How to Soften Hard Water

On average, American families use about 300 gallons of water each day. This is for things like flushing the toilet, washing clothes, taking a shower, and, of course, drinking. While the quality of water in the US is considered relatively good, many households only have access to hard water.

Why is this a problem? While it doesn’t pose a risk to our health, hard water clogs plumbing pipes with mineral deposits and doesn’t work well with soaps or detergents. This means you might struggle to get things clean when using hard water.

Thankfully, there are ways to soften the water coming into your home. Read on to learn how.

Install a Water Softener System

Water softeners work by removing all the heavy metals and minerals–and in some cases organisms–from your hard water.

There are four types of water softeners on the market today:

  • Salt-free softeners
  • Ion exchange softeners
  • Reverse osmosis (RO) softeners
  • Magnetic softeners

If water softener cost is putting you off purchasing a system, look for secondhand systems, shop around all the brands, or choose a system that doesn’t require water softener salt.

Boil Your Water

One of the most cost-effective water softeners is to simply boil your water before using it. Boil the water in a large pot, leave it to cool, and the impurities will sink to the bottom. This has the bonus of killing or rendering inactive harmful bacteria, viruses, larvae, and parasites.

You can then use this water for cleaning household items and brushing your teeth. Of course, it’s a time-consuming method that not everyone will have the patience for.

Use Washing Soda

Though it’s fallen out of favor today, likely due to the proliferation of commercial water softeners, the best water softener for many years was washing soda (or lime). Up to just a few decades ago, people would add this soda to barrels of water, creating an easily accessible supply of soft water to use for washing clothes and other household tasks.

If you want to use washing soda at home today, simply add a little bit to your washing machine with your laundry soap. Remember, though, that method doesn’t reduce limescale, so your clothes might still feel scratchy once dry.

Install a Faucet Filter

If you’re not able to invest in the best water softener system, smaller devices on the market can help.

Faucet filters attachments are cheap and fit over showerheads and sink taps quickly. In most cases, you can buy and install one yourself–without the need to call in a plumber.

This tap will help prevent mineral build-up around faucets and in sinks and ensure you can lather soap for washing yourself, your clothes, or your dishes. However, keep in mind they won’t prevent deposits from forming on your internal plumbing systems.

Hard Water Solutions Are Simple

If you’re dealing with hard water, you’re not alone. Many homeowners across the US deal with this problem.

You can fix this pesky issue by investing in a water softening technique like one of those listed above. Remember, hard water isn’t a health risk, but if you’re sick of stiff towels and forking out for pipe replacements, it’s worth treating.

For more helpful homeowners advice, browse the other articles on our blog.