We know of course that drinking water is essential to survival. Why is this? Water serves many functions and is a crucial nutrient our body needs in order to function properly. It helps us maintain our bodily fluids, it helps energize our muscles, it even helps our kidneys clean toxins from our body.
But did you know different types of water offer their own unique risks and benefits? Continue reading for the pros and cons of hard water vs. soft water.
Hard Water vs. Soft Water
Certain waters contain trace minerals such as calcium and magnesium. When higher levels of these particular minerals are present, water is classified as hard.
Conversely, soft water contains less calcium and magnesium and has a higher sodium content. Soft water systems exist to reduce the amount of hard minerals present in the water.
What is hard water? If you’ve ever taken a glass out of the dishwasher and it looks cloudy, it is most likely due to the level of water hardness. Hard water prevents soap from properly lathering and causes the buildup of scale. Much like the glass you took from the dishwasher.
A buildup of scale can negatively effect plumbing as high levels of calcium and magnesium deposits can lead to a clogged system.
If hard water equates to high mineral concentration, what is soft water? Soft water is more similar to naturally occurring water such as rainwater, lakes, or rivers. Soft water treatment systems do exist as well to create uncontaminated, drinkable water as natural waters like lake water isn’t always fit for consumption.
Soft water isn’t damaging to pipes or plumbing and is generally better for your skin. Additional benefits of soft water include less mineral residue, reduced cleaning time, and less corrosion.
Pros and Cons
Due to soft water’s low mineral content, it generally offers less of a health benefit than hard water. However, it won’t do damage to your plumbing and is less drying to the skin than hard water. Conversely, hard water’s mineral composition contains calcium which protects your bones, so there are positives to each type of water system.
So, what are some negatives of soft water, if any? If you’re a plant owner, your water softness may play a big part in the health of your plants. Plants don’t thrive when too much sodium is present, and as we know, soft water is loaded with sodium.
So, is soft water bad for plants? In short, yes. Plants have some tolerance for soft water, however, sodium buildup in the soil can impair a plant’s ability to keep adequate moisture levels. This can cause stunted growth and wilting foliage.
Watering It Down
For plants owners who want to keep their plants healthy, bypassing a soft water system in favor of natural water or hard water may be the ticket. However, when looking at systems for hard water vs. soft water in general, it may come down to personal preference as to what you want in your home.
If you’re a plant owner or a homeowner who found the information presented here helpful, be sure to browse through any of the additional articles offered in our Home section.