How to Soften Water Without a Softener

Updated April 17, 2017

Hard water is filled with mineral compounds that can leave your skin dry and leave stains on clothes, dishes and other items. Most of the time, homes with hard water supplies will purchase a large water softener to run the water through to decrease minerals. If you occasionally have hard water or do not have a water softener, there are at home methods you can use to soften water without the expense of a large, commercial unit.

Fill a kitchen cooking pot with the amount of water you require.

Place the pot on the stove and set it to boil. Allow the water to boil for half an hour. Some minerals will precipitate out in the steam, if your water is not extremely hard. Remove the pot from the heat source.

Allow the water to cool down. If you will see minerals floating on the top of the water, you can skim them off, using a spoon, or you can wait until the minerals settle at the bottom of the pot. You can then just scoop the water above.

Draw off the top water for your purposes and use as you would any water. This method works best for temporarily hard water.

Fill a large pot with one quart of water and bring it to a boil. Once the water is boiling, create a washing-soda solution by dissolving one pound of washing-soda in the boiling water. Allow it to continue to boil until the washing-soda is dissolved.

Remove from heat. Allow to cool. Once cool, pour it into any liquid storage container, such as a squeeze bottle.

Fill a separate large container with water from your tap. For each gallon of water you put into the container, you will need two tablespoons of the solution you just created.

Allow the container to stand open for several days. After four or five days, draw the water off the top for use.


To use water immediately for purposes such as laundry, you may wish to simply add a solution of Borax or lye straight into your washing machine. Follow the instructions on the box for mixing ratios. It is recommended that you use only the boiled water for drinking or cooking since no chemicals are added.

Things You'll Need

  • Water
  • Lye
  • Borax
  • Cooking pot
  • Measuring cups
  • Large water containers
  • Spoon
  • Bottle (squeeze or spray)
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About the Author

Candace Weselowski is a Canadian writer who began writing professionally in 2001. She has experience producing material for a variety of publications including magazines, company newsletters, newspapers, letters and more. She completed a diploma in creative communications and a Bachelor of Arts in communications.