If you are going to make an investment in a product, you should know exactly what is in it for you. That is why it is important to understand the benefits of a water softener and having soft water.

A water softener is a great addition to any home for many reasons. They are particularly useful in areas where water hardness is particularly high.

Hard water contains high traces of calcium and magnesium ions, which can create limescale and have a damaging effect to the internal heating and plumbing systems of your home, as well as limiting the effectiveness of soaps and cleaning products. Soft water doesn’t contain these elements, and as a result, households with water softeners are capable of saving a considerable sum of money throughout the year for a variety of reasons.

There are new Energy Saver pages and consumer guides on water softeners and hard water, but here is some of the information in a nutshell:

Save money on cleaning products

Hard water contains magnesium and calcium ions that make it very difficult to create an effective lather with soap and other cleaning products, which affects the whole cleaning process, whether you are having a shower, washing the car, or doing the laundry and dishes. As soft water is treated to remove these impurities, it is far more effective when used for washing. Often you can achieve the same level of soil removal in soft water by using lower water temperatures and a reduced amount of detergent than washing with hard water. You will require less cleaning agents to perform a good wash.

Improve the efficiency of your water heater

Hard water can wreak havoc on your water heating system due to scum and scale deposits that could lead to blockages and cause damage to your boiler. Scale essentially acts as an added layer of insulation, that prohibits the transfer of heat into the water. These deposits are known to drastically reduce the efficiency of your boiler – sometimes as much as 50%. Even a small deposit could be enough to cause heat efficiency loss of up to 12%. Gradually, having soft water running through your system will dissolve away scale, remedying the problem completely.

Help treat skin conditions

Soft water will do wonders for skin care. Hard water can exacerbate eczema and other dry skin conditions due to the excessive amount of soap and cleaning products needed to create an effective lather for a thorough clean. Hard water also leads to the occurrence of soap scum – a result from the reaction between the soap and the minerals. Soap scum is another potential irritant both when it comes in direct contact with a skin condition or when small particles are left on clothing washed in hard water.

Additionally, clothing washed in soft water often feels softer, which can lessen the abrasive feel of starchy clothing and therefore keep skin complaints at bay. People living in hard water areas are more likely to develop skin problems than those that do not.

No more bad hair days 

If your locks are looking lackluster, it could be because you’re washing your hair in hard water at home. A water softener can help to remove harsh minerals from your water that will deep clean your hair and provide a noticeable difference in its softness and vitality. When magnified, each hair comprises millions of tiny little scales. Hard water makes these scales stand out from the shaft, leaving your hair more able to get tangled and feeling rough. With softer water, there will be significantly less limescale deposits left in hair, and due to less interaction between the minerals and the hair itself, hair will be left feeling a lot smoother.

Reduce cleaning time

Most of us will be familiar with putting in a bit of elbow grease when it comes to cleaning. Soft water will likely increase the ease of removing dirt throughout the house, and it’s great for rinsing as it doesn’t leave streaky residue too. With hard water it is more difficult to produce an effective lather to remove dirt and stains, and on smooth surfaces the mineral deposits can produce a spotted appearance.

Cleaner laundry and dishes

Usually, as a result of washing with hard water, clothes become dull and weathered, whites turn to grey and colors will fade. Similarly, dishes and glassware will also lose their sparkle. Conversely soft water maintains the appearance of clothing and kitchen ware. It’s all thanks to soft water’s ability to mix effectively with soap and detergents to provide a greater clean. Also, as a result of using softened water, you will find the durability of your clothes and kitchen wares will also be greatly extended.

Tastier food and drink

While hard water is sometimes preferred for drinking purposes because of its mineral content, for making drinks, like tea or cocktails, soft water is usually considered superior. Soft water is a more effective solvent, and this can be seen when used with soap, but it also equally applies to cookery and mixed drinks. For instance, adding stock to soft water will greatly enhance the flavors and aromas.

Protect your appliances

As mentioned, hard water can cause blockages in your plumbing through the deposition of limescale. Soft water by comparison can provide a long-term remedy to these kinds of deposits. If a water softener is added retrospectively to a property, then gradually the softer water will dissolve limescale scale deposits and remove the problem entirely.

Luxurious baths and showers 

Going from a hard water bath or shower to a soft water wash, you will instantly notice the difference in the quality of the clean and the sensation. It is often regarded as a luxurious experience, a perfect way to unwind at the end of the day relieving the stress and fatigue of everyday life.

Streak-free car washes

For car enthusiasts, one of the worst offences of hard water, is the chalky residue it can leave on your car after washing. Damaging the paintwork of the vehicle and generally reducing the visual impact. As soft water does not carry any of the impurities, it is the solution for washing your car.