Better washed with soft waters
Water softeners extract the "hard" limescale from tap water. The softer water saves costs and means a better quality of life. But not all devices keep the promise of their advertising.
A legendary commercial from the 70s ended with the slogan "washing machines live longer with Calgon". Here, a master craftsman housewife held a completely calcified heating element in the nose. With the use of the right water softener, the triumph of this product could have stopped. Because in many regions of Germany, especially in many large cities, the tap water is hard.
What does "hard water" mean?
For us humans, calcareous water is not harmful to our health. But the coffee and dishwasher makes life difficult. Even a two-millimeter-thick layer of lime can account for 15 percent more electricity consumption. Plus costly decalcification. At the fittings, the lime also deposits and makes annoying cleaning necessary. Soft water leaves hardly any traces and has even more advantages. With it, soaps, shampoos and detergents foam much better, which lowers their consumption. In addition, soft water is more comfortable for the skin and hair. It protects the clothes during washing and considerably improves the aroma of coffee and tea.
Even the coffee tastes better without lime.
Water softeners can be connected to the house supply pipes. The price range of the devices is very high: they cost between 80 and over 3,000 euros. If you decide on a cheap model, the money will be recouped by saving electricity, detergent or shampoo. Even the water consumption can be significantly reduced. However, it must be taken into account that most water softeners consume electricity. For the purchase, the capacity of the device in liters is an important criterion. It should match the actual water consumption. It is also important to ensure that the device meets all standards and has certification marks.
Chemical water softeners - the cleanest solution
The most important thing about the device is how it works. There are two main types of equipment: chemical and physical or magnetic water softeners. Many consumers are afraid of the term chemically. These devices work most efficiently. In them, an exchange resin binds the calcium and magnesium out of the water. The only drawback: It has to be cleaned regularly with a saline solution. The salts are to be disposed of. Physical or magnetic sounds far more harmless. In water softeners of this type, the lime crystals are supposed to be reduced by a magnetic field so that they no longer settle. But a few years ago Stiftung Warentest tested physical water softeners. Almost all devices were almost ineffective. So do not be afraid of "chemistry"!