Water forms the basis of most cleaning processes. As it seeps through the ground, magnesium and calcium ions dissolve in it. Water containing dissolved minerals is known as hard water. Dissolved minerals reduce the efficiency of cleaning processes and additional cleaning agent is required to compensate for this. Water softeners such as Calgon® may be used to reduce the effect of hard water on appliance efficiency and improve cleaning by removing or masking the effect of dissolved ions.
Links to the curriculum
This section contains information relevant to the following areas of your chemistry curriculum:
- Group 2 elements
- Acids and bases