When performing regular maintenance duties such as washing clothes, we require an effective washing machine and clean water to remove all contaminants. However, obtaining that quality of water is not always achievable due to the numerous impurities that adhere to the water.
Table Of Contents−
- What is hard water?
- Problems with hard water laundry
- How to determine whether you have hard water
- Why should you wash your clothes in soft water?
- Choosing the best water softener for your washing machine
- Before installing a water softener, consider the following
- After you’ve installed a water softener for your laundry
But what if there was a way to make the water clean and healthy? There are several ways to accomplish this, one of which is by installing a water softener for use with the washing machine. Although few people know it, these water purifying systems work wonders.
In today’s article, we’ll look at how a water softener can significantly improve the quality and performance of your washing machine. Make sure you read to the end to discover why installing these gadgets could be a life-changing event that no one should pass up.
What is hard water?
Hard water can be found in 85 percent of the United States. Hard water is typically classified as having high calcium and magnesium concentrations; the higher the concentration of these elements, the harder the water.
If you weren’t aware, hard water contains calcium and other substances that can be detrimental to the machine and your clothing. Soft water, on the other hand, removes them, providing you with clean water.
With a high concentration of these minerals in the water, unless the water is treated, the calcium and magnesium bind to the fabric in a washing load, leaving garments and linens stiff and covered in a dulling residue. In addition, due to the amount of mineral coating in very hard water, the fabric fibers can break and form holes.
If you use a municipal water system, the officials can tell you how much mineral content is in your water. Some companies will test your water supply as well. If you utilize well water, testing is especially necessary.
Problems with hard water laundry
- Fabric dinginess, graying or fading
- Soil buildup on clothing that will not wash away.
- Fabrics that are stiff and abrasive to the touch.
- Tears are caused by fiber weakening.
- Streaks of white or gray on colorful fabrics
How to determine whether you have hard water
The first step in doing laundry with hard water is to establish the hardness of your water. Fortunately, there are some rather obvious signs of hard water in the home. These are some examples:
- Laundry that is stiff, discolored, or did not come out clean
- Shampoos and soaps that do not lather
- White deposits on drains and faucets
- Itching of the skin
- Increased occurrence of fabric rips or weaknesses
- If these issues sound familiar, you should consider checking your water’s hardness and taking appropriate action if necessary.
When using a washing machine with a water softener, you should be aware that you do not need to use detergent, but you need to be cautious about the items you put in the water.
Overall, the water softener does nothing but provide several benefits when used in the washing machine.
Why should you wash your clothes in soft water?
Is it truly a good idea to use a water softener with a washing machine? This section discusses the advantages of utilizing soft water instead of hard water.
Hard water contains a high concentration of elements that may harm you and your washing machines, such as calcium and magnesium.
These two things will often leave deposits behind, which are undesirable since they may harm the washing machine and the pipes. These problems are avoided by using soft water.
Even though it is not visible, rough water can harm your clothing, causing it to wear out quickly. Another issue is that hard water will fade darker colors, destroying the design of your favorite clothing. On the other hand, soft water protects and maintains the appearance of your clothes.
Savings of money
Using hard water will force you to buy detergent frequently, costing you money. It’s one of those things you don’t notice at first, but as the month goes on, that little additional money saved could help you out of a tight spot when you least expect it.
Choosing the best water softener for your washing machine
Some washing machines have a special structure that allows them to work with water softeners.
Because most machines differ depending on the type, your best bet is to check the instruction booklet to see if your washing machine will function with the softener. You can contact the manufacturer if you don’t have the handbook.
With the machine model, the company should be able to inform you whether the machine can be modified to add the water filtration system of your choice. The hard water is converted to soft water after the water softener is installed.
Calgon is a well-known brand of the water softener. However, he owes his popularity not to his amazing abilities but through advertising. Indeed, after studying the product’s composition, you may be certain that such water softening components are present in any high-quality powder.
As a result, it is sufficient to use such a powder in the dose specified on the packaging and avoid spending money on “promotion.”
Remember! The higher the hardness of the water, the more power is needed for one wash cycle.
Soda ash is a well-known water softener among the older generation. However, it must be mixed into the powder directly. Such a home treatment will shield the washing machine’s specifics from rough water. However, it has a detrimental impact on clothing made of natural fibers. Therefore its usage should be limited and cautious.
Ordinary household soap can be used to soften water. When washing, you must use soap in addition to the powder. However, using this approach to wash children’s clothes is not advised because the garments will dry out on the clothes that have been washed with household soap.
Experts believe softening hard water with chemicals is less successful than softening with water filters. Similar filters can not only soften water but also remove dangerous pollutants. There are various types of such filters. Water treatment using a polyphosphate filter
- Filter made with polyphosphate (salt).
- Magnetic filter.
- Devices for exchanging ions
- Systems for reverse osmosis.
The most cost-effective technique to soften water is with a salt filter.
Water softening happens in this filter as it passes through polyphosphate crystals, which react with water salts and absorb them.
The output is soft process water that is ideal for washing and does not damage the washing machine’s components. This filter can be cut into a water pipe and connected to an inlet hose, or an insert can be made in the inlet hose. The first choice was preferred.
Please remember that the polyphosphate filter must be changed at least once every six months, subject to daily washing.
Water purification with a magnetic filter
Because of the magnetic field, the magnetic filter attracts metal elements found in hard water. As a result, most magnesium, calcium, and other metal salts remain in the filter at the exit, and the water becomes washable.
A magnetic filter, as opposed to a polyphosphate filter, is more dependable and long-lasting. A magnetic filter, on the other hand, is many times more expensive. Furthermore, such a filter can be utilized to not only soften but also purify drinking water.
Ion exchange filters remove metal salts from the water that passes through them using the principle of twofold absorption. What causes this to happen? Water first enters one compartment of the filter, where an adhesive substance saturates the water with ions that react with heavy metals.
water treatment using an ion filter
The ions of this material bind heavy metal elements, which enter the second compartment with water. The second compartment contains salt crystals that capture ions and heavy metal salts. As a result, the water is gentle.
Filters that use osmosis.
Some of the most effective filters purify water from heavy metal salts better than others. A membrane separates at least two to three compartments in such filters.
There are solutions of varying concentrations and densities in each compartment. Water is cleaned of all its dense components when it passes under pressure through these solids. The result is superb soft water that can only be utilized for technical purposes.
Because the filtration achieved by the filter is too deep, osmosis filters are not used to generate edible water. As a result, the water loses all its helpful components, which might harm the human body.
So, while the methods for softening hard water differ, each of them can be used to soften water for the washing machine. Choosing the best method for you will be determined by your budget and goal to improve the quality of your washing and safeguard your washing machine.
Our top pick
The ispring water softener is our top selection since it is one of the best softeners for the money. However, while this water softener has the highest characteristics, it is not a cheap alternative. And the ispring transfers electromagnetic waves through its pipes using an electronic chip.
- Solves hard water problems
- Allows the existing scale to break down
- Great for washing machines and other home appliances
- No plumbing modifications required
Before installing a water softener, consider the following
Installing a water softener is a process that is very dependent on the model you choose. Furthermore, you must consider the current pipe arrangement in your home and the ideal location to install the water softener once you’ve selected your decision.
Of course, if you have previous experience and enjoy DIY projects, you may find that doing the entire installation procedure yourself is a lot of fun. People with less experience, on the other hand, may have to make several changes before they can start.
After all, installing a water softener is not as simple as it appears. It’s not as if connecting a few pipes and pressing a few buttons will suffice. To provide the best circumstances for the softener, it is sometimes necessary to cut through the pipes and work the materials.
Installing a water softener in your home can significantly impact your lifestyle; soft water rapidly becomes a valuable element that can help us with many things other than washing. That is why many people believe a water softener is a must-have item everyone should have.
In this post, we’ve discussed the benefits of a water softener for your washing machine, but that’s not its only function. You can use it for nearly any other chore around the house that requires soft water, such as gardening and washing kitchen utensils, to name a few.
So, once you’ve decided you want to install this equipment, conduct a thorough evaluation of your property to determine the optimum location for the water softener. If you do, you will not be sorry later due to malfunctions or other concerns.
After you’ve installed a water softener for your laundry
Installing a water softener is the most obvious answer to these problems, but you must change your laundry practices to achieve the greatest results. Fortunately, some washing suggestions will help once you install your water softener.
Reduce the amount of detergent you use.
After installing a water softener, you’ll need to minimize the detergent you use in your wash cycle. Hard water users frequently gradually increase the amount of detergent used to achieve the greatest washing outcomes.
As a result, once you’ve installed a water softener, you’ll need to modify the amount of detergent you use because there won’t be any hard water minerals interfering with the lathering process.
When washing your clothing with softened water, you should notice that you don’t need to use as much soap to get clean, fresh laundry with each load. According to research, you can obtain comparable, if not better, outcomes by washing laundry with less detergent and on a lower temperature cycle.
Using too much detergent in your wash load can not only waste money but may also harm your washing machine. If you use too much detergent in your load, your machine may overflow or lather up so much that it struggles to rinse the wash adequately.
So, consider the detergent manufacturer’s guidelines for soft water levels instead of relying on your hard water washing intuition.
Reduce the temperature of your washing machine.
As previously said, you can use softened water to wash your clothes at a lower temperature and achieve the same, if not better, results. In addition, because you’ve removed the hard water minerals, they won’t stick to your clothes during the wash cycle. This means you won’t need to use the harshest wash temps to remove the residue from your clothes. As a result, you should be able to reduce your wash temperature, saving energy and money drastically.
Don’t use salt
Many homeowners may add a spoonful of salt to their wash to prevent colors from bleeding during the cycle. Although this is useful when using hard water, it is no longer necessary if you have switched to soft water.
Water softeners commonly use salt for ion exchange, which exchanges hard water minerals for sodium ions. This means you should be able to wear bold, colorful garments without adding anything to your laundry.
Think about your laundry additions
Some people add extra detergents and stain removers to their laundry loads, but this may no longer be necessary now that you’re using softened water. These extra washing products are typically used to compensate for the impacts of hard water, so you may discover that they are no longer required.
While adding these goods is unlikely to cause damage to your washing machine, in the worst-case situation, the harsh chemicals may cause damage to your clothing, or at the absolute least, you may be squandering money by purchasing these very expensive products.
Your washing machine should be descaled.
Because you’ve most likely been using hard water in your home for some time, your washing machine and other water-consuming appliances will likely have scale buildup.
While you are unlikely to obtain much more scale because you switched to soft water, the present scale may still interfere with performance and efficiency. As a result, it is a good idea to descale your washing machine. This is as simple as running an empty hot cycle with a cup of white vinegar in the drum.
Because white vinegar is particularly powerful at dissolving hard water mineral scales, the solution will be able to reach most regions of your washing machine. When the cycle is ended, wipe down the drum to remove any residue.
Keep an eye on your salt levels.
While your water quality professional will have emphasized the need for a maintenance regimen for your new water softener, it is crucial to remember that you will only continue to experience greater laundry performance and efficiency if your softener is working properly.
If you allow your softener salt levels to fall below the minimum, the device will not function properly, and you will lose all of the wonderful laundry benefits.
Don’t forget about your extra appliances.
Finally, remember that hard water will impact more than just your washing routine and that other appliances and jobs around your home may require some attention now that you’ve moved to soft water.
Your dishwasher, for example, should provide greater performance and efficiency, but you may need to change your dishwasher practices. For example, as previously said, you should no longer need to use the hottest wash and more detergent to clean your dishes.
Again, cleaning and descaling your dishwasher is recommended to remove any hard water scale collection that may have accumulated before installing your water softener. Then, on the top rack, run an empty cycle with a dishwasher-safe cup of white vinegar.
After an extensive investigation, we realized we are not alone in using a water softener with the washing machine. It may appear to be an unconventional technique for obtaining filtered water, but it works, and that is all that matters in the end.
Installing a water softener enhances the quality of the water you receive for various chores, including washing your clothes. Not only that, but such devices will help you save a lot of money that you would have spent on fabric softener and other chemicals to care for your clothing properly.
So, the next time you’re dissatisfied with how your clothes look after a washing cycle, think about using a water softener. Chances are, you’ll notice a change that not only improves the appearance of your clothing but also boosts the fabric’s durability, allowing you to wear them for longer.
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."