Why is my water SO SLIPPERY!
Are you occasionally dropping shampoo bottles in the shower now that you have a water softener? Are dishes slipping out of your hands while washing them in the sink? Does your skin feel silky or slippery after a bath? These are all widespread occurrences with people who have recently installed a water softener after many years of living with hard water.
The word “slippery” is often used to describe soft water, which is how water is supposed to feel. How your water feels when it hits your skin has everything to do with the type of minerals in it. Believe it or not, your skin can distinguish between hard and soft water.
We all know there are numerous benefits to ridding your hard water for soft water, like increased longevity of your water appliances and keeping your plumbing running smoothly, but one thing often overlooked is soft water allows us to cut back on soap and detergent usage while ultimately allowing us to feel clean.
Hard Water Bathing
Hard water is a term used to describe water that contains excessive amounts of dissolved minerals (typically magnesium or calcium). You will notice these minerals in your water by the white residue they leave behind on your plumbing and fixtures after the water dries. These minerals are also why hard water may feel heavier and more abrasive on your skin.
When you take a shower or a bath, chemicals in soap react with the hard minerals in your water, causing it to curdle, leaving a soap scum that is difficult to rinse. This leftover residue can clog your pores and even dry out your skin. If you have ever dried off after taking a shower and noticed your skin felt “squeaky clean,” you are feeling leftover soap scum on your body.
You also need to use a lot more soap when cleaning in hard water. So, if the one squirt of dish soap into a sink full of dishes that you usually see in all of the commercials doesn’t seem to be enough at your house, you may be dealing with one of the issues that come with hard water. This is where the importance of soft water comes into play.
You will need to install a water softener to remove hard water minerals from your water causing this film and causing you to use way more soap than the commercials. Water softeners use an ion exchange process to remove the hardness from your water. The negatively charged resin beads (ions) inside the media tank remove positively charged calcium and magnesium minerals. When the resin beads inside the tank have collected all the hard water minerals they can hold, the water softener will “regenerate” by rinsing the media tank with a saltwater solution called brine. This process restores the resin beads to normal so more hard water can be treated through the softener.
The absence of these tiny grains of minerals makes the water feel smoother and helps soaps rinse away cleaner, so you no longer have that soap scum buildup on your skin.
My Soft Water is Too Slippery!
Believe it or not, “slippery” is how soft water should feel. If you are used to hard water, your first encounter with soft water while showering may make you feel slippery or slimy. What often happens is after your water is free of calcium and magnesium, you no longer feel that heavy abrasiveness from the minerals when the water touches your skin.
When bathing or showering in soft water, your skin won’t dry out because the soap scum can be rinsed off more thoroughly. You will also notice you need a lot less soap than you did with hard water to work up a good lather. Pouring three or four times as much shampoo as you need for your type of water will make all your bottles much more challenging to hang on to. Feeling too slippery is often the result of using the same amount of soap or cleaning products you were accustomed to using when you were using hard water.
Tips to Reduce the Slippery Feeling of Soft Water
Less is More: Hard water inhibits shampoos, body wash, dish soap, detergents, etc., from working as they should, which means we have to use more for it to work how we want. If you have had a water softener installed and you’re still using large amounts of soap to compensate for the effects of hard water, you’re using too much, making things slippery and difficult to hang on to. We typically recommend people cut back to using only 1/3 to 1/2 of what they’re used to because that’s all you need with soft water.
Use Pure Soap or Make Your Own: Making soap at home can be a great way to counter that silky slippery feeling. Un-natural soap can contain chemicals, perfumes, and water-softening agents to counteract the hard water it expects the user to have. If you already have soft water, this can double the effects of your soap, making it harder to rinse off. The other benefit of DIY soap is you know exactly what natural additives you are applying to your skin.
Adapting to soft water can be challenging for some at first, but the long-term benefits far outweigh the initial concerns you may have. Find your authorized WaterCare dealer today to schedule a consultation and learn more about what to expect after switching to soft water.