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We have very hard water. I have considered purchasing a water softener but it seems to be very pricy. Are there any other natural alternatives? If not, is there a specific type of softener I should look for?

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I talked to our MD about this.  We take medicine for blood pressure....he said that they use salt to soften & condition.  They are very expensive to install.  We went to Lowe's and bought 2 special filters systems......put on the incoming cold water in the house.  First one we put one that uses the white string that gets any material and then the next container putting in the black filter...............if you put a big container of water and just let it sit and then see if there is sediment in the bottom after several days............if none then you can use 2 black filters instead of a white one first and then a black one......................we also use one of those portable ones to filter what we drink. I finally got all the sinks cleaned from stains and the tub stains stopped.  These have no salt in them.  My neighbor up the road did the salt one and she came down to us to get better water.  She finally stopped using it.  You have to turn off the system to water your plants or they will die.  They have several other systems out there that seem very expensive to me.  I would investigate them all before making any decisions.  My neighbor told me that his son got something that zapped the water and it not good for copper pipes.
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