Soft water cleans much more effectively than hard water. To accomplish the same results, soft water requires 50-75 percent less soap or detergent than hard water. This alone creates a great cost savings over time. When you first start using soft water take special care to quarter the amount of soap you typically use. For a lightly soiled load of laundry in a laundry machine, a heaped teaspoon of powdered detergent should be sufficient. You don’t need to fill your dishwasher detergent bin to heaping–in fact only fill it a quarter of what you used to. While the 1/4 rule is generally sound, experience is the best teacher in this area.