The water supply in my neighborhood is very hard, and as a result, we installed a water softener. However, now I find it difficult to rinse off when in the shower. I rinse and rinse and rinse and I still feel like there is soap on my skin. In researching the problem, I have come across the notion that soft water actually rinses quicker, and the slippery sensation is not caused actually by soap. ("Soft water reduces the surface tension of the soap, which changes the way the water “wets” your skin, making you feel more “slippery”") However, the stinging in my eyes makes this very hard to believe that there isn't still soap there!

Is there a trick I can use to rinse off as quickly as with normal or hard water so that I don't get soap stinging my eyes after thoroughly rinsing off my head?

  • Have you tried scrubbing with a rough surface (loofah, etc.) ? Sometimes that seems to help me ... Aug 10, 2015 at 22:11
  • @Kkinsey that's a great suggestion, I will try that.
    – Michael
    Aug 11, 2015 at 0:56
  • What kind of soap do you use? When I use liquid body soaps, I get the same feeling, regardless of the water, country... I never have that feeling with "standard" solid bar soaps. Also, the feeling is not related tot he quantity of soap I use.
    – virolino
    Feb 13, 2020 at 6:07
  • Try a soap with more sodium salt that gets easily diluted in soft water.
    – Déjà vu
    Feb 13, 2020 at 7:56

3 Answers 3


Try using far less soap. We moved from a hard to a soft water area and found that the amount of soap required to form a lather was significantly less in soft water than hard.

  • good suggestions... i'll have to ponder how i'm going to do this though, maybe i need to switch from bar soap to pump soap that is easier to control the amount of, and for dandruff shampoo perhaps a bit of research to see if it will still be effective at a smaller dose (i already massage it in until the lather is gone).
    – Michael
    Jul 17, 2015 at 16:44
  • 1
    I rub bar soap on my hands until there is enough on them to clean whichever area I'm attempting to clean, rather than apply the bar directly on them. ( This is how to limit your soap usage, btw )
    – Carl
    Jul 18, 2015 at 1:57

I know exactly what you mean. I was the same when I first installed a water softener, I never felt as though the soap was rinsed off me. After a while, you will start to accept that the soap is actually gone .

I also experienced the same thing regarding soap in my eyes, but that was just because I was using too much soap, you need far less with softened water. Again, you will get used to this over time.

EDIT: if you really want to rinse yourself in hard water, you could try taking a bucket into the shower which you have filled from the COLD KITCHEN TAP as this is unlikely to be supplied from the softener.

  • Actually the softener is at the incoming "loop" so everything in the house is softened. However... I definitely could get a bucket filled from the hose outside, it comes off the incoming water line before it even goes into the hosue.
    – Michael
    Jul 17, 2015 at 16:42
  • @Michael OK. In the UK that's illegal, the cold kitchen tap MUST be direct from the main. In my house, the outside taps and kitchen tap bypass the softener.
    – Lefty
    Jul 20, 2015 at 15:29
  • Huh, that's interesting... I wonder what the reasoning is behind that.
    – Michael
    Jul 20, 2015 at 17:40
  • The idea is that you are free to contaminate your water supply as much as you like within your home but you must always be able to draw drinking water direct from the pristine supply.
    – Lefty
    Jul 20, 2015 at 19:50
  • Sorry.. I had to chuckle a bit about the supply being pristine. Sure, it's clean, but it's got a lot of extra junk in it (being hard water after all) as well as chlorine (which does the killing but doesn't taste that great). One thing that seems to be common to my experience is that the kitchen actually has an RO tap which is much more "pristine" than the incoming supply.
    – Michael
    Jul 20, 2015 at 21:47

Keep a spray bottle of salted water, not heavily salted, like a tablespoon an quart, in the shower. You can use your softened water. When you feel slimy, spritz it onto your hands and face, then rinse with your softened water. No more slimy.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.