It’s hard to have hard water — hard on your body, hard on your clothing and dishes, hard on your appliances, hard on your wallet. When it comes to soft water vs hard water, the choice is an easy one.
What Can Hard Water Do For You?
Nothing good. It’s all about what hard water can do to you and your home.
The minerals in hard water react with the fatty acids in the soaps and detergents we use around the house. This makes the soap less effective, and it causes the formation of a clingy residue that remains behind after water evaporates. You need more soap and more water to get the job done, and you’re still left with the residue. This negatively affects:
- Your skin. Hard water is notoriously drying, to the point where many people suffer from chronically itchy, scaly skin. Ironically, it takes more soap to form a nice lather, but then the hard water makes it difficult to dissolve and rinse away that soap. The residue can clog anyone’s pores, and it exacerbates conditions such as eczema, psoriasis, and dermatitis.
- Your hair. The same lathering and rinsing difficulties apply when you’re using shampoo and conditioner. And you get the same drying effect, leaving you with hair that looks dull and can tangle or break more easily.
- Your clothing. Here, too, you have to use more detergent (and more, hotter water) to launder your clothing, with less-than-desirable results. Soap scum in the water literally wears on fabric. Whites will take on a yellowish cast, colored items can develop white or gray spots, your clothing will fade faster, and it won’t last as long as it should.
- Surfaces of fixtures, cookware, glassware, and utensils. The soap scum left behind by hard water leaves spots or a whitish film on everything from faucets and your bathtub to the things you use in the kitchen to prepare and serve food.
- Your appliances. Soap scum and scaly residue from hard water build up over time in your shower heads, washing machine, dishwasher, hot water heater, even pipes. Machines wear out faster and work less efficiently.
What Can Soft Water Do For You?
Eliminate all that! To win the war of soft water vs. hard water, you need just one soldier — a water softener. So many problems, so easily solved.
Like other in-home appliances, there is a range of cost and quality. While a single-tank electric water softener will help reduce the amount of hard water, investing in a multi-tank, non-electric system will deliver more effective results. Besides providing softer water, the dual softening tanks are able to regenerate with soft water, which increases the life of the system and reduces salt and water usage.
Considering the fact that our Minnesota water is some of the hardest in the nation, we stand to gain the most from installing a water softener in our homes and businesses. That’s not hard to do, and maintaining a water softener is a fairly simple routine. So, when it comes to soft vs. hard water, there really is no contest.