The Benefits of Water Softeners
With more than 85% of American homes dealing with hard water, it’s safe to say that may be the case in your house. Because hard water is so prevalent, it can feel like this is just how water is — you may not link some of the frustrations you have to what’s coming out of the tap, but the benefits of soft water in your home can’t be overstated. Water softeners help eliminate hard water which is the root cause of everyday annoyances from spotty dishes to dry and itchy skin.
Hard water occurs when the minerals calcium and magnesium dissolve into a water source. The hardness level depends on the concentration of these minerals, which varies due to a number of factors like where your water comes from and how long it takes to travel from its source. Because water sources differ across the country, sometimes changing from one neighborhood to the next, homeowners should have an idea of how hard their water is within their home.
No matter the level of hardness, every home can enjoy the benefits of water softeners. Water softening systems eliminate minerals in your home’s water before they reach your water heater, faucets and appliances. The water that runs out of the softener is cleaner and more efficient, leading to a whole range of benefits.
What Are the Benefits of Softened Water?
There are several major benefits of soft water in your home. By installing and using a water softener, your family will:
- Have better skin and hair
- Keep a cleaner home
- Maintain household appliances for longer
- Save money in the long run
Keep reading to learn more—or, try our new interactive shopping guide.
Better Skin and Hair
If you’ve ever dried off from the shower to find your skin and scalp feeling worse than when you got in, you know how uncomfortable hard water can feel. Hard water is full of minerals that strip your skin’s natural oils and leave behind a buildup of soap residue which, in turn, clogs your pores and keeps your natural oils from coming to the surface. The result ranges from dry skin that feels scaly and itchy to increased dandruff and dull hair. In fact, the University of Sheffield found a connection between hard water and the development of eczema — a chronic skin condition that can lead to persistent rash patches on the body. However, the impact goes much deeper, literally.
The fact is that healthy skin is much more important than simply looking and feeling good. Your skin is your body’s largest organ. It regulates temperature, holds fluids in and keeps dangerous microbes and toxins out. It acts as a natural filter and protective layer between your vital organs and the outside world while providing you with information about what’s happening around you via nerve endings. But despite being your heaviest and largest organ, your skin is only a few millimeters thick at most. When hard water builds up on the skin, it disrupts its natural functions.
Soft water helps your body get back to normal by removing those skin-damaging minerals that hinder the way it’s meant to function. Investing in a water softener fixes the problem of having hard water and the unfavorable effects rather than relying on band-aid solutions like lathering up on lotion or making more frequent appointments at the salon.
A Cleaner Home
Like it does to your skin, hard water causes scale buildup in your home. Over time, that buildup begins to leave less-than-pleasant stains on dishes, faucets and even around your tub and toilet bowl. If you haven’t done a deep clean into your water-using appliances like your coffee maker, you can be certain that hard water has started to settle into those unseen corners of your home also.
The truth of the matter is, hard water does damage to whatever it touches. For your home, that means appliances will break down more often, unsightly film will spot your dishes and you’ll spend more time scrubbing away stains in the sink, toilet and shower. Water softeners nip the problem in the bud by ensuring that the water that runs through your home effectively removes minerals.
Hard water doesn’t only wreak havoc in the kitchen and bathroom: when pumped into your washing machine, the calcium and mineral deposits latch onto the fibers of your clothes, causing them to wear and fade faster. What’s more, these deposits trap dirt and soap, yellowing and dulling the appearance, which can actually be made worse when you try to undo the damage with bleach.
Fewer Breakdowns of Your Water-Using Appliances
One spot in your house that is out of sight and out of mind until it suddenly isn’t is your water heater. This vital appliance can become costly when it breaks down or needs repairs — two things that happen more often when hard water scale builds up inside the tank. What’s worse: The higher the temperature of the water, the faster and denser these minerals solidify, leading your hot water tank to become a hot spot for hard water damage.
If the up-front cost of getting a water softening system has stopped you from taking the leap, one of the biggest benefits of water softeners is the money it saves over its lifetime.
- Water and electricity bills: Hard water impacts your bills in a few different ways. From needing to work harder to keep water hot due to scale buildup to narrowing pipe openings so more water pressure is needed, hard water consistently appears as added costs to your monthly bills.
- Appliances: Buildup in appliances from your coffee maker to ice maker, dishwasher and water heater will keep these appliances from working at their best and potentially cause premature breakdowns and need for replacement.
- Personal products: When hard water dries out your skin, dulls your hair and causes dandruff, band-aid solutions like lotion, salon appointments and flake-control shampoos are needed more often. Nixing the problem altogether with a water softener means purchasing and using less product.