Hard water is one of my pet hates of living in London. It leaves nasty lime scale on my kettle and in the bathroom which then requires nasty chemicals to remove and it does horrible things to your skin.
There is a great solution to this problem, use a water softening system. I was recently introduced to the Kinetico Water Softener system at the Ideal Home Show. There was an opportunity to compare London’s hard water and water that had been through their system.
Washing hands using hard and soft water was the most effective experiment and a great demonstration of a product. The hand washed in normal London water did not get very sudsy whereas the one with the soft water did. After rinsing the hard water resulted in skin that was rough and dry and the soft water left a feeling that the soap was still on the hands. This is just a result of the soft water leaving the film of natural oils on the skin’s surface. Think of the skin on your face, how much damage is London’s hard water doing to your skin?
When it comes to making tea with London’s hard water, look at the difference in these glasses. The hard water leaves a nasty scum and of course has a major effect on the taste of the tea. The softened water leaves just a pure tasting tea, as it should be.
The second experiment is using soap, note how the one of the left using softened water gets all foamy whereas the hard water test tube does not. This is what happens in your washing machines and dish washers.
Handy unit that fits under the sink.
This is the guts of the machine with their proprietary two tank system filled with polymer beads.
How does the Kinetico Water Softener system work?
The softener has not electrical parts so there is very little chance of it malfunctioning. The cartridges last for quite a while, depending on your water consumption. It works by removing calcium and magnesium from the water.
When using softened water in washing machines, you need to use about 40% less detergent. and boilers, there is no limescale build up and efficiency does not deteriorate and you won’t need to replace your boilers that often.
This system is used in the Savoy Hotel and the Royal suite in Buckingham Palace. The NHS uses this in their kidney dialysis machines too. They have a few sizes to fit your requirement. This unit in the picture fits under the sink and is enough for a small family home. You can watch the video below to see how this works.
After testing the difference in the hand wash experiment and seeing the difference in the tea, I really need to have a water softener at home. Makes you wonder why more homes in hard water areas don’t have one.
How A Water Softener Works
The Kube Water filter
If you want clean and crystal clear drinking water straight from your tap, the Kube should be considered. They can filter more contaminants than a normal jug water filter and is comparative cost wise too. It is small enough to fit under the sink in your kitchen. There are no electrical parts in so less chance of anything breaking down.
This water filter is able to not just take out the taste and odour, it also filters out lead, mercury and organisms like microbial cysts from the water. Did you know that in English tap water, they have found slug poison in 1 in 8 water sources.
You can check your water quality by postcode, here is the site if you live in the Thames Water area.
They use charcoal in the filter and have a proprietary technology. Unlike other systems, you don’t need a separate tap as the filter is fixed to your existing plumbing. They will install it for you for free too.
You can find more information on their website: http://www.kinetico.co.uk/