Water softener for laundry only

I live in an area that gets Lake Michigan water and conventional wisdom typically says the water's pretty 'good' and a softener is unnecessary.
When I visit my suburban mom and drink her softened water, or take a shower, I cannot stand it. It tastes funny, I feel slimy and my hair doesn't seem clean.
That said, I'm becoming a bit of a laundry fanatic and wonder if I'm crazy to start looking for a small softener that would sit directly in front of my washer and laundry tub and handle that water only?
~Hera
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It can be done. You need a small capacity softener plumbed into the line that feeds the washer. Not seeing your plumbing, I can't say how difficult or simple it is. The softener must have access to a drain. While it can do the laundry only, splitting the plumbing behind walls (if it is) can be difficult.
As for the slimy feeling and hair, they are cleaner than ever; honest. You feel slippery because you don't have the mineral residue on your body.
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That may be so, but I had a whole house softener for over five years and was really glad when we moved. I never got used to the feeling. It would be great having it for the washing machine and dishwasher, however.
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snipped-for-privacy@msn.com wrote in

Amen! I would also want it for the line feeding the dishwasher.
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snipped-for-privacy@msn.com wrote:

For the most part with modern detergents and reasonable water, there is little or nothing to be gained by using a water softener.
Adding one should not be too much of a problem. It will depend mostly on how accessible everything is, plumbing locations etc.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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In addition, there is the hot water problem. Most softeners are not designed to run on hot water. So, one could put a softener on the cold water line to a washing machine and wash with cold water. If you want hot softened water, you probably need a separate water heater for the washing machine. BTW, we had well water and a softener for 25+ years. A few years ago, they piped in Lake Michigan water. There's really no need for a softener any more. Mine is by-passed. I will be removing the softener .... someday.
Joseph Meehan wrote:

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Art Todesco wrote:

Good point. I did not think of it, A second heater for just the washer would seem like a bit of overkill. However with just the cold and using a cold rinse, that should help. It will also help the wash cycle some when using warm water.
Still I doubt it it will be worth the effort.
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Joseph E. Meehan

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snipped-for-privacy@msn.com wrote:

Is there a problem with the way laundry is coming out now?
May I suggest a whole house filter, on the cold water feed to the washer? It solves half (cold water) of the problem easily.
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We used to live in the country, we collected rain water in the cistern, and my wife hated to wash her hair in it. We started showering at a friend's house that had that 'awful' city water.
Recently, when we got a visit from the RainSoft rep, I declined for several reasons. http://www.bobvila.com/wwwboard/messages/11360.html I suggest you look at this site before you take the step.

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On Fri, 08 Oct 2004 07:04:06 -0500, snipped-for-privacy@msn.com wrote:

I find the opposite to be true, never feeling clean with the scum from the hard water.

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Thanks to everyone for their comments. Nice to know I'm not alone in disliking the feel and taste of soft water. I think I'm going to forget about it forever and just be properly appreciative of Lake Michigan. :)
About a year ago we invested in a high-efficiency front-loading washer and I just love it. It motivated me to take a much closer look at how I'm handling water temps, soaking, detergents, additives, etc., hence the interest in softened water. However, since I'm washing in primarily warm/hot water, albeit profile-washing, the softener would indeed be a waste as there's no way I'd invest in a second hot water heater.
Truthfully, it's taken me a while, but I'm pretty happy with my laundry right now and think I need to stay away from the laundry boards!
Hera
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