Hard Water versus Soft Water

So what's the difference between hard water and soft water?

"Hard" water is water that contains large amounts of dissolved calcium and some magnesium.

"Soft" water is water that contains small amounts of calcium and magnesium.

Some water is naturally hard, and some water is naturally soft.

Disadvantages of Hard Water

One disadvantage of having hard water, is that you have to use more soap to get things clean.

We lived in Minnesota for several years on an old farm, and we had a well. The water was real hard! My hair eventually got a reddish tint to it, and ruined it. Now that's hard water!

Advantages of Soft Water

They say that soft water makes the skin feel smoother and your hair softer. Does this mean less wrinkles too?

It also has another advantage; in that it produces less scale in your water pipes, to clog them up. Some soft water is naturally occuring, but most soft water consumed in the United States is created by water softeners.

What are Water Softeners?

Water softeners are simple gadgets that trap calcium and magnesium in the water and replaces it with salt. So when you drink soft water, you are drinking water that has had the minerals removed and salt added.

The higher the levels of calcium and magnesium in tap water, the more salt is exchanged. If your incoming tap water has a low mineral level, your softened water will have a low level of salt. If your tap water is real hard, the sodium level will be real high.

It's amazing how many people don't know this, and there has been quite a controversy about drinking soft water. Mostly because of the connection between heart disease and high salt diets. But research has proved that the quantity of salt consumed in drinking softened water is minute compared to the salt taken in our daily diets.

The only health risk involved is for those on restricted salt diets. Here's a recommendation though. Potassium is a health promoting mineral. If you are using a water softener, potassium can be substituted for salt in your softener.


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