5 Most Common Means for Removing Water Hardness

When we say that water is hard, it means that it has a high mineral content. Water hardness is a measure of the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium salts in the water. Even though it’s not a health risk, hard water poses problems because it tends to cause mineral buildup in water pipes and heating systems. It also performs poorly when used with soaps and detergents necessitating the need of a water softener. The following are 5 common means of tackling the problem.

Ion Exchange

It’s the oldest and most conventional means of ridding the water of calcium and magnesium ions. We do this by replacing the whole lot of calcium and magnesium ions with two sodium ions. We remove the undesirable dissolved ions and exchange them with other ions having equivalent charge. We use small resin beads carrying a negative charge to attract positively charged calcium and magnesium ions, which displace the present sodium ions, which enter the water and makes it soft.


Apart from purifying water, this method also softens water. In this method, we heat the water until it begins vaporizing. We then direct the water in this gaseous state to a different container where we allow it to cool down and become liquid once more. The advantage of this method is that it is cheap. It is also very effective at removing calcium and magnesium among other pollutant minerals from the water. Unlike ion exchange, we can only use this method to purify a small amount of drinking water. Also, you may be required to re-oxygenate the water to improve its taste.

Reverse Osmosis

It’s also known as membrane technology and in this method; we remove unwanted minerals from water using an Osmotic Membrane Chamber. The chamber normally has very tine pores which only allow the passage of water molecules. We apply pressure of around 35 to 40 psi, which forces unwanted substances such as calcium and magnesium ions to remain behind. In this manner, we are able to produce soft water. Even though this method is effective at purifying and softening water, you need electricity and plenty of water is wasted during the process.


In this process, we bind calcium and magnesium ions to a chelating agent. The process doesn’t remove these minerals but merely suspends them in water. In this manner, we prevent these minerals from depositing on pipes, fixtures, and surfaces of appliances that use water. However, scale might still accumulate in other locations where water sits, like inside a water heater.

Template Assisted Crystallization

Hard water scale can isn’t allowed to form and pose problems, we use a certain catalyst to form nano-sized crystal of scale in a way that won’t stick to a surface. The good thing is that these crystal clusters are insoluble and relatively stable, which prevents them from forming lime-scale. And any scale that forms will be soft scale as opposed to lime scale. The nano-crystals that form last around two days before breaking up, which means this technology is just suitable for water you regularly consume.

A water softener is useful because having soft water provides many benefits. You use less soap and cleaning is easier. You can also have softer clothes and you can preserve the life of your water-using appliances such as dishwashers, laundry equipment, and water heaters. You can also reduce your monthly energy utilities.