The Hard Facts about Soft and Hard Water

The Hard Facts about Soft and Hard Water

If you have ever experienced hard water in your home, you will know the difficulties it can bring in daily life. Hard water can leave mineral deposits on your appliances, clothes, and skin, while soft water tends to be gentler on everything it touches. But what is the difference between soft and hard water? Is one type of water better than the other for your home's plumbing system? In this blog post, we will delve into the details of soft and hard water and help you understand how to cope with each type. 

What is Hard Water?

Hard water contains high levels of dissolved minerals such as calcium and magnesium, which result in the formation of limescale. This type of water is derived from water sources that have made their way through underground rocks, dissolving various minerals along the way. In general, hard water is common in regions where the natural soil and water sources have a high mineral content. When hard water is heated, the minerals start to precipitate and form limescale. Limescale can clog pipes, stain appliances, and make cleaning tasks more challenging.

What is Soft Water?

Soft water is water that has gone through a process of removing minerals and impurities, often with the use of a water softener. Soft water is more desirable for activities like washing clothes and showering as it can be gentler on your skin and leave clothes and surfaces cleaner and less stained than hard water. However, some people might not enjoy the taste of soft water as it can have a slightly salty, metallic taste that may need getting used to.

The Pros and Cons of Hard and Soft Water

Hard water can be good for your health as it provides a small amount of daily minerals that are beneficial to your body. It is also better for brewing beer and making coffee as the minerals in hard water provide a unique taste. However, it can lead to a build-up of limescale, which can affect the efficiency of your pipes and appliances.

Soft water doesn't risk the accumulation of limescale, so you will not need to worry about replacing pipes or appliances as frequently, if at all. Soft water can also be helpful in reducing the amount of detergent and soap needed in cleaning various surfaces and clothes. However, some people report that soft water feels slimy on their skin and can leave a bad taste in their mouth, which might take some getting used to.

Testing Your Water

If you are unsure about the type of water in your home, the best thing to do is a water test. A water test can detect the minerals within your water, and you can then decide on the best strategy for dealing with it. If your water turns out to be soft, you might consider adding a reverse osmosis system. On the other hand, if you have hard water, a water softener would be the most effective solution.


In conclusion, the difference between hard and soft water comes down to the number of minerals in your water. While hard water might taste strange, it can be beneficial for your health. However, you will need to be prepared to deal with the eventual build-up of limescale. Soft water, on the other hand, is gentler on your skin and clothes and is less prone to limescale and other mineral deposits. In any case, testing your water before deciding which approach to take is always the best way forward. Always remember that a trusted plumber can help guide you through any water-related issues you might encounter and can set up a plan of action tailored to your needs.

At Mike's Plumbing of SWFL, we offer professional advice and guidance when it comes to your water quality issues. Our experienced technicians can help you determine the best solution for your home through a comprehensive water test and set up a plan of action tailored to your specific needs.