Why Does your Water Feel "Slimy" or “Slippery”?

Posted by Bluonics Educations on

Have you ever noticed that your water feels oddly "slimy" or "slippery" after it has been treated by a water softener? This curious sensation can be perplexing, but understanding the function of water softeners provides valuable insights into why this change in texture occurs. In this blog post, we'll explore the reasons behind the slippery feel of water softened by water softening systems.


The Basics of Water Softening:

Water softeners are devices designed to reduce the concentration of calcium and magnesium ions in hard water. These minerals, which are responsible for the formation of scale deposits in pipes and appliances, can be exchanged with sodium ions through a process called ion exchange. The resulting "softened" water is expected to feel different, and sometimes, this change manifests as a slippery or slimy texture.


Increased Sodium Content:

One of the main reasons water may feel slippery after softening is the elevated sodium content. During the ion exchange process, calcium and magnesium ions are replaced by sodium ions. While sodium doesn't contribute to the hardness of water, its presence can affect the feel of the water on the skin. The increased sodium concentration alters the water's viscosity, resulting in the slippery sensation you may notice.


Interaction with Surfactants:


Softened water's altered chemistry can also influence how it interacts with soaps and shampoos. Surfactants, which are common in cleaning and personal care products, may lather more easily in softened water. This enhanced lathering can create a slippery or slimy feel on the skin, making the overall bathing experience feel different compared to using hard water.


Adjustment Period:

If you've recently installed a water softener, it's essential to note that your body might need some time to adjust to the changes. The softened water might feel unusual initially, but over time, many individuals find the sensation becomes more familiar and comfortable.


Enhancing Water Quality with Whole-House Water Filters: 

While water softeners effectively combat hardness, other water impurities might linger. This is where whole-house water filters step in. These systems are equipped to tackle a spectrum of contaminants, including sediment, chlorine, and organic matter, ensuring a comprehensive improvement in water quality without compromising its softness.


The Grand Finale: Reverse Osmosis Magic: 

To perfect your water treatment trifecta, consider incorporating reverse osmosis (RO) after the softening process. Reverse osmosis surpasses traditional softening methods with its semi-permeable membrane, eliminating not only minerals but also bacteria, chemicals, and even viruses. Originally reserved for drinking water, RO can now revolutionize the quality of water throughout your entire home.

Recommendation for an Optimal Water Experience: To maximize the benefits of softened water without sacrificing purity, we recommend the following sequence:

  1. Water Softener: Start with a water softener to eliminate hardness minerals and achieve that "slippery" or "smooth" feel.
  2. Whole-House Water Filter: Integrate a whole-house water filter to address additional impurities, providing a refreshing and pure water experience.
  3. Reverse Osmosis System: Conclude your water treatment journey with a reverse osmosis system for the grand finale. This ensures the removal of minerals, contaminants, and microorganisms, delivering unparalleled water quality.


The journey from hard to soft water doesn't end with the elimination of minerals. By incorporating a whole-house water filter and reverse osmosis system into your water treatment regimen, you can achieve an optimal balance between the desirable "slimy" sensation and the purity of your water. Elevate your water experience, preserve your appliances, and revel in a newfound appreciation for the transformative power of comprehensive water treatment. Bluonics offers wide variety of water filtration systems for many different applications and all the filters & parts necessary for maintance. Contact us for proper recommendations, sizing and price. Give us a call (916) 975-6220 or email at support@bluonics.com

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