Can I just mix hot soft and cold hard water?

Can I just mix hot soft and cold hard water?
By Mark Timmons
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Can I just mix hot soft and cold hard water?

Dear Water Doctor, We have very hard water (~24 gpg) and dislike the dry skin, holey clothes, and scale deposits on faucets, shower heads, and toilets.   HOWEVER, we also don't want the slick feeling showers that come with softened water. It seems to me softening the hot water only would help (and running a softened cold water line to the clothes washer) yet leave us with showers that were half softened. I have seen some comments online suggesting not to do this, but I am not clear on why. Would a salt-free system work in this situation. Would scale reduction improve clothes washing and dry skin? Thank you!! Michael F. THE WATER DOCTOR RESPONDED: Mike, When you have have soft hot water and hard cold water, you end up with hard water and it will do nothing for your clothes.  The dry skin come from hard water.  Soap combines with calcium and magnesium to encrust the pores of your skin.  You don't get the "slick" feeling because your body oil is getting "sucked up" by the soap curd, calcium and magnesium.  With soft water, you get the slick feeling because the soap fully emulsifies and you do not have soap curd, calcium or magnesium in your pores, and the slickness comes from you own natuarl body oils.  The fact that your skin is not dry is living proof it works. Some people equate the slickness with not rinsing off the soap, when exactly the opposite is true.  If you want to prove that, take a pure soap that has a taste, like Ivory Soap.  Wash one hand in soft water and it will feel slick.  Then wash the other in hard water and you may think it is "squeeky clean."  It's not!  Do a taste test.  You will taste the Ivory (just like when your mother used to wash your mouth out with soap) on the hand washed with hard water, but not on the soft water hand. The soap and soap curd are both a chemical and physical irritant to your skin.  Eliminate the calcium and magnesium and you will go a long way towards eliminating dry skin.  Your clothes will be cleaner, whiter, brigher and last much longer. Fixtures, faucets and appliances will last longer and work better and you will save up to 30% on heating your water. A saltfree system offers none of these benefits although many companies will tell you they do.  That is simply an untruth! So, you have two choices: (1) continue fight the hard water because you don't like the "slick" feeling; or (2) change your mind and realize that the truth of the matter is that you are slick because you are clean. Changing your thinking can truly change you life... for the better!
December 2, 2013
Comments
Jay Dickstein
May 19, 2014 at 9:09 AM
will the salt in your system affect blood pressure?
Mark Timmons
June 9, 2014 at 8:20 AM
Here's a post with more information: https://blog.uswatersystems.com/2014/11/is-softened-water-bad-to-drink/
Michel
July 5, 2014 at 2:55 PM
I'm sorry, but this information is actually incorrect. For most of my life I have lived in the Caribbean, where the tap water is Reverse Osmosis treated. The water is as soft as it gets, and was NEVER slimy or slick. I've also noticed something interesting when using a salt based water softener. Try the following when you're done washing your hands with soap, rinsing them, and they still feel slimy: Rub your hands together thoroughly as if you're trying to create lather...IT LATHERS AGAIN! This is proof that all the soap has not left. Yes, you may be clean, but all the soap hasn't left your skin. THAT'S the real truth about salt softened water. Take it from someone who showered in REAL soft water (reverse osmosis) for over 20 years.
Mark Timmons
July 6, 2014 at 7:49 PM
Michel, Since nothing you say is actually rooted in fact, I will address it paragraph by paragraph. <em>I’m sorry, but this information is actually incorrect. For most of my life I have lived in the Caribbean, where the tap water is Reverse Osmosis treated. The water is as soft as it gets, and was NEVER slimy or slick. </em> <strong>I have showered in Hard Water, salt-softened water, Zero TDS RO water and RO water that was above Zero TDS. If the RO water is near Zero TDS, it absolutely leaves a slick feeling, just like soft water. No question! Do you have a TDS meter to know what the parts per million of the RO water is? I suspect it is over 20, in which case, you won't get that slick feeling.</strong> <em> I’ve also noticed something interesting when using a salt based water softener. Try the following when you’re done washing your hands with soap, rinsing them, and they still feel slimy: Rub your hands together thoroughly as if you’re trying to create lather…IT LATHERS AGAIN! This is proof that all the soap has not left. Yes, you may be clean, but all the soap hasn’t left your skin.</em> <strong>How do I politely say you are totally wrong on this? OK - I just did. None of that is true. I have tried it. Totally false!</strong> <em>THAT’S the real truth about salt softened water. Take it from someone who showered in REAL soft water (reverse osmosis) for over 20 years.</em> <strong>Real soft water falls from the sky and it's called rain and you do feel slick with that too. I have showered in the rain in Haiti. We deal in facts here!</strong>
Jac
December 25, 2014 at 1:03 PM
But what is I can ONLY do the hot water side. I live in a condo. We have had 3 water softener companies out and all three agree the only thing we can do is put a water softener system just prior to the hot water heater..... so are we wasting our money installing a system. Our hardness rating is 15 to 17.
Mark Timmons
December 26, 2014 at 10:29 PM
I cannot see your plumbing so I will have to take their word. However, if you turn your water heater down and use very little cold water, you can have 90% of the benefits if you put it on the hot water!
Rob
March 7, 2017 at 11:41 AM
Would you the water softener be plumbed before the hot water heater so both hot and cold are softened in the home? I've heard that this might damage or kill the outdoor plants. If it is plumbed after the hot water heater, then only hot water will be softened and appliances and faucets through the home will still take a beating from the hard cold water? Thanks for your advice
Mark Timmons
March 15, 2017 at 8:15 PM
Our systems have a bypass valve so that you can bypass it for outdoor watering.
Kelli
March 20, 2017 at 6:44 PM
We are investigating getting a water softener because I'm tired of looking like an alligator. :) Unfortunately we were told years ago, hence the delay, that because our water main comes up to the house directly to the sprinkler system and then tees off (1 line to the water heater in garage and 1 line directly into the house as cold) we would have to put the system out front in a little shed and route the sprinkler system around the house to the rear controls. There is no simple way to have a water softener in our situation. Either spend the money to re-route and bypass the sprinklers, add one on the hot line only, or add compact ones in each bathroom. Got any better ideas? The house was built in 1966 and is not plumbed for ease of a water softener.
Mark Timmons
March 25, 2017 at 8:50 PM
Our water softeners have a bypass valve so that you can buy pass it during irrigation, but that might be a pain. All I know, is if I did not have soft water - I would build a shed. I would not be without one. EVER!