Soft Water vs. Hard Water

Would you rather have water that will make your skin feel soft and smooth or dry and itchy?  Most people would choose soft and smooth.  Not everyone experiences the soft and smooth feel because not all homes use a water softener to treat their water.  The U.S. Geological Survey states 85% of the water in the United States is hard water.  Even when homes are supplied with city water, the water is hard.

Many homeowners don’t understand how hard water effects hair, skin, clothes, and appliances.  When using a water softener in your home, the water softener will remove hardness, calcium and magnesium, in the water.  Learn the effects of hard water vs. soft water for each application in your home.


Soft Water – Using soft water makes detergent more effective because there are no hardness minerals in the water to interact with making detergent more effective.  Detergent use can be reduced by as much as 50%.

Hard Water – Minerals interact with detergent not allowing it to clean. Hard water will leave residue or film buildup in the shower increasing the frequency and using more chemical to clean the shower.

Water Heater

Soft Water – The water heater will be able to operate at full capacity and last longer because no scale builds up inside the water heater.

Hard Water – Scale builds up inside the water heater creating less capacity and causing the water heater to heat water more often.  Hardness will also build up around the heating element potentially creating the element to overheat and burn out.  According to the Department of Energy, heating water will account for 14% – 18% of the energy consumed in the home.  It can be as high as 25% towards your energy bill

Appliances & Energy Consumption

Soft Water – Appliances will last longer and use fewer chemicals.  With a wash machine, they can clean clothes at 60 degrees instead of 100 degrees and remove stains using soft water.  It is recommended to use 50% less detergent for a dishwasher and wash machine using soft water.

Hard Water – scale builds up inside the appliances so they become less efficient.  Research from the Water Quality Association mentioned to expect reduced life expectancy on appliances using hard water.  See the results of the survey.

Hair & Skin

Soft Water – Your hair will maintain its color and condition while feeling soft and smooth.  Your skin will also feel smooth and soft since the pores in your skin won’t clog up with soap scum or residue.

Hard Water – Using hard water, hair feels filmy and straw-like causing you to wash your hair more often and drying it out.  With hard water, your skin will become dry, itchy, and irritated.  Hard water will eliminate moisture from your skin and prevent natural oils your body creates to do their job.

Clothes & Bath Towels

Soft Water – It allows soap to clean clothes and towels properly while using less soap per wash cycle.  Clothes and bath towels will stay bright and colorful and feel soft to the skin.

Hard Water – Clothes don’t get as clean as they should due to hardness preventing detergent to form a solution to clean properly. Also, soap scum and mineral residue can affect the appearance of the color on clothes.  Also, more detergent should be used to clean clothes in hard water.  Hard water can make towels and sheets can feel hard and scratchy too.

Take a moment to think of how both hard and soft water affect your home in terms of money spent.  Which sounds better to you?  Smooth, soft skin and bright and colorful clothes or dry, itchy skin and dingy looking clothes?  The decision is up to you.  When you are ready to move forward and live the soft water life, don’t hesitate to contact our office or schedule a free water analysis.