Hard Water vs. Salt Water: What’s The Difference?

Hard Water vs Salt Water: What’s The Difference?

Hard water and salt water both contain a unique set of dissolved minerals. You might wonder why two different terms describe water containing mineral salts. If you’ve come across either, or if your skin has come in contact with one or the other, you might think about how these two types of water are set apart besides their basic components. What distinguishes the two types?

The difference between hard and salt water lies in its mineral components. Hard water contains a noticeable amount of dissolved mineral salts of magnesium and calcium, whereas salt water is water with dissolved 3% sodium chloride salts. Salt water can be found at sea and found at home, in the form of table salt. However, hard water is a natural build-up of minerals as it moves through underground pipes.

If you’re confused about the complexities these waters bring, bear with us. Keep reading to learn more about the key differences between salt water and hard water.

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What Are the Main Differences between Hard and Salt Water?

Hard water and salt water have similarities, but they are not exactly the same. Apart from the differences in composition, mentioned above, hard water and salt water have contrasting effects on the human body.

You know that salt water has more sodium chloride, but if you want to explore the different ways these types of water affect us further, read on below:

1. Different Reactions to Skin

Similar to hard water, salt water does dry out the skin a little. However, studies show that salt water actually calms the skin instead of aggravating it or causing skin problems like eczema and psoriasis.

Salt water does not clog your pores but instead removes the excess oil, which is beneficial if you experience acne. It also protects scrapes and heals sores, whereas hard water provokes flare-ups and breakouts.

However, too much salt water on the skin can also prove damaging because it can affect the layers of your skin by killing the skin cells.

2. Suitability for Drinking

Both types of water react differently in the body when you drink it.

Hard water’s magnesium and calcium help balance our intake of these minerals and play a protective role against several health care problems.

Salt water, on the other hand, poses a different, more threatening situation for your body.

You’re in for several health problems if you drink salt water excessively. Although, occasional drinking can actually prove helpful in digestion and the flushing of toxins.

However, you will experience diarrhea, kidney damage, and dehydration if you consume too much salt water.

3. Usage Around the House

Salt water’s uses are not confined to skincare alone but can be useful around your entire house.

Salt water can remove coffee, tea, wine, and lipstick stains. It also helps in cleaning kitchen utensils and keeping your kitchen dishware residue-free!

On the complete opposite side of the scale, hard water can’t provide any such benefits around your house.

In fact, in the case of hard water, you’re recommended not to use it excessively as it creates white stains or soap scum on appliances and utensils.

For easy maintenance and cleansing, fill your containers with salt water and get to work, but you better get your water softeners and avoid stains if you have hard water.

4. Effects on the Hair and Scalp

If your house is supplied with hard water, you’ll often find films on your scalp, and your hair will eventually start thinning.

This is because of clogged pores; your shampoo has had a bad reaction with hard water, and ultimately your hair will be left dry and prone to breakages.

In contrast, salt water can be used to relieve irritated, dry, and flaky scalps. It also aids in exfoliating the scalp and gives you healthy nutrient-filled hair.

With the right precautions and procedures, salt water can be a true pacifier for damaged hair and can even make it all the more silky and smooth.

Other than the difference in some of their components, and the extra saltiness in its taste, many of the differences can be found in the after-effects of using either hard or salt water.

Generally hard water is more commonly found in households, whereas salt water can be used as a remedy for several tasks around your house.


Is Salt Water the Same as Hard Water?

Salt water is not the same as hard water, but we can consider it a form of hard water. However, salt water’s effects on the body and skin are completely opposite to that of hard water. Salt water also has more uses within a household, whereas hard water is not recommended for domestic use.

Moreover, they both vary in their components, as salt water contains more sodium chloride and hard water has a greater proportion of calcium and magnesium phosphates.

Should I Increase my Intake of Salt Water?

No, you should not increase your intake of salt water as it can cause more dehydration than it causes water replenishment. As opposing as it may sound, drinking no water is better than drinking salt water.

If gone above a certain level, then serious adverse effects on health could be experienced. The best option is to contact a specialist and act upon their advice.

Final Thoughts

At first glance, salt water and hard water do not have any major differences. Both types of water are rich in magnesium, calcium, and zinc.

However, these minute similarities do not surmount the vast differences in the benefits and threats each type of water poses. The disparity between them lies in different areas, where one is suitable and the other isn’t.

It won’t be sensible to treat both salt and hard water the same. Both types of water are usable once you’ve taken the correct precautions. Make sure you know your water before using it.

The Filter Guy

Scott Birch is a water filtration installer and designer. He has worked in the industry for many years and is very familiar with and knowledgeable about residential water treatment equipment. Scott enjoys helping people get the most out of their water filtration systems and ensuring that their homes are getting the best possible quality of water.

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