Understanding The Ph Of Soft Water
Depending on where in the UK you live, you’ll either have ‘hard’ or ‘soft’ water, but have you ever wondered what this actually means? Well, it all comes down to water pH and the amount of minerals present in your area’s water supply.
It’s no secret that hard water is known for irritating sensitive skin, leaving marks on glassware and causing limescale build up, which is due to its more alkaline pH. That’s why many homeowners opt for soft water, with soft water pH being slightly more acidic.
Keep reading to understand the pH of softened water, if it’s safe for you to drink and why it’s the preferred choice of many homeowners.
What should the pH of drinking water be?
Hear the term ‘pH’ and you’re probably transported back to a school science lesson with hazy memories of litmus paper and testing for acid or alkali. To rejig your memory, the pH scale is measured from 0 to 14, with 0 being extremely acidic and 14 extremely alkaline. You’ll find vinegar with an acidic pH level of 3, household bleach with an alkaline pH level of 13 and pure water sitting at a neutral pH level of 7.
Following UK water regulations, safe drinking water should sit anywhere between 6.5 and 9.5 on the pH scale. A neutral pH level of 7 will be hard to find, as, naturally, water picks up minerals and chemicals from the environment.
For example, common bottled water usually sits between 6.5 and 7.5 on the pH scale, however there are several popular alkaline bottled water products that have a pH level between 8 and 9.
Hard water vs soft water pH
Let’s take a look at what actually makes water acidic or alkaline – the minerals.
Hard water, which is more alkaline, will likely contain higher levels of calcium and magnesium. These lead to a limescale build up in your pipes and appliances, and can be quite bitter to taste. Though benefits do include higher mineral content for drinking water.
Soft water, which is more acidic, has low levels of minerals, however will contain higher levels of sodium. This will result in a lower mineral content for drinking water, however will be safer and smoother for your skin and hair.
With soft water, you will not need to rewash clothes or glassware to remove dirty residue. This can ultimately save you money on your water bills and improve your water efficiency, which is why many homeowners with hard water will invest in a water softener.
Will a water softener change the water pH?
If you are worried about the pH of your drinking water changing but want to remove the hard minerals that can be irritating to your skin or leave cloudy residue on glassware, consider installing a domestic water softener.
A base-exchange water softener will not affect the pH of your water, but will replace minerals, such as calcium or magnesium, with sodium. The salt from a water softener does not enter the water that you drink and instead only works to clean the resin that acts on the water.