When we talk about water softeners on this site, we’re usually referring to machines found in the Large Appliances section of your local home improvement store. However, there’s another type of water softener that’s been around since the 1930s that you can actually find in the Cleaning aisle. We’re talking here about Calgon Water Softener, a product that people still rely on today to keep their clothes clean and their washing machines in good working order.
Hard Water and Laundry
Water is considered hard when it contains a high level of dissolved minerals in it. These minerals – usually magnesium and calcium – can cause a lot of different problems in your house. They can build up in your pipes, leave spots on your dishes, and yes – affect your laundry.
The main problem is that hard water minerals interfere with the ability of soap to lather up. That means you have use more detergent and hotter water to get clothes clean. But no matter how much soap you use, clothes washed in hard water often become dingy and stiff over time. Ultimately, they may have to be replaced sooner, too.
Calgon Water Softener
Calgon Water Softener contains the active ingredients zeolite and polycarboxylate, which interact with the hard water ions in water to prevent them from forming limescale or interfering with soap lathering. You simply add Calgon – which comes in liquid and powder form – on top of your laundry detergent. Because Calgon helps detergent work better, you typically need less of it.
Calgon has become a staple among mothers who use cloth diapers, which can be especially difficult to get clean in hard water. However, despite its popularity, Calgon Water Softener can be difficult to find. Fortunately, one place you can buy it online is Walmart.com. Just goes to show that on the internet, even an “ancient Chinese secret” is only a few clicks away.
Is Calgon Enough?
Calgon Water Softener has a lot of fans, but is it enough to handle a hard water problem? For your washing machines, perhaps. The product is effective at preventing limescale formation, eliminating the most obvious effects of hard water. It also protects your washing machine, which can become clogged with limescale deposits over time.
However, if you have hard water in your home, we recommend a whole house water softener system. That’s because if you’ve got hard water problems with your laundry, you’ve got hard water problems elsewhere as well – even if you can’t see them. Water softener systems are expensive appliances, but for those who have hard water, they typically save more money than they cost.