Why Does Soft Water Make My Skin Feel Slippery?

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Using soft water instead of hard water creates a lot of nice changes around the house. Suddenly everything’s easier to clean. Those annoying water spots stop showing up on clean dishes, and laundry starts to feel soft again, not scratchy. But out of all the soft water perks, one of the most noticeable might be how different it feels on our skin.

When you’ve grown used to showering in hard water, the switch to soft water can seem really strange at first. A lot of times people wonder why their water feels more “slippery” after they’ve gotten their softener installed. It all boils down to water chemistry. Hard water contains certain ions and minerals that make it behave and feel different than soft water—especially with soap.

Hard Water on Your Skin

The calcium and magnesium ions in hard water (which is pretty much all tap water in Central Indiana) make it difficult for soap to lather properly. Hard water is “hard” because it has those particular “hard” minerals dissolved in it. And those minerals make water difficult (or “hard”) to use for cleaning. Their ions react with soap to form that scummy residue around bathtubs. To make matters worse, the minerals can also build into a rock-like scale on faucets and shower heads.

Hard water has similar effects on our hair and skin, but people often don’t notice the damage it’s causing until they start using soft water. The same soap scum that hard water leaves around sinks and tubs can stick to us too. Instead of washing away all the dead skin cells and dirt, rinsing soap with hard water can clog pores and leave behind a layer of residue on our skin. The water minerals actually make it harder for us to get completely clean, and they can even make our skin feel extra-dry after showering.

Soft Water and Soap

Soft water, on the other hand, doesn’t dry out our skin. Because it allows soaps, shampoos, and body washes to rinse better, it often leaves our skin feeling soft or silky. It can feel different because you’re finally touching hydrated skin—it’s a good thing!

When compared to hard water, soft water helps give you a better clean because the soap can lather properly, wash you off, and get thoroughly rinsed. That soft or slippery feeling on your skin is just how your skin is supposed to feel when it’s clean. Since all the soap and dirt are washed away, you can finally feel the natural moisture of your skin. It’s no longer dirtied by leftover hard water minerals or soapy residue.

With soft water, your skin should continue to feel smooth long after your shower. Once those hard water minerals get filtered out, you’re able to rinse off with cleaner, purer water. Even your hair benefits from soft water. Hard water can make hair feel dull and lifeless, but soft water helps it stay shiny and silky. That’s because the soft water works with soaps and shampoos—not against them.

The Clean Feel of Soft Water

Just as your clean dishes and glassware sparkle better with soft water, your skin should actually look and feel cleaner with a home softener too. And because soaps will lather better , you can start to cut your usage in half. Try showering with less shampoo to help the suds rinse completely. Hard water tends to need a large amount of soap to build a lather, but you won’t need as much once you have soft water. You can even cut back on your laundry detergent!

Once you get used to that clean, slippery feeling with soft water, you’ll really start to enjoy you the soft hair and skin you’ve been missing. The right water will give you a better clean—even with less soap. Now isn’t that a great solution?

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