When performing regular maintenance duties such as washing our clothes, we require not only an effective washing machine, but also clean water to remove all contaminants. Obtaining that quality of water, however, is not always achievable due to the numerous impurities that adhere to the water.
But what if there was a way to make the water clean and healthy? To be honest, 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 are aware of 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 all the way to the end to find out 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. Due to the amount of mineral coating in very hard water, the fabric fibers can actually break and form holes.
If you use a municipal water system, the officials can tell you how much mineral content is in your water. There are companies that 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 colourful 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 all too familiar, you should think about checking the hardness of your water 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 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 in conjunction with a washing machine? This section discusses the several advantages of utilizing soft water instead than hard water.
Hard water contains a high concentration of elements that may be harmful to both you and your washing machine, such as calcium and magnesium.
These two things, more often than not, will 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, harsh 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. Soft water protects and maintains the appearance of your clothes.
Savings of money
Using hard water will force you to buy detergent on a frequent basis, which will cost 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 here 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 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 powder is needed for one wash cycle.
Soda ash is a well-known water softener among the older generation. It must be mixed into the powder directly. Such a home treatment will effectively shield the washing machine’s specifics from harsh 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 that 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).
- Filter that is magnetic.
- 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 is not damaging to 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 keep in mind 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 of the 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
In fact, 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 as well as heavy metal salts. As a result, the water is absolutely gentle.
Filters that use osmosis.
Some of the most effective filters are those that 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 the dense components present in it 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. The water loses all of its helpful components, which might be harmful to 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 as well as your 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 without the need for chemicals, salt, or maintenance, while keeping healthy minerals in the water by preventing scale deposits from forming and allowing existing scale to break down
- Descales your entire water system and prevents scale buildup in pipes. Reduces energy consumption with an average one year payback period. Great for your home and the environment, individuals on salt-restricted diets, and those looking for healthier skin and hair
- Designed for very hard water areas (10-19 grains per gallon). Saves energy and extends the life of your appliances
- No plumbing modifications required. Maintenance-free. Works on any pipe, even PEX and PVC. 1-year money-back and lifetime tech support from iSpring
- Unlike salt water softeners, ED2000 does not change the chemistry of water
- Solves hard water problems
- Allows the existing scale to broke down
- Great for washing machine 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, as well as 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 a number of changes before they can get started.
After all, installing a water softener is not as simple as it appears at first. 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 make a significant impact in 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 to be a must-have item that everyone should have.
We’ve discussed the benefits of a water softener for your washing machine in this post, 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 will need to make some changes to your laundry practices to achieve the greatest results. Fortunately, there are some washing suggestions to help you once you install your water softener.
Reduce the amount of detergent you use.
The first thing you’ll need to do after installing a water softener is minimize the amount of detergent you use in your wash cycle. To achieve the greatest washing outcomes, hard water users frequently gradually increase the amount of detergent used. 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 you start 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 it 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 adequately rinse the wash. So, instead of relying on your hard water washing intuition, consider the detergent manufacturer’s guidelines for soft water levels.
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. 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 drastically reduce your wash temperature, saving both energy and money.
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 the ion exchange process, 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 automatically, 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 costly 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 are likely to have scale buildup. While you are unlikely to obtain much more scale, because you switched to soft water, the present scale may still be interfering 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 scale, 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 of 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 have an impact on 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. As previously said, you should no longer need to use the hottest wash and more detergent to get your dishes clean. Again, cleaning and descaling your dishwasher is recommended to remove any hard water scale collection that may have accumulated prior to installing your water softener. Run an empty cycle with a dishwasher-safe cup of white vinegar in the top rack to do this.
We realized that we are not alone in using a water softener with the washing machine after conducting extensive investigation. It may appear to be an unconventional technique of 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 a variety of 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 properly care for your clothing.
So, the next time you’re dissatisfied with the way your clothing 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 durability, allowing you to wear them for a longer period of time.
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