Back to Blog


Hard Water vs Soft Water

March 24, 2014

Cups with hard water stains and cups without hard water stains.
Both hard and soft water have advantages and disadvantages. But what are they? Is there a difference? Which one is better? If you’re a homeowner, It is important to know the answers to these questions. Read on to find out the answers to these questions and more!

What is Hard Water?

Hard water contains calcium and magnesium ions, which are considered “hard” minerals. These minerals, while not bad for you if ingested, can create stains or build-up in your pipes. Hard water also doesn’t taste very good. While it’s impossible to see the difference between hard and soft water, there are a few ways you can tell if you have hard water in your home.

Do I Have Hard Water?

Identifying hard water is pretty easy. Here are a few signs you should look for to see if your home has hard water:

  • Stains on faucets, dishes, and walls
  • Mineral build-up in pipes
  • Fewer bubbles when using soap
  • Dry, itchy skin
  • Dull, faded clothes

If you still can’t tell if you have hard water, there’s an easy test you can do from home to see if you have hard water.

What is Soft Water?

Soft water is water that contains “soft” minerals, such as sodium. The sodium ions are added through a water softener. A common misconception is that because soft water has sodium in it, it tastes salty, but that’s not actually the case! Soft water usually tastes and feels better than hard water because of the sodium added to the water. With soft water, you can expect:

  • No mineral build-up in pipes
  • Better lather with soaps and shampoos
  • Softer hair and skin
  • Brighter and softer clothes

Which Type of Water is Better?

Soft water typically feels softer–especially after regularly using hard water. Soft water can also save you money on shampoos and soaps, because soap lathers better in soft water. Many people also find they prefer the taste of soft water as compared to hard water. It is because of this, the slightly different taste, and the benefits to plumbing systems that many people prefer soft water. In terms of health benefits, there is no real difference; in terms of effect on pipes and fixtures, soft water is better.

How Do I Get Soft Water?

If you’re interested in getting soft water for your home, check out our water softeners! Utah generally has hard water because calcium and magnesium can enter your water as runoff from the mountains. When you have a water softener installed in your home, it replaces the calcium and magnesium with sodium. This ion exchange doesn’t change the appearance of the water, but it does change how the water reacts with soap and your pipes. Unlike calcium and magnesium, sodium does not build up in your pipes and it has a few other benefits, as well.

If you don’t know if your water is hard or soft, schedule your free home water evaluation today so you can know exactly what’s in your water!