What are hard and soft water?

What are hard and soft water?

If you’ve been researching water quality solutions, chances are you have come across the terms hard and soft water. So, what does this actually mean for your water supply?

Hard water, though just as liquid as its soft counterpart, can cause major problems in your household, particularly in terms of your plumbing.

This is because hardness is caused by water filtering through rocks that contain calcium, magnesium salts, iron and aluminium. During its journey from the source into your taps, water dissolves these minerals and carries the microscopic particles through your pipes.

In some cases, hard water is often considered better for drinking – particularly because of the taste and the high concentration of minerals. However, soft water is generally considered better for other household uses, such as gardening and cleaning.

While it may be difficult to imagine how tiny amounts of calcium and magnesium can have that much of an effect, the difference between hard and soft water can be immense on your plumbing, laundry and health.

For instance, the elements in hard water cause chemical reactions with soap that minimise its effectiveness. This is why your dishes may be left with streaks and residue. Similarly, hard water has negative effects on laundry, as the presence of minerals requires increased detergent use, faster colour fading and shortened fabric life.

Further problems with hard water include increased scale on kettles, pipes and hot water services. When hard water is heated, the minerals leave the water and are deposited on outlets and appliances, significantly decreasing their lifespan. These scale deposits can also be a breeding ground for bacteria, parasites and other water-bourne pathogens, posing a risk to health.

Fortunately, water softening systems are available to help remove scale, improve garden growth and lessen detergent use. The Hydrosmart water softener is a cost-effective, energy-efficient and scientifically sound way to dissolve minerals in your water supply, ensuring that your family and garden area are supplied with soft and healthy water.