Effects of hard water
Hard water can result in various aesthetic and productivity issues, including "soap curd" and arguably the most damaging effect, scale buildup. Soap curd, notes McDonald, is a combination of hard water and soap, which can cause cleaning, doing laundry and personal care to be more difficult. "The soap-hardness ‘curd’ is difficult to rinse from clothing, tubs and hair," states McDonald. "Clothing becomes brittle over time with soap curd accumulation. People notice having to scrub sinks and tubs more vigorously and with additional cleaning products to get rid of the soap curd."
Hard water may also cause scale buildup, which can form within a system, shortening its lifespan and reducing its overall effectiveness.
An ion exchange water treatment system is considered to be one of the most common methods for softening water. "Water softeners which use ion exchange are still today the most effective and popular means of softening water," declares Wakem. "They require the periodic addition of salt (sodium chloride or potassium chloride) to keep the system ‘recharged’ and operating properly. The calcium and magnesium (hardness) are completely removed from the water and replaced with sodium or potassium. Because of the added sodium or potassium, the water feels soft and silky on the skin when showering or bathing."
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