Difference Between Hard Water and Soft Water

Water's hardness or softness is typically impossible to determine by looking at it. The way water feels on objects in your dishwasher or washing machine can occasionally be a clue. The most versatile solvent is water.

It is a chemical compound that is transparent, tasteless, colourless, and odourless. Two categories of water exist. Both are types of water, respectively. These two categories are not distinguished from one another based on how they feel or look. Based on the mineral makeup of each, this variation exists.

What is Hard Water?

Hard water is a result of the high mineral concentration. Dolomite, a prevalent magnesium mineral in hard water, and calcite and gypsum, the main calcium minerals, make up the majority of the composition. Carbonate, bicarbonate, and calcium- and magnesium-sulfate salt deposits are present in hard water. There may be no physical harm from drinking hard water.

However, it also offers certain advantages for your health. The calcium and magnesium ions, which are needed by our bodies, are what give rise to the health advantages. By lowering the amount of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals in hard water, it can be "softened." Boiling the water or adding lime can both be used to cure temporary hardness (calcium hydroxide).

Ion-exchange resins, which exchange hardness ions (Ca, Mg, and other metallic cations) for sodium ions, can also be used to treat water that is permanently hard. Chemicals like chelators can also be employed as water softeners. To soften water, citric acid is a component of soap, shampoo, and laundry detergent.

What is Soft Water?

Soft water is water without any dissolved salts of metals like calcium, iron, or magnesium that can cause soap curds in bathtubs and laundry equipment or scale in boilers. Soft water is water that has fewer minerals. Calcium and magnesium dissolved salts are absent from soft water.

Most sodium ions are found in soft water. Only sodium cations are allowed in treated soft water. Due to its lack of minerals and salty flavour, soft water may not be acceptable for drinking. When applied, soap creates foam and is quite effective on soft water. We can determine if the water is soft or hard by many signs such as when washing your hands, body, or even the dishes, work up a good lather.

Cleaner clothing that has less wear and tears damage and is unblemished by mineral stains.

your home has a healthy water pressure. Drinking water with a faint salt taste, albeit this taste difference is frequently undetectable.

Difference between Hard Water and Soft Water

The following table highlights the major differences between Hard Water and Soft Water −


Hard Water

Soft Water


Contains minerals like calcium and magnesium.

Contains sodium ions.


Does not form later instead forms scum.

Does form later


It does not have a specific taste.

It has a salty taste.


Hard water is less affected by soap; a film rather than a froth is produced.

When soap is used on soft water, foam is produced.

Effect on hair

Hard water has a negative effect on hair and skin, i.e., hair and skin become dry.

Soft water has a positive effect on hair and water, i.e., Hair and skin become soft.


Deep wells, groundwater


Hard water is perfectly safe to drink and isn't thought to pose any health risks. Hard water's minerals can be tasted, though, and some people may find it to be a little bit bitter. In contrast, soft water has a very pure flavour that is occasionally just a little bit salty.

It is safe to drink hard water instead of soft water. As calcium and magnesium are crucial for improved heart function, digestion, blood sugar regulation, and even cancer prevention, the National Institutes of Health have discovered positive health benefits for drinking hard water. Hard water can also have a great flavour.

Soft water had detrimental effects, according to research funded by the World Health Organization. People were devoid of essential minerals from softened, demineralized water, which also increased sodium intake. Some experts advise consumers to use both hard and soft water − hard water for drinking and soft water for use in appliances and baths.


Water with a high mineral content is referred to as hard water. Water with a low mineral content is referred to as soft water. That is the primary distinction between soft water and hard water. Magnesium and calcium ions make up the bulk of hard water. Salt ions are the main component of soft water.

Updated on: 23-Jan-2023


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