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!