Water hardness is indicated by its levels of calcium, magnesium and sometimes iron, according to Colorado State University. The presence of these minerals can be a nuisance, especially when it comes to using the water for cleaning. Because of this, many people use a water conditioner on their water. Conditioned water is created using sodium and an ion exchange process, eliminating the minerals in the water while adding sodium and removing harsh chemicals such as chlorine.
Since calcium and magnesium are not present in conditioned water, no adverse reaction with soaps and detergents occurs. The result is the virtual elimination of soap scum and the corresponding reduction in time spent cleaning. Hair and skin can “breathe” more readily. The School of Consumer & Family Sciences at Purdue University recently conducted a study which proved that the life of clothing and household textiles was prolonged up to 15 percent when they were washed in conditioned water.
Soap usage can be dramatically reduced with conditioned water. Since the water is already soft, the cleaning agents have no hardness minerals to react with and overcome, lather more readily and work more effectively. Since less is needed, households can experience considerable savings on laundry detergent, dishwashing detergent, bath soap, hand soap, shampoo and many other cleaning products.
Since conditioned water contains no scale forming minerals, it leaves the inside of plumbing and water using appliances free of solidified rock. Appliances operate more efficiently and last longer when using soft water. Leading appliance manufacturers including Maytag have recognized the problems that hard water causes and recommend the use of home water conditioners to help their own products operate more efficiently.