Why Does My Soft Water Feel Slippery?

Tuesday, September 10th, 2019 by Kim Rankinen


Why Does My Soft Water Feel Slippery?

White Bathroom

If you’ve been using hard water in your home for your entire life, the immediate benefits of switching over to softened water are pretty obvious; use less cleaning agents, reduce wear and tear on your water-using appliances, and keep your home’s plumbing flowing efficiently. Another component of soft water that’s often overlooked appears during the first time that you take a bath or a shower in your newly softened water. It feels different than hard water.

Compared to hard water, soft water creates a different sensation on your skin when showering or bathing, one that’s often described as “slippery” or “silky.” This will often lead to those not used to soft water to suspect that something may be wrong with their water softener.

What Makes Soft Water Feel Slippery?

The science behind that silky sensation begins with what types of minerals, or lack of minerals, are found in the water that you’re using to bathe.

Hard water contains dissolved calcium and magnesium that naturally collects as water flows over and erodes the rock beneath it. These hardness minerals then make their way through your plumbing and shower-head, leaving behind a scaly white residue as the water dries. Those same minerals make it very difficult to clean your skin properly. Hardness ions react with the cleaning agents found in soap and shampoos curdling it to leave the telltale rings around your tub. This hardness-soap hybrid is also difficult to properly rinse off of your skin.

Soap scum is sticky and can actually make it more difficult to get clean. The excess residue left on your skin can clog pores and make your skin excessively dry. Have you ever heard the term “squeaky clean”? That’s not a good thing when it comes to your body. What you're feeling is a layer of residue on your skin.

When bathing or showering in soft water, your skin won’t dry out because it allows your soaps and shampoos to rinse thoroughly off of your skin and hair. You’ll also use far fewer cleaning products to work up a lather. If you are used to bathing in hard water and just recently had a softener installed, the typical amount of soaps you’ve used in the past may be too much now that it doesn’t have to fight with the dissolved minerals.

Not only will too much soap make soft water feel slippery, the water itself is smoother as well. Since hardness minerals are essentially microscopic pieces of rock, rubbing your fingers together under a stream of water without these abrasive materials in it will have less friction.

Soft Water Bathing Tips

Mom with BabyIt can take some time to get used to the feeling of bathing or showering in soft water. The tips below can make that transition period a little easier, especially when equipped with the knowledge that the silky feeling on your skin means that it’s clean and healthy.

1. Use Pure Soaps: Soap works by pulling oils and grease into small globules, allowing them to be easily washed away from surfaces.

Most soaps contain additives like heavy perfumes or dyes. Some even contain water softening agents in them with the assumption that the user is washing in hard water. Since soft water dramatically increases the effectiveness of your soaps, you don’t need any of these additives to get clean and healthy skin. Search for clear liquid soaps with simple ingredients and the absence of heavy perfumes or dyes.

2. Use Less Soap: As described earlier, you don’t need as much soap to get a strong lather in soft water. A little bit goes a long way. Let the water do its work and save time and money by prolonging the life of your soap bottle.

3. Reap the Benefits: After showering and bathing in soft water, you’ll notice the differences in your skin and hair over time. Your skin will feel moisturized and healthy and the lack of hardness minerals means your hair will clean more easily, without that brittle feeling afterward. 

Evolve series softeners provide the best water softening on the market and are tailored specifically to your home’s unique needs by one of our water experts. If you’re ready to make the transition away from “squeaky clean” to “silky smooth”, call us today to learn more about how we can help!

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Water-Right's Clean Water Center
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Appleton, WI 54914
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