Hard and soft water explained - what's the water where you live

The hardness of the water in your home will have an impact on everything from its flavour to how clean it makes your crockery. Understanding the effects of hard water and soft water will help you to work with the water in your home and get the best out of your H2O supply.

Hard water

Rainwater contains carbonic acid and so is naturally slightly acidic. As it passes over rocks or soaks through the ground, minerals dissolve into the water. These minerals are usually calcium or magnesium compounds and it’s these that make the water ‘hard’.

As hard water contains a number of important minerals, it’s often very good for you and many people prefer drinking hard water. However hard water can cause a number of problems around the house. It can leave clothes looking a little lacklustre, prevent soap from lathering properly and leave spots, scum and residue on your glasses, plates and bathroom fixtures and fittings. If you live in a hard water area but want your water to be a little softer, you can use a filter to remove some of the calcium compounds from the H2O.

Though many people want to soften the water in their homes to make it easier to work with, in reality the minerals it contains can be very beneficial, so it’s important to think carefully before you install a filter.

Soft water

Soft water on the other hand contains low levels of calcium and magnesium compounds. If you live in a soft water area you’ll notice that your soaps lather easily, there’s little residue on your washing up and you don’t have scum building up in your bath or shower. However, soft water can taste a little salty to some people so not everyone likes drinking it. You can buy filters that remove the sodium from your soft water, helping to give it a more neutral taste and making it more pleasant to drink.

Hard water and soft water areas in the UK

Whether you have hard water or soft water in your home will be determined by where you live in the UK. The majority of southern and eastern England has hard to very hard water, while Scotland, western Wales, the South West of England have soft water. Areas around Manchester, Birmingham and Newcastle have water that’s moderately hard.

For more fascinating facts about water or to learn about the importance of hydration, explore our site today.

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