Water is not just, well, water! When talking about water and appliances, you have to take into account the difference between hard and soft water. If you didn’t think that water can be hard, we’re here to tell you the fact.
Among the different types of water softeners, salt-based seem to be the most popular and effective one. They’re very capable and can ensure that your whole house is free of hard water. Choosing the right salt can make a world of difference, as they are not equally effective on every machine. Also, some of these salts might not be good for your health if you’re suffering from certain health conditions.
This guide will help you choose the best salt. Here you’ll see all the factors that you need to know when buying salts for your softener. But before that discussion, let’s take a look at some of the best water softener salts on the market.
6 BEST WATER SOFTENER SALT FOR 2020
Our picks for the Best Water Softener Salt
- Morton Salt Clean and Protect II – Best Salt 2020
- Morton Salt 1501 Clean Protect – Best Salt for Water Softeners
- Morton Salt F124700000g – Best Salt To Remove Rust
- Impresa Products Salt – Water Softener Salt for Dishwashers
- Cargill Salt 7304, 40 pounds – Water Softener Salt For Bathing
- Cargill Salt 40# Potassium Chloride Pellets -Best for Low-Sodium Diet
You may know about Morton from the best table salt, but the company is also famous in water softener salt, so expect to see a number of Morton products on the list because they are popular. The first one is the System Saver II from the System saver series, which has gained a lot of popularity with consumers all the time.
The great thing about this salt is its ability to prevent the buildup of minerals in your water softener’s brine tank. Many types of salts, forced to leave mineral residue and sediment in the tank of brine. This salt can ensure that it doesn’t happen by cleaning the tank accurately.
As far as water softening goes, the formula of this salt does a brilliant job. This keeps the system clean, it also helps the resin particles regenerate with great efficacy.
The bag contains 40lb of salt pellets, which should be enough for a month of usage or more than enough since the average usage in a household is only around 40lb a month.
These water softener pellets from Morton come with a rating of four stars that make it trustable and making this product one of the best in terms of salt for water softeners. That is the reason we are again coming up with Morton. On top of that, this particular item is the number one seller in the water softeners family.
They are the best water softener pellets from Morton and will keep your water softeners healthy and running longer and cleaner by eliminating most of the buildup. They also abolish more iron and are phosphate-free.
Eventually, you will reduce the amount of salt needed and this will reduce the overall cost, and as a result, cleaning your tank will be easier.
Therefore, you should give it a try to this NSF certified product, is well-packaged, and also comes in 40lbs bags.
This product on our list comes from Morton as well – this time, with a tad better rating, of 4.5 stars and amazing features. The bag is 10 lbs. lighter, making transportation easier.
The product can improve the taste of water and can also prevent rust stains on laundry and other home appliances.
It also helps prevent rust stains in your bathroom and kitchen. This product prevents appliances from rust stains and increases the life span of your appliances.
Morton salt also helps prevent scale build-up in water heaters and pipes and save your money to make them healthier. This also prevents hair loss and good for eczema.
Dishwasher water softening salt comes in a smaller package than the rest of the salts in this review, for dishwashing applications only. It is a high quality, coarse-grain salt which deals with hard water residue so no trace of minerals remains on the dishes. This product is universally compatible so it will work better with your dishwasher as well.
This product is amazing for its low price and high-quality, given what it is meant to do. One bag can last for a while and really works perfectly. It is manufactured by a small wholesale company that also sells quality small toys, reptile and amphibian products, and many other things.
Coarse grain salts work well in dishwasher softeners. It should only be used in dishwashers with a water softener container. The consistency of these pellets is much coarse than evaporated salt. The quality is further seen in that there is no powdery residue from the pellets in its bag.
This Cargill water softener salt comes with good reviews. The product is labeled as solar natural salt crystals and it is polybagged 40lbs weight. Many people decided to use solar salt crystals because they are usually cleaner and more productive than the usual rock salt that most products feature.
The good thing about this cargil product is that it requires no channeling, or bridging. Moreover, this item can also be used for poultry and meat processing and for many other purposes if required.
This product from Cargil comes up with a 5-star review. This Salt from Cargill is the best alternative to softener sodium pellets.
If you need a low-sodium diet, this is best for you. They have a purity level of 99.1% which means that it has low insoluble content which makes it amazing and effective.
The buildup in your water softener tank will be minimized and your health preserved. These are best for all kinds of water softeners.
Water Softener Salt Buyer’s Guide
Now that you know some of the best water softener salts on the market and there features, it’s time to go over everything that you should need to know before you go out to buy one for your water softener.
In this discussion, we’ll go over every factor that you need to take into account. But before we start, let’s take a look at the role of salt in water softeners.
What to look out when Buying the Best Salt for your Water Softener System?
While all Salt has seemed quite the same, not all water softener salts are created equal. They can come in many different varieties and compositions according to their need.
If you own a high-quality water softener, you shouldn’t just assume that you will need salt for it instead you should need to choose the best water softener salt for your softener. Some people have made the big mistake of buying tens of salt bags in advance for their water softeners.
Fortunately, we’ve been doing our research for best and can help you know what to look for. Here are some basic things you should keep in mind when buying some softening salts to use in your water softener.
Many water softening salts will be made of sodium chloride, the chemical name for table salt minus all the additives.
This mineral is naturally occurring and easily found in salt mines or solar evaporation ponds. As brine solution with sodium chloride washes over the resin tank in a softener system, hard mineral ions like calcium and magnesium are replaced with sodium and prevent your appliances from damage.
Potassium chloride is a more recent addition to the best choices available. It can be considered a healthier and best alternative for those who want to soften their drinking water.
This salt is also found in nature easily, though its primary use is in agriculture. It works just like sodium chloride but softens the water with potassium ions instead of sodium. It is beneficial for health in most cases since potassium is required for proper organ, nervous, and muscular function so it is also good for health.
However, since extracting potassium is more difficult than mining sodium chloride, that is the reason cost can be considerably higher.
Crystals Vs. Pellets
Water softener salt can also affect how well the salt work with your water softening system. While both will work in their own way, crystals tend to be smaller and more compact. They dissolve easily and faster in the brine tank and take a long time before causing build-ups.
These are usually made from evaporated seawater. That way, you can be sure in many cases that if you have crystals, your product comes from nature.
In order to find and buy the right and best salt for your needs, you also need to make sure whether you just want something for your dishwasher or intend to drink your softened water or for other purposes.
Dishwasher salt is totally different from table salt and the salt used in regular water softeners. It is much shaggy and doesn’t get in the way of regular cleaning operations.
There’s no mess involved if used correctly and prevent clogging in your pipes or other appliances. Smaller grains will get stuck easily in small pipes or holes and cause quite a problem.
If you want to have water that you can use to water plants, laundry, and even brush your teeth, sodium chloride is the best choice for all that. It’s quite cheap and you won’t need to worry about adding a substantial amount of sodium to your diet because of its no bad effect on health.
But, if your plants are sensitive to sodium, you may need to switch to potassium chloride. Otherwise, you are all set.
Since you’ll need to replace your salt at least once every three months, you have to determine how much you are willing to spend on this. Obviously, purchasing fifty pounds or more quantity of salt from a company from the other side of the country will cost you a great deal more than purchasing locally due to shipping charges.
Choosing potassium chloride over sodium chloride can also increase how much you need to pay for your water. As mentioned before, this may still be more worth it if you’re drinking that water. Purchasing from small businesses that sell their items at a wholesale price can also save you money and help to manage your budget.
What Does Water Softener Salt Do?
First of all, don’t think that it’s the salt that softens the water.
The resin beads in your water softener are the ones doing all the softening of your water. When hard water reaches these beads, a process called ion exchange happens. Basically, the negatively charged resin beads, which hold sodium ions, draw in the positively charged magnesium and calcium ions in your water and start the process of softening the water.
At the exchange time in this process, magnesium and calcium ions displace the sodium ions. In doing so you rid the hardness causing minerals. In exchange for Ions, your water picks up soluble sodium or potassium salt.
Not every type of salt does an equally perfect job of ensuring that your water softener runs smoothly. This is why you need to understand the main differences between them. To help you best understand the differences, let’s go over some main types of water softener salt.
Types of water softener salt
The first and very common type of salt is commonly mined underground. It has formed as a result of hundreds or thousands of years of rains, which cause the soil to erode. then, salt deposits accumulate underground.
Among all types of salt used in water softeners to remove the hardness of water, this is the rawest form. There is some controversy around it, since not most people can agree that it should be used in water softeners. This is because it contains other minerals as well, which might be counterproductive for this. The presence of positively charged minerals theoretically wouldn’t be as effective at regenerating resin beads effect.
At the end of the day, every water softener manufacturer agrees that Rock salt is perfectly fine for use in water softeners. There is no evidence that it harms water softeners or affects the softness of the water any bad effect on health. It also happens to be affordable and easy to avail.
Rock salt is great and affordable for many water softeners and does a good job of regenerating the resin beads.
Solar salt is commonly known as sea salt, is a result of sea evaporation. Manufacturers collect sea salt into a certain selected area and leave it to dry out. As it dries, salt crystals start appearing, which is the reason behind the name of solar salt. The crystals are then harvested and shipped away for different kinds of uses.
Solar salt can get up to 99.5% pure and is highly soluble as compared to rock salt. However, solar salt is still slightly less pure than evaporated salt but the cost is less.
You can find solar salt easily everywhere, and the type that is mostly used in water softeners is usually in the form of pellets.
Out of all sodium-based and other water softener salts, evaporated salt is the purest. It results from the reduction of raw salt crystals to pure sodium chloride. After that, special heaters at require temperature are used to get rid of the excess moisture.
The product of this process is 100% pure salt that is amazing and can be used for many purposes. When used in water softeners, it’s very effective due to its maximum purity. It’s usually sold in pellets, but you can probably find it in other forms as well according to requirements.
Potassium chloride is an alternative to sodium chloride that has only been developed recently for use in many water softeners. There is always a fear that people have about sodium chloride. By scientific definition, potassium chloride is also a salt, the product of the reaction between an acid and a base form this salt.
Even if you state the health concerns, there is a possibility that the buildup of salt can harm both the softener and the softness and quality of water.
If you believe that this might be the problem, potassium can be a good alternative. The pellets contain little to no sodium, so if anyone in the house has health problems that necessitate the reduction of sodium intake, this can be a good choice.
In addition, studies prove that the intake of potassium can reduce the negative effect of sodium on blood pressure. This research shows that More intake of potassium lowers blood pressure.
How to Choose the Right Type?
The type of salt that you go for will mostly depend on the intended use and your personal preferences like health concern issues. Each of them does something better than others, so it’s just a matter of priorities according to need.
If you want an affordable solution, rock salt is the Best. If you looking for the most effective then evaporated salt is your safest bet, the sea salt coming in at a close second. And if you want to steer clear of sodium altogether, potassium chloride might be the best choice for you.
How many salts Do You Need?
This is really a question of how often you’ll have to add salt to the brine tank of softener. The answer depends on two main and important factors:
- Water hardness
- The amount of water your household uses on a daily basis
A four-person household with hard water of 7-10 grains per gallon use around 9-10 pounds of salt on a weekly basis, or 40lb bag of water softener salt each month. You know that one grain is equivalent to approximately 0.0648g.
If you notice that you’re using more than that numbers, here are the possible reasons:
- If you have very hard water of >10 GPG
- The iron level of water exceeds 2 PPM or more
- Household size or usage of water has increased
If you can’t calculate the amount of salt your softener requires, you can always consult a professional or call the manufacturer. They can give you a detailed overview that you need to know of all the important factors and help you determine the salt requirement.
How to Add Salt to a Water Softener?
Now that you know all about the types of salt and how to determine the amount for your softener, it’s time to know about the process of adding salt to your water softener system. Even though this is a straightforward process, there are some important things that you need to pay attention to.
- Clean the walls of the brine tank from build-up by any wet rag
- Pour salt into the water softener brine and make sure that the tank is only half full
- Manually regenerate the water softener according to the method of your brand or system
Water Softener Salts FAQs
Is softened water is safe to drink?
Yes, of course, A lot of people think that, if they add something to their drinking water or use certain systems to alter its course, it is no longer fit for consumption. However, a water softener simply removes the harmful minerals that cause rust within plumbing and stains on the sink, bathtubs and on other appliances
Is It OK to Mix Different Salts?
Normally all water softener salts serve the same purpose, mixing them shouldn’t cause any harm or problem. They can work together properly, so you don’t necessarily have to stick to just one single product.
Still, it might be not a good idea to mix sodium-based salts with potassium-based salt. The interaction of these minerals can harm and can lower the efficiency of the resin beads at the exchange sites, which means that your water might not end up as pure and soft as you wish. If you want to mix multiple salts, make sure that they have the same mineral in them so you can prevent any danger.
Can I use food-grade salt in water softeners?
Food-grade salt, also known as table salt, is not recommended for use in water softening units because it is not made for them. This is because food-grade salt is made of crystals that are smaller in size than those in salt designed for water softeners. Smaller crystals are usually susceptible to the formation of mashing within the softener’s brine tank and this may create problems.
What If I Don’t Want to Use Salt at all for my softener?
If you don’t want to use salt at all you can find other types of water softeners that are not salt-based. Each of them comes with a set of its own advantages and shortcomings, but in general, many of them do a good job of softening your water even without salt.
If you haven’t still bought a water softening system, you can buy different devices that can help with hard water according to your needs, instead of installing a water softener at the point of entry for whole-house. There are many other include water softener shower heads, taps, and other devices according to usage.
Before we wrap up the discussion, let me reiterate why some water softener salts are just simply the best.
The Diamond Crystal Water Softener made from pure potassium chloride is totally a complete package. Not only does it soften your hard water by getting rid of hard mineral ions or minerals. It also improves the taste of your water and provides nutritional benefits for your body and save from harm minerals and any plants you might be caring for.
The most important and useful decision you’ll have to make is regarding the type of salt to use. Read carefully the instruction manual of your water softener to check whether the manufacturer recommends a particular type or brand. If not, consider then we enlist the pros and cons of each type so, choose accordingly.
Last but not least, follow the maintenance guidelines outlined above in the discussion and your water softener should work properly for many years to come.