What Is Hard Water And Soft Water?

It is likely that at some point in your life, you have heard the terms “hard water” and “soft water” used in conversation.

What Is Hard Water And Soft Water

In particular, hard water is something that a lot of people often talk about, especially if you are somebody who lives in an inner city. But just because you have heard these terms mentioned, that doesn’t mean that you know what they mean.

In fact, this is something that a lot of people don’t actually know the difference between.

In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at what hard water is, and also what soft water is. In addition, we’ll also be taking a look at what the difference is between the two. So keep on reading to find out more! 

What Is Meant By Hard Water And Soft Water?

First things first, let’s take a look at what is meant by hard water and soft water. Both of these are terms used to refer to differences in the mineral composition of H20, but let’s take a deeper look at what they mean.

What Is Hard Water?

Hard water is water that has a high mineral content. It is the same as water that you would drink, it simply contains more minerals. In particular, hard water tends to have higher levels of magnesium and calcium than regular water. 

Hard water is formed when H20 travels through deposits of limestone, chalk, or gypsum. As the water travels through the deposits, small amounts of these minerals will break away and become part of the water.

It is these calcium and magnesium deposits that make the water hard.

Hard water tends to taste different to regular water because of the presence of these minerals, however it isn’t necessarily bad for you. You can drink hard water, it will just taste different to regular water.

For a lot of people, this is enough to put them off drinking regular water.

What Is Soft Water?

In contrast, soft water has a lower mineral content. It does not contain any additional magnesium or calcium. In fact, it doesn’t contain much of anything, apart from hydrogen and oxygen molecules.

In essence, soft water is water that has been stripped back to its most natural form. 

Soft water is water that is free of all deposits. This is why you won’t get soft water through your faucet.

Instead, water must be prepared in a certain way in order for it to become soft. Most of the time, rain water will be soft water when it falls from the sky, but as soon as it lands on Earth, it will start to become hard.

The number of deposits in the water will increase as it goes through its journey through our planet. 

A lot of people see soft water as the “cleaner” option. But this isn’t necessarily the case. In fact, soft water isn’t actually any more beneficial for your health than hard water. 

What Is the Difference Between Hard Water And Soft Water?

As we have mentioned, the key difference between hard water and soft water is the minerals that can be found in it. Soft water is completely stripped of these minerals, making it water in its most pure form.

Whereas, hard water contains a large amount of calcium and magnesium due to its journey from the sky to your faucet. 

It is easy to assume that these minerals make hard water bad for you. But this isn’t the case. In fact, hard water offers a lot of health benefits that soft water cannot.

However, as is the case with all things, hard water is better for some things, and soft water is better for others. 

All water will either be soft or hard depending on the way that it was prepared, but at the end of the day, they are both types of water, and this means that they are both safe to consume. 

What Is Better To Drink – Hard Or Soft Water?

We have just established that both hard and soft water is safe to drink, but it is likely that you want to know what is the best option for you.

The best option will depend entirely on your own preferences, as there are benefits and drawbacks for drinking both hard and soft water.

When you think about drinking calcium or magnesium, it is easy to assume that this is a bad thing. But in reality, these minerals are actually good for you.

What Is Hard Water And Soft Water (1)

A healthy diet should contain a variety of different things, and minerals are one of them. In fact, it is actually recommended that you consume a certain amount of minerals each day.

Hard water can really help with that, which is why a lot of people recommend drinking hard water over soft water.

Drinking soft water is possible, however it is something that a lot of experts do not recommend. This is because sodium must be added to the water to soften it, and this could cause you to consume too much sodium.

In small amounts, soft water is safe to drink. But your entire daily water intake should not be taken up by soft water. 

How To Tell The Difference

Water that comes out of the faucet will be naturally softer or harder depending on where you live. This might lead you to wonder how to tell the difference. 

Well, the easiest way to identify if you have soft or hard water is to fill a clear bottle one third full of water, then add a few drops of liquid soap. Pop the lid on, and shake the bottle vigorously.

If you see lots of fluffy bubbles, then your water is soft. If the water is cloudy or milky (without any bubbles), then your water is hard.


In short, hard water is water that has a high amount of minerals (mainly calcium and magnesium) in it. Whereas soft water is water that doesn’t contain any of these minerals. Hard water is a lot more common than soft water. 

We hope this information has been helpful. Thank you for reading!

Mike Noren