You’re probably wondering about what a snail shell has to do with water softeners and why we’ve decided to set an image of such a shell as the featured image for our today’s blog post.
The answer is fairly simple: A snail shell consists of the same minerals and molecules that are dissolved in hard water in larger quantities and cause the so called ‘water hardness’. A water softener is able to remove these solutes and reduce hardness. This topic sounds interesting and you want to know more about it? Then let’s dive right into it…
How Can Water Be Hard?
We live under the impression that clean tap water only contains H2O molecules, but this is far from the truth. Even if water looks clear it can contain various minerals like calcium, magnesium or iron. Together with oxygen, carbon and other elements they form into carbonates and cause hardness.
So in reality, there are different elements that can be found in water that were extracted from the soil it has passed through picking up bits and pieces that contaminate the otherwise clear water.
As the name suggests, water softeners make the water in your home softer. This is incredibly important for your house’s plumbing system, for many electrical appliances in your kitchen and also for all other appliances using water such as your washing machine. Why? Because hard water will damage all the aforementioned objects. Pipes get clogged and water flow is reduced and your washing machine starts to leak or might even break down completely. As you can see, hard water isn’t to be taken lightly!
Doing the Laundry
Hard water makes doing the laundry quite a nightmare, because washing detergents don’t dissolve in hard water as they should. Instead they coagulate in soap lumps. This also means that you need to use more soap and detergents to clean your laundry properly, which is bad for the environment – and your purse.
How Do Water Softeners Work?
If you are eager to solve your hard water problem, the easiest way to get rid of calcium, magnesium and other hard minerals is by getting yourself a water softener. A water softener is a mechanical device that gets installed to your water supply system. The softener will then remove the hard minerals from and add sodium or potassium to your water. This process is referred to as ion exchange.
Confusing Water Softeners with Drinking Water Systems
A lot of misleading information can be found on the internet stating that water softeners can also be used to filter water and make it drinkable. However, this is not true! Softeners are not to be confused with drinking water systems, since they won’t remove harmful impurities such as bacteria and viruses, nor will they improve the overall taste or smell of water.
On the contrary: Water softeners add additional sodium that might be the cause for various health issues. Therefore softeners can be used to process your working water used for doing laundry, bathing and cleaning only.