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Can You See the Difference Between Soft and Hard Water?

When I was a teenager, one of my friends had a water softener in her house. I would stay over regularly and I have to tell you: having a shower there was a dream! Although we used the same kind of shower gel at home, it always seemed to lather more in her house, and after the shower, I would have glossy hair and soft skin.

That was in a relatively soft water area in the French countryside. Fast forward 15 years (OK, 20…) and I have lived in considerably more polluted area ever since, using hard water to wash, drink and cook every day. My skin is dry, I have dandruff, plaque builds up quickly despite regular visits to the hygienist, shower screens are frosty two days after being scrubbed… and oh the joy of having little bits of limescale floating in my tea!

Although I always entertained the idea of having a water softener one day, I never looked into them because of the friend I mentioned above. I remember the huge tank they had in their garage. That would never fit in my home (and we have no garage or shed). It was also costing them an absolute fortune. Water softeners were for people who had a large amount of disposable income, or so I thought!

When I first heard of Harvey Water Softeners, their small water softening systems, affordable prices and revolutionary system not requiring any electricity, fiddling with settings or cleaning, I thought it was too good to be true and probably not that efficient. Funny how you jump to conclusions before you look into something a bit more, isn’t it?

I found out more about Harvey Water Softeners, read positive review after positive review and that was that: I wanted my family to become a softened water family!

I booked an appointment for a face-to-face chat about my options and was surprised when Chris and Warren arrived at my house with a demo kit. I could not help but film it. If you doubt the benefits of softened water, you need to watch this video!

In this video, you will see a demonstration of how a Harvey water softener works, and what difference it really makes, through three tests: a precipitation test (to check how hard the water is), a comparison of lather in soft/hard water and a quick cleaning test.

Please note that I haven’t been paid for filming this video, but I will be testing a Harvey Water Softener in my home in exchange for my honest opinion both on my blog and in a series of videos. All comments are unprompted and my excitement at the thought of a soft water shower is genuine!


So, can you see the difference between hard and soft water?

Water is particularly hard in my area and to get a decent lather in the hard water tube, Chris had to add 6 times more soap than in the hard water test tube than the soft water one. That could explain why our skin is so dry and our scalp flaky with knotted, tangled hair every single day!

I cannot wait to see the difference softer water makes on a day-to-day basis. I will definitely keep you updated!

 Wriggly in the bath - Soft Water Baby

Disclosure: We live in a hard water area and we have teamed up with Harvey Water Softeners for 2016. We will bring you regular updates about what it is like to be a softened water family. We received our water softener as part of a trial but all photos, videos and opinions (unless otherwise stated) are my own.



  1. lindy
    03/03/2016 / 1:27 am

    I live in a hard water area too and I can definitely relate to the lime scale in the kettle, it’s awful. I have never used or tried water that has been treated but am interested to find out what you think when you test out the system.

    • Mel
      03/03/2016 / 10:58 am

      So far so good. I am loving it! Have a look at the video: it shows what difference soft water makes. It’s pretty incredible!

  2. 03/03/2016 / 10:48 am

    Isn’t it scary to think what water can be doing to our skin. Water softeners seems the way to go x

    • Mel
      03/03/2016 / 2:48 pm

      I know… Before the demo, I was thinking about what the soft water would be doing, not what disgusting things it would be getting rid of. So glad we have our water softener now!

  3. 03/03/2016 / 11:54 am

    This looks great! I to live in a hard water area and I am always amazed at how much nicer my hair feels when we stay somewhere else. Can’t wait to see the difference the softener makes to you xx

    • Mel
      03/03/2016 / 11:37 pm

      The softener was installed yesterday and already I am noticing how little soap we need to get a decent lather: love it!

  4. 03/03/2016 / 12:06 pm

    I can now see why him indoors from Scotland says London water is terrible compared to what he’s used to. The difference is shocking.

    • Mel
      03/03/2016 / 10:31 pm

      It really is!

  5. Hello Beautiful Bear
    04/03/2016 / 7:51 am

    I definitely think that you can see, feel and taste the different between soft and hard water. My Grandad has a water softener in this house and the tea tastes better for a start! 😉 X

    • Mel
      07/03/2016 / 1:32 am

      Same here: my coffee tastes so much better!

  6. Julie's Family Kitchen
    04/03/2016 / 6:38 pm

    I also live in a very hard water area, which means that kettles and irons only last a couple of years due to the fast build up of limescale. I’m looking forward to hearing more about how you get on with the water softener, keep us posted. xx

    • Mel
      07/03/2016 / 1:31 am

      Julie, this little baby is a life-changer, seriously! I would never go back to hard water in my home, or a water filter: it’s amazing!

  7. 05/03/2016 / 6:30 am

    I think we live in a hard water area but to be honest I don’t think I’ve been anywhere with soft water to compare.

    • Mel
      07/03/2016 / 1:29 am

      You’d notice the difference straight away! My favourite thing is the lather in the kids’ bath: nothing to do with the scum they used to get!

  8. 05/03/2016 / 7:02 am

    How are you getting on with it now? Our water is quite soft so we are lucky I guess but I have definitely been to visit family in other parts of the country and noticed those little bits in the tea – yuck!

    • Mel
      07/03/2016 / 1:30 am

      There’s nothing like a cuppe with floaters in… Yum!

  9. 06/03/2016 / 9:13 am

    I live in the Lake District and so we’re lucky to live in a soft water area. I always feel the difference when we visit friends in hard water areas! x

    • Mel
      07/03/2016 / 1:29 am

      Lucky lady! North London is definitely the worst place I’ve ever lived in when it comes to hard water, and my shiny new water softener is making a huge difference. It feels like I’m having showers in the Alps at the moment (that good!).

  10. 06/03/2016 / 9:49 am

    This looks awesome! We live in a hard water area too. I would love a water softener. Are they expensive? I couldn’t find a price.

    • Mel
      06/03/2016 / 9:49 pm

      I’m in love with mine and I wouldn’t live without it now! The price depends on your house size etc. but if you’re not sure you can have a trial for three months, paying a monthly rental fee of the softener and if you’re not happy with it, you can get your money back!

  11. Charlice Eedu
    21/06/2017 / 6:52 pm

    Hello Mel, thank you for sharing this.

    I like the idea of comparing soft and hard water. Soft water will always be the best for all kinds of home use. It also has a lot of other benefits too. At least, it you can expect cleaner and shinier silverware, glassware, mirrors, tiles, cars, or any plumbing fixtures when you use soft water. You will also get softer skin and clean, smooth hair. And most importantly, reduced soap curd makes cleaning easier and reduces housework.

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