Water Softeners and Soap Usage: Optimize Your Cleaning Power

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Wondering how installing a water softening system will impact your soap usage? We’ve shared everything you should know in this guide.

๐Ÿ“Œ Key Takeaways:

  • A water softener impacts soap usage by decreasing the amount of soap that’s required to form a good lather.
  • Soft water contains low levels of calcium and magnesium minerals, so it won’t react with soaps to form scale.
  • You can cut down on your use of hand soap, body wash, shower gels, bubble baths, shampoos, conditioners, and laundry products after installing a water softener.

๐Ÿงผ How Does A Water Softener Impact Soap Usage?

The main impact of a water softener on soap usage is that the soft water produced by this system reduces the amount of soap you need to use.

You can cut down on your soap usage by up to 50% when you install a water softener in your home. How? Because soft water contains low levels of hardness minerals, so it lathers easily with soap and hair products with shampoo.

That means, after installing a water softener, you can use less shampoo and soap to achieve the same lather as you did with more product when you had hard water.

Washing hands with soap in soft water

๐Ÿ’ฐ How Much Money Can You Save On Soap With Soft Water?

So, soft water allows you to use less soap at home – but how much money can you expect to save on soap?

We know that using soft water allows us to reduce soap usage by up to 50%. But this depends on your water’s initial dissolved minerals content, your initial monthly spend on soap, and the quality and chemistry of the soap used.

As an example, let’s say that you can cut back your soap use by 30% after installing a water-softening system.

Your monthly spend on high-quality soaps, detergents, shower products, and hair care products for your family of four was initially around $50. But you now use 30% less of these products, so you can cut your monthly spend by 30% – saving around $15/month.

It’s difficult to get an exact prediction on how much money you can save on soaps with soft water. What we can say is that you’ll use soaps at a slower rate, so your products will last longer, and you’ll be able to buy them less frequently.

Soap cost savings with soft water

๐Ÿšฐ What Affect Does Soft Water Have On Soap?

When soft water is used with soap, it doesn’t react in the same way that hard water does.

Hard water contains calcium and magnesium minerals, which, when combined with soap, react with soap molecules and lead to the formation of a solid material called a precipitate. This undissolvable material is known as soap scum (or soap curd).

Soap scum forms deposits on our shower units, our skin, and our hair. It shows up as a grayish-white residue and has a sticky feel.

A study on the effect of water hardness on surfactant deposition found that skin that had been washed with hard water had “significantly increased” sodium lauryl sulfate deposits compared to skin washed in soft water.

Because soft water doesn’t contain the minerals that make it reactive with soap, it doesn’t form soap scum. That means you don’t have to worry about the potential skin and hair health effects resulting from soap scum because your water will be unable to form a scummy residue.

Soft water allows form more bubbles

๐Ÿงด How Softened Water Affects Detergent Use

As with soaps for your hair and body, softened water allows you to use less detergent in your washing machine to get your clothes clean.

A 2011 study found that 30% of additional powdered detergent was required to achieve the same results when washing laundry in hard water compared to softened water. However, the study also found that liquid detergents performed well regardless of the water type (likely because many of them contain water softening agents).

As an added bonus, you won’t have to look for laundry detergent or fabric softener products that have been specially formulated to make them effective when used with hard water. That means you can save money on a more basic product that still does a great job because it isn’t competing with hardness minerals.

Increased spending on detergent due to hard water

๐Ÿ“‘ Final Word

Installing a water softener will provide your showers, washing machines, and faucets with softened tap water, helping you to cut down on the use of liquid soap, detergent, fabric softener, and hair and body washes for every use case around your home.

๐Ÿ‘จโ€๐Ÿ”ง Discover the leading brands and models of water softeners

โ” FAQ

Should you use more laundry soap with softened water?

No – if you have a softened water supply, you can use less laundry soap with your water, not more. That’s because softened water contains only low levels of hard minerals, so it produces a better lather with a smaller quantity of soap. No need to waste excess soap with a soft water supply!

Does soft water rinse off soap?

Yes, soft water rinses off soap rather than forming a scummy residue on your skin, hair, and fixtures, so you can enjoy silkier skin and cleaner fixtures after your showers.

What is the best soap to use with a water softener?

You can use any type of soap with a water softener, but in our opinion, the best soaps to use are those that are free from harsh ingredients and are as natural as possible. You no longer need to buy soaps that are packed with softening agents and detergents, so you can focus on buying soaps that are chemical-free and kind to your skin.

Can soaps be used in soft water only?

No, soaps can’t only be used in soft water. You will still get a good lather and a clean rinse from using soap in hard water – you’ll just have to use more soap to achieve this result. And soap reacts with hardness minerals to form a soap residue that will give your skin a “squeaky clean” feel after washing, which you won’t get with softened water.

  • Brian Campbell
    President & CEO, CWS, CWR

    Brian Campbell, a WQA Certified Water Specialist (CWS) and Certified Water Treatment Representative (CWR) with 5+ years of experience, helps homeowners navigate the world of water treatment. After honing his skills at Hach Company, he founded his business to empower homeowners with the knowledge and tools to achieve safe, healthy water. Brian's tested countless devices, from simple pitchers to complex systems, helping his readers find the perfect fit for their unique needs.

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