Why does soft water feel slimy

You’ve probably noticed that when you use soft water, it feels a little slimy. You may have even wondered why this is. After all, water is supposed to be clean and refreshing, right? The truth is, there’s a scientific reason why you experience a silky feeling when using soft water. In this blog post, we’ll explore the science behind soft water and why it feels slimy to the touch. We’ll also offer some tips on how to avoid this feeling if you’re not a fan of it.

What causes the slippery feeling in soft water?

What causes the slippery feeling in soft water?

When water contains a high concentration of minerals, it is referred to as hard water. Hard water is not harmful to your health but can be a nuisance. Soft water, on the other hand, has a lower concentration of minerals and feels slippery to the touch.

The feeling of slippery soft water is caused by the soap molecules reacting to the mineral ions in the water. When you add soap to hard water, the soap molecules are repelled by the minerals and float on top of the water. This is why hard water often leaves behind a soapy film.

Hard water contains more minerals than soft water. These minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, can make hard water feel less slimy. This is because the minerals can interact with soap to create a film on your skin. When you use more water to rinse, these soap scuds can wash away the natural oils and leave your skin and hair feeling dry.

The slimy feeling you get after bathing with soft water is simply the hydration of your own skin without the soap film caused by hard water.

Soft water does not have the problem of leaving soapy scuds. It allows the soap to dissolve more quickly and creates a richer lather. As a result, soft water is often used in shampoos and other personal care products.

In addition to feeling slippery, soft water also has a number of other benefits. For example, it is easier on your skin and hair, and it can prolong the life of your clothes.

How do you make softened water less slimy?

How do you make softened water less slimy?

If your soft water feels slimy, there are a few things you can do to make it less so:

  1. You can try using less soap when you wash yourself or your dishes. Or, you can use only pure soaps. This will help to cut down on the amount of suds that are produced.
  2. You can install a water softener in your home. This will remove some of the minerals that are causing the sliminess.
  3. You can simply rinse off with clean water after bathing or washing dishes to remove any remaining soap residue.

You can also try switching to higher-quality pure soaps. Most soaps contain additives like heavy perfumes or dyes. Some even include water-softening agents in them with the assumption that you’re washing in hard water.

Soft water, however, is much more effective than hard water when it comes to soap effectiveness. So if you want better cleaning, search for clear soaps with simple ingredients and the absence of these additives.

Getting used to soft water is an adjustment, but it is better for you in the long run. There are several benefits to using softened water:

  1. It can help to save money on your monthly water bill. Softened water requires less soap and detergent to get things clean, and less water, so you will save on water bills.
  2. Softened water can extend the life of your plumbing by preventing limescale buildup.
  3. Many people find that their skin and hair feel better after using softened water for bathing and washing because soft water does not remove the natural oils in your body.

How can you tell if your water is too soft?

How can you tell if your water is too soft?

If your water is too soft, it can feel slimy. This is because soft water contains less minerals than hard water. Minerals help to give water its body and structure. When there are fewer minerals in the water, it can feel slippery and slimy.

If you’re not sure whether your water is too soft, you can test it at home with a simple kit from the hardware store. Or, you can bring a sample of your water to a local water testing lab.

What are the disadvantages of having soft water?

While there are several benefits that soft water provides, there are also a few disadvantages, such as the following:

  • Soft water is bad for the health of certain individuals. The University of Kentucky has found that increased sodium levels in soft water can make it harmful to people with sensitive stomachs, such as those with high blood pressure or diabetes.

This increase in sodium comes from the ion exchange process, where the water’s minerals are exchanged for sodium or potassium ions.

  • Plant life is extremely sensitive to sodium levels. As a result, it could be helpful to support plants with soft water, which is naturally high in it, although too much sodium is also not good for plants.

On the other hand, using hard water can cause blockages in the plant’s root system. Distilled water would be best for plants.

  • Soft water is unsafe for fish, particularly when it comes to pH. Fish need strict levels, but a soft water source is very susceptible to fluctuating pH levels.

Even something as small as adding fish waste can change the pH of the water and make it unsafe for your fish.

What is the difference between soft water from salt-free water softeners and soft water from salt-based water softeners?

Salt-based water softener

Salt-based water softener

Salt-based water softeners work by passing water through resin beads containing sodium, which exchanges the calcium and magnesium ions in the water for sodium ions. The softened water then flows out of the tank and into your home.

Salt-free water softener

Salt-free water softeners use a process called Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC) to alter the state of calcium and magnesium ions from the water, i.e., into crystals. These crystals don’t stick to any surface. They condition the hard water that flows out of the unit and into your home.

Both types of water softeners will remove the calcium and magnesium ions from the water. However, salt-based water softeners will also add sodium ions to the water, while salt-free water softeners will not.

Salt-free water softener

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What are the benefits of soft water?

When it comes to water, soft water is often thought of as being better for you than hard water. Soft water is free of minerals, making it less likely to cause dry skin or leave behind deposits on your hair and clothing.

In addition, soft water can also help extend the life of your appliances by preventing the buildup of mineral deposits. Some other benefits of soft water include:

  • Soft water leaves behind less soap scum.
  • Soft water can help reduce energy costs associated with heating water.
  • Soft water can improve the taste of beverages and food prepared with it.
  • Soft water can help extend the life of plumbing and household appliances by reducing the mineral deposits buildup.

2. Why does soft water not rinse off soap?

Soap is made up of two parts, fatty acid, and an alkali. The fatty acid portion is what allows the soap to dissolve dirt and oil, while the alkali neutralizes acids and gives the soap its cleaning properties. When soap comes into contact with water, it breaks down and releases fatty acids.

Hard water contains minerals like calcium and magnesium that react with the fatty acids, preventing them from being rinsed away. It leaves a soap film on your skin that can feel slimy or slippery. Soft water doesn’t contain these minerals, so the fatty acids are rinsed away more efficiently, leaving your skin feeling clean and refreshed.

3. Does soft water make hair frizzy?

When you use soft water to wash your hair, you don’t have the hardness-causing minerals around your hair follicles. These follicles maintain their natural oils and protect your hair. So, soft water does not make your hair frizzy. 

When hair is dry and brittle, it is more likely to frizz. Without natural oils, hair may become frizzy and unmanageable.

If you have soft water and still find that it makes your hair frizzy, there are a few things that you can do to combat this problem.

First, try using a clarifying shampoo or conditioner once a week to remove any buildup from your hair.

Second, use a deep conditioning treatment on your hair regularly to help keep it hydrated and healthy.

Finally, consider using a leave-in conditioner or serum to help smooth down flyaways and tame frizziness.

4. Can soft water cause stomach problems?

No scientific evidence supports the claim that soft water can cause stomach problems. However, some people may experience gastrointestinal discomfort after drinking soft water because of its high sodium content.

If you have low sodium tolerance and a sensitive stomach, you may want to avoid drinking softened water or consume it in moderation.

5. Is bottled water soft water?

Yes, bottled water is soft water. It can be mineral water or spring water. Hard water contains a higher concentration of minerals, including calcium and magnesium. Bottling companies ensure a lower level of minerals while purifying the water of other contaminants.

However, some bottled water may be harder than others, i.e., mineral water bottles. You can see the information on their labels.


Softened water offers several benefits by removing high hardness levels from the water. It results in using fewer soaps and shampoos, and other cleaning supplies. For example, if you continue to use too much soap as you would when using hard water, you are likely to experience a slimy feeling.

This article aims to explain the effects of softened water and its benefits. It also explains why soft water may feel slippery. However, you can counter this by using less soap once you get used to the difference between hard and soft water.

About The Author

Our Web Producer

Judith— a passionate water treatment specialist — is a waste water management enthusiast, clean drinking water advocate, and someone with deep personal experience and knowledge about various water equipments. Her work was mentioned in countless notable water associations. Previously she was an editor at Water Alliance.