7 Best Salt for Your Water Softener System 2022

A top-quality softener could last for as long as 15 years or 20 years if you take care to do proper maintenance.

You are aware of using the Best salt for the water softener system, it is one of the most important tasks that must do. 

You want to ensure the salt you choose to use is of the highest grade.

Shopping for salt to use in types of water softener could appear to be a simple job.

However, suppose you’re likely buying the biggest bag from an area home improvement store. In that case, you’re not getting the top price or quality.

After researching, reading, and scouring reviews, I put together the 7 best salts to soften water in this guide. 

In this article, I’ve included:

  • We have reviewed the 6 best water softener salts for 2021.
  • I’ve shared lots of information that will help you determine the best water-softening salt for your needs.
  • Water Softener Salt vs. Softener Potassium Chloride
  • Pros and Cons of Salt-Free or No Salt Softeners
  • Softening system Maintenance Tips
  • Answered the most frequently asked questions

Table of Contents

Best salt for water softener system

Diamond Crystal Water Softener Bag 40 Lb.

Diamond Crystal

Weight: 40 lbs

Morton Softener Salt

Morton Softener Salt

Weight: 50 lbs

Diamond Crystal water softener salt

Diamond Crystal 804017

Weight: 50 lbs

Morton water Softener Salt

Morton Softener Salt

Weight: 40 lbs

Weight: 50 lbs

Diamond Crystal Salt

Weight: 50 lbs

Morton Pure & Natural water softener system salt

Morton Pure & Natural

Weight: 40 Pound

Nature's Own water softener system salt

Nature’s Own

Weight: 40 lbs

What is water softener salt?

Salt is an essential and consumable element of the mobile softener. 

The name implies that one can use salt in the softener for hard water treatment.

Water has significant mineral content and negatively affects appliances like washing machines, water heater dishwashers, and plumbing fixtures.

There are also theories that high mineral content is connected to some health issues. However, this has not been confirmed.

To get rid of the water’s “hardness,” softener salt is utilized in water purifiers to trigger an Ion exchange

When it occurs, the minerals in the water that are not filtered are replaced with sodium ions from the salt. The hard water minerals get flushed, and the water turns “soft.”

The only thing left is sodium ions, but no calcium or magnesium ions.

Sodium doesn’t trigger any problems with water that magnesium and calcium are renowned for. There’s a tiny amount added to water through the process of exchange.

Every water has varying quantities of sodium to start with; however, the amount required for salt-based softening is dependent on the nature of your water’s hardness. 

The harder water level with higher magnesium and calcium will likely require higher sodium ion levels to facilitate exchange.

What is the perfect time to use the best salt for the water softener system?

The absence of salt in your water will not eliminate the hard water minerals. 

A salt-free water softener, including magnetic water softeners, is available on the market; however, they do not remove calcium and magnesium.

They alter their chemical composition to ensure that they don’t adhere to the surface and cause limescale. 

Magnesium and calcium can cause water hardness issues, and you’ll not enjoy the benefits of a regular soft water system.

 Salt is essential to facilitate the process of exchange. There aren’t any other minerals besides potassium chloride and salt crystals, which can effectively bind the resin instead of magnesium and calcium.

You’ll need to buy salt specifically designed for use in a softener for the most effective softening experience out of your system. 

Salt that is standard or made for cooking will not perform in the water softening system because this kind of salt has a distinct makeup from the salt used in softeners.

How many salts should be in my softener for home?

Salt consumption can vary based on the type of softener utilized. A smart filter such as Vesta uses custom cycles compatible with the household, which means they use the least amount of water softener salt.

The big box stores usually randomly use salt at pre-programmed rates, which are inefficient and negatively affect water quality. 

An electronic meter in the softener system generally measures the amount of salt and minerals based on the water level volume.

If you notice your softener using too much salt for the same amount of water, it could be a sign of an issue with the softening system. Also, reduced consumption may be a sign of a problem.

What should you consider when buying the best salt for the softener system?

Your Budget

The more salt you buy in one purchase, the lower the price per kilogram.

Certain brands provide the most expensive best softener salt, but without a specific reason for this. 

Also, you’ll pay more for different kinds of salt that perform better for homes with high volume water use.

You may feel more comfortable purchasing softening salt directly from the maker of the softener you have.

Maintenance and Softener Upkeep

After you’ve filled up your salt tank with sodium, it’s time to schedule regular refills to ensure that the system operates as efficiently as possible.

It is also essential that your tank regenerates when needed, and you must develop a routine of checking the tank often.

Specific forms of salt cause bridges or the accumulation of salt crystals in the tank. It is necessary to break up the build-up yourself for salt to fully absorb the brine liquid.

The Hardness of Household Water

The Hardness of Household Water

The kind of best water softener salt will depend on the home’s water hardness.

Suppose your water is characterized by more magnesium and calcium minerals, which can cause hardness. In that case, you’ll require additional salt to replenish them in the ion exchange process.

It means you’ll require much more salt at a higher pace than the average household when going through a water softening system.

Purer salts also provide more excellent value for money because you will get more of the salt than could form a salt with a greater amount of insoluble.

Water Softener Type

The best salt for softening system is suitable for any water system, however, always check the product descriptions before purchasing softener salt.

If you own a salt-based softener, you could use evaporated salt or rock salt, solar salt, or sometimes block salt to your system.

It’s also apparent that you’ll require salt in your salt-based softener.

Saltier Taste of Water

Salt-based water softener puts small amounts of sodium chloride (table salt) in your water.

However, if you’re particular about the water you drink, you may not like the taste of softened water with sodium.

In this instance, you can look into potassium chloride salt that doesn’t have the salty flavor of sodium chloride.

It is important to note that potassium chloride typically costs three times the price of sodium chloride.

Traditional softener system vs. Salt-free water softener?

A salt-free water softener does not remove the calcium and magnesium that cause water hardness. It chemically adjusts the water chemistry, so don’t cling to things.

The best softener can remove hard minerals from your water, while a salt-free softener system only makes them more stable.

If you use a salt-free softener, homeowners could see some reductions in scaling and spotting. Still, you won’t enjoy all the benefits of a traditional water filter.

The softener can increase the life of your plumbing, water appliances, and even your clothes.

Similar is the case for washing machines, water heaters, and dishwashers. If they operate with hard water, these appliances are less efficient until they eventually fall apart.

If you have a traditional water filter, your products will be better as mineral deposits from water are eliminated using less elbow grease and less.

Fritz also mentions that a few Salt-free softeners or tank owners’ guides recommend using a traditional water softener system with a thankless softener. 

In the end, you only need a traditional water softener that can treat your home’s water quality.

Water Salt vs. Softener Potassium Chloride

While salt is the preferred mineral choice for salt-based water softener systems, you could alternatively utilize potassium chloride to soften your water. 

However, there are significant differences in the price and health aspects that merit further investigation.

Sodium Chloride

You can typically purchase Sodium chloride in three kinds: crystal, pellet, and block. Let’s examine the four distinct types of sodium chloride.

Solar salt– You’ll see solar salt in pellet or crystal form like table salt. The evaporation of seawater results, as we know, sea salt or solar salt, which is very pure. But solar salt (sea salt) hasn’t proved effective in waters with a high water hardening mineral.

Block salt– It is uncommon that block salt ever is considered an alternative to softener installation. Block salt is precise as it is pronounced – a literal block of salt. It is generally only recommended by plumbers for specific situations.

Rock salt– As its name implies, it has the appearance of small stones or pebbles. Many people have found that rock salt isn’t perfect for dissolving water, leaving an odor. It’s a good value, but you’ll pay for what you spend.

Evaporated salt is typically sold in salt pellets form at the purest rate of all salts. That is why it’s the most expensive option to purchase and is the most recommended option for your salt-based water softener.

Potassium Chloride

You can use potassium chloride as a salt substitute and receive the same high-quality softened water through the ion exchange.

One thing to remember at the beginning is that potassium chloride has a higher price than sodium chloride. That is due to it being a unique option available.

Potassium chloride is nearly as sodium-free as possible (around 99.9 percent). Suppose you’re on a lower sodium diet or dislike the salty smell of table salt in the water. In that case, it’s an affordable but expensive option.

Another benefit of soft potassium chloride is that it can water pets and plants; however, it shouldn’t use sodium chloride water for watering plants.

You might also have to raise your tank’s setting by 10% to 15% to ensure you get the same benefits from water softening with sodium chloride.

Pros and cons of salt-free water softener system

Pros of no-salt (salt-free) water conditioners: 

Pros and cons of salt-free water softener system
  • The maintenance of this system is less costly and requires no maintenance compared to salt-based.
  • There are many alternatives for installation, and installation is usually cheaper since there is no additional waste line and electricity is required.
  • It is regarded as an eco-friendly green technology.
  • The softener does not need electricity to run.
  • It does not reverse wash or regenerate, which could be wastewater.
  • This method is not a process of exchange (sodium for mineral ions of hardness).
  • The water demand isn’t softened, but the minerals are transformed into crystals.
  • Technically, water remains solid, but its properties have changed. As a result, it cannot stick to surfaces, causing scale. The process could take away some of the scales in appliances and plumbing.
  • This process alters the water source but does not alter its properties.

Few negatives (cones) of salt-free water softeners

  • This process helps condition the water stains, soften them, and that soft (at times described as slimy) appearance won’t be present on your hands once you wash them.
  • The media is costly and has a limited time. Based on the level of water analysis hardness, it can last for 2 to 6 years. The replacement cost is approximately the same as what would be used for saltwater softener pellets.
  • Every chlorine, Hydrogen Sulfide, and all metals need to eliminate as they will dramatically reduce the media’s lifespan.
  • Since it cannot eliminate the minerals, the dust of these minerals could be seen on kitchen utensils and glassware after a dishwasher has been run. Which is easily cleanable or washable?

Pros and cons of salt-based water softener system

Advantages of salt-based water softeners:

  • Softening involves an ion-exchange process where sodium intake particles can be exchanged with hard metals and minerals.
  • It can eliminate issues like the build-up of deposits on faucets and other dishes, frizzy hair after washing rough hands, and the strong taste of hard water solutions.
  • Water treatment systems can tackle hard and staining minerals. They are different from conditioners which can only deal with magnesium and calcium primarily.
  • Salt-based softeners remove all nursing elements and hard mineral substances from raw water, making them soft. Laundry and dishes require less detergent and appear cleaner after cleaning than other alternatives.
  • These are options, and pre-treatment is unnecessary for hydrogen sulfide, chlorine, and other metals. The process won’t remove hydrogen sulfide. May need other therapy in the case of elevated manganese and iron levels.
  • The average life span of resin spans 10 years. If it’s properly maintained, it could last for twenty years or more.

Cons of salt-based water softeners:

  • Installation can be challenging if the waste line is installed under the sidewalk or driveway. The power required to run the line to the water softener installation location could be costly and must be thought of initially.
  • The best softener work requires regular maintenance by adding salt refill and occasionally conditioning to ensure the system resin is functioning correctly. Failure to follow this procedure could cause premature fouling, rendering the system useless.
  • The cleaning cycle can belong, and lots of water is wasted through this process. When the discarded water is drained over the soil, it could kill grass, plans, and other plants. Some municipalities are contemplating bans on salt-based softeners since the wastewater treatment plants cannot handle these excessive TDS levels.
  • Yes, there are alternative treatment options, and there are other pros and cons to each one that is somewhat too complex to discuss here.

How do I know when I have to add salt?

The best method to avoid any of the above issues is to ensure your tank is full enough of iodized salt or, if you prefer, how much salt you should add every time. Many factors are directly responsible for this, for instance:

  • Water Usage: If your home is using more water, this implies that more water supply needs to be treated with a softener. That means that it is necessary to replenish your media and use brine solutions more frequently. Suppose you are experiencing periods of frequent water use, like when you host guests during the holiday season. In that case, the softener needs to replace more frequently.
  • The hardness in your water: Your water hardness can affect the frequency at which your softener needs to regenerate. There are likely higher levels of hardness minerals in the water supply is particularly difficult which your softener to capture. In the end, your resin will wear out quicker and need more frequent replacement.
  • The size of your brine tank: This one’s a simple one. Suppose your tank’s size is more significant than it could hold more salt and will need to fill more frequently. 

Based on these three elements, it is easy to imagine that many households have differing plans for adding salt. Some homeowners fill their tanks every couple of weeks, while others do every couple of months.

Tips for your softener maintaining 

Tip #1: Select the correct salt for your softener system

Select correct salt for your water softener system

Use only high-quality best softener salt to get pure water. Different salt types are likely to contain a lot of insoluble impurities that can accumulate and block your system

High-purity Salt will cost more than other kinds of salt; however, it’s worth the cost to ensure the long-term durability of your softener.

There are a variety of salts compatible with your softener. Therefore, be sure to look at different kinds of salts for softeners before making a choice.

Tip #2: Regular ensure your system’s salt levels

For the majority of softeners, will locate your salt within the brine tank. If the salt level in your tank is low, the softener will not have the capacity to carry out this physical process.

It is good to know that monitoring your salt level is a do-it-yourself job you can complete without the assistance of an expert.

Way to check your softener’s salt level   

  • Find the tank and then lift the lid.
  • High salt pellets may cover any visible tank.
  • If you can see the water level or the salt is not filling more than half the tank, add salt until you are halfway.
  • Before refilling, remove any salt crystals that are stuck to the encrusted.

Tip #3: Replace your resin with your water softener

The resin bed is an essential component of the operation of your softener because it allows the exchange of ions to occur.

Although resin bed is typically constructed to last for the softener life span (around 10-15 years). Excessive chlorine levels and iron can cause resin bed breakdown faster than usual.

Although replacing the resin bed in your softener is doable, without the assistance of an expert will be able to complete the job much more quickly.

How to change water softener’s resin

  • Find out the resin bed consumption you need by studying the owner’s guide
  • Set the system to bypass, and then disconnect the power cord.
  • Remove the plumbing from the sink and disconnect the system control head.  
  • Place the tank on its side.
  • Make use of your garden hose to clean out the resin bed that is leaking
  • The tank should be upright and cover the opening with the tube for the product.
  • Make sure the gravel’s filling to the point that it covers the screen 
  • The tank should be half full with resin bed
  • Uncover the tube that contains the product.
  • Connect the control head back to the control and connect the plumbing
  • Set the system into service mode, and begin an automatic regeneration
  • Examine the water to determine the degree of softness

Tip #4: Search for and remove salt deposits

Salt deposits are a build-up of salt that builds up inside the softener’s tank.

If you see frequent salt bridges, there could be a water problem with your softener and requires the assistance of a professional.

How to recognize and eliminate salt bridges

  • Make use of a broom handle or similar device to push the tank
  • If it hits something which isn’t on the sides or bottom of the tank, you’ll have a salt bridge
  • Use the broom handle to gently break the bridge of salt crystals.
  • If needed, pour gallons of water lukewarm water into the tank.  
  • In humid areas, be sure to add less salt less frequently to stop the formation of a salt bridge.

Tip #5 Cleaning your brine tank regularly

Many softener experts advise cleaning your tank one time each year.

Cleansing your tank can be a possibility to tackle on your own. However, a professional can assist you in cleaning your tank with the regular service of your hot water softener every year.

The process of cleaning your softener’s brine tank.

  • Find a suitable place to empty the from the tank
  • Set the system on bypass mode.
  • Unplug the softener, and remove the tank.
  • Bring the tank outdoors and dump the contents into the gravel bed you have prepared or pit.
  • After emptying, detach and wash the tank and valve
  • Reinstall the resin tank and connect all the lines to the softener water and take out the drain
  • Take it out of bypass mode.
  • You need to add five gallons of water into the tank.
  • A minimum of 50 lb. bags of salt for water softening  
  • The salt should be left to remain in the water for approximately two hours.
  • Start a regeneration process

Tip #6: Install a pre-filter

Suppose your water is contaminated by iron, sediment, clay, sand, or other substances typically found in tap or brown well water. In that case, your softener may be damaged or blocked

Pre-filters remove these harmful substances from your drinking water before it gets to the water treatment system. They are efficient for between six and nine months before needing an upgrade.

The best water softener provides a pre-filter when the system is implemented.

Frequently asked questions 

When does your softener resin require replacement?   

If the water doesn’t get soft enough, it may be an issue with the salt used or a technical in the softener system.

Suppose these components aren’t responsible for the water softening process’s water issues. In that case, it might have time for a replacement of the resin beads used in softening or even the whole softener.

We have learned from experience that most softener resin beads and sodium Ion exchange process resins beds can last between twenty to twenty-five years.

Is soft water safe to drink?   

Soft water is drinking water without the magnesium and calcium minerals that cause hardness; therefore, it’s safe to drink. 

The primary function of the grain water softener salts is to keep the water in your home from creating limescale and rust water problems in household appliances.

The removal of the minerals that cause hardness levels from the water can cause it to have a less acidic taste. However, it does not affect your water quality.

Suppose you’re interested in remineralizing the tap water you use to drink. In that case, there are alternatives to this – you can use the remineralization process and mineral droplets. 

Can using the softener increase my skin and hair quality?

Water is composed of minerals that absorb natural skin oils, breaking the skin’s barrier.

Continuous water usage can result in dry skin and cause skin problems like eczema.

Water can make your hair dry and frizzy for the same reason, resulting in thin hair and having an itchy scalp.

A softener is necessary for your hair and skin health because it reduces the harmful minerals which cause damage to your hair and skin.

Furthermore, softened water can help reduce the soap scum that can block your pores and cause a scummy product on your hair and skin.

Does it dangerous to combine various types of salt into a softener system?

It’s generally safe to mix salts in the softener; however, specific softeners are explicitly made for particular products for water softening.

If you are using other items, the softeners might not function properly.

Mixing evaporated and rock salt isn’t recommended because it could prevent the reservoir from softening.

It is suggested that you allow your water system to run empty of a particular kind of salt before adding another to prevent the possibility of developing any issues in the softener.

Can I mix potassium chloride with salt pellet? 

Suppose you’ve used sodium chloride to soften your water in the system, but you’d like to switch to potassium chloride. In that case, you’ll reach a point where your resin tank will be the salt and potassium salt pellets.

That is perfectly normal and shouldn’t pose a problem. Still, it’s recommended to ensure you match the size and common type of salt pellets as closely as possible to prevent bridging.

Why does soft water feel slick or slimy while a shower?

The minerals that cause water to become hardness level are typically calcium which hinders the cleansing action of detergent and soap.

They accomplish this by mixing with detergent or soap and forming a scum that can dissolve in water.

It reduces the effectiveness of cleaners and can be overcome by using additional detergent or soap. But, the soap scum that forms may stick to the cleaned surface and make it appear dull.

The best water softener salts take calcium and magnesium from water and replace them with sodium.

The sodium does not react with detergents or soaps. It reduces amounts of soap and ensures that it does not remain on or in washed items, glassware, tiles or clothing, skin, or hair.

I’ve added salt to my softener system. However, my water is hard. What’s wrong?

It could be due to a variety of causes. The first is to ensure that your system is set to the correct setting according to water hardness. 

It could be the case that your softener settings show the water to be more challenging than it is.

It means that your system thinks it should use less water softening salt in the ion exchange process. 

In the end, there’s no sodium in the water to substitute all the magnesium and calcium minerals present in your water. Therefore, there may be some remaining.

More straightforward, it could be that you put salt in the softener before your system regenerated, implying that the salt did not have enough time to settle.

Also, it is essential to ensure that you don’t have a bridge problem in your salt tank in which a formation of the salt crystals into brine water.

What amount of salt can I use in my softener? 

A softener of 1 cu. Ft. of resins bed (30,000 grains 10 ” 44 ” tank) is expected to use 6-8 pounds per regeneration to reach the cost-effective 24,000-grain capacity.

It means hardness in grains broken down into degrees of grains yields gallons of water that can treat before the resin bed is entirely exhausted.

We offer only metered valves in our Watts softener packs because they typically require less salt than an unmetered unit (i.e., one set to renew each day without regard to the water consumed).

The average for the nation is 60 pounds per month. It may vary depending on the amount and quality of the treated water.

Have softening salt chemicals contain? 

Certain softening salts may have additives that keep the salt from becoming too hard in storage and use.

Apart from the chemicals, specific water salt can contain impurities such as dust, metals, and rust that are absorbed in manufacturing. 

They won’t impact your water quality and must be eliminated from your softening system at regeneration.

How can I determine my flow rate?

It is possible to get an approximate idea of the flow rate by running water in the full open through an outdoor garden hose or using the bathtub faucet.

Example The faucet is turned on fully open, then swiftly places the gallon-sized container in all the water flow. Start calculating the amount of time required to fill up the bottle.

If the container fills within 15 seconds, simply split 60 seconds (1 minute) by fifteen seconds (the duration of time it is required to fill up the container). 

It’s 4, so your flow rate will be similar to 4 GPM! We suggest you purchase one capable of handling at least 4 GPM. 

It should be more significant to ensure that you have a unit with ample GPM flow capability.

What salts are most pure? 

The evaporated salts are the purest form of softeners. They are, without a doubt, priced higher than other salts you can buy; however, they’ll typically be more durable than rock salt or solar salt.

The manufacturing of evaporated salts does not mix salt with other compounds or insoluble matter.

That means it is essentially sodium chloride. If you’re looking for the most prices for your money, evaporated salt might be the right choice for your water softener system.

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