What is Soft Water?

Whether naturally soft water or softened through a water softener. There are many benefits to your home and family.

What is soft water?

Soft water contains little or no dissolved calcium or magnesium, referred to as soft due to its simpler composition. It feels softer than hard water to the touch. Naturally soft water is most commonly found in northern areas of the UK, while water softening treatments – such as the use of a water softener – enable people in all areas to soften the water in their homes and businesses. Soft water has many benefits for the home, including the eradication of limescale for cleaner homes and the protection of skin’s natural barriers, leaving it healthy and soothing dryness. Rainfall is naturally soft, however due to our geological landscape, certain regions of the UK suffer from hard water caused by the rocks through which the rainwater runs on its way to the reservoir. Find out how hard or soft your water is using the tool below:

Soft water vs hard water

The main difference between soft and hard water is its composition, which itself comes from the type of land onto which it falls when it rains.

In areas where the ground is made up of non-porous rock, the rainwater simply runs off that rock and straight into the reservoir where it is gathered before being sent to your home.

This means the water reaches the reservoir in the exact same condition it was in when it first fell – which, as we know, is soft.

Hard water happens when the rain falls onto porous rock, like limestone and chalk. As it makes its way downhill, it seeps into the rock and through it, picking up minerals like calcium and magnesium along the way. When you have hard water, you’ll also have limescale in your home – that’s because the hardness minerals, calcium and magnesium, combine. You don’t get this when you have naturally soft water.

There are many benefits to softened water that mean more and more people are investing in softening the water coming into their home.

Softening your water

The term ‘water softening’ refers to the process through which the hard water minerals of calcium and magnesium are removed, leaving just pure, softened water in its place.

There are various ways to soften your water, from micro-treatments like soft water shower heads, to whole home solutions like water softeners.

HarveyArc Water Softener Under Sink

However you choose to soften your water, the basic premise is that the calcium and magnesium minerals need to be removed. If you intend to use soft water throughout your entire home, the best place to perform the softening is at the source – where the water comes into your home, via your water pipes. That’s why whole home solutions like water softeners are so popular, particularly in those homes where cleanliness, appliance efficiency and skin health are valued.

Water softening via a water softener is a two part process comprising of ion exchange, in which the mineral content is drawn out through salt percolating through resin beads, and a regeneration stage through which the minerals are flushed from the system.

Find out more about how water softeners work.

Effects of softened water

The effects of softened water on your home and health are widely documented and hugely positive. From keeping your home cleaner by eradicating limescale, to protecting your appliances and keeping skin healthier and happier, softened water can benefit you and your family in a variety of ways.

The 7 wonders of Harvey Water™ include:

  • Shinier home
  • Less time cleaning
  • Soft on skin
  • Fewer products used
  • Longer lasting appliances
  • Bigger bubble baths
  • Cheaper bills

Find out more about the benefits of soft water.

More about soft water

Want to learn more about soft water? Take a look at the following articles: