You might think that when we’re saying you have to get hard water to soft water converter immediately that we’re just a bunch of people speaking gibberish but trust us that hard water is nothing but a slow poison for your house chores and appliances. Hard water has been the age-old enemy for both households and industries for decades, and it is because of the mineral salts present in it.
The high concentration of mineral salts of calcium and magnesium makes all the washing ineffective and leads into nothing but water, energy and resources wastage. This is why we suggest you learn how to soften hard water naturally and make sure the water conversion isn’t too hard on your pocket.
Also, not to mention before getting into the technicalities you should check your water via a reliable water hardness tester and if you also are victims of this hard water then dive into this article to learn how to soften hard water economically.
How to Measure Water Hardness?
1. Water Hardness Test Strips
As the name suggests, these are proper strips that will help you identify if you’ve hard water supply. With simple instructions and easy to follow steps, you can easily find out the degree of hardness of your tap water within minutes. There are many such strips available on the internet, but one brand that exceptionally caught our eye is Hach Total Hardness Test Strip.
2. Testing it at home
If you venture out to find ways for checking the water hardness level at your home, then you should follow this simple procedure. Firstly, take a transparent water bottle, liquid soap and water. You should measure and pour 360 mL of water inside the bottle and add 10-12 drops of liquid soap to the bottle. Cap the bottle tightly and shake vigorously for five minutes. Let the bottle be undisturbed for a while, and if the foam persists, then it is soft, but if not, then it’s hard water.
This procedure is just a simple water hardness test method that won’t help you determine the degree of it, but it will certainly show you if you’ve hard or soft water supply to your home. Alternatively if you want test to be more precise, here’s how you can check TDS level at home.
3. Using Water Hardness Test Kit
If you want to check the hardness level right at precise levels, then this might be an ideal choice for you. These kits usually come with a standard-sized bottle which you’ve to fill up to a certain level and then add different chemicals to it to see water change colours. The colours will lead you to a conclusion and tell you the exact hardness level of the water.
TDS kits are usually super precise, and Aquasol is a very reliable brand for hardness test kits. They have their kits backed by authentic scientific research and provide great quality kits. You can get the TDS kits from amazon which includes TDS meters. If you are specifically looking for TDS Meters, we have compiled a detailed article on the Best TDS Meters in India.
What is the Need for Converting Hard Water to Soft Water?
You must have heard how important minerals and vitamins are for regulating our body mechanism, but these minerals are only good up to a certain extent as an excess of anything causes more damage than good. Similarly, mineral content is good, but if it crosses a certain level, then it turns into a problematic thing for both your home and your appliances.
The hard water makes cleaning ineffective, and that includes all kinds of cleaning like bathing, laundry, dishwashing etc. It suppresses the action of soap and hinders the cleaning process. Hard water even damages appliances if used for a long time, so summing it up hard water is bad for both households and industries.
To make the hard water usable, you’ve to convert it into soft water to make effective usage of it.
How to make Hard water Soft?
As promised, we’re here to discuss how to make hard water soft without making it hard on your budget. With this information, you can even learn how to convert hard water into soft water for a bath so that you don’t have to face issues like itchy scalp, rashes etc. again.
Method 1: Ion-Exchange Water Softening
It sounds fancy, but it is just salt-based ion-exchange, and they’re really popular for household water supplies. If you’ve ever asked a chemistry student, you’ll hear them mentioning this while explaining about how to convert hard water into soft water and using complex words but we will try to break it down into simpler terms.
You must remember how we discussed that excess calcium and magnesium salts make the hard water, and this ion-exchange water softener replaces them with potassium and sodium present in its resin beads. The regeneration of ions happens once every week to make sure there is an adequate supply of ions to keep the softening process intact.
Besides removing calcium and magnesium, some ion-exchange softeners even remove iron (ferrous) ions which may not be visible at first, but if the water is left undisturbed, then you’ll observe a reddish-brown ring on the water surface.
Method 2: Salt-Free Water Conditioning
Unconventional means to soften hard water and backed up by research of Arizona university, this method has proven to be effective and available for small-scale domestic household use. Salt-free water conditioning has shown to reduce the lime-water hardness by 96%, which is a really good way for hardness conversion.
The process makes use of the active sites present on microscopic ceramic beads to accumulate and anchor hardness ions in the nano-crystal clusters. Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC) has been effective in removing hardness to an appropriate level, but unlike the salt ionization systems, these need to be protected from iron using a filter.
The crystals accumulated in the TAC system remain intact for a short while, and then they break away so the water filtered by this should be used regularly. Many brands offer products that give a satisfactory performance at reasonable costs. One of them is Aquasana SimplySoft EQ-AST-WH that utilizes a salt-free TAC system to convert hard water into soft water at a capacity of 6 years.
Another method of purifying that comes under salt-free water conditioning is chelation. This process has been popular at industrial scales but recently became available for household purposes. The main difference between salt-ion exchange systems and chelation is that instead of removal of hardness ions, they are converted into an inactive state so that they don’t react with any other chemical.
If chelation and TAC don’t seem to shake your opinion regarding salt-free water conditioning, then there is a third method you can put to use, and that is ‘Reverse Osmosis’. Your RO systems only serve the drinking purpose, but the hardware running through other faucets causes harm. Hence, we recommend putting up a cheap, efficient RO system that can deal with other water needs like laundry, bathing, washing dishes etc.
Method 3: Electronic/Magnetic Descaler
There has been a lot of buzz about water descaling and how it works. Descaling is a chemical-free and anti-scale water treatment system. Instead of softening the water, it involves changing the way that the hardness ions interacts with your appliances, pipes, laundry etc.
The electronic, magnetic descaler uses alternating magnetic currents that alter the nature of magnesium and calcium ions. The powerful alternating magnetic fields that change the crystal structure to sphere eliminating the chances of lime-scale or build-up on surfaces. Even though the effectiveness of this method is arguable, but lots of people switch to this as an alternative for ion-exchange softener systems.
Method 4: Boiling
We know that boiling removes a lot of unwanted contaminants from your water and makes it relatively safer for consumption, but the good news is that it is even effective in converting hard into soft water. You can remove temporary hardness from water by boiling it for a while and allow it to cool down before using it.
After boiling and leaving the water undisturbed, it will lead to settlement of the minerals. You can pour water and use it, leaving the settled mineral salts behind.
We’ve discussed the reasons for why you should soften the water, and we believe that after learning all the ways of softening hard water you’ll be able to make an informed decision about what works best for you. If you have further issues regarding the reliability of these solutions, then talk to your friends, family and neighbours. Ask them what works best for them and then check if it works out for you as well. When you’re done with research, know that there is no 100% success guarantee for any method and what matters is the best possible outcome that works best for you.