What is a Water Softener And Why Should You Have One?
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What is a Water Softener And Why Should You Have One?

A common discussion you may hear among homeowners is whether hard water is something you need to change. After all, if you’ve lived with hard water this whole time, should you really worry? The answer is yes because soft water, via a water treatment service, makes a big difference.

There are several noticeable differences between hard and soft water that can impact a person’s day-to-day life, and understanding those differences can help you realize why a water softener is a necessary addition to your home.

Hard Water Vs. Soft Water

So what is the difference between hard and soft water? Start with understanding hard water. Hard water contains a high concentration of magnesium and calcium minerals. The water collects these minerals as it transports through the ground. Slightly hard water has 17 to 60 parts per million, while very hard water has more than 180 parts per million.

These extra minerals can be removed from your home’s water with a water softener treatment system. A water softening system pulls out the magnesium and calcium minerals and replaces them with a high concentration of sodium. Because of this process, soft water typically tastes saltier and feels thinner.

How Can You Tell If You Have Hard or Soft Water?

Fortunately, there are several key signs that point to your having hard water. You cannot tell by looking at it, and most cannot tell by tasting it. However, there are still apparent signs that you’ll see if you look closely.

Your Hands Feel Filmy After You’ve Washed Them

If your hands always feel unwashed even when you’ve washed them, you may have hard water. Many types of soap react to the calcium in the water, which forms soap scum. If your water is hard, you can eventually get the filmy feeling off by rinsing your hands for a little longer.

However, if you have soft water, you will feel cleaner and find that soap promotes a healthier lather.

Spots on Your Washed Dishes

If you know that you’ve run the dishwasher but still see water spots on your glass or silverware, you may have hard water. Typically, these spots indicate deposits of calcium on your dishes. This can be taken care of with a water softening system.

Mineral Stains on Clothes

Hard water in the water can also leave calcium stains on your clothes. Even when they come fresh from the washing machine, you will notice these spots. And, as an added disadvantage, clothes don’t last as long when they are continually washed in hard water.

Low Water Pressure

Homes with hard water have lower water pressure. Because mineral deposits can form in your pipes, it shrinks the interior diameter of the pipes. This reduces water flow, and leads to low water pressure.

What is a Water Softener System?

A water softening system is a great way to deal with the harder symptoms of hard water. A home water treatment system runs hard water through a resin, which is a sticky and insoluble substance, and coated with positively charged sodium ions. These sodium ions are molecules with a net electric charge.

The minerals are dissolved through ion exchange, and the resin beads attract calcium and magnesium minerals as they pass through, replacing them through regenerations. The result is soft water for your home’s water sources. When you are considering a water softening system, look over the types as offered by Croix Crystal Water Treatment.

Benefits of Soft Water

There are several benefits of professionally installing a water softening treatment system. From drinking water to a cleaner, healthier shower or bath, you’ll find that a water softening system is well-worth its initial investment.


Although hard water is safe to drink, it can cause a number of issues throughout the house. First, hard water’s high concentration of minerals can create a buildup inside the pipes and clog the system, which can cause your water heater to work less efficiently. Not only can this result in higher energy bills, but it can also cause you to invest in costly repairs. A water softener can remove these pesky minerals from the water and create a better-operating plumbing system.

Household Chores

In addition to benefiting your plumbing system, soft water can also make a difference with your household chores. Soap reacts differently with soft water compared to hard water. With soft water, soap is able to lather and bubble more, which makes it ideal for cleaning dishes, clothes, and even your own body.


Homeowners with hard water often report that soap feels dry and uncomfortable when bathing and cleaning. Your hair can also look and feel more dull when washed with hard water. Because of its optimal reaction with soap, soft water can result in brighter clothes, hair, and skin.


Homeowners with hard water will also often suffer from having dishes and glasses that constantly appear spotty and dirty. Hard water leaves behind a film on dishware and appliances due to its high concentration of minerals. No matter how often homeowners scrub and clean their appliances, hard water will typically leave behind some evidence of its presence. Installing a water softener will remove the minerals from the water and result in brighter and cleaner dishes and appliances.


There are many appliances in your home that hard water can have a negative effect on. Installing a water softener can prolong the life of your household appliances and save you money on replacements and repairs down the road.


In addition to making clothing appear brighter, doing your laundry with soft water can also allow your clothes to feel softer and last longer. Hard water will often cause fabric to feel rough and uncomfortable to the touch. Soft water reacts with detergent more efficiently and doesn’t leave behind the excess minerals, which causes clothing and other fabric to feel softer.

Drinking Water

A water softener improves the taste of your home’s drinking water. Many people say that hard water, with its extra minerals, tastes different from soft water. However, if you treat hard water with specific chemicals, it may taste slightly saltier. This benefit of soft water may or may not be preferable, but you can at least rest easy knowing you aren’t drinking excessive minerals.

Choosing the Best Water Softener For Your Home

When you’ve decided it’s time to get access to soft, comfortable water in your home, the next choice is what type of water softener to install. Choosing the best water softener depends on water usage and current hardness level.

To determine how much water you use, look at your monthly utility bills. The size of your water softener should reflect the water you use each month. For example, a large family that uses a lot of water will require a bigger softener than a single person who lives alone and will require a much smaller softener. You should also get your water professionally tested to determine your water’s hardness level.

A person whose water access comes from a private well will typically have higher hardness levels than a city home. Understanding your home’s water consumption and hardness will ensure you install the best water softener for your home.

Water Softener Maintenance

Similar to most household devices, a water softener will require little maintenance. But it’s essential to keep an eye on the state of your water softener and ensure there are no problems with it. Being mindful of the type of salt you put into your softener and noticing when salt is starting to compound will ensure the longevity of your system.

When there’s a problem you can’t fix with your water softener, be sure to call a reputable water treatment company, such as Croix Crystal Water Treatment, to maintain and repair any issues professionally.

Get The Most Out of Your Home’s Water With Croix Crystal Water Treatment

Making the switch from hard water to soft water makes a positive impact on your day-to-day life. From prolonging the lifespan of your household appliances to having brighter, more comfortable clothing, installing a water softener can bring a variety of benefits to your home.

For a professional water softener installation experience, contact Croix Crystal Water Treatment today. We are a team of water treatment experts that is happy to help homeowners in Western Wisconsin and the Twin Cities enhance the quality of their water.

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