Hard water is caused by calcium and magnesium, a combo that wreaks havoc on your appliances, your skin, and your energy bills. But there’s an easy fix: Installing a water softener removes those substances. You’ll notice a dramatic reduction of buildup on your bathtub, sinks, faucets, and wall tiles or shower surrounds. Your dishes will be less spotty, too, reducing the need for a rinse aid in your dishwasher. Next up, laundry—you’ll notice your whites will be whiter and your colors brighter. And installing a water softener also means appliances like your washing machine, dishwasher, coffee maker, and iron will last longer, so you don’t have to replace them as often.