Hard Water vs Soft Water – What are the Differences?

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Hard water vs Soft Water

A common question people often ask us is what the difference between soft and hard water is. You might also wonder which one is best for consumption and has more benefits than the other. Here, we will be discussing the properties of each to help you decide which is good for you.

“Hard water is water containing many essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and others. On the other hand, soft water has only sodium and no other minerals.”

Which is best for drinking?

Hard water is considered better for drinking than soft water. The reason behind this is the minerals present in water are good for health. The presence of these minerals in our body helps the proper growth and working of our bones as well.

Common differences between hard and soft water

Some common and major differences between Hard water vs Soft Water are mentioned below:

  • Hard water is mostly preferred for drinking than soft water.
  • Hard water has more health benefits than soft water.
  • Hard water is not good for the skin whereas soft water makes our skin softer and smoother.
  • Hard water often leaves spots and stains on utensils. On the other hand, the dishes washed with soft water stay clean even after drying and have no water stains.
  • Soft water forms lather when comes in contact with soap whereas hard water does not produce any lather.
  • Due to the presence of sodium and no other minerals, soft water is salty. On the other hand, hard water has a balanced taste due to the presence of various minerals, which help balance its taste.

Advantages of soft water

Soft water is beneficial for various purposes. As it does not lather with soap, it minimizes the use of soap and washing powder. Similarly, soft water when used for bathing is also a good choice. It washes off the soap instantly and hence, less water is consumed.

Moreover, pots and pans are cleaned very well without any stains. Thus, soft water is considered ideal for cleaning and washing purposes.

Because of the absence of minerals, soft water produces less limescale. This way, there is very little chance of the pipes and taps getting clogged.

The best example of soft water is rainwater. It is chemical-free water and hence, it keeps the hair and skin in the best condition.

Disadvantages of soft water

There are not many disadvantages to soft water. Since it contains only sodium ions, it is sometimes not considered suitable for drinking. Our body requires a lot of minerals for appropriate functioning.

Soft water does not provide us with essential minerals and also becomes a reason for increased sodium levels in the body. Thus, it is strictly avoided in the case of diabetes, high blood pressure, and other similar health issues.

Soft water is also not suitable for plants as plants require a certain sodium level. A high level of sodium can affect their growth and damage their roots as well.

Another disadvantage of soft water is that it cannot be used in fish tanks and aquariums. Soft water does not have a fixed pH rather; it is changed frequently. Fishes cannot bear this rapid fluctuation of the pH and eventually, they die. So, either soft water is not used in aquariums and if used, proper and timely monitoring is required.

soft water vs hard water

Advantages of hard water

There are lesser-known advantages of hard water as compared to soft water. Hard water is considered ideal for drinking purposes. Drinking hard water fulfills a lot of our daily nutrient intake.

People who drink hard water are more energetic and healthy as compared to people who drink soft water daily.

Also, the taste of hard water makes it easier to drink. the essential minerals like calcium and magnesium make the hard water a nice taste that is neither too salty nor too bland.

Disadvantages of hard water

Although hard water is said to be good for drinking because of the minerals’ presence, these minerals can sometimes cause an opposite effect on human health.

Also, hard water when goes under treatment is mixed with chlorine which is again a harmful chemical for human health.

Another disadvantage of hard water is it produces limescale. The water heaters are sometimes clogged due to limescale and develop rust, which is again hazardous for health.

Thus, heaters need to be cleaned deeply every few months to get rid of the limescale and rust caused by hard water.

Hard water does not form lather with soap. So, when used for washing clothes and dishes, soap is sometimes not properly washed and the leftover detergent on the clothes can lead to various skin allergies.

Hard water also leaves stains on pots and dishes which sometimes gives the illusion that the dishes are still dirty. Thus, cleaning using hard water sometimes becomes a difficult task.


The above article clearly shows that both the waters are equally useful and efficient if used appropriately. Soft water is great for cleaning and washing whereas, hard water is best for drinking.

People who use hard water for daily house chores even get water softeners installed that save them from the frequent cleaning of their heaters.

To conclude, we can say that the use of both types of waters is up to one’s requirement and need. If used correctly, we can take advantage of both of them.

Jeremy Lee is a researcher and part-time blogger who has a passion to discover cutting-edge technologies related to water filtration. He knows the importance of purified water in our lives and started this blog aiming to provide the best product reviews, buying guides, and other useful information related to water. When not working, he loves to spend time with his beloved wife and two kids.