Why Does Soft Water Feel Slippery?

Tuesday, April 30th, 2019 by Melanie Jayjack


Hands under stream of water at faucet

Have you ever spent the weekend at the home of friends or family with a water softener? Did you notice that the water feels different? If you are used to living with high levels of hard water in your home, you will definitely notice a unique texture (of lack thereof) when it comes to soft water. You are not alone! There’s a very good reason why so many people use the word “slippery” when describing their first experiences with soft water.

First, let’s start with what makes water hard. As groundwater travels to the water supply source for your home, whether it’s a private well or a larger body of water accessed by your municipality, it erodes everything it touches. The very fine grains of calcium and magnesium gathered from flowing past bedrock mixes with the water and ends up in your home. These minerals end up sticking to surfaces that water passes over, like in your water heater, washing machine, coffee pot, faucets, and shower heads.

close up of shower head with scale build upAs the water evaporates, a white crusty buildup remains from the calcium deposits. This lime scale will ruin your appliances and fixtures over time. You can try to prevent the damage by cleaning the mineral buildup, but remember that this buildup is essentially little bits of rock forming inside of your home which makes the cleaning process difficult. Soaking your fixtures in vinegar or scrubbing it with harsh chemicals on a regular basis is the only way to break down the white residue left behind by hard water.

If that’s what hard water minerals look like on your fixtures, just imagine what it is doing to you. Those same dissolved minerals from rock are landing on your skin and hair, making them dry and brittle. If you’ve grown up with hard water, these just might be considered normal attributes of life that you’ve gotten used to, but it’s not how it needs to be.

The human body is an amazing network of organs, nerve endings, and muscles that can register miniscule amounts of data and send it to your brain. Our skin is so sensitive that it can actually tell the difference between water with hardness minerals dissolved in it and water without. It may be at the microscopic level, but our bodies do notice more friction from the calcium and magnesium in the water. The absence of these abrasive minerals would make water feel smoother when you rub your fingers together underneath the stream of your faucet.

If you have recently installed a water softener in your home and your skin feels “slippery” when you get out of the shower, it may be because you’re not used to having good quality water in your home! Hard water will also inhibit the ability of soaps and detergents to do their job. That means you’ve had to use more soap or body wash than you really need to get a good lather.

close up of child's hands full of soap sudsIf you’ve gotten in the habit of using a lot of soap with hard water, using the same amount with softened water may leave an excess film on your skin, leaving you feeling gross. It may not be the soft water that feels unnatural, but the amount soap that you’re used to using is now too much. With soft water, you will need to get in the habit of using less soap to break down the oils and dirt from the day to get clean, which will help save you money!

Our CareSoft line of water softeners can help save you money on your appliances and plumbing, but more importantly, it can prevent damage to your family’s skin and hair. It may feel different than you’re used to, but having silky water leads to silkier hair and skin as well. Call us today to learn more about how we can help!

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