Soft Water Myths
If you have a water softener or are thinking about purchasing one, there are some questions that naturally arise. There are many benefits to soft water, but there are some common misconceptions about water softeners that should be addressed. Let’s dig into some of these common questions about water softeners.
Does the softener put salt in my water?
Water softeners use an ion exchange process to remove minerals like calcium and magnesium —which make the water hard. This process is done through special media in your softener that is charged with sodium ions, which replace the hardness minerals in your water. This means that sodium (Na), not salt (NaCl) is added to your water. While it is true that a water softener uses salt, you shouldn’t taste any salt in your water. The salt you add to the brine tank is used to disinfect the media and the chlorine is flushed out during the softener’s rinse process.
Does soft water take longer to rinse off?
It might seem like rinsing soap off with soft water takes longer than with hard water, but this is not really the case.
Hard water uses more soap and detergents because it has to work around the unwanted minerals. Positively-charged calcium ions replace sodium ions in your shampoo or soap leaving scum and limescale deposits on your skin and in your hair. The same disgusting soap scum you’re always scrubbing in the tub is on your body too. Furthermore, because it doesn’t lather as well as soft water, you are probably using too much soap or shampoo in your bath or shower. If you continue to use the same amount once you have soft water, it can seem like it takes longer to rinse, because it is doing a better job of lathering. Soft water is able to lather better because it isn’t reacting with minerals in your water — you don’t need to use as much soap or shampoo.
Also, after installing a water softener in their home, some people notice their skin feels slick and even slippery after bathing. This is not a film being left behind on your skin, and it isn’t soap that doesn’t wash away either. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. When you have hard water it does leave soap scum on your skin. What you notice after showering in hard water is not a sign you’re “squeaky clean,” but instead, that you are covered in a sticky residue. The slickness on your skin when you bathe in soft water is actually your body’s natural oils. It’s how clean is supposed to feel! Think of it as having silky smooth skin instead of sticky soap scum skin.
Does soft water remove good minerals from my water?
No, not really. While a water softener will remove calcium and magnesium from your water, these are inorganic mineral deposits that don’t have the same benefit as obtaining them from food or supplements. Drinking hard water won’t do much to benefit your overall health, so eat your veggies!
Does a water softener filter contaminants from my water?
In short, yes and no. A water softener filters hardness materials like iron, magnesium, and calcium that cause scaling, build-up, and rust, but it will not eliminate all organic or inorganic solids. This is the first step—sometimes you need to get good water before you can have great water. A dechlorinator is recommended to remove the harsh chlorine added by municipal water utilities. Also, a Reverse Osmosis drinking water system is a great solution for filtering the water your family actually consumes. It eliminates 99% of organic and inorganic solids, leaving you with great tasting and healthy water.
Do I need a water softener if I have city water?
One of the biggest misconceptions is that homeowners with city water don’t need a softener— quite the contrary. Municipalities are not required to soften their water supplies and rarely do. City water is far from perfect. The water that comes into your home probably still contains hard materials that will leave stains and build-up on your faucets, fixtures, and appliances. Also, as mentioned above, municipalities are required to disinfect their water before they send it to your home and usually use chlorine for this process. While this is effective in killing the bacteria, it leaves chlorine and chloramines in your water. These harsh chemicals present a multitude of health problems, as well as make your water taste horrible. If you’re experiencing these water problems, a water softener paired with a dechlorinator removes the dissolved solids and chlorine from city water.
Is the cost of a water softener really worth it?
While there are some initial costs to a properly installed water softener system, these costs come back to you in other ways over time. The main way is through the extended life of your appliances. Hard water leaves scale and build-up on appliances and shortens their life span. It also forces them to run harder and less efficiently, costing you more money in utility bills. Because it uses fewer soaps and detergents, soft water also saves you money on these items. Soft water will also keep clothes from fading, and faucets and fixtures from getting clogged and stained.
Additionally, if you have reverse osmosis, your need to buy bottled water will be eliminated, saving you money each trip to the grocery store.
Are you ready to find out your water softener options?
C and J Water is your local water quality experts. We offer a Free Water Analysis. It shows what minerals are in your water and how to best mitigate them. In 30-45 minutes, our professionally certified technicians will be able to give you the best options with no obligation. Contact us today if you have any other questions, or to get on the schedule!