There is some conflicting information about the safety of softened water and hard water safety and if they are safe to drink, which is understandable since water is one of the most important things in life.
We will look at how both are safe to drink for the majority of people, how the minerals in hard water do not absorb into our bodies very easily, and how to get the salt removed from the softened water if there are health concerns.
Can You Drink Water from a Water Softener?
You can most certainly drink water from a water softener. You cannot only drink water from a water softener but depending on the hardness of your water originally, it will put little to no salt in the water. Meaning you can drink water that has almost no effect on your daily consumption of salt.
The harder the water, the more salt goes into softening water and in turn, puts more salt in your drinking water. For cases where your water is very hard (10 grains or more), there is a possibility of the excess sodium amounts being in your water.
If you have health concerns or dietary restrictions, then this is where you may need to find a different water source for your daily needs.
How Do Water Softeners Treat Hard Water?
Water softeners treat hard water by creating an ion exchange where the minerals that make up hard water are removed and exchanged for sodium getting put into the system.
Ion-exchange water softeners are going to be the only softeners that end up removing the majority of minerals from the water instead of just some of them or just preventing scaling on pipes.
You can get two types of pellets for water softeners to perform this ion exchange. One will be a salt-based pellet that will be cheaper, and then there will be a potassium-based pellet that will be more expensive. Both pellets will be the only products in ion-exchange softeners that will truly treat hard water and remove minerals.
Which Water Is Better to Drink Hard Water or Soft Water and Why?
For drinking water, it will depend on factors from health, to taste, to feel.
If you have health conditions or dietary restrictions with salt, then depending on how much salt is in your water from softening it, hard water will be better for you to drink.
The minerals in hard water will not hurt you at all because of them being inorganic. Meaning your body will have a difficult time absorbing and utilizing them and the health benefits can be negligible for hard water.
If you like the taste and feel of hard water, then hard water will get you to drink more water, so it would be a better choice for you.If you like the taste and feel of soft water and have no dietary restrictions with salt, then soft water will get you to drink more and be the better option.
Drinking Softened Water Side Effects
If you are using salt-based instead of potassium-based ion exchange for creating soft water, some of the side effects can arise(1). You are adding extra salt to your daily intake, which can create health concerns for high blood pressure or diabetes.
- You will be losing a mineral source for calcium and magnesium that may need to be supplemented in other dietary changes.
- You may not like to drink soft water anymore due to the taste changing completely for it. This can be remedied easily enough by adding some fresh lemon, a pinch of apple cider vinegar, or making tea more often.
- You may have extra iron or lead in your water from the water softener depending on the type of pipes you have. You will need an extra filter and to clean your water softener more often to remedy this.
Can You Filter Softened Water for Drinking?
You can filter softened water for drinking, so it does not have the added sodium or potassium that the ion exchange adds to the water(2). In the ion-exchange process, the particles are too small for normal filters, so you will need to get a reverse osmosis filter installed where you want to drink water from.
You can filter the water in small batches using the only other filtering method with distilling the water. Distilling is boiling water and collecting the steam and condensing it. While this will become pure water, it will also be very time and energy-consuming.
The better method that still costs time and maintenance to replace filters will be the more expensive reverse osmosis filter.
How to Make Softened Water Drinkable
If you have no issues with the taste, feel, or having a little added sodium to your diet then your softened water is perfectly fine to drink already(3). You can make softened water drinkable by doing a couple of different things:
A Hard Water Tap
This will allow you to have close to the same tasting water as before and allow everywhere else in your house to have soft water still.
Reverse Osmosis Filter
This is the preferred solution so as to have as pure of drinking water as possible since you will only be filtering out sodium or potassium with the already soft water going to your faucet and allowing the filter to last a long time.
This is for those who just need a little bit of water and have the time and energy to perform this labor-intensive task.
The easiest solution if you just do not like the taste and are fine with a little added salt to your diet, then making it into a tea or adding fruit for added flavor will be the healthiest and most nutrition-rich solutions easy to do.
Frequently Asked Questions
How to Drink Softened Water?
If you have no dietary restrictions, you will be perfectly fine to drink softened water that has added sodium to it. If you do not like the taste you can get a hard water tap, or a reverse osmosis filter, or add in more nutrients by drinking tea or adding fruits to your water when you drink it.
Is It Safe to Drink Softened Water When Pregnant?
There are no clear signs or evidence for the effects of softened water being dangerous at all to drink while pregnant. With that, you should not use soft water to prepare baby feed for the first six weeks for a newborn.
Adding sodium can affect newborns and their kidneys since they have not developed enough and no longer have your kidneys filtering out salt for them.
Is It Safe to Drink Water Softened with Potassium Chloride?
If you have kidney disease or are seriously compromised in health, you can have an adverse reaction to too much extra potassium in your diet.
For the majority of people, the added potassium will not only help them and be healthier but will end up helping their gardens and yards as well since potassium is a vital piece of nutrition for different vegetation as a bonus.
Is It Safe to Drink Filtered Softened Water?
It is very safe to drink filtered water, especially when you are drinking water that has gone through a reverse osmosis filter. Drinking water from one of these filters is one of the purest forms of water you will get on tap.
Is Soft Water Good for Your Skin?
Your skin will not know how much to thank you for no longer having all the extra minerals from hard water drying it out and causing oil imbalances from overproduction or underproduction of the oils your skin uses to stay healthy. It may even be the first time your skin will really feel silky smooth and not squeaky or dry.
Despite popular belief, the minerals in hard water are difficult for our bodies to absorb since they are inorganic and not primed for body absorption. Softened water will not have that much salt in it compared to some other drinks if it is not working overtime to remove minerals.
If you have a low salt diet or dietary restrictions for health, there are ways to remove the salt from your softened drinking water.