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Is Hard Water Bad For You?

You have heard about water hardness, and you might be wondering if hard water is bad for you. There are typically no adverse health problems associated with drinking hard water. However, research content on this topic indicates that soft water has a variety of health benefits.

On the other hand, hard water, which often contains high content of minerals like limestone, can cause irritation to your skin and hair, and it could have a negative effect on your plumbing system. Certain studies also suggest it can impact your diet, altering the effectiveness of certain foods.

Learn more about hard water below, understand the risks and benefits associated with hard water and soft water. There’s a plethora of detailed studies and evidence demonstrating the health effects of both.

The Health Risks of Drinking Unfiltered Water

Even if you don’t mind the taste of hard water, you must make sure the water you drink is safe. If you drink untested and unfiltered water, there are a variety of serious health risks that might develop. This is predominantly an issue for individuals with weakened immune systems.

One of the biggest health risks of drinking water is that it could increase your chances of developing cancer. That is because unfiltered water may contain high levels of arsenic, which can lead to poisoning (in the short-term) and cancer (in the long-term). You should always have your water tested, but if you drink filtered water, it should not have any arsenic in it, offering health benefits such as protection against this significant health risk.

Another risk of drinking unfiltered water, which is often called raw water that comes from wells, is that you could increase your chances of contracting an infection. A few examples of dangerous microorganisms that live in raw water include Giardia lamblia, cryptosporidium, and vibrio cholera. Some of the diseases that these organisms can cause include sepsis, diarrhea, and cholera. If you drink filtered water, you reduce your chances of contracting an infection from your drinking water, protecting your health.

What About Drinking Hard Water?

There is a difference between unfiltered water and hard water. Hard water may have still been filtered, but it contains higher levels of certain minerals.

There are no direct health problems associated with drinking hard water. Remember that hard water generally has extra calcium and magnesium in it. In reality, you need adequate levels of calcium and magnesium throughout your body for a variety of reasons. Research confirms the health benefits of these minerals for individuals, especially in regulating heart rhythms and bone strength.

While drinking hard water is not necessarily harmful to your health, it can be annoying. Some of the side effects you might notice associated with hard water include:

Dry Skin and Hair

If you shower using hard water, you might notice that your skin and hair begin to dry out. When you wash your hair with hard water, it can leave your scalp feeling itchy. When you get out of the shower, you might feel like you need to scratch your head and you might notice some flakes falling from your fingertips. Hard water could contribute to increased production of dandruff, which can be a bit annoying.

Changing Your pH Balance

Furthermore, the minerals associated with hard water could change the pH balance of your skin. When this happens, your skin might no longer be a strong barrier against bacteria and infections, and people who suffer from eczema might be particularly vulnerable because they already have dry skin. Therefore, if you wash yourself with hard water, you could be more prone to developing infections.

These are a few of the reasons you might notice if you are exposed to hard water for an extended amount of time. You may want to invest in a water softener system for your home, and that is where DROP products can be helpful.

What Is the Difference Between Hard Water and Soft Water?

woman holding a cup of clear water

First, it is important to understand the differences between hard water and soft water. Generally, water hardness is determined by the amount of magnesium and calcium contained in that specific water supply. If the water has higher levels of calcium and magnesium (limestone), the water hardness increases.

You can you use a water softener to reduce the concentrations of calcium and magnesium in the water supply. Generally, when you soften your water, you will replace the calcium and magnesium with higher concentrations of sodium. Therefore, you are essentially conducting an ion exchange process, swapping calcium and magnesium for other ions. You can swap them for sodium, potassium, or a combination of the two. Over time, the positive health effects of this process can become apparent, especially for individuals who were previously struggling with the effects of hard water.

How To Tell If Drinking Water Is Hard or Soft

Deciphering the hardness or softness of water can pose certain issues, especially when solely relying on visual examination. Even though devices exist that measure water hardness, signs of hard water are often quite noticeable throughout your home. Here are some of these signs:

Film on Your Hands

Sometimes, after washing your hands, you might notice a filmy residue. This occurrence is generally due to the accumulation of soap scum, a product of the reaction between soap on your hands and the calcium present in your water supply. You might need to focus additional attention to rinsing your hands in order to rid them of this film, which is a hint toward the concentration of hard salts in your water.

Calcium Carbonate Spots on Your Glasses

Alongside this, hard water may leave behind telltale stains on your silverware and glasses. Upon retrieval from the dishwasher, these items may exhibit spots indicative of calcium carbonate buildup resulting from your water supply’s increased calcium content. Though these signs aren’t directly harmful, their persistent nature can prove problematic and might just call for a laundry protocol that accommodates your water’s hardness.

Lower Water Pressure

A less visible but equally pertinent impact of hard water is a notable decrease in water pressure throughout your house. The culprit here is the mineral deposits accumulating on the insides of your pipes and subsequently reducing their diameter. Consequently, water flow faces restriction, and you might experience an inconsistency in water pressure.

What Are the Benefits of Water Softener?

If you invest in a water softener, there are several benefits you might notice. They include:

Easier for Cleaning

Following a water softener installation, the softness of your water should be readily discernible, especially when it comes to laundering clothes or cleaning dishes. The removal of excess calcium and magnesium eliminates the risk of these minerals stripping your clothes’ color or reducing your detergent’s efficiency.

In addition, the troublesome spots that formerly graced your glasses and silverware will be a thing of the past, as the softness of the water prevents such issues. This helps ensure effective dish cleaning and laundry.

No Sticky Films

Moreover, a water softener saves you from encountering an unpleasant sticky film on your hands post-wash. The removal of excess calcium and magnesium ensures there’s no reactivity with soap, thereby enhancing the overall washing experience.

The decision to install a water softener yields significant results, including the elimination of uncomfortable film on your fingers and palms after washing.

No More Dry or Itchy Skin

Another impressive advantage pertains to skin health. With the excess calcium and magnesium no longer in the picture, you wouldn’t experience discomfort such as dry or itchy skin after a shower.

This becomes particularly beneficial for individuals with existing skin conditions such as eczema. If the incessant post-shower itchiness doesn’t sound appealing, installing a water softener might just be the right move.

Protect Your Plumbing System

Finally, installing a water softener can also help you protect your plumbing system from harm. You might not realize just how much scale is building up inside your pipes and appliances. If you install a water softener to get rid of these excess minerals, you can protect your pipes, improve your water pressure, and reduce your chances of dealing with a leak down the road. You might even be able to extend the life of your appliances. 

How To Choose a Water Softener for Your Home

From health protections to plumbing preservation, softening your water comes with a bounty of benefits. There are numerous sources of water softening systems available, each with unique features and capabilities.

  • Always take a look at the filtration system to see how much maintenance it requires.
  • Understand whether you are replacing dissolved minerals with sodium or potassium, or a combination of both. One is not necessarily better than the other, but you do need to know how they work.
  • Take a look at reviews and ratings of water softening units to see if other people are happy with the product.

When you’re on the hunt for a perfect water softener to protect your health and your plumbing system, consider exploring the selection from DROP today. With the right water softener system, you can upgrade your water quality, transform your home, and avert potential health conditions.

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