View Full Version : Hard vs. Soft Water and the effect on soap

October 11th, 2008, 01:37 AM
So far I know that Oregon and Washington are soft water. Australia or at least part of it is soft. San Francisco is hard.

You may ask yourself why is this important?

The answer seems to be which shampoo bars will work on your hair and which soaps will work for you.

Everybody let us know your country or states water hardness for when people travel or are trying new products.

October 11th, 2008, 01:57 AM

I found the map link for the United states.:disco:

October 11th, 2008, 04:01 AM
Scotland's apparently quite soft, though I've heard the south of England (London area) isn't. I do know that our tap water here tastes absolutely amazing; it's the first time I've ever tasted tap water that I actually like.

October 11th, 2008, 04:31 AM
The tap water here (Adelaide, Australia) is quite hard, but in Sydney it's soft and makes my hair very soft and fluffy (unfortunately, the Sydney climate is not at all to my liking - it's hot and muggy and my hayfever plays up like woah!)

I've tried one sort of shampoo bar here at home, and it really didn't work at all for me, although that might be because of my hair type - but it also really didn't lather at all. I might try it again when I next go to Sydney to see if it's different.

October 11th, 2008, 12:03 PM
I am in the states on the east coast, and here in upper Maryland the water is horribly hard. It contains alot of iron, so bad things are turned orange and a magnet dropped in a water filter will show metal build up. Blonde hair has turned strawberry on me. not fun.

might i add i have well water, town water i believe is pre filtered but i don't know for sure.

I noticed that with hard water i use more soap to get that"clean" feeling vrs soft water were i use less and my skin is soft and carries a nice look.

October 11th, 2008, 01:34 PM
Phoenix has very hard water, between 428 to 700 ppm TDS (total dissolved solids).

You can find out your city's/town's water quality at the EPA's website:


This link has a good intro on water salinity:


October 11th, 2008, 03:33 PM
According to the map, Los Angeles has "very hard" water, but where I am in Eagle Rock, it doesn't seem that hard. I don't have any build up on my tub or anything, and there is a big difference between the water here and in San Francisco, which also shows "very hard".

October 12th, 2008, 04:51 PM
Where I am in Oregon, the eastern side of the Willamette Valley, it's actually a tad hard. It has a lot of sulfur in the water, and my hair seems to shed more than with the city water (more Iron Ions). Who knows?


October 12th, 2008, 07:15 PM
Where I am in Oregon, the eastern side of the Willamette Valley, it's actually a tad hard. It has a lot of sulfur in the water, and my hair seems to shed more than with the city water (more Iron Ions). Who knows?

Good to know. I'm pretty sure that we will find these difference in every state/country. It is great to know.

Also from Ore EE gun

October 13th, 2008, 01:46 AM
Well I am in South central Alaska and we get our water from BEAUTIFUL glacier-fed Lake Eklutna. It's soft, though not the softest possible (about 3 grain of hardness) and tastes amazing. Far better than any bottled. My body soap suds amazingly without any washcloth or puff and shampoos do the same.

The only thing that tastes better is my MIL's well water from the same area but it's SUPER hard - so tasty, but bad for hair!

October 13th, 2008, 09:57 PM
We have hard water and our friends who live an hour away have soft water. I find I don't like soft water and it can be due to the fact I have had hard water all my life and have continued to use products I know work with my water.

When I showe at my friends or even wash my hands it feels like the soap will not wash off no matter what I do.

October 13th, 2008, 10:06 PM
I found the water report for my town in WV, and in spite of the fact that on the other map it says I should have "very hard" water, WV-American water is saying that we're at 3-4 grains per gallon. That is classified as "moderately hard" on the map. I find that figure VERY hard to believe, because my water sure as heck ACTS like hard/very hard water. It is possible that the city filters out quite a bit of stuff, though.

ETA: And for the record, my water and shampoo bars to not mix. At all. It gives me what I call "crayon hair," which means this horrible waxy buildup forms on it very, very rapidly, to the point that it actually starts to look like some weirdo crayon. shudder:

October 13th, 2008, 10:47 PM
From my experience of different parts of the UK; The London area has hard water, the water in Scotland is lovely and soft. The water in Cornwall is soft and I've never been able to work out the water in Devon despite visiting every year for the last 10 years.

For France, Britanny has soft water whereas my part of Provence has hard