What is Soft Water?
Soft water is essentially free of dissolved calcium or magnesium.
Since calcium and magnesium are not present in soft water, no adverse reaction with soaps and detergents occurs. The result is the virtual elimination of soap scum and the corresponding reduction in time spent cleaning. Hair and skin can “breathe” more readily.
Soap usage can be dramatically reduced with soft water.
- Since the water is already soft, the cleaning agents have no hardness minerals to react with and overcome, lather more readily and work more effectively.
- A large proportion of the ingredients in most soaps and detergents consist of chemical “water softeners” added to prevent the reaction between the detergent and the hardness minerals present in most water (the reaction that forms a sticky residue or soap curd).
- Soft water households experience up to 75% savings on laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, bath soap, hand soap, shampoo and many other cleaning products.
What Is Hard Water?
Hard water contains dissolved calcium and magnesium ions. Commonly referred to as “hardness minerals,” dissolved calcium and magnesium can cause numerous problems when present in a water supply. Whether it’s from a well or a municipal water utility, water usually contains these troublesome elements.
Water hardness is typically measured in “grains per gallon,” an indication of the quantity of dissolved calcium and magnesium the water contains. In amounts as small as one grain per gallon, water is classified as “hard”. Most homes use water that is considerably harder. While many families choose to soften their water by removing the calcium and magnesium with home water treatment equipment, many don’t even realize they have hard water.
How Can I Recognize Hard Water?
The most recognizable symptoms of hard water are:
- Soap scum in the tub and shower
- Hard water spots on faucets and fixtures
- Hardness minerals react with soaps and detergents to form an insoluble, sticky residue that’s difficult to rinse from bathtubs, sinks, faucets and
- The same soap residue is often left on hair, skin and clothing. Although not highly visible in these instances, it can cause your skin to dry and itch, and clothing to fade and wear prematurely
Hard water scale can also coat the inside of a water heater and drastically reduce its heating efficiency. Greater fuel consumption and higher utility bills result when the appliance has to heat water through a layer of rock.
How Much Does A Water Softener Cost?
The cost of a water softener depends on the type of unit you need to purchase for your home’s needs. The best way to look at the cost is how much money it will save you over the unit’s lifetime.
- Save on gas or electricity. Water heater efficiency is increased 21% – 29% with softened water
- Save up to 70% on soap for the dishwasher, laundry, and bathing with softened water
- Save up to 25% on personal-care items such as hair conditioners and shaving cream with softened water
- Appliances like dishwashers and laundry machines last up to one-third longer with softened water
- Hot water heaters last up to twice as long with softened water
- Clothing will be whiter, brighter, and last longer with softened water