Frequently asked questions regarding soft water: part 1
If you’re considering upgrading to a soft water system, for either your home or your business, it’s understandable if you’ve got a few questions on your mind. Since there are so many myths perpetuated about soft water, it can be difficult at times to separate fact from fiction and truly understand how a soft water system is going to benefit your life after you make the purchase. At Total Soft Water, plenty of people contact us with these kinds of enquiries on a regular basis, and we always try to do our best to help. Certain enquiries tend to crop up time and time again, so here are some of the most common questions we’re asked regarding soft water systems.
Is soft water safe for pets?
In most cases, soft water is fine for pets. However, because there is a higher sodium content in soft water, this can impact the taste (many people prefer soft water, particularly for brewing tea and coffee). If you like the taste of soft water, this isn’t a guarantee that your pet will. If your pet has become accustomed to hard water, it’s important to take note if the pet has been drinking less water because this could lead to dehydration. however, for breeds which have a history of cardiovascular problems, the sodium content in soft water makes it unadvisable for drinking. If you find that your dog does not take to soft water, using filtered water is always a safe and alternative option. One thing is for sure however, washing pets (particularly dogs) in soft water will leave their coats looking cleaner than ever before, well, at least until they go diving into puddles again!
How about for fish?
While it’s true that the chemical composition is different in soft water compared to hard water, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. For instance, soft water fishtanks tend to be more acidic – this is because pure water has a pH of 7, but when carbon dioxide and nitrate are dissolved into it the pH level drops. The benefit of this is that fungal infections are easier to control and the environment will be less suitable for snails to thrive. The downside is that with a lack of proper maintenance, the PH level can plummet without you realising it. To avoid this, it’s best to change the water regularly and strive to perform lots of small water changes rather than one big one. Carbon dioxide generators which promote plant growth should be used with care, as these can also dramatically lower the Ph level. Certain breeds of fish are best suited for soft water tanks, such as: tetras, gouramis, rasboras and more.
Will I need to change the amount of soap I’m currently using for laundry and washing?
Soft water will automatically make your laundry look cleaner and fresher, so you should lower the amount of laundry detergent you use in order for it to rinse out thoroughly. In addition to this, it’s recommended that you also lower the amount of soap you use when bathing. You may find that your skin feels slippery after washing in soft water, but this is because your pores are no longer clogged with soap scum and your body’s natural oils are being extruded from your body. If your skin feels this way this is a good thing! Don’t be tempted to add more soap because your skin feels different, you’re probably just not used to having your pores unclogged.
For more read part 2 of our soft water FAQ.