8 Common Misconceptions about Soft Water
Water softeners are an excellent asset for those who seek a cleaner home and healthier skin and hair, yet a few common myths keep many from realizing the softener solution. Here, we will address a few of the most common myths and misconceptions about the effects of soft water.
Myth: Water Softeners Will Have You Drinking Salt Water
Truth: While softening salts are used in the process, they are employed in an ion exchange process that removes minerals like calcium and magnesium. The mineral tank contains a media that employs a sodium ion charge to replace hard water minerals.
Myth: Soft Water Raises Your Sodium Intake in Unhealthy Amounts
Truth: The amount of sodium used to soften your water depends largely on how hard your water is to begin with. Regardless of how hard your water is, the amount of sodium used is far too small to have a negative impact on your health. Regular tap water contains very little sodium itself, and even with the amount added, The Mayo Clinic classifies softened water as “Very Low Sodium” and assert that there are no negative health implications for a reasonably healthy individual. (http://www.bayareahospital.org/Article.aspx?content_id=21381 )
Some people, however, are on such a low sodium diet that they simply prefer to avoid drinking softened water altogether, while others simply don’t like the taste. For this problem, another simple solution! You have the option of adding a hard water tap or installing a reverse osmosis drinking water system, giving you the power of soft water for bathing, laundry, and avoiding hard water and mineral deposits on dishes, sinks, and showers without adding an ounce of sodium to your drinking supply.
Myth: Water Softeners Purify Water
Truth: Water softeners offer many benefits, from removing metals and minerals that cause staining and build up to allowing you to fully rinse soap and product from your hair—but a hard water softener does not filter out all contaminants. A Reverse Osmosis System is an excellent option to safely remove unwanted smells, tastes, and contaminants from your water.
Myth: Softeners Remove Healthy Minerals From your Water
Truth: When you learn of a softeners ability to remove minerals from your water, it’s easy to assume it is also removing some or all of water’s beneficial nutrients. The fact is, while your body needs calcium and magnesium [both removed during t
he softening process] the minerals in water are inorganic and unable to be absorbed properly by your body. Water is not a significant source of beneficial minerals, and removing those minerals through softening does not rob you of crucial nutrients.
Myth: Soft Water Leaves Your Skin Filmy
Truth: You may notice that your skin feels slightly oily after a soft water shower. Those are the natural oils your hair and body produce, which protect your skin from over drying, chapping, and scaling. The squeaky clean you feel after a hard water shower is actually a sticky film of soap scum trapped on your skin. Really, the opposite of clean!
Myth: Water Softeners Waste Water and Energy
Truth: Some softeners can waste some amount of salt and water during the process of regeneration. This is a cycle that recharges your media with sodium ions.
There now exist several high efficiency models, which actually learn your home’s water needs and how to anticipate them. This allows the unit to use only the amount of salt and water completely necessary for regeneration.
In addition, you will find that your water softening system saves you money in other ways. Soft water is measurably more efficient at cleaning, which saves you not only time and elbow grease, but you will use less chemical solvents and harsh detergents. This reduces both the amount you spend on cleaning products, but also your environmental impact.
Myth: Water Softeners are Expensive
Truth: There is an up-front investment, but the long term pay-off is significant.
The impact soft water makes on your water heater alone is monumental. Hard water creates an inefficient water heating system, which forces you to run the unit at a higher temperature. This raises your utility bill, and increases wear and tear on your expensive water heater, causing it to run out much more quickly.
Your softener will improve the efficiency of several of your other appliances as well. You will use approximately 50% less detergent, which prevents wear on your clothes. Your dishwasher will run cleaner, preventing scale buildup on your dishes and the premature wearing out of your machine. Soft water will also reduce the amount of harmful buildup on your pipes and shower heads, saving you an expensive call to the plumber.
Myth: You Don’t Need a Softener in the City
Well-water, often found exclusively outside city limits, almost always requires a softening system. What is less well known is that municipal water is not only imperfect, but varies from city to city, supply to supply. Regardless of the amount of processing your water has been through before reaching your pipes, more than 80% of homes suffer the ill-effects of hard water. From laundry to bathing, a water softener will take the bite out of your water.