How Effective is Laundry Soap for Hard Water?

There is a definite difference between laundry soap for hard water and laundry detergent for hard water. Do you know what it is?

Laundry Soap for Hard Water

The dictionary defines soap as:

“A substance used for washing and cleansing purposes, usually made by treating a fat with an alkali, such as sodium or potassium hydroxide, and consisting chiefly of the sodium or potassium salts of the acids contained in the fat.”

The dictionary defines detergent as:

“Any of a group of synthetic, organic, liquid or water soluble cleaning agents that, unlike soap, are not prepared from fats and oils, are not inactivated by hard water, and have wetting agent and emulsifying agent properties.”

So, the basic difference is that soap is made from fats or oils and is used for washing and cleaning. Detergent does not contain fat or oils and is not as easily inactivated by hard water because of the other chemical agents that it contains.

Soap is normally used to clean the body. It comes in a liquid form such as liquid hand soap or shower gel.

Detergent is normally used to clean surfaces, clothes, dishes, and other items. Sometimes detergent contains soap but it also contains other chemicals and agents that enhance its ability to clean.

Laundry Soap For Hard Water – Is It Effective?

Some people prefer soap to detergent and even make their own laundry soap. You can purchase bars of soap that can be used for washing clothes. Some of the brand names include:

  • Fels Naptha
  • Zote
  • Crystal
  • Ivory

These bars of soap are grated and used in your washing machine.

The Fabrics Network has this to say about laundry soap.

“The disadvantage with soaps is they will deteriorate in storage and lack the cleaning power when compared with modern synthetic surfactants.”

Since the Second World War detergents have steadily climbed in popularity simply because they clean better than soap. Especially in hard water.

Is Laundry Detergent Effective In Hard Water?

Most people prefer laundry detergent. The Soap and Detergent Association states:

“Soaps and detergents behave differently in hard water. Soaps form a scum in hard water and this scum will not wash away easily and is known to turn laundry a grayish hue. The insoluble film it leaves can leave a residue on your laundry much like you would see on a shower stall were hard water present. Detergents react less to minerals in water and are less likely to leave this residue.”

Why Can’t You Use Laundry Soap For Hard Water?

Here is the condensed version of why laundry soap and hard water don’t work well together.

Dissolved calcium in hard water has a positive charge. Soap has a negative charge. When the two come in contact, they bind together and create a molecule with no charge at all. The soap molecule will still attach to oil but cannot dissolve in water without the negative charge. What you end up with is a sticky soap scum that will not come out of your laundry.

Is There A Solution?

If you can’t use laundry soap for hard water, and detergent has problems, what is the solution to getting clean laundry?

Aqua Magnets is the safe, eco-friendly solution to laundry soap for hard water and other hard water issues.

Easy to install and maintenance free, Aqua Magnets dissolve the rock hard mineral deposits in hard water and turns them into powder so they no longer harm your laundry or appliances. All those hard water stains in your sinks and tub will dissolve away.

The naturally occurring minerals in water will become available for you and your family through your water supply. Having cleaner, softer, laundry is only one of the benefits to using the Aqua Magnets water conditioning system.

[Image Credit: Sean Rogers1]