Another important role of salt is to help soften our water. Water softening has many benefits for those who live in hard water areas and can have a direct impact on energy consumption and the environment.
Calcium and magnesium in water both carry positive charges. This means that these minerals will cling to the beads as the hard water passes through the mineral tank. Sodium ions also have positive charges, albeit not as strong as the charge on the calcium and magnesium. When a very strong brine solution is flushed through a tank that has beads already saturated with calcium and magnesium, the sheer volume of the sodium ions is enough to drive the calcium and magnesium ions off the beads. Water softeners have a separate brine tank that uses common salt to create this brine solution.
Softened water leaves the water feeling silky and luxurious and could leave laundry brighter and softer. It can also help to reduce the amount of detergent needed for a wash.
Other advantages of water softening include cleaner glasses and dishes, softer hair after washing, a reduction in scale in bathrooms as well as saving money by reducing the cost of repairs, maintenance in household fixtures such as heaters, showers and boilers.