Water softeners have been around for many years and is still the best solution available to get rid of lime scale in water. The process that water softeners use to remove lime from water is called ion exchange. Simply put ion exchange is when hardness ions (lime) in the water is replaced by sodium or potassium ions (salt). The resin beads are all loaded with sodium ions and when the water passes over the resin the sodium trades places with the calcium and magnesium in the water. The calcium and magnesium then stick to the resin. This is also why the water has a higher sodium content afterwards and can taste very different from before. The sodium however has no adverse effects when using the water.
Ion exchange water softening is one of the most cost effective and one of the only processes that completely removes lime scale from the water. Similar products may put the lime in suspension and protect elements such as pipes and geysers, while the water softener completely removes lime from the water. The removal of the lime from the water not only protects your elements but also provides you with soft water, which ensures cleaner laundry, dishes, hair and provides you with a significant saving in soap usage