What is the difference between hard water and soft water?

What is the difference between hard water and soft water

Are You Knowledgeable about the Water You Drink?

Water is a vital element that is needed by all living things. It is a natural gift from Mother Nature to nurture her children. As you can see, water can be found anywhere, may it be at the earth's surface or even within the earth’s soil.

But nowadays, we also have bottled water. There are different kinds of bottled water. These waters are made to be alkaline, contain minerals, have different flavors, and are even made to be carbonated to give the effervescent taste of spring water. But little do we know that there also is water classified as hard water and soft water.

Different Kinds of Water

Did you know that there are two types of water? Water is classified as hard water and soft water. Hard water has detectable amounts of naturally present minerals in water, and these are calcium and magnesium.

Hard water is the preferred drinking water since it contains essential minerals beneficial to health and has a natural water flavor. Hard water is usually termed as groundwater; such water is found in deep wells.

Soft water, on the other hand, is treated wherein the only compound left is sodium ion. Rainwater is naturally considered to be one of nature’s soft water. However, when rainwater falls to the ground and seeps its way through the water supply, it picks up minerals naturally found in the soil, such minerals are calcium and magnesium.

Though hard water is the best drinking water because minerals are naturally present in it, it still isn’t potable to be consumed because aside from the minerals found in hard water, it is also abundant with pathogens that can cause diseases.

Since hard water is rich in harmful pathogens, it is highly recommended that soft water be used as drinking water. Soft water is the safe water consumed because soft water is treated from chemicals and microorganisms that cause certain illnesses.

Differentiating Water with the Naked Eye

Hard water and soft water can be easily distinguished. The advantage of hard water is it is rich in minerals. But then again, hard water gives you a lot of dilemmas. Giving you a few examples:

What is the difference between hard water and soft water
  • Soap is less effective, and the lather is no that bubbly
  • Hair feels sticky and looks dull
  • Leaves residue and spots on the dishes
  • Dingy looking for clothes after washing
  • Soap scum and film on bathtubs

If consumed, hard water can be the cause of abdominal disturbances such as diarrhea and abdominal cramps due to that harmful pathogen it possesses

In using soft water, however, tasks can be easily performed. The advantages of using soft water are:

  • Soap lather is better and bubbly
  • Cleans dishes without leaving any residue
  • Glasses sparkles
  • Hair becomes healthier
  • Scum-free shower curtains and bathtubs
  • Skin and clothing are softer
  • Prolong machine life such as dishwater, heater and washing machine
  • Potable enough to drink without pathogens and chemicals

Though soft water has a lot of advantages and benefits, it also has a downside. Soft water is not recommended to be consumed by individuals who have heart or circulatory problems or on a low sodium diet.

Since soft water undergoes certain processes wherein minerals are removed, and sodium ions are left and only enriched, the susceptible individuals are at higher risk.

The solution to the Dilemma

Though hard water is the best water to drink due to its minerals, it is not safe from pathogens. Since soft water is the cleanest and more beneficial than hard water, it is still not advisable for individuals who have certain ailments.

The good news is, there is a way to combat these disadvantages. Presently, there are different processes to remove sodium from soft water and filter pathogens out of hard water.

With technology that continually evolves, there is a solution to have safe and potable drinking water. These processes are reverse osmosis, distillation, and deionization.

Making Water Safe

What is the difference between hard water and soft water

In the present time, there are different ways to ensure that water is safe from drinking. These processes include reverse osmosis, where water is filtered with a set pressure, and a solution is added to remove particles and disease-causing microorganisms.

Water distillation is a method wherein water is purified by sequential evaporation and condensation. Condensation is a procedure in which gas cools and turns into water, just like how rainwater is made.

There is also a process in which ion is removed from the water, which is called deionization. 

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