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Should You Have a Water Softener for Washing Machine?

Scott Winfield
Last Updated on
by Scott Winfield

Hard water makes washing clothes so difficult that people often ask if there’s an all-in-one water softener and washing machine combo. Unfortunately, there’s no such combination available today. However, there are still ways to soften hard water for the washing machine.

The first option is to purchase a point-of-entry whole house water softener system. This device will soften all the water that’ll be used in the house, including the water for washing clothes. The second option is to use water softening tablets to soften water directly in your washing machine.

How Hard Water Affects a Washing Machine

Hard water negatively affects the washing machine by causing rust and corrosion in pipes and other components of the system. Components such as the washing machine filter screen is highly susceptible to wear and tear from prolonged exposure to the minerals in hard water.

Rust in washing machine

In addition to negatively affecting washing machine, hard water is also harsh on clothes. It weakens the cloth fibre and makes it look worn out.

In summary, the long-term effect of hard water is that it drastically reduces the effectiveness of the washing machine as well as makes clothes look stiff and worn out.

Using Water Softener for Washing Machine

As we said earlier, there are basically 2 ways to get soft water in your washing machine:

  1. Use water softener tablets for Washing Machine
  2. Purchase a whole house water softener

Purchase a Whole House Water Softener

This is the most ideal solution to not only get soft water for the washing machine but also eliminate hard water in your house once and for all. A water softener will soften the water before it even gets to your washing machine.

So, which water softener should you get? Our experience in water filtration and treatment allowed us to test lots of water softeners, and we can easily say that the best one out there is SpringWell’s salt-based water softener. It’s made of high-quality materials, it has a high flow rate and huge grain capacity, but more importantly, it saves the use of powdered detergents by 40% in washing machines.

SpringWell Salt-Based Water Softener System
SpringWell Salt-Based Water Softener System

Salt-based systems like the Springwell Water Softener use a process known as ion exchange to remove hard water minerals from the water. In this process, positively charged mineral molecules (ions) are attracted by the negatively charged resin beads embedded within the softener.

There’s also another type of water softener called salt-free water softener that also softens water without using salt. Springwell also has a product for this called Futuresoft water softener. You can choose either of these products/water softening methods to provide soft water for your washing machine.

Water Softener Tablets for Washing Machine

A decent water softener system costs more than $1,000, which may be too expensive for many. If this is your situation, then your best bet is to use water softener tablets for washing machine.

Water softener tablets are small balls of water softener salt often mixed with detergent. They soften hard water in the washing machine while also acting as detergent for washing clothes. We recommend the Calgon 3-in-1 water softener tablet which removes limescale, dirt and odor in the washing machine.

Benefits of Soft Water on Clothes

No matter how excited you are about the new garment you just purchased, hard water can give it a worn-out and dull look even at the first wash. Softening your water will help you avoid this scenario.

Clothes washed with soft water look brighter and feel softer. Moreover, since they come into less contact with abrasive minerals, they’ll last longer.

In addition, powdered detergents can lose their efficiency in hard water because minerals neutralize the anionic elements present in detergents. With soft water, you will save detergent in the long run.


You can’t purchase a water softener and a washing machine combo, but there are two ways of using soft water for laundry. One is installing a whole house water softening system, and the other is water softening tablets.

Water softener devices are a bit expensive, but they ensure neither your appliances and clothes nor your hair and skin are affected by the minerals. Water softening tablets, on the other hand, can only help with laundry and make the washing machine last longer, but they’re pretty affordable and effective in what they do.

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Scott Winfield
Scott Winfield
My name is Scott Winfield and researching and writing about water filters and other strategies to purify water has become my full time passion in recent years. I'm glad that you found our site and you can look forward to authoritative and well researched content here to help you get the best in water.
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