Difference Between Hard Water and Soft Water

 Water is an essential compound for the survival of all living organisms. Moreover, the major part of the earth and all the living organisms on earth is made up of water.

/10

Science Quiz

Test your knowledge about topics related to science

1 / 10

The filament of an electric bulb is made of

2 / 10

Non-stick cooking utensils are coated with

3 / 10

What is the S.I unit of frequency?

4 / 10

Which is the type of food having maximum energy?

5 / 10

Which of the following organism breathes from skin?

6 / 10

The element common to all acids is

7 / 10

Name the process by which the human breathes?

8 / 10

Which of the following gland is present in the human mouth?

9 / 10

What is laughing gas?

10 / 10

What is the scientific name of humans?

Your score is

0%

The water is a tasteless, odorless, colorless liquid and an excellent solvent.

The two dissimilar classifications are Hard Water and Soft Water. Both Hard water and Soft water are not differentiable with five senses, but they are extremely different from each other.

Hard Water vs Soft Water

The difference between Hard Water and Soft Water is that Hard Water is generally known for the existence of salts such as calcium and magnesium, whereas Soft Water is known for the non-existence of water-soluble salts such as calcium and magnesium. Hard Water, instead of forming bubbles or froth with soap easily, forms an insoluble precipitate with soap, whereas Soft Water can form lather with the soap easily.

Hard Water vs Soft Water

Hard water is an excellent solvent of mineral salts, ions, and molecules. When it reaches the ground surface of the earth, it dissolves many salts such as calcium and magnesium salts through rain and air.

Thus the presence of these salts makes the pure water ‘Hard.’ The Hard Water, instead of forming lather with soap easily, forms an insoluble precipitate with soap.

Soft Water contains a very less concentration of only a few soluble salts such as calcium and magnesium salts. Soft water is treated with water containing sodium cation ions.

Soft Water produces sufficient lather with soap easily does not form an insoluble scum with soap. Thus it can be used for cleaning purposes.

Comparison Table

Parameters of ComparisonHard WaterSoft Water
DefinitionThe mineral salts such as calcium and magnesium in the sort of chlorides, and sulfates are present. The soluble salts of calcium and magnesium are not present.
ComponentsIt contains calcium and magnesium ions.It contains sodium ions
Reaction with soap        It does not form any bubbles or froth with soap. It naturally lathers with soap easily.
TasteHard Water is tasteless. Soft Water is often salty.
Effectiveness on CleaningHard Water is not effective for cleaning purposes.          Soft Water is effective for cleaning purposes.
ExamplesGroundwater.    Rainwater.

What is Hard Water?

Soluble salts such as magnesium and calcium in the water are responsible for the formation of Hard Water that does not form any bubbles or froth with soap easily.

The existence of sodium in soap can start the reaction with Hard Water to scum out calcium or magnesium stearate. Thus it is not suitable for laundry and is harmful to boilers.

Temporary Hard Water occurs due to the existence of magnesium and calcium hydrogen carbonates in the water.

During boiling, magnesium bicarbonate is converted into magnesium hydroxide, and the precipitates obtained are removed through filtration. As a result, Soft Water is formed.

In Clark’s process, a calculated quantity of lime is added to Hard Water. Therefore calcium carbonate is precipitated out, and Magnesium hydroxide is filtered.

As a result, soft water is obtained. Soluble salts such as magnesium and calcium in the water are responsible for the formation of Permanent Hard Water. These salts contain various chlorides and sulfates in water.

Permanent Hardness in the water is often removed by clarifying the water with washing soda, Calgon’s method, and the Ion-exchange method.

hard water

What is Soft Water?

Soft Water consists only of very low concentrations of any mineral salts, or it doesn’t have any existence of soluble salts such as calcium and magnesium salts. Soft Water comprises Sodium cation ions.

Soft Water lathers with soap easily. Thus it is suitable for cleaning purposes.

It does not stain clothes rather makes them brighter and sparkling.

Soft Water is not used for drinking due to its high Sodium and salty taste. Soft Water is treated water obtained from hard water that can be used for bathing because it’s beneficial for hair and skin.

Soft Water is suitable to use in washing machines, dishwashers, coffee makers, and water heaters because it increases the lifespan of household appliances.

It does not leave stains or scales on pipes, bathtubs, glasses, and plates, and it also prevents corrosion in materials.

Soft Water can cause lead poisoning if it is stored in a lead container and does not have many health benefits as there is no presence of calcium and magnesium ions.

Due to no deposition of soluble salts and low boiling point, Soft Water is used in boilers. Rainwater is the perfect example of Soft Water as it is almost pure and later easily with soap.

soft water

Main Differences Between Hard Water and Soft Water

  1. Hard Water is generally known for the existence of salts such as calcium and magnesium, whereas Soft Water does not have any existence of these soluble salts of calcium and magnesium and only contains Sodium cation ions.
  2. Hard Water does not form any bubbles or froth with soap, whereas Soft does create bubbles or froth with soap easily.
  3. Hard Water is not used for cleaning purposes, whereas Soft Water is used for cleaning purposes.
  4. Hard Water can be used for drinking purposes, whereas Soft Water is not recommended for drinking purposes.
  5. Hard Water is tasteless, whereas Soft Water has a salt taste.
Difference Between Hard Water and Soft Water
  1. https://www.bmj.com/content/2/5857/21.abstract
  2. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0043135476901287
One request?

I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to you. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media or with your friends/family. SHARING IS ♥️