I am about to have a water softener installed and I thought I should learn a bit about the Chemistry involved. There is loads of advertising blurb on the Web but very little precise Chemistry. I am sure someone here can help me with this. The basic softening process is fair enough with sodium +ions replacing the Calcium and Magnesium +ions. Why the Na+ ions in brine would displace the Ca+ ions on the beads is not clear. Something about ionisation energy, no doubt. Also, the Na+ ions in the softened water would be left behind on surfaces if the water evaporates but what would they be combined with and what solid would they form? Sodium Carbonate? Obvs, it would wash off easily and would never be deposited in pipes etc..