Water softeners are becoming increasingly popular as more people become aware that they make cleaning easier and keep your appliances and fixtures running more smoothly for longer. But, are water softeners good for your health? There is a lot of misinformation about water softener health benefits and risks out there. Here’s what you need to know.
How Do Water Softeners Work?
To understand the potential health benefits and risks of a water softener you need to understand how they work. Ion replacement water softeners have the biggest effect on us. They work by taking the minerals in the water that make the water hard (such as calcium, magnesium and other minerals) out and replacing them with salt. The chemicals must be replaced to be removed as they are bonded to the water.
So, as far as your health is concerned, the main difference between hard water and soft water is that soft water lacks minerals and contains very small amounts of salt instead.
How Does Salt Impact Your Health?
All humans need small amounts of salt to stay healthy, so the tiny amounts of salt in softened water typically do not cause any negative health effects. In fact, salt may be beneficial for you if you don’t get enough salt in your diet.
On the other hand, some people have health conditions where they must limit their salt intake. If you have been asked by your doctor to reduce the amount of salt in your diet, you should talk to them about how an ion replacement water softener may this a more challenging task for you. While the amount of salt in softened water is very low, you may want to switch to a different type of water softener just so that you don’t have to cut out as much salt in your food.
Are There Other Health Risks of Water Softeners?
Some speculate that the lack of calcium and magnesium in softened water may make it harder for people who drink it to get enough of these essential minerals. However, as long as your diet includes good sources of calcium and magnesium, you’re getting what you need.
Are There Health Benefits of Softened Water?
Using softened water will protect you from some of the minor negative health effects of hard water. For example, hard water can make your skin and hair drier. Plus, hard water can change the pH of your skin, which can make it more vulnerable to infections. Those with eczema and other skin issues may be much more comfortable after showering and washing their clothing in softened water.
In the end, unless you have very specific conditions such as eczema, high blood pressure, or calcium and magnesium deficiencies, having a water softener or should not make a huge impact on your health for better or worse.
Instead, you should focus on whether the other benefits of water softeners are worthwhile for you, like having your appliances and plumbing fixtures last longer, having a dishwasher and washing machine that work better, and having more comfortable skin.