How ion exchange water treatment works.

It’s all in the chemistry

Ion exchange is a water treatment process commonly used for water softening or demineralisation. It can also be used to remove other substances such as nitrates, fluorides, sulphates and arsenic.

Ion exchange describes a specific chemical process in which unwanted dissolved ions are exchanged for other ions with a similar charge. Ions are atoms or molecules containing a total number of electrons that are not equal to the total number of protons and consequently carry a net charge.

In the exchange process during water treatment, positively charged ions that come into contact with the ion exchange resin are exchanged with positively charged ions available on the resin surface.

For water softening the replacement ions are usually sodium. In effect this means that harmful Calcium ions are replaced with Sodium ions. Since Calcium is the the source of limescale, replacing these opens softens the water. The exchange process occurs between a solid (usually a resin) and the water. The resin is preloaded with sodium ions. The resin is typically used in the form of small beads which allow the water to flow between them and also helps to maximises surface area coming to contact with the untreated water.

Products using Ion-Exchange


Protect your steam oven from the harmful effects of scale and other elements. The Vapour CTU has been specially developed to work in harmony with your steam oven for outstanding results. Available in 10, 18, 23 & 30 litre capacities.

Discover more


Professional Hot Water Softener

The Autosoft range of hot water softeners provide softened water for warewashing and laundry giving better washing results and protecting equipment from harmful scale and other minerals.

Discover more


Our de-mineralisation units remove up to 95% of total dissolved solids – including calcium from the incoming water supply. This produces a high quality water that leaves glasses clean and sparkling straight from the dishwasher or glasswasher.

Discover more


Optimise the water for your coffee machine with new PRIMA Calcium Treatment Unit from European WaterCare. The drinks will taste and smell fresher, and the machine will also be protected from the harmful effects of lime-scale.

Discover more


Improve the quality and taste of coffee and hot beverages whist being more ECO friendly. The iX ION ecofilter saves money and keep you green. Specially formulated to reduce scale and provide superior taste, aroma and crema for outstanding results.

Discover more