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New figures have revealed the best and worst places in the UK to enjoy one of life’s most simple pleasures – a bubble bath. 

The findings compiled by Harvey Water Softeners link to new figures showcasing the hard water levels for towns and cities across the UK.

With the lowest reading in the UK of 23 milligrams of calcium carbonate per litre – the metric used to measure the severity of hard water – the Scottish capital of Edinburgh was deemed to be the best place for bubbles followed by Plymouth (25mg/l) and Glasgow (28mg/l). Ipswich was deemed to be the worst place for a soak due to having the highest concentration (368mg/l) closely followed by Hull (358mg/l) and Stevenage (356mg/l).

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The Isle of Wight falls into the worst 25 places in the country for a bath, with 248mg/l, meaning the water across the island is deemed as aggressively hard.

Softer water contains fewer minerals allowing products such as bubble bath, soap and shampoo to lather better meaning you can create bigger bubbles more easily. With fewer products, it’s cheaper too.

As well as being closely linked to the quality of a bubble bath, these figures also highlight the areas most at risk to dry skin and hair, damage to household appliances as well as other things such as poor water pressure in showers and the need to use more detergent when washing clothes.

The full rankings are as follows:

Location Water Level (mg/l)
Edinburgh 23 Chelmsford 261
Plymouth 25 Bath 267
Glasgow 28 Exeter 268
Manchester 30 Bournemouth 270
Birmingham 44 London 274
Sheffield 45 Grantham 278
Cardiff 60 Brighton 279
Liverpool 65 Portsmouth 301
Middlesbrough 80 Oxford 302
Stoke 96 Northampton 304
Newcastle 130 Bedford 305
Derby 132 Milton Keynes 312
Coventry 141 Basingstoke 320
Gloucester 172 Norwich 321
Nottingham 189 Cambridge 322
Bristol 194 Winchester 326
Leicester 201 Reading 338
York 240 Luton 342
Peterborough 247 Stevenage 356
Isle of Wight  248 Hull 358
Lincoln 255 Ipswich 368

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The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.
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No mention of the bone health benefits of a higher calcium carbonate content in water. It’s not all about soft, soft, soft. Give us the hard facts too.

Steph McQueen

Well now, that’s ruined my day!… not..

C Egerton

The water on the isle of wight is disgusting you get like a scum on the top of your hot drinks and the kettle needs descaling constantly


Not with a water softener – no more kettle descaling, scum in you drinks and the bonus is there is a lot less cleaning too! I would not be without my softener.


If you would like to see how our softener will help you achieve a total
Treatment for your home and health email me on
[email protected] and arrange your own personal demonstration, you’ll be astounded with the results!


Why are you trying to dum up business based on inaccurate assertions about health benefits of soft water? It simply is not true


Shouldn’t this article be clearly marked as an advertisement if you are allowing people to peddle their wares??

Stacy b

Well you know what you can do.


i certainly agree with that and another thing ive noticed since moving to the iow is that my nails are harder maybe that’s a link

The bear

Go to shanklin when the strorm drains are in flow plenty of bubbles then. All the house conversions into flats and all the bath and shower waste are fitted to rain hoppers and down pipes. Not the sewers.


I’m not bothered


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