Hard water can about be the end of a homeowner’s sanity in many cases. It causes buildup on pipes and appliances, can prematurely end the life of water appliances, require extra soap or laundry detergents just to work efficiently, and leaves an annoying film on dishes and pans. But two independent studies, according to one article show that consumers can cut back on dish and laundry detergent use by 50 percent or more and lower washing machine temperatures from hot to cold just by using softened water. “The benefits of softened water in people’s daily lives are significant,” said Peter Censky, executive director of the Water Quality Association. “These studies show how consumers can save money and energy by softening their water.”
Saving money is always something consumers should look into. The detergent savings studies were done by the Scientific Services S/D of NY, and were funded by the Water Quality Research Foundation. The research concluded that in washing machines, detergent can be cut back by 50 percent and energy can be saved by washing clothes in 60 degree F cold water instead of 100 degree F hot water, and the results will still be excellent. In dishwashers, locations with very hard water can also cut detergent use by 50 percent with softened water and will also get the same results.
Censky also explains in the article that consumers could save more than just money with the softened water – they could also be environmentally-friendly. They reduce the reliance on pollutant fuels because of the energy savings which can help to cut back on harmful detergent waste running into the streams and water sources. While not quantified just yet in any of the mentioned studies, any reduction in detergents filling water sources is certainly a positive attribute to using softened water.
Another significant pro for softened water in this article is “with varying levels of hardness and several different name brand detergents in washing machines and dishwashers, it was found that significant savings was noted for all levels of hardness, even hardness as low as 5 grains per gallon.” This means ALL consumers can save money and energy with these findings. softened water with the least amount of detergent and lowest temperature actually provide a higher degree of whiteness compared to increased hardness and both high temperature and large amounts of detergent. This was found to be true for all stains and all the detergents tested. To read more about how water softeners can save you money and energy, click here.