A study conducted by the independent test firm Scientific Services S/D of New York revealed that high-quality water is good for your home and its appliances. The study showed soft water is not only essential to the health of your home – it can also benefit your wallet.

In washing machines, softened water can reduce detergent use by 50%. In dishwashers, softened water can achieve the same cleaning results as unsoftened while using less than half as much detergent.

Likewise, the study found soft water can save you money by keeping appliances at top efficiency, and save energy by making it possible for washing machines to wash in cold (60 degrees) rather than hot (100 degrees) water.

A 2009 study commissioned by the Water Quality Research Foundation (WQRF) and conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute found that using soft water in your home helps water heaters and major appliances operate as efficiently as possible, while preventing clogs in showerheads, faucets and drains.

Researchers ran dishwashers and washing machines for 30 days and 240 wash cycles. They ran softened water through half of the units, while using a hard water source for the others. At the end of the month, the washers using softened water were nearly free of scale buildup, but the washers using hard water required scale removal to work at or near their original efficiency.

For water heaters, the researchers found when they used softened water, the units maintained their original factory efficiency rating for as long as 15 years. Running hard water through the units cut efficiency by up to 48%.

Scale buildup shortened the lifespan of the heating elements inside electric water heaters, and some tankless water heaters using hard water failed in less than two years.

The researchers found that showerheads performed well with soft water, but those running with hard water lost 75% of their flow rate in less than 18 months. When running hard water through faucets, the strainers on the faucets clogged within 19 days.

How does soft water impact your life? It starts with your morning shower, leaving your skin and hair feeling softer, and goes until evening, when you put the last of your spotless dinner dishes away.

Soft water makes laundry brighter and linens softer, and lowers your water heating costs.  All the soft water benefits add up to making your home feel more welcoming. Best of all, easier cleaning means your home stays in better shape, longer, with less efforts.

Regardless of your tap water source, we recommend having it tested at the kitchen sink to ensure your family has high quality, safe water.  And when choosing a filter for your home, make sure the filter is certified to remove any contaminants found in your tap water.

For more information on how you can safeguard your home’s water supply, visit the Water Quality Association at wqa.org or call a local water treatment professional.

Chris Lane is the owner of Culligan Water Conditioning of the Lowcountry, serving Beaufort, Jasper and Hampton counties. culliganhhi.com