If you are struggling with a build up of scum in your bath tub or dishes covered with spots after every wash, then the reason could be in your water.
Hard Water vs Soft Water
There are two types of water- hard water and soft water. The difference between them is hard water contains a higher mineral content than soft water. Of these minerals present in hard water, magnesium and calcium are key because they will affect how water reacts with soap.
For example, ever notice the slime left after taking a shower or bath? Hard water is responsible for this! Basically, hard water makes detergents and soaps lose their effectiveness. That is instead of dissolving completely, soap combines with the minerals in hard water to form a soap curd. This soap curd or slime then sticks onto every surface and is the reason our dishes, hair or clothes begin to look dull after many washes.
Another concern with hard water is the calcium and magnesium can accumulate and build up in water pipes. In the long term, this can reduce the flow of water to taps.
3 Methods to Soften Water
By getting rid of the minerals in hard water, you can reduce the problems above. This process is known as softening water. This softening methods are used by many huge water softener companies. We have listed the most popular water softener reviews to save you the trouble. Below we discuss three different ways to soften water.
1. Ion Exchange
Ion exchange is the oldest and most popular method. The system involves a mineral tank loaded with small resin or zeolite beads.These beads carry a negative charge. Hard water is then passed through the mineral tank where both magnesium and calcium particles (positive charge) cling onto the beads. In simple words, it involves exchanging the calcium and magnesium ions for two sodium ions.
The advantage of this method is the water produced allows soap to lather quickly. On the other hand, it adds large amounts of sodium back into the water which can lead to a soapy feeling.
Distillation involves heating hard water until it evaporates. The vaporized water is then directed to a different container to cool back into a liquid.
The advantage of this method is that it purifies the water in the process while removing minerals from water. However, it leaves a flat taste when drank and may require re-oxygenation.
3. Reverse Osmosis
This method is effective for both water softening and purification. How does osmosis work? The system involves a chamber with tiny pores. Hard water is then passed through the chamber while applying a certain pressure. This pressure pushes soft water molecules out of the pores. Minerals and all other substances are left behind in the chamber. The only disadvantage to reverse osmosis is it can lead to wastage of water and electricity.
As noted above, softening water will make any cleaning easier. The method you chose to soften water should depend on the level of water hardness in the area and whether you also have a need for purification .It is important to also note that when it comes to water consumption for drinking hard water is actually better as it has no health concerns.