Soft water versus hard water has many benefits. Like clean shiny silverware and glassware. No one like the spotty chalky hard water spots on their silverware, glasses or dishes.
Since shampoos, soaps and detergents do not lather well in hard water, naturally soft water or hard water made soft through a water softener restores the rich lathering cleaning ability and cuts down on the usage and costs of soaps and detergents by 75%. Also, one can return to natural chemical free healthy soaps and laundering agents. The harsh chemicals in todays soaps and detergents were invented to combat hard water and still have some lather. With soft water you will not need these chemical based cleaners.
Hair and skin feels softer , cleaner and smoother. Detergents easily rinse out of soft water. Tests have been done taking laundry that had gone through a rinse cycle in hard water, taken these “rinsed" clothing out and putting them in clean soapless water, agitating them and watching soap still come out of the clothing. Soft water allows detergents to completely rinse out . Fabrics are also softer without hard minerals become trapped in them. Fabrics last longer and whites stay white without the dingy gray caused by hard water.
Soft water also does not leave chalk or orange rings around bathtubs and sinks. This saves time in house cleaning and embarrassment of having cleaned yet finding it difficult to remove all the hard water deposits. Soft water also preserves the life of all water using appliances such as coffee and ice makers, dishwashers, and clothers washers. Hard water wears appliances out quickly and requires more energy use as appliances do not work as well when they are corroded or clogged with mineral deposits. Savings on fuels costs and on properly working water heaters is another benefit too.
Let's look at average replacement of some of the basic appliance due to hard water corrosions; $360-water heater, $90 faucet set, $300-$600 washer/dryer set, and the entire plumbing system $2000-$4000. The first water softeners were invented in 1912 before the advent of the modern washing machine as a basic household appliance that converts hard water into soft water which we all find desirable. It has continued to be a basic household appliance and is so appreciated by its owners that it is rare to see a water softerner sold 2nd hand, usally owners just taken them with them when they move. The benefits of a water softener are more than one would realize initially and usually involve a cost savings that more than pays for the softener in about 4-5 years and most softeners are expected to last at least 10 years, with many lasting much longer.
Dawn Kornels is the technical writer for http://www.ultimatewaterfilter.com , a site which offers water treatment solutions for the whole house, including water softeners and additional information on hard water.