9 Shocking Side Effects of Drinking Softened Water No One Tell You

It’s worthwhile to consider any side effects of drinking softened water. Some studies have shown that regular consumption of softened water can lead to an increase in sodium levels in the body over time which could pose health risks for specific individuals. For sensitive people, consuming large amounts of softened water can lead to health concerns, including increased blood pressure, decreased potassium levels, and increased uric acid levels.

When drinking softened water, it’s essential to be aware of its potential side effects.  If you plan to drink softened water, it is necessary to limit your intake before consulting with a physician if you have any concerns. As with all things, moderation is key when consuming softened water. 

To fully comprehend the topic of Side effects of drinking softened water, it is necessary first to understand the definition of softened water, its softening methods, and its typical applications. Once this foundation is laid, addressing any potential side effects from consuming softened water is crucial. 

Additionally, knowing how to use softened water to avoid any adverse effects properly is critical.

What is softened water?

what is softened water

Softened water is a type of water that has gone through a process to remove minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. This process, known as water softening, helps protect pipes and appliances from scale buildup caused by these hard minerals. Softened water also helps soap lather and rinse away more quickly, so it’s often used in households with hard water. 

How is softened water produced? 

Softened water is produced by a process known as ion exchange. Complex ions like calcium and magnesium are exchanged with softer ions like sodium or potassium. This process helps to reduce buildup in pipes and appliances, making it easier for soap to lather and rinse away more effectively. The softening process also helps to protect plumbing fixtures and appliances from corrosion. 

Some other effective ways to soften water:

  • Using Baking Soda: Baking soda can also soften hard water. To do this, add 1/4 cup of baking soda per gallon of water and stir until the soda is dissolved. This technique works best for smaller volumes, such as a sink or bathtub full of water. However, it is recommended for only a portion of the amount, such as an entire house supply.
  • Use total filtration at the water source: Installing a comprehensive filtration system at the water source is another way to ensure that softened water is safe for consumption. Whole filtration systems can remove minerals, bacteria, and other contaminants from drinking water. This layer provides extra protection and ensures your home’s highest-quality drinking water. 
  • Boil water before use: It’s also important to remember that softened water should be boiled before use for any food and beverages, such as coffee or tea. Boiling the water helps to reduce potentially harmful bacteria and ensure it is safe for consumption. 

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Can you drink softened water? 

Yes, softened water can be safe to drink. The truth about drinking softened water is that it can benefit your health in specific ways. Softened water will reduce the levels of calcium and magnesium, which can help protect against kidney stones. It may also reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and lower blood pressure. 

In addition, soft water also brings other great benefits, such as:

  • Keeps skin smooth and well-nourished.
  • Reduce monthly energy costs.
  • Reduce damage to kitchen utensils.
  • It prevents detergents from freezing and soap film from building up in cleaning equipment.
  • Water heater maintenance.
  • Reduce damage to faucets and pipes.
  • Minimize the amount of shampoo and soap used in the shower.
  • Allows water appliances to last longer.
  • Increase sodium intake.
  • Reduce mineral consumption.

However, softened water comes with some risks. The sodium content of softened water increases, so drinking too much can lead to high blood pressure and dehydration. It should be considered that individuals with sodium-restricted diets, specifically those with diabetes or chronic kidney disease, may not find it appropriate to consume softened water daily. 

It is always recommended to check with your doctor before switching to soft water for long-term use. But if you drink softened water, it is crucial to remain mindful of the risks and drink plenty of fluids throughout the day to stay hydrated.

Side effects of drinking softened water

Side effects of drinking softened water

You should be aware of potential side effects associated with drinking softened water. Drinking softened water can reduce the levels of essential minerals such as iron and zinc in your body. This lack could lead to anemia and a weakened immune system. 

In addition, softened water can strip away natural oils your body needs to maintain healthy skin and hair. This imbalance could result in dryness, itching, flakiness, and even hair loss. 

The potential negative impacts of softened water should be seriously considered before use:

  • Softened water may cause diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting: It is possible that drinking softened water can cause these symptoms due to an imbalance of minerals in the body. 
  • Softened water may weaken your bones: Softened water has a lower mineral content than regular tap water, and thus, it can reduce calcium intake. This shortage could lead to weaker bones that are more prone to injury and fractures.
  • Softened water can increase your risk of cardiovascular disease: Softening water strips away the minerals in the water, which could lead to an imbalance in electrolytes which may put you at higher risk for developing cardiovascular diseases. 
  • Increased sodium intake: When water is softened, it’s often done by adding sodium ions. Sodium ions cause an increase in the overall sodium content of the water and may lead to a rise in blood pressure for those who are already at risk or have hypertension.  
  • Increased risk of infection: Softening water can strip away beneficial minerals, like calcium and magnesium, which can help reduce the risk of disease; this could increase your susceptibility to viruses and bacteria in your water supply. It’s crucial to stay on top of monitoring the quality of softened water you’re drinking and seeking medical treatment if you experience any signs of infection. 
  • Inhibits absorption of essential minerals: Softened water can also inhibit the absorption of essential minerals like magnesium, which is needed to regulate your body’s metabolism. Without these primary minerals, you may be at higher risk for developing deficiencies, leading to several health issues. 

Other Drawbacks of Softened Water:

  • Off-taste: Softened water often has a salty or metallic taste which can be unappealing. It’s also not uncommon for the softened water to have an unpleasant odor, making it challenging to enjoy drinking it. 
  • Unsuitable for bathing and laundry: Softened water is not recommended for use in bathrooms or laundry because of its high sodium content, which can be left on your skin and clothes. Using softened water for these purposes can leave a residue that could cause irritation or damage to fabrics. 
  • Increased wear and tear on appliances: The increased salt levels in softened water can lead to mineral buildup inside pipes and devices, such as dishwashers, washing machines, and water heaters, leading to corrosion and premature wear-and-tear. This accumulation can reduce the efficiency of your appliances and may require costly repairs or replacement. 
  • Costly and time-consuming installation and maintenance: Installing a water softener system involves piping and labor costs that can be expensive. Additionally, they must be regularly maintained and serviced to keep them running at optimal efficiency, adding additional charges. 
  • Generates brine waste: Softening water also generates a significant amount of brine waste, which is released into the environment and can harm aquatic life. 

There are several potential side effects associated with drinking softened water. In general, drinking softened water is not recommended daily. However, in some cases, it may be suitable for short-term use, such as special diets or medical treatments. It is essential to always consult with your doctor if you are considering switching to soft water for long-term use. 

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Using properly softened water

If you’re worried about the impact of softened water on your health, fear not! There’s a simple solution that can make a big difference. Swap the standard salt tablets for potassium chloride pellets in your brine tank. 

This small change can help ensure your drinking water is free from harmful salts and keep you feeling your best. The only drawback is that potassium chloride is relatively expensive, 3-4 times more expensive than salt. This expense will increase the operating cost of the water softener.

You can take a positive step towards ensuring your water is safe and healthy by considering an additional filter for your softener system. This solution is a cost-effective alternative to potassium chloride and can help remove other harmful contaminants like lead, chlorine, and salt. With a filter, you can enjoy peace of mind knowing that your drinking water is safe and healthy for you and your loved ones.

Incorporating foods rich in essential vitamins and minerals into your diet is a good idea. Maintaining a balanced and nutritious diet ensures that your body receives the necessary nutrients, even if you are drinking softened water.

By taking the time to research and understand your options, you can ensure that you are investing in a system that will meet your needs while also considering the potential side effects of softened water. 

Remember that when it comes to your health and safety, it is essential to stay informed and take the necessary steps to ensure quality drinking water. 

It is important to note that a professional should regularly inspect any home softening system to ensure it is working correctly and not leaking contaminants into your water supply.  Regular maintenance will also help prolong your system’s life and ensure it runs as efficiently as possible. 


Softened water can be beneficial to those with hard water. Still, it is essential to consult with your doctor if you are considering making the switch to understand the potential side effects and how they may affect your health. Additionally, it is recommended to install a filter system to reduce the amount of contaminants that might be present in your water supply. 

This information is provided for educational purposes only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical advice. Be sure to consult with your doctor before changing your drinking water. 

By understanding the potential risks and benefits of softened water, you can make an informed decision that is best for you and your family’s health. 

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