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Water Softeners: Why they’re great for your bathroom and more!

We explain why soft water is good for you, your home and your wallet.

you’ve spent a significant investment on a new bathroom, but is a water softener on your list?

If you live in Hertfordshire, Essex, North London and the surrounding areas, there’s a good chance you have hard water. According to Thames Water, 60% of the UK experiences hard water, with many of us unaware of the damage that it can cause to our showers, boilers, washing machines and more.

We explain why soft water is good for you, your home and your wallet.

What is hard water?

Effects of hard water and limescale on internal pipes

Water is characterised as ‘hard water’ due to the concentration of calcium and magnesium contained in it. So, in areas with a chalk and limestone geology, water will naturally pick up these minerals as it passes through the rock. When it reaches our homes and is heated up, these minerals turn to limescale and we see a familiar deposit on shower screens, shower heads, taps, baths and toilet bowls.

But, it’s the invisible effects that can be the most damaging, with pipes coated and even corroded inside heating systems and other household appliances. It’s this damage, that reduces their lifespan and efficiency.

What is a water softener?

A water softener is a unit that removes the calcium and magnesium through a process called “ion exchange”. Fresh resin beads with sodium attract the dissolved minerals as water passes through them, and become attached to the resin. Sodium then replaces these minerals, leaving scale free softened water.

Over time, the resin beads are unable to pick up more hard minerals, so the softener carries out a regeneration process. Salt water passes through the resin beads which causes the hard minerals to detach and this is flushed harmlessly away. The resin beads are then ready to continue their ion exchange process.

Take a look at BWT's video explainig the process.

Top Reasons for Using a Water Softener


  • Shinier Bathrooms: with softened water you’ll find there’s less residue on surfaces and sanitaryware. The limescale build-up around taps, on shower heads, trays and shower doors will disappear. That means less time cleaning as your surfaces will look shinier for longer, and you’ll have that ‘just new’ feeling. If you’re cleaning less, then you’re also using less product.
  • Longer Lasting Appliances: a water softener can not only prevent the build-up of limescale in appliances but it can also dissolve scale over time. Limescale-free pipes keep things working efficiently and reduce the risk of needing repairs and replacements due to furring and corrosion.
  • Lower Bills: Narrowed pipes mean that water pressure needs to increase for water to pass through them. Furred pipes also don’t transfer heat efficiently, so your water heater needs to be turned up. Scale free pipes and elements will use less energy, lowering bills and that’s kinder to the environment too!
  • Glossier Hair: If you feel that your hair is limp and dry, it’s likely you’ll be experiencing the effects of hard water. Deposits from hard water will coat your hair and scalp and strip it of its natural lubricating oils. Shampoo and conditioneralso lather better in softened water, so your hair products will clean dirt, gels and spray away. The end result will be softer and shinier hair – just like in the adverts!
  • Softer, Healthier Skin:Hard water minerals are known to remove the skin’s natural oils. This can leave your skin dry, and for some it can mean irritated and itchy skin. A recent study by the University of Sheffield found that:

"Exposing the skin to hard water damages the skin barrier – which is our defence against outside threats such as bacteria or sun burn – and increases the sensitivity of the skin to potential irritants found in everyday wash products such as soap or washing powder.”

So, the findings suggest that soft water is better to wash with, needs less soap or detergent and therefore removes the irritants for people with eczema.

  • Clothing: Do you ever feel that your clothes are stiffer or dingier after washing them? It’s harder to achieve a thorough wash if you live in a hard water area, as deposits can build up in your clothes’ fibres and detergent is less effective. Some people try to counteract this by using extra detergent and fabric softener – but this isn’t good for your clothes, nor your wallet. Say hello to softer, vibrant clothes, less detergent and a more efficient washing machine with softened water.

What would a water softener cost?

Here at Ware Bathroom Centre we stock the BWS WS Luxury Water Softeners in 10 and 14 litres sizes. These range from £446.59 to £583.60. Your plumber can advise on the most appropriate place for installing the unit* and installation costs.

From an on-going cost perspective, you will need to purchase salt each month for the regeneration process. We stock 25kg bags for £8.95 (inc. VAT).

For that extra peace of mind it’s also recommended to have periodic maintenance checks on your water softener.

* Note: It’s recommended that you keep a separate un-softened tap for drinking and cooking purposes as sodium can be a problem for babies and for those on a low salt diet.

Useful links

A member of the team, would be happy to provide advice or answer any questions you have on water softeners and installation. We can be contacted on 01920 468664 or at