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Soft water can increase the life and improve the appearance of your clothes. Soft water has less insoluble ions than does hard water. These ions, often calcium based, are actually deposited on the fibers of your clothes when you wash them. When the clothes are dry, the tiny deposits act like tiny knives that slowly destroy the fabrics each time you move.
Even if the clothes do not fall apart prematurely, the destruction of the surface of the fibers will create that "old" look very quickly. Also, the hard water deposits themselves can reduce the brilliance of the colors along with the detergent residue. Soft water also requires less detergent and shorter wash and rinse cycles for additional savings.