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Why You Shouldn't Drink Soft Water: A Comprehensive Guide
Soft water is often preferred for household chores but not ideal for human consumption. This article examines the reasons why you should refrain from drinking soft water and offers healthier alternatives.
What Is Soft Water?
Soft water is characterized by its low levels of calcium and magnesium ions. Although technically safe to drink, experts recommend opting for filtered water instead. Rainfall, when clean and untouched by the earth, is a good example of soft water.
Why Do We Need Soft Water?
Calcium and magnesium make water “hard,” but they are not necessarily harmful. Calcium, for example, is essential for bone and dental health. However, excessive amounts of these minerals can damage appliances and affect your hair and skin.
How Do Water Softeners Work?
Water softeners swap one group of non-toxic elements for another to “soften” hard water. Water hardness is generally measured in grains per gallon (GPG).
- Up to 3.5 GPG: Slightly hard or soft
- 3.5 to 10.5 GPG: Medium hard
- Over 10.5 GPG: Extremely hard
If your home’s water measures over 5-6 GPG, consider investing in a water softener, particularly for laundry and dishwashing.
Advantages of Soft Water
- Longer-lasting appliances
- Brighter, softer clothes
- Improved hair and skin texture
- Cost-saving due to less soap and shampoo usage
Disadvantages of Soft Water
- Soft water can lead to toilet bowl stains.
- It can leach metals, such as lead, from pipes and faucets.
- Elevated levels of heavy metals like lead in initial cold water draws.
- Not suitable for cooking or preparing baby formula due to potential heavy metal content.
Drinking Soft Water: FAQs
- Increased levels of toxic metals like lead
- High sodium content
- Demineralized water
- Poor taste
The sodium content varies depending on the original hardness of your water, but it is generally higher than recommended for human consumption.
Yes, it’s advisable to use a robust filter capable of removing sodium and heavy metals while reintroducing beneficial minerals.
No, it’s not recommended for consumption by anyone, including pregnant women.
High sodium content and lack of minerals make soft water unsuitable for plant irrigation.
- Boiling water
- Using a water softener
- Lime treatment
Soft water is generally more beneficial for your hair compared to hard water. This is because it lacks harsh minerals like calcium, which can make hair dry and brittle.
If you don’t have a water softener installed, it’s more likely that your tap water is hard. However, the only way to be certain is by using a water hardness test kit.
While neither soft or hard water is immediately harmful, each has its drawbacks. Soft water can contain high sodium and heavy metal levels, whereas hard water is often high in minerals like calcium and magnesium. For long-term consumption, it’s best to filter both types.
Absolutely, and it’s advisable to do so. Opt for a robust filter like AquaTru that not only removes sodium and heavy metals but also adds back essential minerals.
Why You Should Never Drink Soft Water
Durlach, J.; Bara, M.; Guiet-Bara, A. (1989). “Magnesium level in drinking water: its importance in cardiovascular risk”. In Itokawa, Y.; Durlach, J. Magnesium in health and disease: Fifth International
Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County – http://www.nashville.gov/water/soft_h2o.htm
Bartram, edited by Jamie; Ballance, Richard (1996). Water quality monitoring : a practical guide to the design and implementation of freshwater quality studies and monitoring programmes (1st ed.). London: E & FN Spon.
Common Water Quality Problems And Their Treatment” (PDF). Retrieved 2017-03-19.”Water Softeners”. Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Retrieved 2017-03-19.