Calgon Water Softener Review

by Jay | Updated on December 19th, 2022

Hard water in your home can easily induce some nasty limescale buildup. With that, Calgon water softener comes to the rescue. It’s a popular choice because it’s simple to use. You must throw some into the washer, protecting it from limescale buildup.

Calgon Water Softener

This product is a give from above since it can remove minerals in your water. This prevents buildup that may occur in your appliances and plumbing pipes. In addition, you can have a device installed or use a low-maintenance Calgon water softener.

Calgon Water Softener

How does it work?

Calgon is famous for its water softener and health and beauty products. It has been around since the 1930s, and it was from the expression “calcium gone” that its name was derived. 

This water softener has been selling out like hotcakes for a long time. Initially, the formulation included phosphates, but they have found a way to eliminate it without compromising performance. 

The Calgon water softener in liquid form offers a huge deal of convenience. Why? Because you may use the packaging’s container to measure the amount you put in every time. Add the softener to the clothes directly or pour it into your washer’s drawer compartment. 

For drinking water, the different minerals present may offer some health benefits. However, these minerals, especially calcium and magnesium, react differently to soap. Once in contact, together, they create hard deposits called soap scum or limescale. Additionally, high levels of these minerals cause your soap and detergent not to dissolve properly, thus, decreasing your efficiency.

To make matters worse, limescale can invade your appliances, such as dishwashers and washing machines. Over time, this will make your appliances retire early.

The grossest part is that limescale can also form in your shower or bathtub. And did you know that this is a good breeding environment for bacteria if you house a vinyl shower curtain? YIKES!

Calgon’s water softener, which utilizes polycarboxylates and zeolite, is to the rescue. Zeolite is a volcanic mineral known to eliminate toxins and other health benefits.

Scientifically speaking, zeolite contains oxygen molecules bonded with aluminum ions and silicon which have a negative charge. A negatively-charged molecule attracts other molecules, may participate in ion exchange, and break down huge molecules into smaller fragments.

Since magnesium and calcium are positively-charged, ion exchange occurs between them and the zeolite molecules. This phenomenon stops the reaction of the minerals with soaps or detergents, thus, preventing soap scums. Polycarboxylates function the same way too.

Not sure if you have hard water in your home? Pour tap water into a sauce and wait for it to evaporate. Once it leaves limescale, you’ll know it’s hard water.

What makes Calgon water softener different?

Calgon has been in the water softener market for decades and decades on end. It has survived all these years for a reason. 

It’s easy to dose and effective without breaking the bank. It’s as simple as it gets, but it gets the job done efficiently. Ultimately, throwing in some Calgon water softener saves you more money than installing a softener device. But, of course, these devices are only great for those with an insane amount of minerals in their tap water. 

Since we are talking about the clothes we wear, it is a great relief to know that this product is fragrance-free. This means it has a lesser chance of reacting negatively to your skin.


  • It prevents limescale buildup in your plumbing system
  • Limescale can hasten the wear and tear of your clothes
  • Prevents soap scum from invading the washer
  • Soft water makes laundry detergent lather better
  • Soap scum may irritate your skin

Price point

You can easily spot a Calgon water softener at your local Walmart. For a little over $5, you can purchase a 32-ounce worth of this product. It is also conveniently available on Amazon. It comes in a pack of $26, which saves you a little. 

What do people have to say?

This is rated 4.5 out of 5 on Amazon. Customers rave about seeing improvements immediately. Based on the reviews, a half cap of a water softener is enough to cover a single laundry load. 

As per the buyers, clothes feel cleaner, and stains and residues are nowhere to be found when using this product. Some even said that it helped make their towels softer and more absorbent while using less detergent. 

Take note the Calgon water softener is marketed as a product for your laundry, but trust us when we say that it’s also famous for softening hard water. However, be careful when purchasing online. Some disclosed that they had received some leaking bottles. So, it’s best to purchase it from your local store.

Other water softeners

Calgon’s water softener is not alone in its department. Other brands offer the same water-softening system. It is good to test out different products before sticking to one because our homes have different mineral levels. Find the one that suits you!

Charlie’s Soap Laundry Booster and Hard Water Treatment

This is almost the same as the Calgon variant, but it utilizes phosphate, which Calgon has already eliminated. It is also affordable and is available in bulk for more savings. 

Don’t worry! Phosphates are safe for the environment if you only use one tablespoon of them per laundry session. But if you need more than this dosage, you might need to look for alternatives.

Finish Hard Water Booster Powder

Finish’s water softener, on the other hand, is designed primarily to work wonders in your dishwasher. Add two tablespoons of this powder to your dishwasher’s bottom and wait until it works its magic. 

It contains citric acid that also functions the way Calgon’s ingredients work. However, one thing to take note of is that it contains fragrances. Although these fragrances will provide a great scent and remove unpleasant odors, it is not the best for our environment.

But if you have high levels of calcium and magnesium in your water, trying this one out may be a great idea!

Lemi Shine – Shine + Dry Natural Dishwasher Rinse Aid Hard Water Stain Remover

The Lemi Shine comes in liquid form, unlike our last option. To use it, fill your dishwasher with this water softener, which will automatically be added during the rinse cycle. 

The great thing about this system is that it allows your dishwasher to do its job efficiently first before introducing a water softener. In addition, the Citric acid in this water softener may bond with other compounds and make the dish detergent less effective. Thus, this product promotes a more efficient dishwashing experience!

Final thoughts

The Calgon water softener is a great starting point when preventing limescale and soap scums. However, it is best to try it before opting for the more expensive devices on the market. 

With this, you can have cleaner clothes, softer towels, and a limescale-free home. With its extremely cheap price tag, it’s hard to say no to this guy.

Now, go and check if you have hard water. If you do, get up and drive to your nearest local store for some Calgon water softener!


What can I use instead of Calgon water softener?

If you’ve used a liquid detergent with Calgon in your hard water, consider switching to a powder detergent instead. Powder detergents contain more built-in water-softening agents than liquid detergents, giving you more water-softening power.

How do I use Calgon in my washing machine?

You should use Calgon for the best limescale prevention in every wash and temperature. Just use Calgon’s recommended use in the dispensing drawer’s main wash compartment on top of the laundry detergent. 

Is Calgon water softener the same as borax?

The Calgon liquid is mainly sodium citrate, compared to borax, which is a decent water softener; however, it does have drawbacks. The liquid Calgon also had surfactants, and while it could be used as a detergent booster, it could not be used in the rinse water, according to the manufacturer.


Jay is a health and wellness enthusiast with expertise in water quality and nutrition. As a knowledgeable advocate for holistic well-being, Jay successfully manages Type 2 Diabetes through informed lifestyle choices. Committed to sharing reliable and authoritative insights, Jay combines firsthand experience with a passion for enhancing health."