We often get asked about the way soft water feels. Some customers who have a water softener installed in their home notice that their skin feels “slippery” after a bathing or using soap. Occasionally, the comment is made that “My water is too soft! I can’t rinse the soap off!” While this reaction is not uncommon, the cause is likely different then you except.
So, what causes that slippery feeling? Clean skin! More specifically, the absence of soap residue and the presence of natural oils in your skin.
Hard water leaves an insoluble soap film or residue on you, causing your hair and skin to “squeak”. The soap industry was aware of this condition and many manufacturers perpetuated this misinformation with their commercials about “squeaky clean”. Because most of us grew up with hard water “squeaky clean” was all we knew. Thanks to the soap company marketing its no wonder we all believed that we were our cleanest when our skin and hair squeaked.
We know now that “squeaky clean” is not clean at all; it should be called “squeaky scummy”. All those years of “squeaking” was because of hard water and the invisible soap scum film it left behind on our hair and skin. This film causing our skin, scalp and hair to really be overly dry and can irritate those with sensitive skin. Soap scum film builds up on hair, weighting it down and making it brittle and lifeless and this same buildup on our skin makes it feel dry and itchy. Hard water also causes that soap scum and other mineral deposits to develop anywhere there is soap and water used, like your tubs, showers and sinks.
All this hard water sounds terrible and that’s why you elected to install a water softener. Congratulations for making such a smart decision for you and your home! Soft water also does not leave scum on your skin, scalp, hair. Software inhibits these deposits in your water using appliances and wetted surfaces in your home. This leads us to the true answer to question “why does soft water feel slippery?”.
Soft water leaves your skin and hair “hydrated and clean”, not squeaky. Since water is wet and there is not scummy film on your skin to cause friction, the water feels “slippery”. Additionally, because you can wash away 100% of the soap and there is no soap scum covering your skin you are feeling natural oils in your skin that are otherwise hidden. That slippery feeling is the indication of healthy, clean skin and hair.
With soft water, you can rinse as much as you like but the slippery feeling will not go away! The soap is long gone and you are simply very clean skin. Within minutes of drying off, you will notice how soft your skin feels—almost as if you applied skin lotion. Soft skin is healthy, clean skin! Once you experience and understand the wonderful clean feeling of soft water, you’ll never want to be without it again. Your skin, hair, appliances and plumbing will thank you.