What Type of Salt for Water Softener

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By admin

Water softeners are essential in many homes to combat hard water, but the type of salt used significantly impacts their effectiveness. Choosing the right salt for your water softener is crucial for optimal performance and maintenance. This guide aims to unravel the complexities surrounding water softener salts, helping you make an informed decision that suits your needs.

Types of Water Softener Salt

1. Rock Salt

Rock salt, primarily mined from underground deposits, is the most budget-friendly option. However, it contains higher insoluble impurities, necessitating more frequent cleanings of the softener.



  • Higher impurities
  • Requires frequent cleanings
  • Less effective in extremely hard water areas

2. Solar Salt

Derived from evaporated seawater, solar salt is relatively pure compared to rock salt. It’s available in both crystal and pellet forms.


  • Purer than rock salt
  • Efficient in moderate water hardness regions
  • Reduces maintenance frequency


  • Slightly more expensive than rock salt
  • May not be effective in very hard water areas

3. Evaporated Salt

The purest form of salt, evaporated salt, is obtained through a refining process, ensuring minimal impurities. It comes in pellet form, dissolving evenly in water.


  • High purity level
  • Best for highly hard water
  • Low maintenance requirement


  • Costlier compared to other types
  • Not as widely available

Benefits of Using Water Softener Salt

  • Reduced Mineral Buildup: Softener salt helps prevent scale buildup in pipes, appliances, and fixtures, prolonging their lifespan.
  • Improved Water Quality: Softened water provides better lathering and prevents soap scum, leading to softer skin and shinier hair.
  • Efficient Appliance Operation: Softened water allows appliances like dishwashers and washing machines to function optimally, saving energy and water.

Problems with Solutions

Problem: Salt Bridges

Salt bridges occur when a crust forms at the top of the salt, preventing it from properly dissolving and affecting the softener’s efficiency.

Solution: Break the salt bridge using a broom handle or similar tool to ensure the salt falls to the bottom, allowing proper dissolution.

Problem: Salt Mushing

Salt mushing happens when the salt dissolves and then recrystallizes into a thick layer at the bottom of the brine tank.

Solution: Regularly clean the tank and avoid overfilling it to prevent salt mushing.

Features to Consider

  • Purity Level: Higher purity means fewer insoluble impurities, leading to better softening efficiency.
  • Form: Pellet forms dissolve more evenly and efficiently compared to crystals.
  • Compatibility: Ensure the salt type is compatible with your specific water softener model.

Cost and Comparison

Salt Type Cost (per pound) Purity Level Effectiveness
Rock Salt $0.05 – $0.10 Moderate Moderate
Solar Salt $0.10 – $0.15 Higher Moderate
Evaporated Salt $0.15 – $0.20 Highest High


1. Where can I buy a pallet of water softener salt?

You can purchase pallets of water softener salt from home improvement stores like Home Depot or through online retailers like Amazon or Lowe’s.

2. Does Costco sell water softener salt?

Yes, Costco often carries water softener salt in various forms, including bags and pallets.

3. Is water softener salt edible?

Water softener salt is not intended for consumption as it lacks the necessary purity standards for food-grade salt.

4. Does a Brita filter remove sodium from softened water?

While Brita filters can remove some impurities, they are not designed to specifically target sodium from softened water.

5. Will water softener salt kill weeds?

Using water softener salt as a weed killer is not recommended as it can negatively impact soil health and surrounding vegetation.

Choosing the right water softener salt depends on your water hardness, budget, and maintenance preferences. Understanding the various types, their benefits, and potential issues ensures you make an informed decision for optimal water softening in your home.