A water softener is a whole-house filtration system that removes hardness. Hardness is calcium and magnesium minerals dissolved in your water. Water softener remove those minerals we call hardness from your water through a process called ion exchange. The higher the temperature of the water, the more calcium and magnesium will solidify and harden into solid deposits inside your hot water heater and in your hot water pipes. Calcium and magnesium mineral settles out of solution as the water evaporates at the water line in your toilets and when water drops dry on countertop surfaces, etc. Ion exchange adheres the hardness minerals to the ion exchange beads in the water softener tank as water runs through it and releases a sodium ion or potassium ion into your water in exchange. Periodically the system backwashes to release the hardness minerals and replenish the ion exchange beads with either sodium or potassium ions. Your water will not taste salty. The sodium and potassium ions help your skin and clothing to feel softer.