Science in Action: the proven benefits of water softening
Many people may still have unswerving faith in the hard water that naturally occurs in their region, yet the benefits of softened water are high in number. The United Kingdom Water Treatment Association (UKWTA) put together a report to highlight the benefits of water softener systems in the home.
This document explores the science behind the benefits claimed by water softener manufacturers. Anyone that is interested in a softener for themselves can use this to scrutinise the reasons to buy – free of any bias claims. Addressing each key issue one by one, the UKTWA found truths in the following plus points:
Softened water reduces the amount of maintenance and servicing needed by appliances.
This fact is well documented in literature, and efforts to treat limescale have been in place for over 100 years – with varied success. Nowadays, kettles, taps and shower heads can only truly be kept performing at their best with softened water.
Water softeners save energy, reduce fuel costs and emissions.
A New Mexico State University study tested 12 used gas and electric water heaters in an area supplied by hard water. After fitting half with a water softener, the study concluded that energy usage by the gas heaters was 23.8 per cent lower with the system added, and 17.8 per cent lower for electric water heaters.
Softened water lowers the usage levels of soap, shampoo and detergent.
In the Scientific Services Study, stain removal efficacy in washing machines was better with softened water at the lowest temperature and detergent dosage, even when compared to hard water at the maximum temperature and detergent amount.
Last but not least, clothes last longer when washed in softened water.
The YMCA Laundry Study found that, when measuring the life of hotel laundry (such as bed linen, towels and tablecloths) over a five-year period, all forms of washing showed an increase in life using softened water (from ten per cent for dish towels to 39 per cent for pillow slips).