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Why Does Soft Water Feel Slimy?

Why does soft water feel slimy? And does that mean it’s bad for you? In this article, we’ll answer some common questions people have about soft water, such as:

Can Water Be Too Soft?

What’s the Best Soap for Soft Water?

Are There Any Soft Water Skin Problems?      

Is There a Water Softener for Bathing?

But, first, let’s start with the most important question, the one we posed in the title:

Why Does Soft Water Feel Slimy?

Hard water is packed with magnesium and calcium. As a result, mineral deposits and limescale starts to build up all over your house: in the sinks, in the showers, and even on your skin. Soft water replaces those magnesium and calcium ions with sodium ions. The result is soft water, loaded with salt. The salt is what makes the water feel slimy.

After you buy a water softener, you might feel slimy and slippery after you take a shower, like you haven’t gotten all the soap off of you. When calcium and magnesium interact with soap, they form soap curds. These are often insoluble and can get left over on your skin. The same film of soap on your bathtub? That film is on your skin. When you towel off, even though you can’tseethat film, your pores can feel it.

But, maybe now you’ve bought a water softener and youhatethat slimy feeling. It makes you feel disgusting every time you step out of the shower, like you’re a giant slug or something. What are some ways you can sidestep that problem?

One way is to buy a different soap.

What’s the Best Soap for Soft Water?

If you had a serious hard water problem before, you probably also used a lot of soap in order to lather up. In order to minimize that slimy feeling, you should first try to use less soap -- but in some cases, that might make the problem worse. You already feel gross and unclean when you step out of the showernow, you’re not going to feel much better if you use even less soap.

So what’s the best soap for soft water? Simple: 

Are There Any Soft Water Skin Problems?

Dermatologists rage about thebenefits of magnesium andcalcium. Also, the World Health Organization noted in its Geneva Conference that themagnesium and calcium in hard water poses no health risks and is actually supplemental to a healthy diet for a significant portion of the world.

That’s why some people have reported a spike in acne as a result of switching to a salt-based water softener. If your skin was stimulated by the magnesium and calcium before, then getting rid of that magnesium and calcium will get rid of those benefits. It isn’t “soft water skin problems,” really, it’s more like “hard water skinbenefits” -- only now you’re losing out on them.

The problem is that the only way to fix it is to use a soap that gives you the same benefits as hard water: one that’s loaded with calcium and magnesium. Failing that, you could buy skincare products that also have calcium and magnesium in them, but then you might have to apply lotion every day all over your skin, which can be tedious and wildly expensive.

Or you could look into buying a different water softener, especially if you really despise that slick, slippery feeling…

Is There a Water Softener for Bathing?

Are there any water softeners built specifically for bathing? Ones that won’t make you feel so slimy?

Unfortunately, not really. Ion exchange salt-based water softeners decrease the amount of magnesium and calcium in the water, which can give you that “squeaky-clean” feeling.

However, template assisted crystallization systems -- like the ones we sell here at FilterSmart -- work by changing the way that magnesium and calcium interacts with surfaces. It still leaves the magnesium and calcium in the water. It’s just changed form so that it stays suspended.

What does that mean for your baths and showers? Well, if your skin is benefiting from the trace amounts of magnesium and calcium in the water, but your sinks and faucets are building up with massive amounts of limescale, it’s possible to get rid of the negative aspects while keeping the positive.

The other added benefits: you won’t have to regularly refill the salt tank (because there won’t be one) and you won’t have to waste tons of water regenerating the resin (which is causing a lot of water softeners to be outlawed in certain counties).

Conclusion: Why Does Soft Water Feel Slimy?

You may have just bought a new water softener and now every time you step out of the shower you feel like a giant slug. Why isn’t the soap washing off of you anymore? Why does your skin feel soweird?

Well, it’s likely just because you’ve gotten used to the soap curds that get left over when you bathe in extremely hard water. Now that your water softener is completely getting rid of that magnesium and calcium, the slimy feeling is here to stay.

However, there might be some added skin benefits to magnesium and calcium, even in hard water. Some people have reported a spike in acne as the result of using a salt-based softener. Why might that be? Their skin might have been receiving much-needed nutrients from the magnesium and calcium in hard water.

So, is there a way to get rid of the slimy feeling while still getting rid of limescale? Are there any water softeners made specifically for bathing? Well, no. But water conditioners based on template assisted crystallization, like those we sell at FilterSmart, will minimize that slimy feeling while also minimizing limescale build-up.

If you just can’t stand the feeling that your water is too slimy, look into buying a FilterSmart system. If you find that even our softeners feel too slimy, that’s okay. We offer a 90 day satisfaction guarantee, or your money back.

Check out our store to learn more.

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