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The simple definition of water hardness is the amount of dissolved calcium and magnesium in the water. Hard water is high in dissolved minerals, largely calcium and magnesium. You may have felt the effects of hard water, literally, the last time you washed your hands. Depending on the hardness of your water, after using soap to wash you may have felt like there was a film of residue left on your hands. In hard water, soap reacts with the calcium (which is relatively high in hard water) to form "soap scum". When using hard water, more soap or detergent is needed to get things clean, be it your hands, hair, laundry or dishes.
One of the most common causes of cloudy dishes and glassware is hard water.
Have you done a load of dishes in the dishwasher, taken out the glasses, and noticed spots or film on them? This is more hard-water residue—not dangerous, but unsightly.
Water hardness can vary based on where you are located. This map should give you a general idea of what your hardness is. If you want to know exactly what the hardness is, you can have it tested or call your local municiple water supply to find out.
Hardness is measured in a couple of ways. Grains per Gallon (gpg) and mg/L (milligrams per Liter).
1 gpg is equal to 1 pound of Calcium Carbonate in 7,000 gallons of water. For those of you who prefer the imperial system, it takes about 17 mg/L to equal 1 gpg.
Typically hardness is described as soft, moderate, hard and very hard according to a scale like the one below
The amount of salt used to recharge the Soft n Shine is very low, up to 99% less then what a whole house water softener uses. It would be the equivalent of accidently dropping a salt shaker down the drain once a month. Compare that to dumping 50 pounds of salt down the drain every month.
Yes. Even though the device is placed into the dishwasher and "cleaned" every cycle, you will need to make sure no odors or discolorations occur on it. If these are found, first immerse the unit in a bath of hydrogen peroxide for 30 minutes and then rinse clean. If problems still occur you can boil it for 15 minutes or soak it for 30 minutes in a weak solution of bleach, then rinse clean.