The water softening process is depicted in this Water Softening Process Flow Diagram. Water softening removes calcium, magnesium, and sometimes iron ions from water. These ions in hard water make it difficult for products containing other positively charged ions to dissolve in them. Water softening removes the offending minerals from the water in this manner. This Water Softening Process Flow Diagram also depicts the Ion exchange process. Hardness ions are collected, and sodium (or potassium) ions are released when they contact the resin beads, thus the term ion exchange.