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Water Purification Systems

7 Best Salts for Water Softeners, According to 6,600+ Customer Reviews

As a sea captain, now having hung up my sea-boots, this is a bit bewildering. And again I reside in an area where the groundwater is polluted with high arsenic levels and is particularly very hard. I realized that only after eating up soaps pretty rapidly while trying to lather during baths, not to speak of dry skin and the number of bad hair days.

I haven’t even mentioned the calcium rust and limescale appearing on my plumbing fixtures and internals of the pipes. Whoa! This was turning into a high maintenance nightmare.

So I googled up, knew where it was coming from. Foolish, all the locals knew about it, and before you can say Rumpelstiltskin, there appeared a guy and did what was needed. Bottom line- you need soft water, both for the health and well-being of your appliances.

He smirkingly suggested adding ‘potash’ meaning potassium chloride, the best salt for water softener you can have. Thanks to the good man’s advice, I retained a good deal of my locks.

So, today I’m back after having probed deeper into the water softening salt industry, and the Faucets Reviewed team tested a whole bunch of them in order to make recommendations. Let’s get to know them.

7 Best Salts for Water Softeners Reviewed

1 Morton Salt 1501 (Editor’s Choice)


As a homeowner, you owe it your family’s well-being that the water, the most safety-oriented commodity is, no questions asked your number one priority.

Morton water is undeniably softer, safer, and undeniably refreshing. It pampers your skin and hair and makes cleaning a whole deal easier.

Morton’s Clean and Protect essentially charges the resin beads, and an added bonus is that they reduce buildup enhancing the longevity of your home appliances. It provides all the benefits of water softeners.

They come in 50-pound packs, which is about the average household consumption.

They have officially classed System Saver II Patented Water Softening Pellets. They are qualified for oral ingestion and have a strength of 3000mg/ kg. However, ingestion in excess can lead to diarrhea. There are no adverse effects associated with this product.

Morton’s salts come with a 4-star rating and enjoy exclusive popularity. They are made from evaporated sodium chloride pellets using a patented formula. The water is safe to drink but is not especially safe for plants.


  • Handy pack size and design
  • Comes with a hard handle and an open tab that makes use simple
  • Manufactured in the US to highest standards
  • Can prolong the use of water heaters
  • Water-based appliances get a fresh lease of life
  • Very elementary to use


  • A few customers found it pricey
  • A 50 lb bag can be heavy

Our Verdict

This was a difficult decision. After much intense deliberation, established in 1848, Morton’s is a quintessential American brand, and therefore our Editor’s choice for the best salt for water softener is well-founded. Their leadership is turbo-charged with experts who have a proven track record in the field of the potash and salt industry.

Their commitment to sustainability is laudable. Mortons was the first to launch iodized salt in 1924 working hand in hand with UNICEF and Kiwanis International in a move to eradicate iodine deficiency at no extra cost. Their product validates safety, quality, and environmental protection.

2 Morton Clean And Protect II


This product is also from the Morton stable and is highly in demand.

A patented formulation has gone into the making of System Saver II which is guaranteed to come out with bonus results. It whips up your softener as it tackles the removal of hard water minerals and doubles in cleaning the softener as well. It lends succor to obviate mineral pileup in pipes and appliances.

Efficiency skyrockets and the life of appliances and water heaters surges. Size: 40 lbs and contains additives which are dual-purpose; resin cleaning and the mileage of the softener, which keep it running unvanquished for long. It nullifies iron build-up, and softener life soars with repeated use.

You can say goodbye to pipe scaling, faucets, and bath fixtures too, and defies those unseemly spots on glasses, dishes, and flatware.

Morton Clean and Protect II is the trail-blazing water softening salt to earn the seal of good housekeeping.  The product is dependable as bidding farewell to messy tank cleanups. Your detergent is not superman; it too can do with a bit of aid. Soft water is proven to boost detergent clean your clothes better while making your clothes last longer too!

Household chores too are ensured with the help of soft water and Morton Water Softening Salt. When this magic spring of soft water flows through your home, it’s an endorsed recommendation to bear in mind that your water softener is dosed with the right amount of salt.

The magical constituent to your skin feeling like a million dollars, clothes and towels feeling cuddly soft, and your dishes staying spotless is Morton Clean and Protect II.


  • Abundant lather from soaps and detergents
  • A natural laundry softener
  • Skin and hair feel cleaner and softer
  • Hard water spots on faucets, dishes, and tiling banished
  • Mineral buildup in appliances and pipelines done away with
  • The formulation is specially made to tackle high iron content


  • Handle the packet carefully, the cover isn’t that strong

Our Verdict

Our team, after a brainstorming session on this product, had to concede that it is scientifically proven and no questions asked, is a worthy product. Professionally Mortons have etched their credentials firmly. But we do agree on the price differential on this product as compared to Home Depot or Walmart.

Also, the packaging size is debatable if you are getting on in years or have a condition that prohibits heavy lifting.

3 Morton Salt F124700000g

Morton Salt F124700000g

If you are looking for a serious heavyweight combatant to annihilate your high iron water concerns, say hello to Morton Clean and Protect Plus Rust Defense. It actually extracts 15 times more iron than plain salt. The outcome? Sweet tasting water, rust stains expelled in your bathroom and kitchen, and minimal rust stains on the washing and appliances.

Morton Clean and Protect Plus Rust Defense is easy to transfer, open and pour, our special bag features taking care of that handicap. Included is a robust plastic handle for ease of carrying and lifting.

Unconditionally, soft water and ironless water zings up many features in your home. The pack size is 40 lbs., easy to carry open and pour. The improved taste of water is incomparable. Bathroom, kitchen, wherever; rust stains are bygone. The same applies to your washing and gadgets. Water heaters and pipes are problem areas always.

Morton salt to the rescue; it prevents metal cations and scale build-up. Some expert application recommendations- Keep a tab on salt levels, with the tank at least 1/2 full. Every two months, two bags of salt need to be dunked into your softener with a certified record of internal laboratory testing, every regeneration cycle.

Some additional info to promote performance; When you have soft water, cleaning clothes requires less soap, water, and rust stains vanish, your dishes will look cleaner and your hair and skin will even feel softer. What’s more, your pipes and appliances will have less buildup over time, helping you avoid maintenance and repair. Soft water will help save you time, money, and have you feeling your best.


  • Rust proliferation reduced inside your water-based machines
  • Supplied soft water does not leave a hard residue on them
  • Soap consumption noticeably reduced during laundry and dishwashing
  • High-purity sodium chloride


  • A little sulfurous smell noticed

Our Verdict

This is a professionally endorsed product. The rust removal from sink and kitchen appliances is an authoritative claim which is vouched for by many users. To quote one user “being a first-time homeowner, but needed to refill my water softener. I found out through the manufacturer’s website that there is iron removing salt.

Since we have old pipes with some rust issues I got it. It seems to be working adequately.” No wonder why it’s one of the best-rated models on our list.

We for one, give it a thumbs up.

4 Morton U26624S

Morton U26624S

All-natural and high purity at that. Solar salt from Morton’s is an ironclad, organic choice for water softening. Composed of sodium chloride at top quality and untainted.

It exiles those traumatic hard water marks on dishes, and appliances and household fixtures. Morton extra coarse solar salt lends a hand to prevent mineral build-up from hard water in home plumbing in water heaters.

Helps detergents and soaps lather better. This boosts efficiency for a cleaner, softer laundry.


  • Ease of using
  • Dramatic improvement in water quality
  • Works with all types of water softeners
  • Comes in a well-built salt bag
  • Does what is said on paper


  • The smell of sulfur

Our Verdict

This product scored high on different eStores. Need we say more? One common complaint from the customers is the pricing. After some professional research, we did find significant pricing discrepancies among Home Depot, Walmart, Amazon and other offline retailers and stores.

The quality of the product is one thing that needs verification. From our end, we found this to be a cheap water softener salt with high quality that offers good value for the money.

5 Cargill Salt 7304 Water Softener Salt (Great for Bathing)

Weighing in with a 4-star review, Cargill water softener salt claims pedigree. They are natural salt crystals and solar in origin. Purity is maintained intact because of its poly bagging. The weight of a pack is 40 lbs.

Some people decided to use Solar salt crystals because they are usually cleaner. They are fast becoming the byword amongst green adherents and they boast an impressive track record in being more efficient than the usual rock salt that most products feature.

The bona fide about this product is that it needs no channeling, mushing, or bridging. It is acceptable for poultry and meat processing if need be.


  • Though unproven, It beats rock salt for its clean grade and is more efficient
  • The packaging makes the purity certain
  • It is a curing agent for olives, pickles and the quality-grading of sensitive vegetables
  • Moisture conservation is inherent in the product packaging


  • Pricier than it should have been

Our Verdict

Our case study unfolded that this model beats rock salt in terms of efficiency and purity. The product we were up against was quite a challenge. If you want to do away with channeling, mushing, or bridging, this might be something you want.

The track record of Cargill Water Softening Gel was also great. In the purity ratings, solar salt scores high. It is the one of the bestselling, an all-natural product that we recommend for our readers.

6 Diamond 40lb K-Life

Diamond 40lb K-Life

Traditional softener salts take a back seat when up against Best KCL softening salt. This product is a low sodium alternative. Sodium Shielded Potassium Chloride is formulated with up to 99.1% Pure KCL.

They contain content of low insolubility. This keeps the water softening plant running smoothly.

Other top attributes are Water Softeners and salt pellets. Sodium chloride used every day which is a feature of most salt pellets has been toppled by this versatile health, environment, and gadget-friendly alternative. Undoubtedly, this one is among the unadulterated salts you can come by for water softening, and an added bonus is that it is NSF (National Sanitation Foundation) certified.

Its role is not confined to softening water; it boosts the longevity of appliances reducing that annoying film formation on sanitary fittings. Keeping consumer convenience foremost, this product is devised in a recycled bag that can be easily popped open.

Potassium chloride presents difficulties in sourcing in comparison to sodium chloride. It is recognized to be a salt of “higher quality”. Appreciable sodium content present in the diet, are seriously piling on health complications and augmenting NaCl to the water supply is a risk not worth it.

Studies show that the approved alternate with a proven track record is Potassium chloride. It unconditionally is endorsed for both human consumption and for the care of flora and fauna. Water that is clean-tasting minus an iota of saltiness is a bargain.

As a natural byproduct of sun, wind, and time, it stands tall and unchallenged for different types of water softeners.


  • It is made of potassium chloride, an all-around better choice
  • Has NSF certification for its performance and quality
  • It results in great tasting water which is also suitable for sensitive skin
  • This salt is made of natural methods and dried by sun, wind and time
  • It boasts a jaw-dropping purity of 99.1%


  • The price could have been pegged a little lower
    The consumption rate is on the higher side

Our Verdict

This product is designed with your health and convenience in mind. It reproduces hypoallergenic water for those with sensitive skin and allergy. Moreover, a better pick for both drinking and plant care is Potassium Chloride. It carries the seal of approval, ANSA Standard 60 as safe to use for drinking water.

In a world beset by the ill effects of sodium, potassium chloride is a first-class alternative and for the money, the performance is satisfactory. We give it a scientifically proven four and a half stars.

7 4.4 LB Softener Salt by Impresa Products

4.4 LB Softener Salt by Impresa Products

This product is absolutely pure and has a very coarse grain with zero additives is what is required for dishwasher salts. Impresa products offer a very coarse grain salt which is 100% pure. It is on the button for your dishwasher.

Its efficacy is a bargain and it completely eradicates the hard water residue and limescale present in your dishwasher expertly. It renders your dishwasher along with the dishes watermark free, residue-free, and exempt from water spots. A cleaner wash is guaranteed every single time.

For fitting use with individual dishwasher appliance, the smaller package size is ideal.

If salt is what your dishwasher requires, Water softener salt by Impresa Products is the perfect match. It is compatible with Whirlpool, Bosch, and Miele dishwasher models but uses only with dishwashers that come with water softener containers.

The salt is food grade and vegan with no iodine, caking compounds or any other additives.

The use is especially easy. Just add salt to the dishwasher’s salt unit and shut. Check the level and top up as deemed necessary. Consult the user manual for any dishwasher model-specific directions.


  • Iodine, caking compounds and additives not used
  • Natural, pure salt pellets
  • Universally compatible. Banishes water hardness
  • Results in very clean dishes
  • Highly affordable


  • Not designed to cope with every water softener

Our Verdict

We are of the opinion that this dishwasher water use softening salt is authentic in all that it promises. It has many promising attributes. It is a specialized product for dishwashing applications strictly. Being universally compatible, it will work well with your dishwasher. On top of that, it’s one of the cheapest on our list.

The product considering its low tag and super-quality does a great job of its purpose. Users give it thumbs-up. People have openly lauded the product and expressed total satisfaction with the immaculate turnout of their crockery and cutlery. The disappearance of the handiwork of hard minerals such as a white film or spots can be a welcome sight. Many even go so far as to say their dishes literally sparkle!

Best Salts for Water Softener – Buying Guide

softener salt iron removal

You need to consider a number of points carefully before opting for the best water softener salt for your whole house water system or in-house well. Of course, professional help is always around but why not have an informed opinion on the subject. Some pointers:

  • Salt Crystals Vs. Salt Pellets

A high concentration of dissolved minerals makes water hard. These can be eliminated by using

salt in either crystal or pellet form.

Salt crystals are basically seawater or mined sodium chloride, exposed to the sun and by solar evaporation reduced to 99% moisture-free crystals. These coarse crystals are suitable for households with less than average water consumption.

In households where the water consumption is high, salt crystals result in a phenomenon called ‘bridging’. Bridging occurs when a layer or crust of hardened or consolidated salt forms at the surface of a brine tank leaving a void space below where the salt has been depleted.

The obvious result, according to the working principle of a water softener is that water passes through the salt tank without being softened.

Water softener pellets bypass the bridging effect. Additionally, they are infused with citric acid, a cleansing agent that protects against plaque build-up in piping and keeps your appliances protected.

  • Chemical Composition

Sodium Chloride

  • Evaporated Salt Pellets– Evaporated salt is of 100% purity, the purest form of all sodium-based water softener pellets. It is derived by reducing raw crystals to pure sodium chloride using special heaters to get rid of moisture completely. Of a high purity, it is suitable for numerous uses. When used in water softener pellets it is highly effective.
  • Solar Salt Pellets– Tapping seawater in salt pans and allowing the water to evaporate naturally results in the formation of solar salts. The derived crystals are about 99.5% pure, highly soluble and when used as a water softener is usually as pellets. It’s also more effective than rock salt for melting ice on the driveways too. That falls into the category of other usage of the mineral.
  • Rock salt– This forms over centuries as underground salt deposits and is mined. Because of its other considerable mineral content, there is a lot of debate on its suitability though manufacturers are of the contrary opinion and main it is perfectly suitable as a water softener. It is fairly low-priced.
  • Block salt– Very pure salt is utilized to make block salt and it is widely used in the food industry and as a water softening agent for human consumption as also for the food industry. It has many various uses such as food salt, deicing, swimming pools, bath salts, etc.

Potassium Chloride

1. Purpose– Potassium Chloride has of late become the choice and gaining ground as a water softener. This stems from the niggling reservations people harbor about sodium chloride. The answer is in not choosing sodium, but potassium instead. My plumber was not wrong after all when he grinned and said, ‘potash’. Potassium based crystals are particularly relevant for those who have health issues, and secondly, sodium is not environmentally friendly.

Potassium has many positive health benefits and is an essential nutrient, not only for human beings but also a vital role for the growth of plants. A potassium imbalance in your body can cause a life-threatening situation. However, potassium pellets come at a slightly higher price. We, after adequate research, think it to be a good choice.

2. Environment–  Sodium infiltrates and primarily causes dehydration, going on to foliage damage. Osmotic stress deprives roots of nourishment, leading to stunted growth and improper fruiting. Salt disrupts a plant’s natural ability. Nutrient absorption is hindered, it causes the damage to seed germination and flowering capacity cycles.

This paves the path for salt-tolerant species like cattails to take over. Many manifestations of aquatic life are threatened by water sources that have chloride which is a toxin.

They are a serious worry for fish, macroinvertebrates; in general, non-human life species. Sensitive aquatic forms of life are severely affected by salinity stress which in turn takes its toll on aquatic diversity.

3. Health and Purity– People have reservations about sodium chloride. Low sodium in drinking water is desirable for hypertensive people. Secondly, excess sodium leads to kidney stone formation. The US Environmental Protection Agency has capped sodium content at 20mg sodium per liter. Water hardness has a direct correlation.

Your pet’s health is a matter of concern too. Deicing salt combined with rainwater, runoff from melting snow, road splash and so on, find their way into vegetation and groundwater. The poor chump will lick the water and then his paws which are contaminated from water contact, with disastrous consequences.

4. Performance–  Needless to say, a good water softener system should have quality constituents. No matter wheather you use it for household or for industrial purposes, it should provide flawless result. A complete assay by a qualified expert will determine what kind of plant will be ideal. A metered-style valve is a vital part.

That way, your system will be in peak performance conditions, wastages are minimized. Top-quality components will be a bit more expensive but over time will pay for themselves.

The metered style valve gives you the freedom to adjust levels of hardness, depending on how many people are at your home. When set optimally, the system will self-adjust cleaning times automatically making it super-efficient as also cost-effective.

5. Softener maintenance

  • Check salt levels. This is of paramount importance as otherwise, with depleted levels of salt, you will start gathering hard water. The recommendations are to check every four to six months. But the frequency of inspection depends on the type of equipment, the hardness strength and so on.
  • Salt Bridges Formation. With regular use of the softener, hardened strata called a salt bridge may be noticeable. This is usually the result of high temperatures and humidity as well as the use of sub-standard salt. These salt bridges bar the resins from regeneration. The solution is to inspect and clean the tank at regular intervals to prevent the formation of salt bridges. Exercise caution when cleaning the brine tank as improper methods may damage the softener walls.
  • Brine Tank Cleaning. In modern softener systems, a brine tank or brine well rarely needs to be cleaned. However, to work around any problems, it is a safe practice to clean the tank regularly. The approved interval for cleaning is every 6 months or yearly.
  • Inspect Water Purifier Routinely. Checking the level of the salt level alone does not guarantee an efficient system. Close-up softener inspection should be done every 3-4 months. It’s easy to do the monitoring if you have a wall-mounted softener model.
  • Pick The Correct Salt. Many folks want to use any kind of cheap salt available for their water softener. This is a cardinal mistake. To achieve good results, the best salts for water softener must be used either in the form of cubes, granules, nuggets, tablets or crystals. Your plant instruction manual will tell you which to use.
  • Resin Bed Flushing. Resin beads derive their charge regularly from the salt. Using a water softener cleaner, you should once every while flush the bed of resin. A water softener because of iron present, as well as organic compounds, and heavy metals gets compromised in functioning effectively. Flushing a resin bed will ensure continued smooth performance.

What Exactly Does Water Softener Salt Do

Let us consider the water cycle. As rain falls, it is soft water inherently. The water then percolates through layers of gypsum and limestone, picking up appreciable quantities of magnesium and calcium carbonates, bicarbonates and sulfates. Water softener salts don’t provide you with the benefits of purified water because they only soften hard water.

Hard water is preferred for drinking because of its high mineral content and flavor. Soft water tastes salty. So what is all this hoopla about soft water? Hard water is what comes out of your taps.

Boiled, it assumes a different avatar. It evolves into a tiresome devil. The clothes come out of the wash looking pretty dingy, a bath is a sloppy affair, soaps don’t lather, your hair feels terrible your bathtub starts building up a thin film of hard scum, and more trouble.

For household use, the water has, has to be soft. Simply put, the sodium has to be retained and all other traces of magnesium and calcium removed. And that is the realm of Water Softener Salts.

A water softener is loaded with resin beads. The calcium and magnesium ions percolate through the resin beads. An exchange of ions takes place by a process called reverse osmosis wherein the magnesium and calcium are neutralized leaving the sodium back. The resin beads are negatively charged.

They hold the potassium or sodium ions depending on which you have chosen. They draw in the positively charged calcium and magnesium ions exchanging them for potassium or sodium ions. The water is thus rendered soft.

How Much Salt Do You Need?

In America, the incidence of hard water is as high as 90%. That’s way high. The first step is to get a qualified analyst to take water samples and arrive at what type of hardness you are up against.

Okay, the water is hard, very hard according to the analysis. What next? You can go and dunk a whole lot of rock salt from Trader Joe’s or whatever into your tank. Is that what you were thinking? Well, think again. This by itself, is going to clog up the system as the impurities will settle.

What you need is a salt that charges the water and does not leave any traces. We intend to clear up one problem, not creating another.

To recharge the beads, the average household in the US requires about 40 pounds monthly for full house sytems. There are a lot of manufacturers for these salts which we  get to, but they are essential in keeping the plant going efficiently without fouling.

How Do You Add Salt to A Water Softener?

Water softeners revitalize themselves normally. If you, for some reason have forgotten to add salt to the brine tank, it has to be manually accomplished. You will require a wet cloth and two 40 lb bags of salt for water softeners. This, of course, is conditional, depending on the size of the water softener. So let’s get down to it.

  1. There will be some amount of build up on the walls of the brine tank. Using the wet cloth, scrub the sidewalls of the tank as thoroughly as possible to clean out all traces of build-up. The tank is now clean for taking a charge of salt.
  2. Taking into consideration the size of the water softener, restrict the quantity that you add to the brine tank, no more than two bags of salts. The tank should be about half full only.
  3. Regenerate the water softener manually. The process varies from model to model. Be familiar with yours. A control panel is located on the top of the main unit which incorporates a regeneration button. Keep it depressed till the plant regeneration process kicks in.

Water softeners are able to regenerate themselves but also require manual regeneration to ensure that proper cleaning of the unit is achieved.

Brine Tank Maintenance Tips

natural water softener salt

A few handy tips to keep your system in top shape:

  1. Your brine tank needs to be cleaned regularly. First of all, check for a hard crust at the surface of the brine tank. If one has formed, bridging is occurring. Break up the crust and remove it. It is also a sign that your dosing is either excessive or too frequent. Drain the tank, clean thoroughly with soap and water, rinse well and replenish.
  2. If your water contains iron, it will foul the resin bed. Flush the entire system with a material called Iron-Out, commonly available at any supermarket. Most reliable brands have this as an ingredient.
  3. Clean the resin tank injector.
  4. Use pure salt which has iron remover. Rock salt, etc. are less expensive but considering that they contain other impurities, it’s going to be costly for you in the long run.
  5. Refrain from adding salt to the brine tank unless it is nearly empty. Once it’s completely out of salt you may start the refilling process. When changing the salt, just fill it to two thirds.
  6. Definitely use Iron-Out once a year to flush the resin bed and clean out the control valves.
  7. Make it an annual routine of cleaning the brine tank.
  8. This step is implicitly important. Don’t force your outlet pipe into a floor drain. It should be above, repeat above the grate. There have been occasions where the sewage was siphoned into the system, destroying it completely.

Brine Tank Cleaning

Best Salts for Water Softener

  1. Read the instructions in the operating manual. A bypass mode is provided which allows the softener to be bypassed for a short period of time to facilitate cleaning.
  2. Disconnect all hoses connecting the softener and the brine tank.
  3. Dump or siphon out the contents of the brine tank. Dispose safely and not on plants or your lawn. The saltwater mixture may cause harm.
  4. Scoop out all remaining salt and discard.
  5. If a salt bridge has formed (a big block of salt) break it out by first using warm or hot water to dislodge it.
  6. Pull the brine grid out if one is provided. It is a platform or a mesh at the bottom of the tank.
  7. Create a soapy mixture by emptying a few teaspoons of dish soap into 1-2 gallons of water.
  8. Pour the soap solution into the tank, scrub thoroughly with a long-handled brush and rinse repeatedly to remove all traces of soap.
  9. Pour 2-3 gallons of fresh water into the tank and add half a cup of household bleach. Let it sit for about 15 minutes. Scrub the insides well with a brush and chlorine water.
  10. Dump everything out and rinse again.
  11. Put the tank back in place, connect up the lines and take the system out of the bypass mode.
  12. Pour 5 gallons of clean water into the tank.
  13. To finish off, add the water softener salt, at least two 50 lb bags. For best results, the brine tank should be at least a quarter full of softener salt at all times. Don’t fill the tank up to the brim. At least 6 inches of space should remain.

Wrapping It Up

It has been our endeavor to analyze, review, and weigh the different salt softeners available. Through detailed descriptions of not only the products but also the maintenance and upkeep and there is to know about the various salts. Mortons is a brand that has stamped its authority on research and has on its team specialists, water treatment system engineers, and professionals who are doing stellar work.

Their softener salt range is easily the best salt for water softener systems. KCL salt is another with tremendous potential as people are now very conscious about sodium intake and the health perils attached to excess sodium consumption.

We hope to have educated you sufficiently so that when you make a choice of what softener system to install, it will be a well-informed decision.


1. Why do I need to soften my water?

Hard water is not unhealthy for use until you treat it rightly. It is a bother both from scale buildup to irritable cosmetic nightmares; frazzled hair, a bath that leaves you unrefreshed; the list is unending. It is healthier in plain speak.

2. Is it safe drinking softened water?

Yes, soft water is safe for consumption. It contains essentials minerals for well-being. There is some evidence that people find the taste a bit bland. The safe limit is pegged at 200mg/liter of sodium in the water you drink the upper limit not exceeding 300mg/liter.

Hard water can have considerably higher limits. A low sodium diet is always advisable. Soft water is not suitable for infant milk formulations as the sodium content is considered high for them.

3. What proportion of salt is present in sodium chloride water softener salt?

Depending on the type you opt for; rock, evaporated or solar salt, it can vary from 98 to 99 % sodium chloride.

4. Is using salt that is food-grade recommended for water softeners?

Technically you can but it is not advisable. This is because salt that is food grade, also commonly called table salt, contains impurities and has a smaller crystal size than in salt used in water softening plants. This will end up with mushing in the brine tank.

5. How can you tell if your water softener needs salt?

Open the top cover of the tank and take a peek inside. If it is less than half full and the salt looks dry, fill the tank till it is slightly over half full. Salt that appears wet or if the water level is just above the salt, half fill the tank.

6. Can I mix several varieties of salts in my water softener?

Yes, you can. There is no harm in that. All classes of water softening salts work well together. However, rock salt should not be mixed with evaporated salt or a sodium-based salt with one containing potassium. This could clog the reservoir. It is best for one to be depleted before you add a different type of water softener salt.

7. For the optimal use of salt, what should be the setting on the water softener?

To do this correctly, you will first have to measure the hardness of the water. Test strips are available at your local home store or the information can be obtained from the Local Municipality for your area. The unit of hardness is GPG, which ranges from 0-35. Choose the obtained setting as the optimal.

8. What is to be done if discolored water is a result?

A common cause of brown water from your tap is a build-up of sediment, minerals, and rust in the water mains. If for some reason there is an increased flow rate in the line, it stirs up the sediment. Also, the brine holding tank should be inspected. If you find the brine dirty, a common cause is rock salt or parts of the water softener leaking.

9. In spite of utilizing a softener, a rotten egg smell persists in my water. Why?

This is caused by sulfur bacteria which has formed hydrogen sulfide, hence the rotten egg smell. The remedy is to have the tank cleaned thoroughly. Then apply the bulk of salt in the system and restart filtering.

10. What to do about salt bridges forming in the tank?

Water softening salt blocks are a fail-safe bet here. Both ‘mushing’ and ‘bridging’ are done away with. In extreme cases you may need a replacement.

11. Fifty lbs of salt at one go is excessive for me. Are any small-sized bags that are available?

Many manufacturers offer small packs. For example, Impresa water softener salts come in 4.3 lb packs. Many others offer 40 lb packs.

12. Do sodium or potassium ions really have a noticeable taste?

This is a common misconception. The regeneration process that occurs in the softening is an electrical exchange of ions adding a very minute amount of sodium to the water. Your taste buds won’t find anything amiss.

13. What if I don’t add salt for some time?

If you have not replenished the salt in your tank, you bear the risk of running out of soft water. Salt mushing is the result. This happens when dissolved salt forms a sludge at the bottom of the tank after recrystallizing. It will be readily apparent by water spots appearing on glass surfaces and hard water has a metallic taste to it. To put it in short things will get messier for you.

14. What if no salt is used at all?

There are saltless water softening alternatives (for example: Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC) system and magnetic technology) that are non-salt based. Of course, they have their own positives and negatives but will get the job done. Some of them might be more expensive than a salt-based system.

But do install a system for amazing performance delivery. Not only will it affect your daily life but pipelines and such will slowly start rusting with serious consequences.

About the author

Warner Levit

Water Filtration Expert

As a trained chemist and an independent researcher I started working on a portable water filter project as part of my business plan. While carrying out my research, I got involved with FaucetsReviewed. My fields of expertise include environmental science, biochemistry and water purification chemistry. Apart from contributing to this website, I’m currently working on my book “Water Filtration Science”. It will be published soon. I grew up in California, and completed my postgraduate degree from the University of California-Berkeley. I also work as a private counselor on the household water management system.

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