Installing a water softener plant at home can turn out to be very expensive. The best alternative solution is to use a hard water softener for your water inlet.
In this article, we will discuss the various methods to convert hard water to soft water. We will also learn how to know whether you have hard water or not.
But first, we shall start with why do you need to convert hard water to soft water.
Why Should You Convert Hard Water to Soft Water?
We all are aware that the hard water contains is not good for the human body. It contains minerals like calcium and magnesium, and hence it is not ideal for your appliances, too. These minerals in the hard water can leave stains on your clothes, tiles, utensils, etc. Moreover, they can even clog your pipes, and eventually damage them. It does not stop with that. The hard water can further affect the performance of your washing machine, dishwasher, geyser, etc. Gradually, it will even reduce the life span of your appliances.
Hard water can have an adverse effect on your skin and hair. When you take a shower with hard water, it will irritate your skin and make it itchy. Moreover, the minerals in it can remain in your scalp, further making it flaky with dandruff. If you want to protect yourself from these harmful effects, it is imperative to convert the hard water into soft water at home.
How Do You Know Whether Your Water At Home Is Hard Water Or Not?
We all know that the groundwater passes through the soil. During this process, minerals like calcium carbonate and magnesium, and other rock particles present in the soil enter the water. As a result, it causes hardness in the water. When this hard water runs through your water pipes at home, it will lead to a build-up of limescale inside the pipes.
Below are some of the indications that will help you know if the water supply to your home has hardness or not.
1. Reduced Flow Of Water
If you notice reduced water pressure from all your faucets and showerheads, it means that the water is hard. The hardness in the water causes the build-up of limescale and minerals in the water pipes. Consequently, it minimizes the flow of water.
2. Itchy Skin And Dry Hair
Are you noticing irritation on your skin whenever you are changing places? You may even observe your hair becoming dry. It is primarily due to the hardness of the water. Hard water can have adverse effects on your skin and hair. You can take it as a clear indication that you have a hard water supply to your home.
3. Increased Electricity Bills
The deposits of limescale or minerals in the water may affect the performance of your washing machine, dishwasher, geyser, etc. It will make these appliances work harder than they should. As a result, you will notice a hike in the electricity bills at your home. It is yet another indication that your house has a hard water supply.
4. Less Lather From Your Soap
Is your soap producing less lather? You can take it as another indicating factor for hard water supply. The hardness in water will reduce the effectiveness of your soap. Apart from affecting the lather formation of soap, the hard water will leave stains on your clothes and utensils. These marks can be difficult to get rid of from your clothes, and it can even make them lose their shine.
What Are The Tests To Find Out Hardness In The Water?
You may be worried thinking about how to find out the hardness in your water. Well, do not worry! We will learn about some of the DIY methods that will help you test the hardness of the water. Below are the best and easiest ways you can try at home:
Method 1: Using Dish Washing Soap
Here is all you need:
- Water Bottle
- Dish soaps
- Fill the bottle with water to the half.
- Add three tablespoons of dishwashing soap to the bottle.
- Mix it properly by shaking the bottle.
- If you observe that the foam developed inside dissolves quickly, it is a clear indication that you have a hard water supply in your home.
Method 2: Using Water Test Strips
Here is all you need:
- Water hardness testing strips
- Take a bowl of water.
- Take a water hardness testing strip and dip it in the bowl of water.
- Notice the change of colour of the strip.
- You can check for the guideless mentioned on the strips bottle. Depending on the colour, it will tell you the extent of hardness present in the water.
How to Convert Hard Water To Soft Water?
Hard water is basically of two types – temporary hard water and permanent hard water.
It is not easy to convert permanent hard water to soft water.
When it comes to temporary hard water, there are a few methods you can follow for easily converting it to soft water.
Below are some of the best processes you can follow:
1. Convert Hard Water To Soft Water for the Kitchen
Let us first start with how you can soften the hard water in the kitchen. Hardness in water can damage the utensils you are using. If you use this same water for cooking, it is going to harm your body. Since you use comparatively less amount of water in the kitchen, you can try these two methods to soften the hard water.
Below are the two ways for treating hard water:
Hard Water Treatment 1: Boiling the Water
This is the most easiest and simplest method you can try at home for treating hard water. Here is what you have to do.
- Boil the hard water in a vessel.
- Allow the boiled water to cool down naturally. During the process, the minerals will settle at the bottom of the vessel.
- Now, scoop out the cool water from the surface. The minerals will remain at the bottom.
Hard Water Treatment 2: Using a Water Softener for the Water inlet
The next treatment method is by using a permanent hard water softener at your home. You can attach this softener to your kitchen faucet. When the water passes through the faucet, the hard water softener removes the hardness and other mineral deposits from the water. Only after removing, the inlet will release the water. This way, you can soften the hard water. However, remember that this process will not filter the water.
2. Convert Hard Water To Soft Water for Laundry
Using hard water for your clothes can leave stains on them. It can even make them lose their shine. Furthermore, it minimizes the efficiency of laundry detergents and makes them less effective on your clothes. Additionally, it will even make the clothes stiff. To counter this issue, you can try these methods to soften the hard water for your laundry.
Below are the four ways for treating hard water:
Hard Water Treatment 1: Using Water Conditioning Liquid
Have you ever come across a water conditioning liquid? I am sure you all must have done. It is an effective way of treating hard water. This is how it works:
The conditioning liquid plays the role of a catalyst in the hard water.
It absorbs all the minerals present in the water and converts the hard water to soft water.
We advise you to choose a non-precipitating water conditioning liquid over a precipitating conditioner for treating hard water. While the latter leaves white precipitates on the clothes, the former does not.
All you have to do is just a few drops of the non-precipitating water conditioning liquid to the water while doing the laundry. It will retain the shining of the clothes and makes them soft like before.
Make sure you add the conditioner even during the second cycle of the washing.
Hard Water Treatment 2: Using Hard Water Softener
The next treatment method is by using a hard water softener at your home. You can attach this softener to your water inlet that allows water to your washing machine. When the water passes through the faucet, the hard water softener removes the hardness and other mineral deposits from the water. Only after removing, the inlet will release the water to the washer. This way, you can soften the hard water. It is the best alternative to cut down on your water conditioner liquid costs. You can save your bucks on using the conditioner for each laundry.
3. Convert Hard Water To Soft Water for Bathroom
Hard water can have adverse effects on your skin and hair. When you take a shower with hard water, it will irritate your skin and make it itchy. When you wash your hair with this water, the minerals in it can remain in your scalp, further, making it flaky with dandruff. If you want to protect yourself from these harmful effects, you have to convert the hard water into soft water at home. Are you wondering how to do it? Do not worry! We have listed some methods that will help you soften the hard water for your bathroom.
Below are the ways for treating hard water:
Hard Water Treatment 1: Using Hard Water Softener
You can use a hard water softener for your bathroom faucets just like you used it for the kitchen. You may even fix it in your shower. Here is all you have to do:
You can attach this softener to the water inlet in your bathroom or the shower. When the water passes through the tap or shower, the hard water softener removes the hardness and other mineral deposits from the water. Only after removing, the inlet will release the water through the inlet. This way, you can soften the hard water and make it useful for your bathing.
The water softening principle that most hard water softeners for taps or showers use is the ion exchange.
4. Convert Hard Water To Soft Water for Drinking
You may think that using a hard water softener will treat the hard water. Although it works for your laundry and bathing, it is not a suitable option for drinking. As mentioned earlier, the hard water softener will not filter the water. Hence, you may require something additional to it. Let us see how you can treat hard water and make it ideal for drinking purposes.
Hard Water Treatment 1: Using RO Water Purifier
The best solution for treating hard water is to use an RO water purifier at home. It works effectively by removing the hardness, impurities, and other dissolved metals like lead, calcium, sulphates, etc. Furthermore, it even helps in removing contaminants from the water like bacteria, viruses, germs, etc., that are responsible for causing diseases. It makes the water soft, and safe for drinking.
Other Methods for Converting Hard Water to Soft Water
Here are some other DIY methods that will help treat the hard water:
Hard Water Treatment 1: Using Vinegar
Using vinegar is the best DIY method you can try at home to get rid of the hard water stains left behind on your laundry. This is what you can do.
Here is all you need:
- Spray Bottle
- Clean Cloth
- Take a spray bottle with water and add some vinegar to it. This will make the vinegar diluted.
- Take the washed clothes containing white spots or stains.
- Sprinkle some diluted solution on these stains.
- Take a clean cloth and scrub it over the spots.
- It will help you remove the hard water stains on the laundry.
Hard Water Treatment 2: Using Baking Soda
Using baking soda is the best DIY method you can try at home to treat hard water. This is what you can do.
Here is all you need:
- Baking Soda
- Clean Cloth
- Take a bucket and fill it with the hard water.
- Add about a half cup of baking soda to the bucket.
- It will temporarily help reduce the hardness in the water.
What Is Ion-Exchange Water Softening?
Ion-exchange water softening is the principle used by most hard water softeners. It is a process of converting hard water to soft water. In this process, the water softener works by exchanging ionic minerals like calcium and magnesium with sodium minerals. This way, it removes hardness from the water.
This is how the process is:
The ion-exchange water softener allows the hard water to pass through the resin beads. These human-made resin beads contain a negative charge, whereas the minerals like calcium and magnesium are positively charged. When these positive charge minerals and resin come in contact with each other, the sodium ions replace the minerals. Thereby, it converts hard water to soft water.
I hope this article explained the different ways to treat hard water. If you reside in a locality with hard water, you can follow any of the methods cited in this article to remove hardness from the water. You can share this information with your friends and help them know about the hard water treatment methods.
Write to us in the comments section below if you have any questions. Also, let us know if you need more information on converting hard water to soft water. We will answer all your queries at the earliest with relevant info.
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Stay healthy and stay safe!!!