Homeowners may have heard the terms soft and hard water but may be unsure of what they mean. Each option can have an impact on your skin, clothes, dishes, and whether your family can drink from the taps. The guide below discusses the differences between these two substances.

What Is Hard Water? 

Hard water contains high levels of minerals, like magnesium and calcium. Water with these minerals can limit soap lathering because the calcium and magnesium react with salt and create a scummy layer. After a shower, you might feel as if there is a film on your skin, or your skin might be dry and flaky. When using hard water, just-washed dishes and clothes may feature mineral stains or spots.

Water that is hard often has a metallic taste and sulfuric smell that can make it unpleasant to drink. At its worst, the water will also feature a yellow tint. Additionally, the minerals can build up in the pipes, lowering water pressure and clogging the plumbing over time.

What Is Soft Water?

hard waterSoft water contains minimal calcium and magnesium but has higher levels of sodium or salt. Water may naturally be this way, or a homeowner can install a water softener to increase the salt levels and lower hard minerals.

Soft water creates lathers with soaps and detergents, and bathing with it will leave you feeling fresh and smooth. Clothes and dishes are clean after washing with soft water, and won’t have spots or stains.

This water doesn’t have a detectable odor or flavor, so it’s pleasant to drink and use for beverages like coffee and tea. The salt doesn’t build up on the inside of the pipes, so it isn’t likely to limit water pressure.



If you’re looking for a water softener to treat hard water, contact The Water Source in Dutchess County, NY. The reliable team offers over 30 years of experience providing residential and commercial services. Call the Hudson Valley-area location at (845) 297-1600 or visit the website for information on their free water analysis and how they can improve the smell and taste of your water.