What is Soft Water?
Soft water is water absent of hardness molecules, such as calcium and magnesium.
Most water in nature has some amount of hardness, but the amount of hardness can vary greatly. Hardness is caused by “rock” minerals dissolved in the water.
Hard water forms scale buildup on basically anything it touches.
One exception to naturally found water that is hard is rainwater – rainwater is naturally soft.
How Does a Water Softener Work?
Water softeners use a water treatment process known as ion exchange to remove the hardness minerals in exchange for sodium ions.
This is a very effective and efficient way to remove calcium and magnesium from water.
What are the Benefits of Soft Water in My Home?
As mentioned above, hard water can cause buildup on basically everything it touches, so when it comes to your home, water touches a lot!
- Plumbing – Soft water keeps the plumbing system clear and free from buildup which can lead to lower flow rates and pressure drops.
- Shower Heads – Soft water keeps the small pores from clogging which will cause low pressure.
- Washing Machine – Soft water helps maintain the longevity of the machine, as well as improving the ability of the wash since it does not need to overcome the hardness in the water anymore.
- Dishwasher – Improves the wash quality as well as maintaining the life cycle of the machine.
- Water Heater (Tank or Tankless) – Soft water helps maintain the efficiency of water heaters. Without the buildup on the heating elements, water heaters will like new for many years.
- Tile, Porcelain, Tile, and Glass – Any shower, bathroom, or kitchen surface that encounters water is prone to scale buildup, soft water removes that possibility.
- Coffee Machines – Soft water keeps the heating element clean and free of scale, as well as keeping any small holes from being clogged.
As you can see, there are many benefits to the home when using soft water.
Water are the Benefits of Soft Water for My Health?
Soft water benefits you and your family’s health as well!
- Hair – Water hardness does not only build upon surfaces in your home, but it can also cause buildup on your skin! When taking a shower, the hardness minerals react with soaps and shampoos causing a buildup on your skin that doesn’t wash off, even though it may feel like it!
- Hair – The hardness minerals also cause buildup in your hair, which can cause dinginess and remove hairs natural silky and healthy shine.
Soft water can also help moisturize your skin and other health benefits.
Do Water Softeners Add to Salt to My Water?
This is one of the biggest myths out there about water softeners.
As mentioned above, water softeners replace the calcium and magnesium molecules in exchange for sodium ions. Sodium is not salt. Salt is Sodium-Chloride.
The amount of sodium added to the water is minuscule and is oftentimes so little that it wouldn’t even be a problem for people on low-sodium diets.
But, if you have reverse osmosis for drinking water, even that little bit of sodium will be removed as well.
What About the Slick Feeling?
Another common myth regarding water softeners is that it feels like the soap is not coming off. This is something that takes a week or two to get used to, but once you get used to it you’ll never want to go back to hard water.
You see, what is happening is the natural oils from your skin are finally being released and not clogged up as they are when using hard water. The soap comes off much better with soft water than it does with hard water.