If you've recently moved to a home without a water softener, you might be surprised at the difference hard water makes on your laundry. However, if you've always lived with hard water, then you may not even realize the harmful effect it has on your clothing. Soft water gets your clothing cleaner and prevents stiffness. Here's how hard water affects your laundry and the differences you'll notice once you get a water softener installed.
The Effects Of Hard Water On Clothing
Hard water is very common, but the degree of hardness varies according to where you live. The harder the water, the more problems it gives your home and laundry. Hard water gets its name because of the excess minerals it contains. These minerals make it difficult for laundry soap to make suds and clean your clothing. Instead, the soap combines with the minerals and can form a powdery deposit that leaves stains on your clothes. Without the ability to get sudsy and clean your clothes, it's harder for your washer to remove dirt and stains. This leaves your clothes dingy and dirty even after they've just been washed.
To combat this effect, you need to use additives and more than recommended amounts of laundry soap. You also need to use hotter water to get the best cleaning results, and that can be hard on your clothing. Another problem with the minerals in the water is that they are left behind on your washing machine and your clothing after the wash and rinse cycle. This can make your clothing scratchy and stiff. If you like to hang towels on the line so they smell fresh, they may be stiff and scratchy rather than soft and fluffy.
How A Water Softener Helps
A water softener treats water for your entire house, so you'll enjoy the benefits of soft water for your plumbing and shower too. A softener works through a chemical reaction with salt that removes hard minerals. You can buy a water softener upfront or you might be able to rent a residential water softener so you can get soft water with a more affordable initial cost. Once you have the softener, you'll find you'll pay less for doing your laundry. That's because you can eliminate many of the additives you had to use to get your clothes clean and reserve them for bad stains. You'll also use much less laundry soap, and you may even eliminate the need for fabric softener.
Soft water allows the laundry soap to react with the water more readily so it gets sudsy and works to break up dirt and stains on your clothing. Your clothing gets cleaner in cooler water and with less soap. Mineral and soap deposits on clothing are also eliminated, so your clothes come out much softer. Your towels are fluffy again without having to use excess fabric softener that leaves them with a strong scent. Your clothing looks cleaner and lasts longer when it isn't washed in hard water. Since your clothes are softer, they are more pleasant to wear, and you may even have less skin irritation from scratchy clothes.
Contact a softener service, like Houston Water Products, for more help.