Moving into a new house has produced lots of questions in my family. Where is the switch for that light? What was that noise? What kind of plant do you suppose that is? Do you think there are any turtles hibernating in the backyard? Why did the garage door opener die? But the most interesting so far have been about our new water softener.
We live in the desert, and have always just endured the effects of very hard water. In fact, if you look at this map from Morton Salt, we live smack in the middle of a purple-shaded area, the hardest water zone.
I’ve never given it much thought, until we bought this house from a plumber. It came with a water softener, which seemed pretty cool, but nothing I would have gone out looking for. That is, until the first shower I took in the new house. The difference in my hair and skin was immediately noticeable, and my kids started noticing it for themselves as well. (My husband may have noticed too, but he’s not overly given to analyzing and discussing his hair and skin.) The thing that took me longer to notice, but made me even happier, was the conspicuous lack of spots on my dishes!
So when Morton Salt recently asked if I’d be interested in sharing my experience, it was a no-brainer. We’ve learned a lot about our water softener in the last few weeks, and I’m happy to pass along what we’ve learned to you.
Here is my family’s list of top questions about the water softener:
How does it work? I’ll let Morton explain it to you, since I’m the last person you want trying to explain any kind of science to you…
Why don’t I need as much shampoo? Soap, detergent, and shampoos are doing extra work in hard water to combat and remove the minerals found in that water. So with those minerals gone, your soap works much more efficiently and you don’t need as much. But even better, you can feel the difference in your hair, skin, and clothing. Everything will be softer and more manageable. Even my mother-in-law commented on the difference in her hair when she stayed with us over the weekend!
Does it add too much sodium to the water? I did a little research on this one, because I think it’s an important question for anyone worried about high blood pressure. The answer seems to be No. It does add some sodium, through the ionization process that removes the other minerals, but it’s even less than the sodium found in “very low sodium” drinks, so most people do not need to be concerned. If you are concerned, you can simply filter your drinking water.
Will the salt be expensive? No. It only costs about $4 for a forty pound bag, and they recommend adding a couple of bags every couple of months. So it averages out to about $4 a month. I think I’ll save at least that much in reduced shampoo, conditioner, dish soap, hand soap, and laundry detergent. And I don’t even need to buy any more rinse aid for my dishwasher at all! (I’m sure the real savings is actually in the long-term beneficial effects of softer water on your appliances and plumbing, but since I can’t really quantify that at this time, I like to focus on the immediate benefits.)
Is it a hassle to maintain? The only real ongoing maintenance is adding the salt, and Morton has made that easy with their easy-carry bag. You simply tear off the corner and pour it into the water softener.Plus, you get a little mini-workout each time! For those of you wanting a little less of a workout, Morton has you covered with 25 lb. bags, in addition to their 40 lb. bags. (Morton was kind enough to provide me with a coupon to get this bag for free, so I got the biggest one I could!)
So, here’s the real question… Is softer water really better? Let’s just say that now I know why plumbers install water softeners in their own homes. It’s because they really care about their hair. Or maybe their pipes and appliances. To each his own.
If you’re wondering whether you have hard water, or whether you should look into getting a water softener, you can easily get a free water test strip to find out. Request yours here. Have any questions? Send ’em on over and I’ll add them to my list!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.