For hard and soft water explained simply…Hard water contains a high concentration of dissolved minerals, like calcium and magnesium. In its pure form, water does not contain these minerals and is naturally soft. But as it passes through the ground and rocks such as limestone, it picks up those hard water minerals.
Soft water contains little to no extra elements. This can occur naturally, or soft water can be produced with water treatment equipment that removes the hard elements.
The minerals in hard water make it better for drinking, not only because of the health benefits, but also the taste. Soft water, however, often tastes salty and is sometimes not fit for drinking.
Hard water can take a toll on clothing, making laundry look dingy. It can cause spots and residue on dishes, and soap scum on bathtubs. Hard water can eventually damage household appliances, as well as use up more energy.
When it comes to cleaning, soft water allows soap to lather better and dishes will be left cleaner. You will often use less soap and detergents overall with soft water. The shower curtain and bathtub will be soap scum-free. And clothes and skin will feel softer. Soft water can also prolong the life of washing machines, dishwashers and water heaters. Energy bills are noticeably lower in homes with water softeners.
The minerals in hard water leave behind scale. This can require repeated cleaning of surfaces that come into contact with hard water. The deposits build up inside pipes and appliances and can reduce efficiency. Severe buildup can cause the need to have certain types of water supply pipes replaced prematurely. Although it can be troublesome, scale from hard water is NOT harmful to your health if consumed.