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What are the main difference between hard and soft water? What benefits or damage does each type of water does to our skin, hair, and body?

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I live in Toronto and I believe we have hard water here coming from our taps. From what I have been told, the water we use at our homes are mostly pumped out of lake Ontario. I don't know why but I have been losing hair on my head ever since coming to Toronto and using the tap water for shower and drinking. Is it due to the hardness of the water?

When I visited Vancouver, I noticed that their water was much softer to my skin and it seems like I can't get the soap washed out of my body. It remains smooth and slippery feeling even after trying to scrub out that feeling sensation. The water in Vancouver tasted sweeter too from the taps but I could feel my hair go more limp and soft, as compared to Toronto water.

There are home improvement stores selling water softener to soften the water in Toronto for people who wants it. But is it really worth the money spent in softening our water? From what I have learned, these water softener are not cheap at all and could go for $700 or more easily. Also there was the mention of the need to periodically add water softener salt and replace filter occasionally. Tell me, is there really a need to soften our tap water for use in shower and washing utensils in the house?
asked in City of Toronto by Giovanni

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1 Answer

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When we talk about hard and soft water, we are simply referring to the amount of minerals and chemicals it contains. When water contains a higher level of calcium and magnesium, the water becomes hard. When water contains lesser amount of calcium and magnesium but a higher concentration of sodium or salt, the water is considered soft water.

1. If you want to know whether the water in your house is hard, you will find that it takes a bit longer to wash away that filmy smooth feeling in your hand or body after using soap. Hard water can also make your glasses or dishes appear to have light white spots due to deposits of calcium carbonate.

2. Using hard water to wash your clothes will wear out your clothes faster with the presence of some mineral stains visible after washing and dried. At times, you may find your water pipes pressure on your taps and shower are not strong enough, and it may be due to the deposits of minerals inside your pipes which have become hard and reduced the internal diameter of the pipe, causing the weak flow of water.

3. In order to check if your water is soft water, you will find nice thicker lather of soap when you are using soap on your body or while washing utensils and plates. Your clothes after coming out of your washing machine will seemed much cleaner with barely no visible mineral stains.

4. If you happen to drink from the tap, your water would taste slightly salty due to the higher concentration of sodium or salt. People with high blood pressure should try to avoid drinking too much soft water, else there is a good chance of increase in blood pressure. The water pressure in your house pipe will seem much higher and stronger too when you have soft water running through your pipes.

5. Dry skin, dry hair, itchy scalp, itchy skin are all signs of hard water because it affects the PH balance of your skin and hair. Long term use of hard water can lead to eczema or thinning dry hair loss. However, soft water can cause your hair to look limp and too soft and weak. People with hair loss issue will notice their head scalp looks rather shiny when after using soft water to shower. Using a balanced PH shampoo will help to combat these hair and skin problems.
answered by Cayla

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