What Are the Benefits of Soft Water?

Patrick Lynch

Although converting soft water to hard water costs money, the many benefits of soft water appear to make this a prudent investment. The majority of homes have hard water which is filled with chemicals that can harm skin, clothes, and kitchen utensils. Soft water cleans things more thoroughly than hard water, and this can lower the home water bill. Soft water also prevents the scale build-up that affects pipes and is more effective when cleaning the skin.

Soft water can make dishes look cleaner.
Soft water can make dishes look cleaner.

It is estimated that hard water is supplied to more than 85% of homes in the United States. Hard water contains the minerals calcium and magnesium which cling to everything they touch. When it is used to wash dishes, it causes streaks which can make dishes look like they have not been washed at all.

In electric water heaters the build-up of hard water scale can cause elements to burn out prematurely.
In electric water heaters the build-up of hard water scale can cause elements to burn out prematurely.

One of the main benefits of soft water is that it saves money, making up for any extra cost. As soft water is far better than its hard counterpart for washing clothes and dishes, less of it needs to be used. Also, soft water preserves clothes for longer and when it is used, less laundry detergent is required.

The protection given to plumbing is one of the most important benefits of soft water. The minerals in hard water allow a build-up of scale to occur over the course of time. This normally results in reduced water pressure and slower water flow. As soft water contains only a fraction of the minerals of hard water, it does not lead to any blockages in the pipes.

A build-up in scale can also affect the operation of a hot water heater. A heater that is blocked by mineral build-up must use more energy to provide the same water temperature as a heater that is unblocked. It is estimated that a hot water heater without scale deposits is 20% more efficient than a heater with scale build-up.

Having cleaner, healthier skin is yet another one of the benefits of soft water. The minerals in hard water tend to cause dry hair and scalp. With soft water, all the extra cells from skin pores are removed when washed.

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


@Animandel - I have a friend who recently installed a water softening system in his house. Like you, I thought you would have to use numerous filters to clean the water, but you don't. As it turns out, he only had to install a filtering system at the main line where the water enters the house.

Water moves through the system before it reaches the faucets, the toilet and the washing machine. He put his system in his garage, but they can also go in a utility room or near the hot water heater.


In order to soften the water in your home, do you have to put a filter at every point where water is used? And if so, what type of filter would I use for the washing machine and toilet?


We live in an older house. The original structure was built in the early 1900s and then there have been a few additions made over the years. Our plumber told us that we have about every type of pipe every made beneath the house.

One of the problems we had with the plumbing in the house when we bought it was that there was not as much water pressure in the kitchen sink as we wanted. After looking at the pipes, the plumber told us that the deposits inside the pipes was blocking the flow, like mentioned in this article.

Of course, we were disappointed to hear that in order to repair the problem we would have to replace the pipes. We decided to wait until later to replace the pipes. On the bright side, we also learned that the deposits in the pipes add to the life of the actual pipes because the water is in contact with the deposit buildup instead of the pipes.

So, even though our water pressure is lower than we would like, the pipes will last forever and we don't have to replace them until the deposits totally cut off the water pressure.

Post your comments
Forgot password?