Water is water, right? After all, the water that we clean with, drink and bathe in can’t be that much different than our neighbors’, right? What is the difference between hard and soft water? The truth is that we don’t always spend much time thinking about the fundamental differences in the water we use. While there might be a slight difference in taste or feel from the water itself, it may not be enough to lead you to consider why water isn’t all the same.
Hard water and soft water are two very different types of water. But how do you know which type you have in your home or what the difference is? Read on to learn more about hard and soft water.
As water flows from its source to your tap, it can collect miniscule particles along the way. If these particles include hardness minerals (calcium and magnesium, to be precise) in high amounts, the water will become hard. The more of these minerals are present, the higher the water will rank on the water hardness scale.
According to the U.S. Geological Survey, hard water exists in a significant portion of the United States (see the map here). From mountain streams to aging water infrastructure, minerals might be flowing through your taps, showerheads and spigots.
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The good news is that hard water doesn’t harm you when consumed, although you might notice particularly strong flavors depending on how hard your water is. In fact, drinking hard water might even be healthy for you, according to the National Institute of Health, as essential minerals are already included in your water source. However, while hard water might not actively harm you when ingested, it can wreak serious havoc on your hair, your skin and your home.
Hard water can:
While hard water may not directly harm you, it can cause the need for resource-intensive solutions. Whether you’re just spending more on cleaning supplies for the water streaks left behind, or if you’re continually investing in plumbing help for your favorite appliances, hard water can introduce additional difficulties into your home.
If any of this sounds familiar, chances are you have hard water. What can you do about it? The solution is soft water.
Hard water is water with excess calcium and magnesium, while soft water is free from these harsh minerals that can damage your home and body. It is gentle, with calcium and magnesium removed through water softener systems.
Soft water can:
Water softeners will counteract the difficulties hard water brings into your home, creating healthier environments for your body as well as saving you resources and time on repairs and cleaning.
If you think you have hard water, the best place to get started is with a free water test from your local Culligan expert. They’ll find out what’s in your water, check your plumbing, and recommend the best solution for you and your home.