Chemistry of a typical Water Softener

While it may not seem like a necessity to have your water “softened” at first, you may start to realize that your soap starts to run out faster than it normally would, or that your hair has lost the smooth, silky after-bath feel to it. After this, you may start to wonder why it’s happening, when it did not use to be the case.

If you start getting bothered by the benefits of hard water, you might as well get things straight and know what makes hard water what it is, then read this article.

What makes hard water “hard”?


While water is primarily made of H2O molecules, the process of it travelling on pipes, and coming in contact with elements on the ground, such as Calcium and Magnesium make it “hard”, as the ions of these elements blend well with water.

These ions form some sort of “layer”, which makes the interaction of water and surfactants rather difficult, and therefore, require you to use more soap or the surfactant of your choice.

This could come across as a hassle among people. Furthermore, having “hard water” could cause unsightly mineral deposits to form on faucets and damage heating components and water dispensers faster.

To help with this, water softeners of different sorts are installed onto pipes and conduits right before the water reaches the faucets.

There are several mechanisms when it comes to “softening” the water (you can read about each of them further in our Water Softener Reviews), but the most common, and how most water softeners work is through “ion exchange”. The most common are through DIR, or Demand Initiated Regeneration, which operate or “soften” water only whenever it is needed. Salt, in the form of a brine solution, is often used, as the Sodium Ions in the water are exchanged with the Calcium and Magnesium Ions which are found in hard water. There are other alternatives, used to soften water, and this includes Electromagnetic Water Treatment, Capacitive Deionization, Template Assisted Crystallization, and Electrically Induced Precipitation. These development of these treatment methods arose from how salt can be one which is easily exhausted, and could be a hassle to replace every now and then.

Salt is the most widely used, however, given that it is a very abundant element, is safe, and very cheap and easy to find. It is also a substance which has been approved of and regulated, given that salt is used in a lot of applications. One of the best water softeners in its kind is the Fleck Water Softeners.

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