Hard water contains minerals such as magnesium ions and calcium, which can have certain detrimental effects on your pipes and lead to water clogging, rusting, and reduced water supply. With the best water softener salts, you can treat hard water and reduce the mineral content in it, eventually leading to less water clogging and damage to your pipes and appliances.
Paula Tarling, a professional domestic cleaner, says, “Water softener salts are beneficial for preventing the build-up of minerals. They make it easier to remove dirt, extend the life of your appliances, and help you use less detergent. Research well and use the best type for your appliance.”
As there are different water salts available in the market, choosing one could be tricky. Thus, we bring you a list of some tried-and-tested water softener salts to let you make the right pick.
Benefits Of Using Water Softener Salt
- Hard water is known to damage your pipes. Using water softener salts can help reduce the damage caused to your pipes by hard water usage and eventually save a lot of money on costly repair bills.
- Hard water has a high chance of causing skin irritation and hair damage. However, when hard water is converted into soft water, it can lead to healthy skin and hair.
- Hard water can make your clothes look dull. It can also harden it. Water softener salts help yield soft water that can help retain the softness and comfort of your clothes.
Types Of Salt For Water Softener
Before you plan to buy water softener salts, you must understand the different types as each is made uniquely. Once you know about the different types of salt for water softeners, you can make the right decision.
- Evaporated salt: Known to have the highest purity level, evaporated salt pellets are made through an evaporation process by using steam and water. Salt is made to look like crystals. Later, they are turned into water softening salt pellets.
- Rock salt: Rock salt is mined from underground salt mines. This salt option usually undergoes very less processing and is in the shape of pebbles
- Solar salt: Solar salt water softener is made using an evaporation process involving seawater and sunlight. Among the different types of salts, this salt option has the highest solubility.
Let us now look at the different types of water softener salts so that you can find the best option suitable for you.
11 Best Water Softener Salts
Recommended by all leading dishwasher manufacturers, this water softener salt can reduce chemicals that cause hardening of water in dishwashers and helps in better cleaning of your utensils. Hard water is known to clog your dishwashers and reduce the efficiency of their functioning. This tried-and-tested water softener salt ensures that your dishwasher performs well and your dishes end up squeaky clean.
- Suitable for most dishwashers
- Fast-dissolving salt pellets
- Reduces glass clouding
- Protects dishes against limescale residues
- Works in dishwashers having softener containers only
Sometimes rust can prevent your softener from acting efficiently. Pro Products Rust Out Water Softener Cleaner removes rust and acts as a water softener by restoring its efficiency. Since your softener’s resin bed must perform efficiently, this softener has got it covered by removing the rust and reducing the hard water components in the water. Watch this video to get a detailed review of this rust-inhibiting water softener salt.
- Boosts the life of your household fixtures
- Suitable for fabrics and dishes
- Removes foreign matter
- Helps remove hard rust stains
- Should be used cautiously as it is highly reactive
"It thoroughly cleanses my water by removing the rust from the mineral bed. Its scent is potent but dissipates after a few hours. I was also surprised to see that applying it to my devices, such as the dishwasher, kept them rust-free too."
Morton Pure And Natural Water Softening Crystals take pride in being a water softener that is made naturally. This water softener salt is known for its high-quality salt crystals. It is recommended by major water softener system manufacturers like Whirlpool and Northstar. You are assured of its top quality as it also helps in improving the water quality. Here’s a review video to help you learn more about this all-natural salt option.
- Easy to handle.
- Sturdy packaging
- Works on all water softeners
- Boosts the life of your appliances
- Must be mixed with softener frequently
"Their all-natural formulation was the first thing that appealed to me. It significantly improved my shower experience and improved my hair health. I also saw a reduction in the number of times my devices used to get clogged or needed repairs. All in all, it has been a dependable find."
The expert-recommended Morton Clean and Protect pellets bear the goodness of nature. It is a naturally made water softener and is rich in high-quality crystals in the form of pellets. It helps in extending the life of your electronic water heaters. Recommended by water softener system manufacturers like Northstar and Kenmore, this water softener salt has a high purity level and is a good solution for removing hard water minerals.
- Prevent accumulation of minerals.
- Easy-to-handle-and-carry water softener salt pellets
- Cleans your water softener too
- Highest purity rate
- Must be mixed with softener frequently
"I have experimented with different water softeners, but none have been as effective as this one. It softens my water and keeps the pipes from accumulating minerals and other buildup. Hence, despite the steep price, I always keep returning to it."
Cargill Salt Diamond Crystals Water Softener is known to be an efficient softener salt. It also takes pride in not being made through channeling or mushing. These water softener salt pellets exist in five sizes and are loaded with the high-quality sodium chloride. This NSF-certified salt has one of the highest purity ratings of 99.8% pure solar salt and has a low insolubility content.
- Soluble in water
- Suitable for food processing and poultry
- High purity level
- Seamless packaging
- Might leave residue in the tank
"I use this salt to soften my water and thaw the snow on my driveway. The large quantity is a bonus, and the user-friendly packaging makes it easy to spread. Moreover, the salt does not channel or mush; hence, I can use it on all surfaces."
6. Best Bridging And Mushing-Resistant:Diamond Collection Diamond Crystals Solar Natural Water Softener Salt
Are you looking for an economical water softener? Your search ends here! Diamond Crystals Water Softener Salt is solar-powered and is rich in natural ingredients. This water softener is a must-buy because it can reduce brine tank residue. It can also boost the life of your appliances. Experience the best of nature through Diamond Crystals Water Softener Salt.
- Highly soluble
- Eco-friendly water softener salt
- Pure sodium chloride crystals
- Works with all water softeners
- Resists bridging and mushing
- Might lead to salt bridges
"I’ve used this softener for a few years, and its formulation and effectiveness remain unchanged. It also doubles as an ice melter during winter, and the small packaging is sufficient for my needs."
7. Best Efficient: Out Filter Mate Water Softener Cleaner & Salt Booster Powder
The effectiveness of a water softener may reduce due to the presence of contaminants. Out Filter Mate Water Softener Cleaner And Salt Booster have got you covered when it comes to this. It can be used not only as a water softener but also helps to maintain the pH level of water.
This salt option helps in removing the iron content or buildup. It helps in preventing any sort of coating on the inside of your pipes and also reduces the leaching of copper in drinking water. These iron-fighting salt pellets also help in reducing rusting and segregating low levels of iron content.
- Suitable for city water applications
- High efficiency
- Longer shelf life
- Improves water taste
- May have a peculiar odor when mixed with water
"Adding this softener to my water tanks has ienhanced the performance of all my devices. While it takes a decent amount to show results, consistent use has reduced the quantity needed to filter out calcium and mineral content. Hence, I plan on sticking to it."
8. Best Environmentally Friendly: Compass Minerals Nature’s Own Water Softener Potassium Solution Cubes
Soften water in a mess-free manner with Nature’s Own water softening cubes by Compass Minerals. The pack contains potassium-infused cubes that can soften hard water without adding other salts. It is free of sodium ions and is NSF-certified, making it suitable for home use. Apart from soothing and rejuvenating the body, the water softened by this potassium-based softener salt can also safeguard your plumbing and keep your dishes and clothes spick and span.
- Easy to use
- High quality
- Safe for the environment
- Safe for all softeners
- Might take time to dissolve
"I came across this option while looking for a salt-free way to cleanse my water. It offers long-lasting results, and the plant-friendly formulation is a bonus. I also noticed that it makes the water taste cleaner and crisper."
Do you know that your dishwasher works well if you use coarse grain salt? Impresa Dishwasher Salt Water Softener cuts across all sorts of additives and provides a clean softener and appliances. This quality-tested salt water softener reduces limescale in your water, improving the water quality and leaving your dishwasher residue-free. The scale-preventing water softener salt pellets are made in the USA and recommended for dishwashers from popular brands such as Whirlpool, Bosch, Theramador, and Miere,
- Universally compatible with different water softener systems
- Easy to use
- Does not work for dishwashers without softeners
"Besides softening hard water, this salt makes my dishes look spotless by cutting through the toughest stains. It is also easy to use–I just have to add it to my dishwasher. Moreover, the chemical-free formulation is much appreciated."
Diamond Crystal Sun Gems Water Softener Salt bears the goodness of nature, thanks to the natural evaporation techniques used in its manufacturing. The solar evaporation of seawater gives it a clear and clean appearance. Apart from minimizing the residue in your tank, the crystal salt helps in reducing salt bridging too.
- Contains 99.6% pure salt
- NSF-certified crystal salt
- Low solubility content
- Free of anti-caking agents
- Free of free-flowing additives or conditioners
- Dissolves slower and leads to maintenance issues
Extra Coarse Water Conditioning Salt Crystals have a purity level of over 99.8%. Since it is extra coarse salt, you can be assured that this expert-recommended water softener salt is made from the highest quality of naturally evaporated saltwater. This tried-and-tested extra-coarse water softener salt helps in improving the performance of your softener by reducing the presence of hard water.
- High solubility
- Suitable for all water conditioning systems
- Suitable for all water softeners
- Safe to use
- Can leave dirty water in your brine basin or tank over time
How To Choose The Right Salt For A Water Softener?
Take these factors into consideration when choosing water softener salts.
1. Manufacturing process: Water softener salts are different in terms of the way they are manufactured too. The manufacturing process affects the purity of the salt and the life of your appliances. Since solar salt involves sunlight, it is natural and does not involve a lot of processing.
2. Solubility: You must also consider the solubility of the salt that you plan to buy. Solar salt is known to have the highest solubility. Salts having high solubility do not leave a residue. The ones that leave a residue undergo a lot of maintenance, leading to mounting expenses. Solar water softener salt pellets dissolve faster and do not leave a residue.
3. Day-to-day purposes: Water softener salts help enhance the quality of water which we use on a daily basis for purposes like washing clothes and bathing. The best water softener salt will not cause damage to your skin when you have a bath, and to your clothes when you wash them. For this reason, look for salts that are of food-grade and free of questionable chemicals. Evaporated salt pellets are a recommended option for those looking for food-grade water softener salts. They exist in the form of pellets.
4. Maintenance: Opt for low-maintenance water softener salts because if water softener salts leave a residue, it can lead to maintenance issues. Solar salt dissolves slower when used, leading to maintenance issues like bridging. If you are looking for a salt that does not require much maintenance, choose water-softener salt pellets because they dissolve faster when added to the water.
How Do Water Softener Salts Work?
When salt crystals for water softener are added into water, an ion exchange process takes place where softener salts, such as sodium ions, replace the calcium and magnesium ions from the hard water and convert it into soft water. When this happens, the water’s efficiency is boosted along with reducing damage to pipes and appliances.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How long does a water softener last?
Water softeners last for about twenty years. Signs like low pressure in your shower, stains on your faucets, and frequent fading of the clothes indicate that it is time for you to replace your water softener.
2. How often should I add salt to water softeners?
A water softener works with the help of a filter system, where salt is added to it and the filter changes hard water into soft water. You must add salt whenever possible to ensure the filter continues to work. It is advisable to add salt to the water twice a month, but this depends upon the softener’s efficiency and the salt.
3. Can I use softening salt for other purposes?
Water softener salt is entirely different from table salt or regular salt. It is specifically made to turn hard water to soft water, and you should not take a chance with such sodium intake. It is crucial to read the instructions and follow them carefully.
4. Does softening salt contain chemicals?
Softening salts can contain chemicals such as potassium and sodium chloride to remove excessive quantities of minerals such as magnesium and calcium from the water.
5. Can I mix different salts in my brine tank?
Yes, you can mix different salts in your brine basin or tank. The critical step is to add the required quantity of salt, as overusing it can change the density of the water and corrode the pipes.
6. Is soft water safe for drinking?
Soft water can be safe to consume if it is softened using the guidelines and has the approved quantity of salt (1).
Why Trust MomJunction?
Wedetso Chirhah, our in-house writer and reviewer, is experienced in reviewing household and electronic items. He has conducted in-depth research to compile this list of different salts for water softeners that aid in the reduction of the mineral content in hard water, ultimately preventing water clogging and water pipe damage. He has also included a buying guide and an FAQ section to help you choose the product that suits your requirements.
Hard water is a menace when it comes to water appliances. Loaded with calcium and magnesium, it leads to clogged pipes, rusting, and more. You need the best water softener salts to transform hard water into soft water. They help reduce the mineral content and ensure there is no threat to the functioning of pipes. When choosing a suitable softener, check if it is naturally manufactured for better performance, is highly soluble, and ideal for daily use. And if you want a softener that is lower maintenance, we recommend choosing pellets because they dissolve faster.
Infographics: How To Check The Efficiency Of Water Softener Salts
Hard water can harm your skin, hair, and home’s piping system. Stubborn water stains are telltale signs of the prevalence of hard water. Adding a water softener salt can neutralize the hardness of the water and make it usable. Check the following infographic to learn how to check the efficacy of your softener salt.