Water softeners are mainly used in places with hard water. By hard water, we mean water with a high amount of calcium and magnesium. The problem is that these aren’t the only minerals that are found in excess in water. A heavy presence of some other minerals, such as irons, can also be found in water.

So, many people living in areas with a high presence of iron have the same question; Does a water softener remove iron? In this article, we’ll answer precisely that.

Do Water Softeners Remove Iron?

Water softeners operate through a method that’s commonly referred to as ion exchange. A regular water softener is equipped with resin beads. The function of these beads is to absorb the hardness from the water.

However, there’s a limit to how much hardness these beads can absorb, and they’ll stop taking up the minerals once they reach total capacity. Fortunately, they are designed to regenerate their capacity with time.

That is usually done through a salt substitute that can absorb the minerals from the resin beads through chemical reactions. Therefor, it is important to ensure you are using the right water softener settings so that the capacity is high enough.

The final result that you’re going to get once you run hard water through these resin beads is soft water; then again, whether a water softener will remove iron or not can’t be said with 100% certainty.

It is because every water softener may not be equipped with the right equipment for removing iron. Plus, getting rid of iron isn’t as simple as eliminating other minerals.

That is because iron may be present in either ferrous or ferric form. Ferrous iron gets dissolved in water easily. However, these also have positive ions that can react with the sodium ions present in traditional water softeners.

Thus, ferrous iron removal is comparatively more straightforward and can be done with even the most basic water softener.

However, ferrous iron is only seen in acidic water, and this is where things get challenging.

In the case of removing ferric iron, you’ll need more than just traditional water softeners. The ions present in regular water softeners aren’t capable of eliminating ferric iron. So, you won’t have any luck in removing iron through them.

To remove ferric iron, you’ll require a high-quality water softener that is designed to handle this.

Why You Must Remove Iron From Water?

Many people refrain from taking the necessary steps once they get to know the hassles of removing iron from water. Even though removing iron from water may not come cheap, it’s essential.

The presence of iron in water can make the water look dirty. It also causes bacteria formation. Furthermore, any food or drink made of iron water may taste horrible. So, your quality of life will be hampered.

How To Check For Iron Type In Water?

Getting a high-quality water softener that’s capable of removing iron from water is a good choice, but it’s pointless if you can get the job done with a regular softener. That is why we recommend checking for the iron-type before making the purchase decision.

Here’s how you check for iron-type in water:

  • Step 1. - Pick a faucet or tap in your home that provides a high flow of water.

  • Step 2. - Turn that tap or faucet on and let it flow at full speed for at least five minutes. That will help remove all the standing debris and dirt.

  • Step 3. - After that, fill a bucket with water from that faucet. Place the bucket under a bright light. We don’t recommend sunlight as it may distort the original color of the water.

  • Yellow, orange or brown water - If the water is found to have a yellow, orange, or brown color, then it has ferric iron.

  • Colorless water - If the water is colorless, then it may contain ferrous iron. So, if you’re sure that the water you use contains iron, then the first thing you must check is the color of the water.

If the water is transparent, then it’s inevitable that it contains ferrous water. In this case, you won’t need a top-notch water softener for solving the issue. Getting any water softener will get the job done.

On the other hand, if the water is colored, you better get a top-notch water softener capable of removing iron from water.


So, does a water softener remove iron?

Yes, and no. It depends on the softener, and it also depends on the type of iron we’re concerned about. These factors must be double-checked before making any decision.