Water hardness is indicated by its levels of calcium, magnesium and sometimes iron, according to Colorado State University. Because the presence of these minerals can be a nuisance, especially when it comes to using the water for cleaning, many people use a water softener on their water. Soft water is created using sodium and an ion exchange process, eliminating the minerals in the water while adding sodium and potentially other chemicals. Research has shown that the there are several health effects, both positive and negative, of using soft water instead of hard water.
Some may experience a few of these hard water results and others may be accustomed to the feeling of their clothes, bedding, skin and hair after washing. It is mostly important to protect your home with softened water to prolong the lifespan of pipes and home appliances from scale buildup and clogging.
Hard water can be treated with a water softener to reduce the negative impacts of hard water. Water softeners are specific ion exchanges that are designed to remove ions which are positively charged. Anti-scale systems transform calcium ions into calcium crystals which are stable and cannot attach to pipes, surfaces, hardware or other fixtures. The crystals are so small they are easily rinsed away by the water flow.
The Water Quality Association summarises the following as benefits of water treated with a water softener versus untreated hard water: