Everyone has, at one time, taken a shower in hard water and felt grimy afterwards. Hard water is hard on dishes and pipes alike. Dishes get permanent stains on them, pipes seem to age quicker and form build up faster. Water softeners are a way to keep from having to work hard at cleaning. Water softening is the process of reducing the concentration of calcium, magnesium, and other ions from hot water. The elements of hard water interfere with the way soaps and other detergents work. This makes people have to work harder at cleaning and maintaining things. One good thing about hard water is that is provides a natural source of calcium and magnesium.
Water softners have the ability to remove the Calcium and Magnesium from the water. The way that the water softner does this is by binding these ions to molecules that takes away their ability to interfere with soaps. One popular way to remove these ions is through distillation. Distillation has proven to be too expensive to use on a large scale. Another way to soften water is put it through an Ion-exchange resin device. This device contains sodium ions that are electrostatically bound that allow the hard ions to replace them. Many laundry detergents use these kinds of ions to help soften clothes as they are washed and cleaned. Another water softener method is done by using chelating agents. Chelators are elements that are used in shampoos and food preservatives to preserve and soften things. These particles are also used in soap to help soften the agent of cleaning.
The sodium that is found in water can be harmful to a person’s health. When hard water is softened by a water softener system the water ends up with more sodium in it. So a person who is on a low sodium diet will end up eating more sodium that if the water was left hard. People who are concerned about the increased levels of sodium will have a tap that is bypasses the softener for them to use. Water softeners are beneficial when it comes to removing destructive agents from hard water.