While traditional municipal water softening can remove excess ions, it cannot deal with all the elements in hard water in some areas. Hard water is made up of calcium, magnesium, and other minerals, which require additional treatment. This is where a saltwater softening additive comes in handy.
There are systems that can soften the water for your whole house. This can be a great investment as this makes sure that your plumbing system and appliances keep working. If you don’t use this, they might start to clog up over time. These systems are rather expensive and require maintenance. This is why some people opt for additives.
There are also additives that you can use in one location. For example, there are products that you can use in your laundry and washing machine. Other products can be used in pools. This is more work as you have to add this every time. Let’s examine these additives in more detail.
What is soft water and hard water
Soft water is water that doesn’t contain a lot of calcium. Calcium is a natural mineral that is present in water. It is can be used to write on blackboards or on the street. Hard water contains more calcium. It is possible to use a water softener to change it from hard to soft water. This is also called softening of water. This has some advantages: there is no calcium in your drains so it won’t get clogged over time, it is easier to clean and maintain your faucets and your dishes look nicer.
Soft water is generally safe to drink but it depends on the type of water softener that you use.
Some areas have more calcium in the water than others. There are local differences and it is best to reach out to your local water provider to see what they recommend. Some water suppliers remove the calcium for you whereas others don’t.
You can also order a water test and test the water to see how much calcium it has. If you want to get more precise data, you can hire a lab to test the water and see what you have to do to get clearer water.
Water is used for a lot of things, from cooking, cleaning to drinking. For this reason, investing in a water softener can be a great idea as this removes the calcium from the water. This can cost several thousands of dollars though so it is a big investment. A lot of people are going for it given the advantages that such a system has. Once it is installed, it is generally not that expensive to maintain. It can be worth it given that your appliances will last longer if you have a water softener installed.
What is a water-softening additive?
A water-softening additive is a solution that is added to the water supply to lower the number of minerals contained in the water. Hard water is water that contains high amounts of minerals like calcium, magnesium, and iron. When this water is used for things like washing, showering, and drinking, it is extremely difficult to remove the minerals from the water. These minerals can cause nasty effects like hard water stains and mineral build-up in pipes.
Soft water is water that contains very low amounts of minerals. To make sure that the laundry is clean, some people add a water-softening additive. This is quite similar to a normal cleaning product. It is just added to the washing machine. The additive softens the water while it is washing your clothes. This should result in spotless clothes.
How does a water-softening additive work?
Soft water additives are molecules that bond with minerals in water. When the water passes through a pipe and these minerals are exposed to the soft water additive, the molecule breaks apart. These molecules are either added as anionic (negatively charged) or cationic (positively charged) and are called ‘polymers’. Soft water additives are usually ion-exchange resins. The anionic polymer attracts negatively charged ions like magnesium and calcium from the water. The magnesium and calcium are then removed from the water and there are no stains anymore.
How to choose the right water-softening additive?
Pick the right water softener for your application. There are softeners for laundry, baths and so on.
The first step when choosing a water-softening additive is to find out your water’s hardness. You can do this by purchasing a water testing kit that measures the number of minerals in your water supply. Typically, the levels of hardness in your water will be between 300 mg/L (milligrams per liter) and 800 mg/L. The lower the number, the harder the water. The higher the number, the softer the water. If your water is between 350 mg/L and 500 mg/L, it is considered moderately hard. If it is between 500 mg/L and 800 mg/L, it is considered hard. If your water is above 800 mg/L, it is extremely hard.
In most cases, the standard additives will work. You can try them. If there are still problems, you can opt for a system that removes the hard water in your whole house.
Benefits of using a water-softening additive
– Clearer laundry and appliances – Iron and hard water stains, scale and deposits in your pipes and appliances.
– Easier Plumbing – Water pipes are more durable and easier to maintain.
– Reduced Energy Costs – No need to run hot water for dishwashers, showers, washing machines and faucets.
Hard water stains can be annoying. They make your appliances and laundry look bad. Luckily there are some additives that you can use to reduce this effect.
When water-softening additives are used, hard water can then be managed and used for drinking, laundry and other everyday needs.
You can also opt for a water-softening system that reduces the water hardness in your house. This is more expensive but easier to use than having to use an additive every time you do the laundry.