When Chris and I bought our house two years ago, we really got lucky with some of the perks. It came with a water softener, a washer and dryer and even a painting in the foyer. We thought the water softener was cool but did not realize how essential this device is in the home.
A year into us living in our house, our water softener broke, and we quickly learned how this device was impacting our daily lives. We figured it was a nice to have, but not a “need to have”. After about 30 days without a water softener, this “nice to have” we realized was more like a necessity. Let me count the ways why you should own a water softener when you live in a place where the water is especially hard.
Testing Your Water
Before I tell you all the ways this device is essential, let's start by just testing your water. All you need is a water test strip which can be provided by going to the Morton Salt Website. They will send you a free one. All you do is take out the test strip and run it under a faucet in your house. Wait 15 seconds and it will tell you how hard your water is.
I am in San Antonio, TX, and the water here is hard. Really hard. Just take a this chart here in regards to water hardness in the US. Its too bad I don;t live in Washington state, where it seems like their water is naturally soft. Either way, you should order the test strip and see for yourself.
1. White Spots on dishes
The first sign we noticed once our water softener was out of the picture was our dishes. We would take them out of the dishwasher, and they would be covered in white spots. We knew they were clean, but it is the last dish you would want to hand a guest since it looks like the dishes are dirty. Before buying our house, we had this same issue and tried countless dish detergents that also worked to clean dishes despite the fact that you have hard water. We realized that cutting out the water softener meant buying a new cleaning agent to make our dishes spotless again.
2. Sediment in Our Ice from Ice Maker
We have an ice maker in our fridge, and it is awesome to have because it means we don't have to buy ice. However, once we did not have the water softener anymore, our ice would have what I call “flurries” in them. Once it melted in your glass, you could expect to see sediment at the bottom of your glass. Enough to gross you out and never want to have ice again. Not having a water softener now meant we would also have to buy ice. Ugh
3. I was using more shampoo
Another thing I noticed once the water softener was gone is that I was running out of shampoo much quicker than I did before. Surprise surprise, this too was an effect of the water softener. Since the water was harder now, it took more shampoo just to get my hair sudsy. So I was blowing through shampoo, especially since my hair is already really thick.
4. My skin was much more dry
Another result of me not having a water softener was that my skin and hair felt dry all the time. Sometimes even after I put on lotion, I sometimes had to put on a second layer just to keep the ash away. This is about the time when we decided to start buying two large bottles of lotion at a time since our skin would get so dry it would sometimes be painful.
5. The water tasted gross
Lastly, and certainly not least was the taste of the water. The water tasted gross. I don;t consider myself to be a tap water snob by any means. I will drink tap water all day. But once we were rid of the salt water tank, there was a very obvious taste difference. This difference was enough for us to not want to drink the water anymore. We contemplated getting a water filter you add to your faucet. But after some though just opted for a pitcher that contained a filter. This made the water taste better, but it just took so long for the water to go through the filter and be ready to drink.
At this point, I was getting pretty annoyed since our lack of a water softener was now affecting my paycheck. I was spending more money on ice, lotion, dishwasher detergent, shampoo, and a water filter pitcher. We sucked it up and got a new one, and we cannot complain. Honestly, having a water softener not only saves you a ton of money over time but makes your life easier too. (Don't even get me started on cleaning the shower and bath tub with hard water buildup.)
How a water softener works
So you are probably wondering how does this little miracle device work? Watch the video below to learn more about how it works.
To maintain your water softener all you have to do is refill it with salt when it gets too low. And the salt is not expensive by any means. We usually keep a few bags around and buy more maybe once a quarter.
Our personal favorite for salt is the Morton System Saver II water softening pellets for obvious reasons. After living without a water softener for just one month, I never want to go without one again. So buying the right salt will make your system last long and strong.
So what lesson did I learn here? Owning a water softener will save you time and money. Not to mention you will look more fabulous with skin and hair that is not as dry and frizzy.
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.