content is free. We earn a commission at no extra cost when you purchase through referral links on our site.
Learn more

What is hard water vs. soft water?

what is hard water vs soft water


All water in the world is not created equally by GOD. Approximately 85% of the US water supply has hard water, so the people face more hard water, and only 15% of the United States has naturally occurring soft water. We have listened many times to two types of water hard water and soft water.

People have queries that, what is hard water vs. soft water? Is soft water better than hard water for you? What causes the water to be hard and soft, and what harms humans?

It is clear that both soft and hard water is used in our daily lives, and they have some of the difference in their compositions. By using them with soap, we can easily distinguish between both types of water. Hard water forms soap scum after reacting with soap, while soft water doesn’t. We’ll clear you about their differences and give you satisfying information about,

  • What is hard water vs. soft water?
  • Their advantages, disadvantages, health effects, and which one is better?

What is hard water?

In simple words, hard water contains high mineral content (minerals of rocks) like calcium and magnesium, mostly bicarbonate, sulfates, chlorides, and some other small quantity of metallic elements like ferrous iron. While using hard water, everyone has felt that either you are washing hands or cleaning clothes, a streak remains on your hands.  This streak is due to the presence of those rock minerals. 
There are further two more kinds of hard water i.e.

  • Temporary hard water is also called carbonate hardness that is due to the presence of bicarbonates of calcium and magnesium can be easily removed by simply boiling and filtering.
  • Permanent hard water is also called non-carbonates hardness due to chloride and sulfates of calcium and magnesium that can not remove.

What is soft water?

Soft water contains mainly sodium ions and detectable amounts of calcium and magnesium ions obtained by hard water softeners. It simply rains water that we found naturally. This kind of water forms insoluble deposits and produces better leather in soap than hard water, and while using it, there will be no smudge remains. But the soft water, when combined with CO2 it would convert into hard water.

What is hard water vs. soft water? 


“Hard water has a high quantity of dissolved minerals, i.e., calcium and magnesium, which gives it taste.”

  • Produces scum: The calcium in Hard water may react with the soap to form soap scum and stains after washing hands. This thin lining or film is removed after a long time.
  • Forms hard water stains and spots: When hard water is used for washing or rinsing glass shower doors and sinks or washbasin, it forms hard water stains, white scaling, spots, and scum on sinks and tubs. They are due to the deposition of calcium carbonate present in the hard water, and you need extra effort to remove hard water stains.
  • Mineral smudges: When clothes come out of the washing machine, streaks appear on the clothes, which make their quality low and can be worn out due to the hardness of hard water.
  • Water taste: Interestingly, drinking hard water is very easily determined by its bad taste due to the high mineral content and salts. But it gives a bad taste only when it has a very high mineral content.
  • Faucets and pipes blockage: The hard water contains extra dissolved solids and Mineral content which deposits into pipes and faucets. The surface area reduces for the water to flow, which results in low water pressure from the tap or faucet.
  • Mineral content ppm: The mineral content of Hard water has ranged from 120 to more than 180 parts per million‌.


“Soft water is treated water that is only left with sodium ions and the smallest quantity of calcium and magnesium.”

  • Produces leather: Soft water produces lather when washing clothes, glass shower doors, tubs, faucets or tap, dishes, and even your hands and body. Soft water, like hard water, doesn’t react with soap to form scum because it doesn’t contain dissolved magnesium and calcium.
  • Water taste: Soft water contains sodium which gives a different taste than what you’re used to. Minerals content present in water gives an alkaline better taste. Drinking soft water lack minerals, so that is why it gives a salty taste.
  • Clean Clothes and no smudges: Soft water cleans cloth very well, with no wear-and-tear damage.
  • Fast water pressure: As soft water doesn’t contain mineral or dissolved components in water, hence no pipes and pipelines are being damaged. Good water pressure is produced throughout the taps.
  • Mineral content ppm: soft water ranges from 17 to more minor than120 parts per million

Hard water vs. soft water: Which one is healthier? 

  • People use mainly soft and hard water with no side effects, but to some extent, the high mineral content in hard water fulfills the body’s needs for minerals. While drinking soft water, having sodium or salt content causes risk or cardiac in the human body.
  • Drinking hard water is healthy, but soft water is also very safe to drink. People tend to be concerned about low sodium levels. Hard water makes skin and hair dry and leaves your scalp feeling itchy. In contrast, soft water is more preferred for skin and hair.
  • The minerals in hard water can alter the pH balance of your skin and can cause eczema, while soft water doesn’t cause such allergic reactions, and by washing with it, people’s skin feels smooth.

Health risk associated with hard water

  • Drinking over an amount of the dissolved minerals for the body is not required as it causes renal dysfunction.
  • It is not the only reason to cause kidney stones, but this causes or increases the risk of kidney stones. Suppose the patient has recently passed with a kidney stone, so of course, hard water increases the risk of complications.
  • Drinking hard water for the long term causes the risk of diabetes, cerebrovascular disease, and others.

Health risk associated with soft water

  • The high amount of drinking sodium ion-containing water causes cardiovascular diseases.
  • Due to intake of a high amount of sodium, there would be an increase in the body’s blood pressure, which causes heart attack and stroke, or at least it may increase their chances.
  • When do people ask: What is hard water vs. soft water? And which one is better? Hard water differentiates easily based on hard water stains produced by it, and soft water doesn’t. So in terms of healthy skin, soft water is better because soft water offers better clean for your hair and skin. After all, soft water doesn’t leave behind a mineral residue like hard water. But the truth is that no water offers 100% cleaning. However, soft water makes your skin feel better than hard water.

Hard water vs. soft water for drinking

  • People use both types of water for drinking, but primarily used water is hard water. As it has better taste due to the presence of minerals and the drinking of this water, human dietary needs of these minerals would be fulfilled by this.
  • According to research, hard water decreases the risk of cardiac diseases.
  • But excess minerals present in hard water can harm your health, too, so many whole house hard water purifiers remove hard water and turn it into pure, safe, drinkable water. Taking a shower and washing by these whole houses, hard water purifiers don’t produce itchy and scaly skin.

On the other side,

  • Drinking soft water means that water with low essential minerals is not recommended for babies, especially those 6-8 weeks. The babies can be deficient in minerals while drinking soft water.
  • Soft water is light in weight as it contains only sodium ions, but to some extent, drinking soft water causes harm to the body’s cardiovascular system due to ions’ efficiency in the body.
  • Some people don’t prefer drinking soft water’s taste.

How do hard water and soft water affect showers?

  • Hard water doesn’t produce leather because the dissolved calcium and magnesium present dissolve or react with sodium and form soap scum. The soap scums leave hard water stains as e residue. It is necessary to remove hard water stains from the showers because spotted glasswares and showers seem too much unattractive. There are various methods to remove hard water stains by homemade remedies like vinegar, lemon juice, etc. After using hard water, there would always be filmed remaining in hands or body.
  • In soft water, it does not contain calcium and magnesium, so there will be no reaction between minerals and fatty acids of soap, so there will be high leather formation, and no scum will produce. After using this, there would never be filmed remaining in hands or body.

Hard water vs. soft water for plants

  • Hard water vs. soft water: Both types of water are not harmful to plants as hard water contains essential minerals as these minerals help in the growth of plants.
  • After all these concepts, it is sure to say that there is no advantage to give soft water to plant, so for the nourishment and better growth of plants, it is necessary to give hard water.

 On the other side

  • But there will be the use of soft water and filtered water is suitable for indoor plants and the plants present in areas where there will be sufficient rain attained because, in other cases, it will produce thirst in plants as it has a high quantity of sodium.


Some others question’s answers for our readers that might be helpful for reading.

Is soft water safe for hair?

  • Hard water vs. soft water: The use of soft water is safe for hairs as it contains sodium ions, nourishes hairs, and after washing, there would be no smudge remain in hairs as it does not contain high minerals(minerals of rocks).
  • Including soft water creates softness in hairs and protects them from changing dyes.
  • Is hard water safe for the skin?

  • Hard water vs. soft water: No, hard water is not safe for the skin. Because it changes the skin’s pH as it has calcium and magnesium in it, it causes dry skin and leaves films on your skin after rubbing or washing with soap.
  • It is also not easy to remove/rinse the soap from your skin through hard water. Especially for sensitive skin, it causes eczema.
  • Is hard water is safe for hair?

  • Hard water vs. soft water: If we compare both of these in the case of hair wash, then hard water is not safe for hairs. Hard water contains high mineral content of calcium and magnesium with bicarbonates and chlorides mainly, so it causes itching in the scalp, and due to the high amount of minerals, it produces falling and roughness in hairs.
  • It always leaves frames of shampoo on the scalp.
  • Is soft water safe for the skin?

  • Hard water vs. soft water: Soft water is relatively safe for the skin as it has salt of sodium that keeps skin fresh, and there will be no firmness left after washing with soap.
  • It protects the skin from being dry, and hard water produces a film on the skin. It can also cause itchy skin.
  • Is rainwater is hard water or soft?

    Rainwater is hard because when waterfalls from the sky, it is soft. After all, It doesn’t carry minerals during evaporation. But when rain falls on the ground, it may react with calcium and magnesium to form carbonates of these compounds, making it harder.


    It is concluded that people can use hard water and soft water with no serious adverse effects. By reading our article, we hope you are aware of what is hard water vs. soft water? The above study recommended hard water for drinking purposes, while for all other necessities of life where you need water, you should use soft water. Hard water doesn’t mean that it contains contaminants. Although it has mineral content that is safe to drink if contaminants are present, you should go for the best water filters that remove impurities to access neat and clean water. STAY CONNECT WITH THE BEST FILTERS LIFE!

    Scroll to Top