Can You Drink Soft Water?

Let’s be honest, water is underrated. It’s an absolute necessity for all life on earth, and yet many of us take it for granted in our daily lives. It’s quite literally ‘on tap’ in the developed world- whenever you want or need water, turn on the faucet and there it is.

Can You Drink Soft Water

Even though we need to drink water to live, mankind has long since gotten bored of drinking plain water, coming up with all sorts of different flavored drinks from soda to alcoholic beverages.

It’s got to the point nowadays where there are plenty of people out there who rarely, if ever drink water. They usually claim either that water ‘doesn’t taste of anything’ or ‘doesn’t taste very nice’.

Those of us who do drink a lot of water will tell you that water does have a taste, and that taste can vary quite wildly depending on where you are in the world.

A lot of it comes down to whether your water is ‘hard’ or ‘soft’. But wait, I hear you shout. There are different types of water? Yes, there are! I imagine you’ve got a few questions.

I’m here to tell you whether you can drink soft water, but first, let’s take a look at what hard and soft water actually are!

What’s The Difference Between Hard Water And Soft Water?

Although water often looks completely clear, it actually contains lots of different minerals like calcium and magnesium. The concentration of these two minerals is primarily what determines the water’s ‘hardness’.

The more of these minerals, the harder, the fewer, the softer. In place of calcium and magnesium, soft water has a greater concentration of sodium (salt).

Different parts of the world have different levels of water hardness. Indeed, water hardness can vary wildly within countries or even just within states!

In the United States, for example, a whole bunch of states in the North East, South, and North West including New York, Oregon, Washington, the Carolinas, and much of the Deep South have ‘very soft’ water.

On the other hand, Florida, Wisconsin, Indiana, Utah, New Mexico, and the western half of Texas are all considered to have ‘very hard’ water.

The Signs Of Hard Water Vs. The Signs Of Soft Water

So, we’ve had the technical definitions of hard water and soft water, but what sort of difference does it make in practice, in daily life?

Signs Of Hard Water

There are a few telltale indicators of hard water. You might notice:

  • Spots and mineral stains on your dishes and clothes after you’ve washed them. These are mineral deposits, quite often of calcium carbonate. 
  • Feeling a ‘film’ form around your hands after you wash them. This is because the calcium in hard water reacts with soap to create soap scum. You’ll probably notice that you need to rinse your hands for longer with hard water.
  • Low water pressure. Mineral deposits could form in your pipes, restricting the flow of water and as a result causing low water pressure.
  • Water that tastes particularly ‘strong’ or has a distinct taste. Admittedly this one can be hard to spot if you’ve never known any different.

Signs Of Soft Water

Generally speaking, soft water creates the opposite effect to hard water. You’ll see:

  • Dishes and clothes that come out of your appliances, or indeed the sink, cleaner and with less general wear and tear.
  • A healthy lather forming when you wash your hands, other parts of your body, or indeed dishes and clothes.
  • Robust water pressure across your home.
  • Water that tastes slightly of sodium, or in many cases doesn’t have much of a taste at all.

Can You Drink Hard Water?

Can You Drink Hard Water

Yes, you can. There are absolutely no negative health effects associated with hard water. In fact, a lot of people will argue that drinking hard water is in fact better for you!

There are some who speculate that it might be beneficial for cardiovascular health, but what is unquestionably true is that it’s a good source of your recommended daily intake of minerals like calcium and magnesium.

After all, a lot of water- like that coming from mountain streams- is naturally hard. You could say hard water is how God intended it!

On the other hand, hard water is said to cause problems for the health of your hair and skin. It can cause dry hair and dry your scalp out, leaving it feeling irritated and itchy.

It can also dry out your skin and affect its pH balance, reducing its ability to protect itself against bacteria and infections. This is particularly a concern if you suffer from skin problems like eczema or dermatitis!

Can You Drink Soft Water?

Yes, soft water is fine to drink. For the vast majority of people, whether you drink hard or soft water makes absolutely no difference apart from the taste.

However, if your diet isn’t great you might be lacking in certain minerals. Since you won’t be getting them from your water if you drink soft water, it might be worthwhile taking supplements to get your recommended daily intake.

Another very minor health concern associated with soft water is its sodium levels. The concern is for people prone to high blood pressure.

The thinking is the higher sodium levels in soft water might contribute to an increase in blood pressure for those more susceptible.

There’s not an awful lot in it, as many people across the world with high blood pressure do drink soft water just fine. However, a doctor might advise against installing a softening device if you suffer from high blood pressure, for example.

Summary

To summarize, both hard and soft water are safe to drink. Hard water may taste ‘stronger’, whilst soft water may taste mellower or have a hint of sodium.

The increased sodium content of soft water may prove a concern to some people, but drinking soft water is not going to lead to any serious adverse health concerns.

On top of this, soft water is generally preferred for household tasks and for washing with, as hard water can cause issues in that regard.

Mandy Anderson