft Water - Benefits and Dangers
Many people are aware of the dangers of hard water on your appliances, faucets, and showerheads.
But what few know is that hard water also has certain benefits that softened water doesn’t. We have chosen to clarify the differences between the two and show you their strengths and weaknesses.
What is hard water?
Hard water consists of a high concentration of calcium, magnesium, and other hard mineral particles. If the water contains more than 60 milligrams of dissolved solids per liter, it’s considered hard.
Anything below that is soft water. On the other hand, if there are more than 180 milligrams of dissolved solids per liter, then the water is considered extremely hard, and it becomes devastating for your appliances.
What is soft or softened water?
As you probably figured out already, soft water contains less than 60 milligrams TDS per liter.
As an example, rainwater is naturally soft when it falls from the sky. It only hardens once it reaches the ground and combines with the minerals inside.
On the other hand, softened water is hard water that had its minerals removed one way or another. The most popular devices for softening water are called water softeners. But these bring another disadvantage. They replace the mineral particles with sodium ones – and we’ll get later into why this can be problematic.
Another method for softening water is distillation, though the process takes a while to complete and leaves water tasting flat. Similarly, purification is meant to take out all solids from the water, but it can also be time-consuming, not to mention that the process might waste a lot of water. We’ll get later down the line into the method that softens water adequately without wasting it, altering its taste, or adding harmful chemicals.
Hard water vs soft water for appliances
Hard water causes limescale buildup, which is the main reason why appliances break down before their regular lifespan. As calcium and magnesium particles stick to their innards, it inhibits them from functioning correctly.
All of this results in more energy consumption and stress on their main components. But it’s not just appliances that suffer from this. Clothes come out dingier and discolored. You’ll start seeing white spots on your dishes, as well as your faucet and showerhead. Furthermore, yellowish spots will start appearing on your toilet bowl and bathtub.
Soft water, on the other hand, causes no such issues. However, the resulting sodium from water softeners can negatively impact your septic system, causing other problems. This is the main reason why some states banned water softeners.
Hard water vs soft water for your skin and hair
This is yet another area where hard water causes adverse effects. Hard water can cause hair loss and even eczema or dermatitis.
Washing your hair in hard water can be a difficult task since the calcium particles mix with soap and shampoo. The resulting effect is nasty soap lather that you have to wash away thoroughly. Scalp calcification is a real threat caused by it, as the calcium blocks blood vessels and prevents them from absorbing the vitamins and nutrients they need.
As side effects, scalp calcification leads to dry and dull hair, discoloration, and other scalp conditions.
Hard water vs soft water for drinking
This is the one part where hard water comes out on top. Hard water benefits the digestive system and provides essential minerals that your body needs to function correctly.
Some of the benefits include helping people with diabetes get a high enough magnesium intake, giving infants the minerals that allow them to grow healthy, and some speculate that it might even slightly increase cancer patients’ immune system.
On the other hand, softened water contains no minerals whatsoever. Even worse, chemically altered water gets minerals replaced with other elements, like sodium. People with heart disease and other conditions should avoid taking in high amounts of salts. This is why water softeners were banned in certain states and localities.
Not only that, but sodium from softeners also increases blood pressure and kills plants by preventing them from absorbing essential nutrients. Nursing women should also avoid it because it can cause complications for their babies.
The only naturally softened water occurs from rain, and that one also lacks nutrients, but at least it doesn’t affect your health. Since collecting rainwater is legal in some states, it has become one thing engraved in American and the prepping culture.
Is soft water safe for dogs?
Dogs are highly susceptible to sodium’s harmful effects. While the little amount of salts in soft water don’t cause harm immediately, it might disturb your dog’s stomach.
It’s best to give hard water to your pets only because it doesn’t have any sodium in it. But if you have no alternative, consider changing your dog’s diet to soft water gradually. Giving it a lot of soft water instantly will most likely cause vomiting. Now you probably get a clearer image of why hard water vs soft water is such a divisive subject matter.
How can you tell if your water is soft?
The simplest way to determine if you have hard or soft water is to get a TDS meter and measure the total dissolved solids amount per liter.
Alternatively, you can get your water tested at a local water testing facility that offers comprehensive analysis both for hardness and other common waterborne pathogens that you may not be aware of.
Why does soft water feel slimy?
When the hard water passes through a softener’s resin beads, it exchanges calcium and magnesium ions with sodium and potassium.
Since these minerals no longer bond with the chemicals found in soap and shampoo, it produces a slippery feeling. That’s why the water tends to slide more and feels slimy on the skin.
When washing with softened water, you might need to use less soap, as it does its job just fine with less concentration. This results in fewer expenses for water bills, cleaning products, and electricity bills. However, there is one way you can still save money without getting that extra-slippery feeling without losing hard water’s health benefits.
The best alternative in the hard water vs soft water debate
There is one way to get the benefits of both worlds without any of the negatives. By following simple physics rules, we can alter hard mineral crystals’ shape in such a way that we can maintain them while also getting rid of hard water’s harmful effects.
Cathodic protection, which has a capacitive effect, has been used for decades in the industrial scene to protect metal pipes from corrosion and limescale buildup. By applying the same principle at a smaller scale, we can now achieve the same effect in regular households, apartment buildings, and offices.
Introducing the water descaler
Unlike a salt-based water softener, a water descaler doesn’t exchange calcium and magnesium particles for sodium ones.
Instead, a descaler transmits electric impulses through two copper coils connected to the pipe and actively reshapes mineral particles. The calcium and magnesium crystals become smooth, like tiny dots and spears, meaning that they no longer stick.
As a result, you get the health benefits of hard water without any of the negatives. And you also get the smooth wash and appliance care of softened water without sodium. It’s a 2-in-1 solution that brings the best of both worlds. And because of this, it also reduces costs significantly.
Benefits of the Yarna water descaler
- The descaler softens water without adding any chemicals or altering the water itself
- It dramatically reduces the amount of soap scum left on fixtures like bathtubs, toilet bowls, sinks, taps, and shower cabins.
- Affordable and doesn’t require you to purchase any extras, ever.
- Almost entirely maintenance-free.
- Completely environmentally friendly and produced with a low carbon footprint.
- Keeps the beneficial minerals intact while preventing them from forming limescale or damaging your skin and hair.
Hard water vs soft water - the bottom line
The Yarna water descaler brings both hard water and soft water benefits into your life. You’ll have cleaner and better-functioning appliances, and white mineral stains will be a thing of the past.
What’s more, we trust our product so much that we offer you a full 100-day moneyback guarantee. Even in areas with maximum water hardness, you should still see a difference in about 90 days. So if you aren’t happy in that time frame, we will give you back every penny.
Disclaimer: the descaler is not a water filter. If you have other pollutants, you’ll still need a pre-filtering system or a whole house water filter depending on your needs.