Hard water contains a lot of minerals, especially calcium and magnesium. These minerals will leave sediments, block drains, form scale on glass and tiles, prevent soap from foaming, and leave a film on skin and hair, blocking pores, making it difficult to remove bacteria and dirt. Although studies have shown that hard water is not harmful to health, it does cause great inconvenience. This article will introduce several ways to soften hard water, see which one is right for you!
Method 1, distinguish hard water
1. Confirm whether you live in a hard water area. Water hardness varies around the world.
If you use tap water, you can find out about the water hardness from the water department of your local city government.
If you have your own well in your home, you may also be able to get information about this from the local city government. Depending on where you are, the city government may be able to tell you the main water sources in the area and show you some test results, including the hardness of the water.
Collect water samples and submit them to a local water quality testing laboratory for testing. If you have your own water well, you suspect it may be hard water. You can also use a commercially available water hardness reagent set.
2. Pay attention to the foaming ability of soap in water. When using cleaning products such as toothpaste, dishwashing liquid, laundry detergent and other household cleaners, pay attention to the amount of foam. If you need a lot of soap to foam, the water in your home is likely to be hard water.
3. Decide whether you need to completely soften the water. Even if hard water is used at home, it is not necessary to soften it. The side effects of hard water softening technology are far greater than the trouble of hard water. If you can ignore this problem and don't let it affect your life, you might consider accepting hard water, or follow the method in Part 2 to make some small adjustments to improve your lifestyle, but you don't need to spend money on a safe water softening system.
The ion water softener replaces mineral ions with sodium ions. It is more convenient to do housework in this way, but the high salt content of the water will kill plants, make the soil unsuitable for the growth of new plants, and destroy the water body where the salt water deposits. 
However, demineralized water can extend the service life of the pipe and make housework that requires soap more convenient.
A good compromise is to install only the water softening system in the hot water pipe, so that only half of the water is softened by sodium ions.
Method 2, soften hard water before use
1. Drink after boiling the water. You can also use boiling water to clean the kitchen and bathroom, brush your teeth, bathe and wash your hair to improve the efficiency of cleaning supplies.
Boil the water for a few minutes, then let it cool. A layer of lime particles visible to the naked eye will form on the water. Before using water, scoop them up and throw them away.
You can also leave the water longer and wait for the particles to sink to the bottom. Scoop out the water carefully, and don't disturb the lime particles that settle underneath. When the water level is only a few centimeters high, pour out the water that seeps with lime particles.
2. Use sodium carbonate (washing alkali) or lime to soften the water. In the past, families living in hard-water areas often filled a large bucket of water without covering it. Put a little sodium carbonate or lime, let it sit for a few days, and then use the water on it.
This method is time-consuming, so it is not commonly used today.
3. Add ammonia, borax, lye or sodium carbonate. When you are doing laundry or other housework and adding soap, add one of the above substances to the water by the way to make the detergent work. Although they cannot soften water, they are known to prevent lime from interacting with soap and help foam. When using, carefully follow the warnings and instructions on the packaging.
Dissolve 500 grams of sodium carbonate in 1 liter of boiling water. After the water has cooled, put it in the bottle and seal it. When doing cleaning, mix 2 tablespoons of the solution into about 4 liters of water.
Dissolve 1/4 tablespoon of lye in 1 cup of water, then stir the solution into about 4 liters of water.
4. Use a water filter to soften the water you want to drink. Many retail stores sell various brands of filter water bottles. Some soften water and help drinking water, coffee, tea and other beverages retain the taste and aroma.
5. Install similar water filters on the faucets in the kitchen and bathroom sinks to soften the water flowing from the faucets. If you want to filter the cleaning water, this is the easiest way. Certain styles of water filters also have valves that can be switched on and off, allowing you to decide whether to use the tap water directly or filter it first.
1. Install a water softener that replaces calcium and magnesium with sodium. If you are in a place where the water source has high hardness, this is the most effective way to soften the water.
The mechanical water softener prevents limescale, improves the efficiency of heating water, and makes clothes and frequently cleaned items have a longer service life.
There are several mechanical water softeners on the market, with varying prices, operating costs and efficiency. Before drinking, be sure to test the treated water.
2. Install a magnetic water purifier. This type of softening system changes calcium ions so that they cannot form scale.
The water purifier is cheaper than the softener, the operating cost is also lower, and the treated water is safe to drink.
Water purifiers are not effective in all situations, and they may not soften water. Critics are skeptical of their effectiveness. The difference in the degree of water softening is greater than that of softeners.
Softened water can immediately save you the cost of cleaning supplies. You don't need to use a lot of toothpaste, laundry detergent and other products to achieve good cleaning results. Electricity consumption will also be reduced, because cleaning things becomes easier and faster, and the number of cleanings required is reduced. Water softeners can extend the service life of water pipes and household appliances, and items cleaned with electrical appliances are more durable.
All methods of softening water cost money, but the money you save is far more than the cost. Some need to pay a fee first, some need to always pay the operation fee, and some need to pay two kinds of fees. However, you should also consider that softeners can save you money.