Soap and Hard Water
Soaps behave differently in hard water than soft and it’s not good behavior. Soaps in soft water are able to function as a cleaning agent whereas soaps in hard water are not. The same amount of soap in soft water will form more suds than it will in hard water. This is because hardness minerals react and combine with soap. This new combination of hardness bound with soap is not able to form suds, it is not available as a cleaning agent.
A second consequence of hardness bound with soaps is the creation of a curdy precipitate. This precipitate will deposit on and stick to the surfaces of tubs, showers, sinks etc. These deposits are what we typically call soap scum. The curdy precipitate will also stick to and build up on your laundry. Your laundry will be grey, dingy, yellowing, rough and scratchy. Another point to keep in mind is that soap scum or the curdy precipitate sticks to you too. You will notice soap scum when bathing or washing your hair. Soap scum is not harmful but, is unsightly at the least. Soap scum does require cleaning chemicals and extra work to remove.
It is possible to add enough soap so that all the hardness minerals in the water are bound to soap and able to form scum. Any soap added after all the minerals are bound will behave normally, it will form suds and it will be able to clean. Once enough soap has been added to the water to overcome hardness the portion that has bound with the hardness remains bound and all the curdy precipitate problems remain.
What does soap and hard water mean to you?
Hard water is expensive, it can cost you in many ways. When it comes to soap you will be buying and using more to overcome the hard water problem, some say as much as 50% to 75% more soap is needed when the water is hard. How much of your soap is wasted turning to a curdy precipitate? This depends of the total untreated hardness in your water and your overall water chemistry.
You will also be spending more time and effort washing your hair, using more hair conditioners. More time will be spent cleaning your home and more money will be spent buying the cleaning chemicals. Not only will you be living with grey, dingy, rough and scratchy laundry you will be spending more money replacing clothes, towels and bedding more frequently as they just don’t get clean.
If you’ve got hard water, there are a couple of ways to reduce or eliminate these soap problems. Softening with a salt softener or conditioning with PolyHalt®, so that the hardness minerals are no longer able to react with soaps in the water. PolyHalt® is an excellent alternative to a salt softener. PolyHalt® effectively conditions the water by binding up the hardness minerals so they cannot react or bind with soap so they can’t form a curdy precipitate.
Once hardness minerals are removed or are conditioned soap is able to form suds, there is no curdy precipitate and no soap scum formation. Your laundry will stay whiter, brighter and softer longer. Shampoos are able to perform at their best in conditioned water your so your hair will come clean faster too.
About the photo:
These bottles have the same 14 grain hard water in them. One drop of dish soap was added to each and they were shaken. As you can clearly see, the one on the right has made much more suds. The one on the left is not treated, hardness has bound with the soap not allowing it to make suds. The hardness in the one on the right was treated with PolyHalt®. PolyHalt® sequestered the hardness preventing it from reacting with the soap and the soap is free to form suds.