Water Softeners

A woman enjoys a hot shower.Why Does Soft Water Feel Slimy in the Shower?

Have you ever noticed water that feels somehow different from other water? Whether water makes you feel slimy, slippery, or crunchy, there’s no doubt that the sensation can often be unpleasant. These sensations—and more importantly, the chemical composition of the water itself—is what gave rise to the terms “hard water” and “soft water.” As many homeowners are aware, hard water can cause a range of problems and inconveniences, from damaged clothing to stiff hair, which has led to the rise in the popularity of water softeners. Unfortunately, some people find that after having their water softener installed, they notice that water feels slimy when they shower. What causes this problem, and can it be avoided?

The Differences Between Hard and Soft Water

The key to understanding the way different water feels lies in its chemistry. When tap water is described as “hard,” it contains both calcium and magnesium mineral deposits. These minerals are what cause hard water to feel rough—and they’re also what cause limescale buildup on toilets, tubs, and sinks. To counteract these minerals, water softeners use various salts to alter the chemistry in the water. The softened water thus feels slightly different on the skin than the previous shard water.

Why You Feel Slimy After a Shower

Now that you understand the difference between hard and soft water, you might be wondering how to fight the feeling of sliminess after a shower. Unfortunately, that feeling is one that you will likely have to get used to, but that might not be such a bad thing. After bathing in hard water, most people report that it feels slightly rougher. This, in turn, might lead them to believe that they’re getting cleaner with hard water, when in fact the opposite is true. When hard water interacts with soap, it often creates a concoction that many people recognize as soap scum. Anyone who’s had to scrub scum from a bathtub knows that it loves to stick just about anywhere it can—including your skin. When bathing in hard water, remnants of soap and minerals are often left behind on your body, leading to a rougher texture that is easy to grow accustomed to. After a water softener is installed, these deposits and residues are able to be fully rinsed from the body. The resulting skin texture sometimes feels slimy, slippery, or uncomfortable at first, but most homeowners become used to it over time, especially as they begin to notice all the other benefits of softened water, including improved skin.

The Water Softener Experts

At Florida Energy Water & Air, we’ve been working with residential water softening systems for decades, and we’ve installed countless systems in homes across the state. If you have questions about water treatment and whether you could benefit, we’re the only team you need to call. Contact us today to find out more about water softeners and what to expect when you have one installed at your home.
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