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What’s the Difference Between Hard and Soft Water?

Posted on July 15, 2015

Have you ever been on holiday or visited a different area of the country and thought that the water tasted a bit strange? Well, that unfamiliar taste is more than likely because it is a different type of water to what you’re used to drinking at home.

The two main types of water are hard water and soft water. The main difference between these two is the mineral content. This can make them taste different as well as many other things, so let’s take a closer look at the exact differences between the two water types.

Hard water

Hard water is created due to acidic rain. The rain dissolves rocks into the water and hard water is created. Hard water comes from the ground and is usually taken from a well or a spring. The water is purified by passing over rocks and picking minerals up from them, such as lime, magnesium and calcium, which is why it has such a high mineral content. It is the high mineral content that is the reason for its better taste, and it is even said to be better for your health too, as the National Research Council explains that is can be used as a dietary supplement for those minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

The downside to hard water is that it can often leave your
skin feeling very dry after you have bathed in it. In addition to this it can leave behind water spots on dishes and shower screens, plus it can cause a residue build-up known as ‘scale’, that can corrode pipes and taps overtime.

Soft water

Soft water is collected from the surface, such as lakes, rivers and rainwater that has been collected. Soft water is typically high in sodium but unlike hard water, it has a small concentration of calcium and magnesium. It is due to the difference in mineral content that makes soft water better for your skin, as the minerals do not dry it up. It is also ideal for rinsing dishes and washing clothes as it lathers up much easier.

For any water-based appliances such as washing machines and dishwashers, they can run more efficiently and last longer with soft water, as it leaves no residue behind like hard water does.

Unfortunately, soft water does not taste as good as hard water due to the lack of minerals. It has often been described as ‘flat’ with a salty taste.

So now you know why water from different regions can taste different, as this is down to  there being two different types of water!

If you’re experiencing problems with your drains or your wastewater management systems, then please give Wildon UK a call. Our highly trained engineers are on hand as we offer a trusty 24/7 emergency call out service. We can diagnose the problem straight away and implement any necessary changes. For more information please get in touch with us today.

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