Pentair Moment: Catriona has sweet dreams of soft water
Softened water means softer sheets and makes for a great night's sleep
Surprisingly, softening water makes sound sense for sound sleep. It not only makes your bed linen feel softer, it’s kinder to your skin, to your washing machine and to your purse. So, if you are struggling to get to sleep, have a think about some of the real benefits of installing a water softener in your home. It might make for some sweet dreams …
Let’s cut to the chase – hard water around the home isn’t great, but it’s something many of us put up with. If you have scale in your kettle, chalky marks on the shower screen or need a good dose of fabric softener to make your sheets feel as soft as Catriona’s, you certainly have hard water. But you aren’t alone. The vast majority of Central and Southern European countries are hard water areas. It’s all down to the geology of where you live and how much calcium, magnesium and other minerals get collected in your water before it reaches your tap. And while hard water is not bad for us, it certainly does us no favours around the home – especially in the laundry department.
Does hard water make your laundry feel scratchy and stiff?
Many fabrics are designed for absorption. Not just towels but bed linen, underwear, tableware – in fact most items that go through your washing machine. And if you have hard water, those hardness minerals are pretty good at getting absorbed by, and stuck to, the fabric. Think of the scale around your kettle element, it’s sits there in your clean laundry too.
Over time those new jeans become stiff, those fluffy towels become like cheese graters and at night-time, when we are closest to our laundry we really want luxuriant, soft and smooth, not scratchy and stiff.
Do you need a water softener when you already use a fabric softener?
The simple answer here is don’t use fabric softener. Fabric softeners add a thin waxy coating to the wash load which reduces friction by making the fibres more ‘slippery’. That reduces static and in turn, that helps to separate the fibres making the laundry ‘feel’ fluffier so what’s not to like?
Well, while fabric might feel great at first, over time, that ‘waxy’ coating builds up in clothes and linen making them inefficient at wicking away moisture and less absorbent. That’s not good, especially for towels, underwear and bed linen, all of which need to absorb moisture and sweat for comfort. The fatty film also acts a preventative barrier making it harder for water and detergent to do its job: dislodging dirt and odours. It is why you see laundry tags that expressly indicate NOT to use fabric conditioners. In short, fabric softening is artificially solving one problem while adding others. Washing with softened water is a better and more natural way to keep your fabrics in top condition – feeling softer and fresher, wash after wash.
Still having hard water nightmares?
If you are washing with hard water, and even with a fabric softener, you are going to need more detergent and probably a higher temperature to get your laundry clean. That is because soap powders and liquids cannot react as well with water that contains higher concentrations of those hardness minerals.
Understandably the advice is to add more soap in hard water areas and even to raise the water temperature. With softened water you can achieve cleaner, softer laundry with a cooler wash and less detergent than is ever possible with hard water. Cooler water is always better for fabrics and, given the current costs of heating water, better for the fuel bill too.
Wake up to softened water!
If you are looking for laundry that feels as soft, smooth and bouncy as new, washing with softened water is the best way to go. A household water softener will remove minerals like magnesium, calcium and iron from your water, through an ion exchange process, turning hard water into soft. Softened water literally feels silkier and smoother – and that is passed onto your laundry. Sheets, towels and clothes feel softer and more springy. But it is not just your laundry that will benefit.
Softened water is better for washing and bathing, requiring less soap to get your hair and skin clean. You will notice less scale around the home through taps that stay shiny, sinks that stay scum-free and hot water appliances that are quieter and more efficient. It is estimated that households with softened water can save up to 25% on soap, detergent and other cleaning products, and a significant reduction on energy spent heating water.
If you need further convincing that softened water is better for laundry and life, maybe it’s something you need to sleep on?
If you have a moment…
Pentair water softeners put the shine back into life. Our comprehensive range of award-winning softeners come in sizes, shapes and capacities for every application. From the great value Maxima and River Soft softeners, to the ergonomic Softena and Slimline ranges, up to the performance models of Evolio and Foleo, Pentair has a softener to suit your need.