What does it mean if someone says I have hard water?
We so often use the term water “hardness” and we are referring to dissolved minerals which come out of solution. Some dissolved minerals stay in solution such as sugar or salt but other like calcium and magnesium return to a un dissolved or “rock-like” state.
How do minerals get dissolved in water to begin with?
If we only collected and used water from rain catchment systems we would not need to treat for dissolved minerals. Air pollutants and airborne bacteria would be a concern but not dissolved minerals. When rain reaches the earth’s surface it begins a journey to either a run off source or it penetrates the ground. Run off includes lakes, rivers, ponds, etc. But the water which enters into the ground will be pulled downwards and collected into aquifers. Water, being a universal solvent, contains both positive and negative ions which makes it attractive to other positive and negative ions. On its journey, it is attracting and dissolving minerals and creating a molecular bond.
What does that have to do with my water?
Your water is continuously depositing these dissolved minerals onto your plumbing, appliances, fixtures, hair, skin, clothes, and with anything the water comes into contact. The higher the dissolved contamination the more effect it has on you. Nuances in the pH balance of the water and temperature also play a role in determining the speak in which the minerals reappear in their true state.
Doesn’t soft water feel slippery though?
Nope. Soft water or water lacking in dissolved materials may IN CONTRAST feel smooth, or soapy. The smooth experience is the absence of bonding minerals not the presence of anything. Your skin feels smooth. The water feels smooth.