Soft water can make everyday life much more convenient for many homeowners. Softer skin, smoother hair, cleaner & shinier silverware and glassware, less soap scum for easier cleaning, softer clothes using less detergent, and prolonged life of appliances are just a few of the many benefits of using a water softener.
Unfortunately, there are a number of myths about water softeners that are commonly shared around and believed to be true.
Here’s the myth-busting truth about using a water softener in your home:
Myth 1: Water Softeners Add Too Much Salt to Your WaterIt’s easy to understand where this common misconception comes from, but here’s the truth: Water softeners use an ion exchange process to remove chemicals that cause hard water. The process involves replacing hard minerals with sodium ions. It’s sodium that gets added to your water, not salt. There is no evidence that such small amounts of sodium could lead to inflammation or any kind of health risk. Myth 2: Water Softeners Remove Helpful Nutrients From Your Water It’s easy to assume that your water softener is taking away nutrients when in fact it’s only removing minerals. Drinking water does not add significant nutrients to your diet. The truth is your body has a much harder time absorbing the inorganic minerals in water than those found in foods. Calcium and magnesium are readily available and easily digested in foods like nuts, seeds, grains, herbs, fruits, and vegetables. Myth 3: Softened Water is Acidic It’s true that some water softeners will lower the water’s pH value, making it slightly more acidic. However, water softeners do not turn your water into a corrosive acid that could be harmful to your body and piping. Water softeners can take away bicarbonates and leave carbon dioxide in its place. Carbon dioxide lowers the pH value of your water from a seven to a six. A pH of six is a neutral, not an acid – it is actually less acidic than milk or rainwater! Myth 4: Softened Water Will Leave a Film on Your Skin After making the switch from hard water to soft water, some people notice a different feeling on their skin when they shower. A common misconception is that this ‘slimy’ feeling is a film left behind or soap that hasn’t washed away when in reality it’s the opposite. Hard water can leave soap scum on your skin. The “squeaky clean” feeling after showering is not a sign you’re clean, but a sticky residue that is left on your skin – really, the opposite of clean. The slickness you may feel from soft water is your body’s natural essential oils that your hair and body products. These protect your skin from over-drying, scaling, and chapping. Water softeners remove chemicals that counteract the cleaning power of shampoo and bath soap. Myth 5: Water Softeners Waste Salt, Energy, and Water Most people agree that showering is not a waste of water since there’s a trade-off for using water – being clean. The same thing applies to water softeners – there is a significant trade-off for the water and salt used. In fact, having a water softener can help you save money in multiple ways:
- Extended lifespan and efficiency for all water appliances like laundry machines, water heaters, dishwashers, kettles, coffee machines, and ice machines
- Increased savings on monthly energy costs
- For the same cleanliness, you can use 50-75% less detergent with soft water
- Get more by using less soap and shampoo products
- Achieve naturally moist skin easier without moisturizers and creams