How To Soften Hard Water UK

Today the experts discuss the answer to the question: How To Soften Hard Water UK!

We’ll check out how you can fix your hard water problems.

There’s actually technically only one solution that actually softens your water.

We’ll let you know what that is, and how it works.

But really this article is about about solving whatever challenges your household faces due to the hardness of your water supply.

And depending on what your particular problems with hard water are, there are some other solutions that can still deal with the problems you face (even though they don’t technically soften your water).

how to soften hard water uk

Introducing: How To Soften Water?


What even is hard water?

Well, to out it very simply, hard water is water that has too high a concentration of minerals, like calcium and magnesium.

These high levels of minerals are no problem as far as health and safety of drinking the water is concerned. In fact, they’re beneficial minerals, and are good for your health.

However, too much of these minerals in your water, can cause some problems, such as:

  1. Soaps, shampoos and detergents don’t lather properly, so you use more of them. That can increase your expense of buying them by as much as double.
  2. Limescale gathers on many of the items in your home that water touches; like bathtubs, sinks, taps, dishwashers, plates and cutlery.
  3. Scale can develop on your hot water tank and your pipes; leading to more resistance to the water flow – resulting in higher heating costs

How to fix hard water?

We mentioned at the top of the page that there’s only one way to actually soften water.

And that is…

With a water softener; specifically a salt-based water softener. These units are connected to your water supply: and they change the nature of your water permanently from being hard to being soft.

So what about these other solutions we talked about earlier?

In essence, these other methods are various ways to reduce the problems you experience through having hard water.

Some of these filter types can temporarily affect the nature of the mineral molecules, altering their effect on your household items. Mostly, these products are highly effective at reducing limescale (the white scum left on taps, sinks, kettles and various other places in your home).

The other solutions are:

  • Shower filters for hard water
  • Non-salt (electronic) water conditioners
  • Electrolytic scale inhibitors

Let’s check out how to soften your water. We’ll start with the only method that actually removes these minerals from the water; thus (as long as it works as it should) completely solving your hard water problems.

Let’s look in more details at the methods of softening your water:

Method 1: Get a salt-based water softener

Water softeners work by removing the calcium, magnesium and other minerals from your water. They do so by a process called ion exchange.

It works in the following way (check out our full article on how softeners work).

Water from your home’s water supply goes into the softener’s mineral tank.

The mineral tank of a water softener contains million of tiny resin beads. These beads are infused with sodium ions, which carry a negative charge.

When water passes through this bed of resin beads, the minerals, like magnesium and calcium, which carry a positive charge, are attracted to, and thus captured by the resin beads. Releasing sodium ions in the process.

By this process, then, the minerals are removed from the water, and softened water is delivered to all the various water outlets in your home.

Here’s where to see the top-rated UK water softeners. Or head straight to see the winner, the BWT WS555.

Method 2: Get a Shower Head Filter, Electronic Water Conditioner, or Electrolytic Scale Inhibitor

Let’s check out the other ways of fixing a home’s hard water issues.

Shower Filter For Hard Water

As mentioned, they aren’t technically softening your water.

So what do they do?

The shower head contains active ceramic beads that have an electrolytic effect on the water; removing chlorine, chloramine, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and many other contaminants present in the water you’re showering in.

The best shower filters for hard water even have a coconut shell activated carbon (one of the best carbon filter types) layer, as well Germanium ball, and PP cotton layers.

While they don’t remove the minerals from the water, these processes have a descaling effect on the water. That means the mineral salts are less likely to stick to your bathroom surfaces, and there can a decrease in the harmful effect caused by the excess mineral content in the water, even though it doesn’t remove the minerals.

Therefore, lots of users of shower head filters for hard water have noticed significant improvements in their hair (here’s hard water’s effect on hair) and skin since installing the filter. As well as a reduction in limescale on the shower head and bathtub.

Electronic Water Conditioner

Another method which can reduce the harmful effects of hard water (albeit without actually making the hard water soft), is an electronic water conditioner.

It can also be called an electronic descaler.

How does this work?

It effectively alters the shape of the mineral salt crystals in the water.

It does so by sending sonar signals through the water, which cause the mineral crystals to become attached to one another, reducing their charge.

As a result, these minerals no longer stick to bathroom and kitchen surfaces. Thus causing a large, or total, reduction in the amount of limescale in your home.

Electrolytic Scale Inhibitor

Once again, it’s a method that reduces the damaging effects caused by having hard water, instead of softening the water itself.

So how do these devices work?

You attach the device to your water pipe. The anode and cathode of the device sends an electrolytic current through the water – causing a very small amount of iron to dissolve in the water. The physical effect of this is to reduce the “stickiness” of the mineral crystals in the water.

The result is that when passes over surfaces or is left on the ceramic or metallic surfaces on your home, these minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, are less likely to accumulate, stick together and stick to those surfaces.

As far as reducing scale is concerned, the top electrolytic scale reducers are comfortably the best (and happily, the cheapest) method.

Softening Hard Water The Natural Way?

For more home remedy style solutions, you can check out How To Naturally Soften Hard Water, At Home.

How To Soften Hard Water UK Summary

So, that was our in-depth analysis into How To Soften Hard Water UK.

As you’ve seen, there are a few ways to solve your hard water problems, only one of which is to actually soften the water.

Water softeners are clearly the most complete and most effective option. You can solve any and all of your hard water issues. But it’s also by far the most expensive option (see this water softener price breakdown).

The other options form more cost-effective solutions. You can reduce the problems caused in your home, but perhaps not all of them, and not quite to effectively.

Good luck with tackling your hard water issues.