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The Best Water Softener Cleaners for 2023

Writen by Ronald Brown

Fact checked by Natalie Bridges

Cleaning a water-softening system can keep it at peak performance. But then, you need the top-tier water softener cleaner to do it. This cleaning powder or liquid that aids in water softener maintenance can improve your unit’s efficiency.

best water softener cleaner

As you may know, it can decrease dramatically over time, mainly if you don’t perform thorough cleaning regularly. The reason is that contaminants build up in the softener. If unnoticed, it can stop working permanently.

Ensuring that a water softener can function optimally is easy if you know what cleaning agent to use. Thankfully, we have three crucial factors you can consider when buying a water softener cleaner.

  • Formulation: Water softener cleaning agents are available in powder and liquid forms. Most homeowners pick fluid variants because they are more convenient to use, only requiring users to empty the contents into the water softener tank. Meanwhile, powder forms need dissolution in water, which can prolong the cleaning process. However, powdered water softener cleaners are more affordable.
  • Compatibility: Leading water softener brands to have specific recommendations on what cleaning agents to use on their products. By following the manufacturer’s advice, you’ll ensure optimum performance. However, note that brand-specific cleaners are usually more expensive than generic ones.
  • Cleaning Effectiveness: Always pick a water softener cleaner with an NSF/ANSI certification to gain confidence in the product’s cleaning effectiveness. The best water softener cleaner eliminates debris and other water impurities, including microorganisms, volatile organics, and heavy metals.

To prevent it from happening, you can use a cleaner to remove any deposits and stains in the system. It will clear off the softener from the buildup of calcium, magnesium, sulfur, and other contaminants.

Top-Rated Products

Best Overall

ResCare RK41N


Editor’s Pick

 Morton MWSC


Best Value for Money

Pro Products RO65N


Table of Contents

Top-Quality Water Softener Cleaner Reviews

1. ResCare RK41N Water Softener Cleaner

A trusted brand for your water-related problems, Pro Products, is your ultimate solution in restoring your water softener’s efficiency and performance. Its ResCare RK41N All-Purpose Water Softener Cleaner is compatible and will work on most of water filter systems today.

Using this to restore your water softener is easy and hassle-free. The instructions are simple to follow and are printed clearly on the bottle. All you need is to add four ounces of this solution to the salt tank of your water softener and manually regenerate it.

The made in USA and specially formulated solution can efficiently remove the contaminants found in your softener. Iron, one of the most stubborn water contaminants, can cause you those unpleasant red stains. At the same time, other chemicals lead to scale buildup. These impurities caused by hard water cannot be removed just by salt, thus the additional reinforcements. Good thing, the ResCare RK41N All-Purpose Water Softener Cleaner can handle all of these without any problems.

With just a single treatment, you can automatically enjoy cleaner and crisper water sans any unpleasant metallic smells. You will be able to say that your water is indeed perfectly softer. You will be pleased knowing that this water treatment can save you money because of the good it does to your water softening and plumbing systems. You won’t need to replace or swap that resin tank anytime soon,

One essential info you need to know about this product is sometimes you might expect some leakage. Unfortunately,the packaging is not one of its most suitable features.

To sum up, give your resin bed a second life with this water softener cleaner. The advantages are all worth the price, and it works perfectly, so this is an excellent purchase for you.

What We Like
  • Restores the efficiency of your water softener
  • Prolongs the life of your water softener and water fixtures
  • Can remove minerals that salt can’t
  • User-friendly and easy to use
  • Made in the USA
What We Don’t Like
  • Packaging can be improved; leaks may happen.

2. Morton MWSC Water Softener Cleanser

Excellent and reliable water maintenance is synonymous with the Morton water softener cleaner. It is a mandatory cleaner in your home if you want your water softener system always to do a great job in softening your hard water.

With just a limited amount of this cleaner, you can already prolong the life of your water softener. One bit of knowledge that can make you happy is that Morton is one of the most trustworthy water softener cleaner companies. Thus, consumers can have the confidence to purchase their products.

This cleanser is more than capable of removing the destructive toxins that tend to accumulate on your resin valves. Based on customer reviews, this product does a way better job when compared to salt. It is also affordable, so you don’t need to stretch on your budget to purchase one.

Another reason for the popularity of this water softener cleanser is that it is universal. There is no need to worry about any compatibility issues with your existing water softener systems because it works with everything. All you need is to use it every four months regularly. You’d see and experience how more efficient your water softener will be.

This cleanser will remove all those contaminants and harmful elements from your water softener right on the spot. In return, your system’s longevity should give you an additional five years. It will provide you with some savings, and you can get used to water that is the top-rated in quality.

One drawback of the Morton MWSC universal cleanser is it might slightly affect the taste of your water. For those highly sensitive to taste, this might be a real downer. Rest assured, though, that the aftertaste does not last long and will eventually pass. This issue is apparent only during the treatment.

All in all, this is one of the products guaranteed to work. It is worth the purchase. You’d enjoy the optimum performance from your water softener system and better water quality for years and years to come.
What We Like
  • Established brand
  • Removes sediments and hard metals
  • Compatible with most water softeners
  • Extends the life of your water softener
  • Cost-efficient
What We Don’t Like
  • Might affect the taste of your water softener

3. Pro Products RO65N Water Softener Cleaner

Like a Culligan water softener cleaner, the Pro Product RO65N Rust Out water softener cleaner and iron remover are a perfect match for households whose water source is a well. Well water is known to have high iron content, and too much iron in the water is not good.

Good thing there is Pro Products LLC that has been providing dependable, cost-effective, and premium quality solutions for water needs since 1995. You would like to know how this water softener maintenance solution can rectify all your water problems. This cleaner will take care of the testing to the cleaning of the stains. As a result, your water fixtures, including your water softener, can always be at their top-rated performance and have a longer life.

Rust Out is fully capable of removing iron. The rust buildup can accumulate and coat the resin bed, which will affect the efficiency of your water softener. This product will effectively convert the iron and rust into a clear solution that can easily be rinsed away when the softener regenerates.

You can already start having a more productive life, not spending it battling with tough iron stains on your sinks, toilets, tub, and other exterior surfaces. This water softener cleaner and iron remover will take care of this for you without much effort.

It is extremely user-friendly, too, because the application is easy. You just need to dissolve 1 cup in half a gallon of cold water, and you can directly pour it into your brine well or your salt tank. After this, manually regenerate the softener.

For those highly sensitive to scents, this resin cleaner for water softener tends to produce some unpleasant smell but it should eventually pass. It is a highly recommended product when you want to get rid of iron and rust buildup for good. It is a worthwhile purchase because you’d get your money’s worth and be assured of amazing outcomes.
What We Like
  • Dependable and cost-effective
  • Prolongs the life of your water softener and water fixtures
  • Effectively converts iron and rust to a solution that can easily be flushed out
  • User-friendly and easy to use
  • Useful in revising the resin beads
What We Don’t Like
  • Releases an unpleasant odor

4. Ecopure EPCL Universal Water Softener Cleaner

Make sure that your water softener is always in tip-top shape to do what it’s supposed to do, which is to convert your hard water efficiently. You can support your water softener with the use of the Ecopure EPCL universal water softener cleaner. With this, your system will be easily maintained. Ecopure commits to lengthening the softeners to at least five years, so not only is it a smart purchase, but it could pay for itself in the long run.

The Ecopure water softener cleaner is easy to use. Water softener cleaners like it reduce the contaminants in your water, including iron and manganese. It also helps minimize the mineral scale buildup in your softener.

This acid-based cleaning agent is recommended every four months to maintain your system and promote tip-top performance. It is also excellent support for the usual wear and tears that our systems go through. It helps remove the harmful deposits from your valve and resin bed that salt itself cannot manage to get rid of.

What’s more, the affordable Ecopure EPCL is universal. You can use it for any of your water softener brands and make it your dedicated sears water softener cleaner. It works with almost all brands like Whirlpool, Omni, GE, and others. You don’t have to make changes or feel limited with the systems it would work with because it is well-matched to all.

Note that this is most trusted and recommended for salt-based water softeners only because it can get rid of the contaminants in the resin bed better. All in all, this product can efficiently clean out your whole system. You may regard it as a steal. It works all the time, and it helps you extend your system’s life span, adding years of service and a few bucks for savings.
What We Like
  • Budget-friendly
  • Prolongs the life of your water softener and water fixtures
  • Can remove iron, manganese and other water contaminants
  • Compatible with most water softeners
  • Easy to use
What We Don’t Like
  • Best used for salt-based softeners

5. Res-Up Water Softener Cleaner

This product is going to be your new top-tier friend when it comes to maintaining your water softener. Res-Up is one of the water softener cleaners that boast premium quality and outstanding results after every use. It has a robust formulation to put a stop to iron and other water contaminants in your water.

When used as directed, this product can ensure that your resin bed and other utensils’ surfaces are clean. It does a fantastic job with iron precipitates that you’d be seeing less and less of those ugly red stains on your tubs and sinks. What’s more, it is an affordable product that you can easily bake into your budget.

If you want to economically make sure that your water softener unit is at its most suitable performance, then this cleaner is the easiest way to do it. The directions for using this water softener resin bed cleaner are simple, too, as you just need to pour it into your tank straight from the Res-Up bottle.

You’d see, taste, and experience the noticeable change in your water softener systems and the water that comes out. Your soft water would taste cleaner, your fixtures would be cleaner, and your laundry would be more vibrant.

It is your best ally, and it’s not going to let you down. Your resin beds would appreciate the reinforcement. Due to the usual wear and tear, the systems may not function the way they were back then, but this water softener cleaner gives them a renewed boost.

The Res-Up water softener is widely available, so it’s going to be easy to purchase and re-stock. The only disadvantage of this is there is minimal information about the product, so shoppers might have some challenges in getting more info about the product before purchasing. Sometimes, you just must take that leap of faith and try a product. It is an excellent example of risking it and being happy with the results.
What We Like
  • Great job in iron precipitation
  • Simple instructions
  • Extends the life of your water softener
  • Affordable
  • Good at maintaining resin beds
What We Don’t Like
  • Limited information to compare with other brands

6. Out Water Softener Cleaner

Your water contaminants, hard minerals, rust, and other water impurities will surely be out of your system with the Out Filter Mate softener cleaner. Highly recommended for city water, this powerful cleaner is the perfect maintenance buddy for your water softener. Note that your water softener would eventually not function the way it was during its early years. It can become foul, and the effectiveness will not always be at 100%. Breathe new life into your water softener with this cleaner and salt booster, and you’d add in a couple of years to your system.

It is effortless to use. You start by dissolving this powder in water and then pouring it over your salt storage container or brine well. Proceed with manually regenerating the softener. If you have pipes made of copper, don’t be surprised if your water suddenly turns bluish for a few seconds during and after the treatment. It is normal, and you can aid the system by flushing the water lines.

You’d be happy with this cleaner because it is not designed only for your water softener systems. It can also be used for other household fixtures and appliances, including but not limited to washing machines, dishwashers, and toilet tanks. You’d find a more valid reason for buying it because it can be your all-around cleaner, especially when you have a limited budget.

Note that the softener can only remove light iron buildup and at less than 1 ppm. It is the same story with elements like calcium, manganese, lime, silt, and dirt. It can only work if your water only has low levels of these elements.

This multi-user cleaner is perfect for practical folks who want to get the most out of their purchase. It works as expected, and it is one of the ideal non-toxic alternative cleaners available in the market today.

What We Like
  • Best for city water
  • Compatible with most water softeners
  • Extends the life of your water softener
  • Cost-efficient
  • Can be used as cleaners for other water fixtures
What We Don’t Like
  • Not recommended for water with high levels of iron, calcium, and manganese

7. Pro Product Rust Out Water Softener Cleaner

If you are looking for the ultimate solution to the high iron deposits on your softener bed, then the Pro Product Rust Out water softener cleaner is your answer. This product is specifically designed to clean and get rid of iron and other impurities.

You will soon realize that this is what you are looking for when you want a cleaner that can enhance your softener’s overall performance. This formulation works by dissolving the iron content chemically so it can easily be rinsed away.

What this product does for you is to remove the toxins and the non-dissolvable salts from your water softener. It cleans your system and at the same time, enhances the performance and efficiency of your water softener. Moreover, it will also help in removing those unpleasant rust stains in your home. Do you want your toilets, tubs, and sinks to be sparkling clean? Then this is the ultimate cleaner for you.

You also don’t need to worry about continually using this product and your water fixtures in contact with it. This cleaner does not have any abrasive or rough chemicals. You’d end up with clean marble and fiberglass sans the scratches.

The Pro Product Rust Out water softener’s cutting-edge formula contains more than five elements that can clean, refurbish, and preserve your water softener’s life. It also works great for domestic and irrigation system necessities.

One downside of this robust solution is it has a rather strong odor and can leave an aftertaste in the water in its initial treatment. In a nutshell, this product deserves more than five stars when it comes to functionality and effectiveness.

It is rated as one of the top-quality cleaners for this year, and you can enjoy its many benefits by giving it a try. For sure, your water softener system would also appreciate the much-needed boost.

What We Like
  • Economically priced
  • Reduces and removes high iron deposits
  • No abrasive or rough chemicals
  • Efficiently removes iron and rust stains
  • Cleans, repairs, and maintains your water softener system
What We Don’t Like
  • Leaves an unpleasant odor and taste during the initial use

8. Pro Ban T Water Softener

Another one of those great option that you can consider is the powdered form Pro Ban T water softener cleaner. It is an easy-to-dissolve powder that you can conveniently and successfully do on your own. There is nothing hard in the process because the instructions are all duly provided to make it hassle-free for you.

This cleaner can get into the central part of your water softener unit quickly and efficiently dissolve any hard metal on your resin bed. With its swift action, you can expect that the boost in your water softener’s efficiency is instant.

Aside from effectively removing contaminants from your water softener system, this product from Pro Products is also capable of lowering your water’s pH level, which brings about lots of benefits to you and your health.

This iron removal cleaner also removes tannin from your water softeners. It is highly suggested that you use this product as part of your unit’s preventive care and maintenance to help prolong its life and efficiency.

As a cleaning agent, the Pro Ban T does fantastic work in removing the accumulated mineral deposits, lime scales, and iron staining caused by hard water from your household fixtures and plumbing systems.

You’d be happy to know that you can also use this product for general cleaning purposes to get the most of it. You can safely use it on glass, fiberglass, stainless steel, and even porcelain. Also, it can 100% remove the deposits on your ceramic tiles, glassware, ice machines, and even distillers. Thus, it is an all-around product that you can trust.

Just a minor let-down for this product would be its price. If you compare it with other tannin and iron removal cleaners, it would cost you a bit more. However, it is going to be an essential and irreplaceable part of your household once you’ve tried it. It works wonderfully, and you get double the benefits from what you initially paid for.
What We Like
  • Strong formulation
  • Lowers the pH level of water
  • Can be used for general cleaning
  • Extends the life of the water softener system
  • Easy application
What We Don’t Like
  • It is slightly pricier than other cleaners

9. Pro Products SM65N Softener Mate

The Pro Products Softener Mate SM65N is a powerful and effective resin cleaner. It is what you need if you are looking for a cleaner on a massive scale. This product will get the job done for you.

This cleaner will enhance the current performance of your softener. Thanks to its powerful chemical formulation, the SM65N can efficiently remove iron and other dissolvable contaminants from your water softener.

The good news is, you can also make use of this product to enhance the power of the salt that is being used to clean your water. Note that when your water softener has been working non-stop for an extended period without proper maintenance, its competence is lessened immensely. Yes, it is still working as it should but you can’t expect the results to be like their early years.

Best used for city and municipal water, the Pro Products Softener Mate SM65N will help clean your foul resins, bringing new vigor to your water softener. This maintenance treatment is easy to use.

For initial applications, simply dissolve one cup of this powder cleaner in 2 quarts of lukewarm water. You can directly pour it into your brine well or on your salt storage tank without any lumps if your salt level is already running low. Afterward, manually regenerate. If, for instance, your unit is soiled, you can repeat the process.

You’ll be pleased with this inexpensive and working cleaner because it extends the life of your entire water softener system and your water fixtures like faucets, showerheads, and tubs. With proper and regular maintenance, you can continuously reap the advantages of this product, including some savings because you don’t need to be replacing or repair your fixtures often.

Like other Pro Product solutions, it also leaves a rather strong odor and taste. Rest assured, though, that this is only apparent during the initial treatment. Aside from that, this product is a proper maintenance and preventive solution, and you can’t go wrong with it. It works as advertised and is good for your money.
What We Like
  • Ideal for city water
  • Strong formulation
  • Works with contaminated resins
  • Extends the water softener system’s life
  • Easy application
What We Don’t Like
  • Leaves an unpleasant odor and taste during the initial use

Outdated Products

Kenmore 3442707 Water Softener Cleaner (Outdated)

One of the most trusted water softener resin cleaners on the market today is the Kenmore 3442707 water softener cleaner. A manufacturer’s alternative, it is perfect for models 25394260, 625388180, 62538818003, 625383500, 625388400, and some others.

You will be satisfied with how this cleaner works well with your Kenmore system and helps add more years to your unit’s longevity. This Kenmore water softener cleaner also makes sure that your resin and the whole unit are working at their best.

You must give your water softener some regular assistance to always provide you with the top-tier water quality you deserve. Depending on how foul your resin bed is, treating your water softener every four months is advised. You can always repeat it sooner if deemed necessary.

Easy to use, this product comes with direct and simple instructions. You can surely do the treatment yourself as there are no difficult and complicated procedures. This water softener cleaner does a beautiful job of getting the iron and the rust out of your water.

What’s in it for you would be water appliances that are squeaky clean without the red stains. Additionally, it would also mean that you get to enjoy the water that’s cleaner and better tastes sans the metallic aftertaste. You’d like to drink water more because of its more decent taste.

Note though that this is only compatible with Kenmore and Kenmore Elite systems. It would be best that you check your model first before purchase to ensure compatibility and effectiveness.

Indeed, this is a water softener cleaner that you’d grow to learn and trust. It is a great support for your water softener system, and you’ll always get superb water results.

What We Like
  • Works with contaminated resins
  • Extended lifespan of the water softener system
  • DIY application
  • Easy to follow instructions
  • Removes iron and rust from your water
What We Don’t Like
  • Compatibility with only mentioned models

Five pk Pro Products Softener Cleaner (Outdated)

Natural impurities tend to accumulate on your resin beds. This flow of events is quite natural, and it will affect your water softener’s efficiency. Put a stop to the deterioration of your unit with the help of the Pro Softener Mate water softener cleaner.

The Softener Mate has a special and unique formulation that makes it very conducive for water softeners. It can remove minerals like iron and manganese. It can also eliminate organic compounds, metal particles, silt, and other biofilm build-up collected in your resin cylinder.

What makes this unique is all the chemicals used in this water softener cleaner are environment-friendly. It is also a product made in the USA whose instructions are simple to understand and follow.

As a recommendation, you start by diluting one packet of this all-purpose cleaner into a liter of lukewarm water. Afterward, you can pour the dissolved solution to your salt tank. When the salt level is already low, then initiate a manual regeneration. Rest assured, this process can be repeated depending on the status of your resin beds.

Since this product is an all-purpose water cleaner, you can also use it to clean your other water fixtures and appliances. You’d be happy and content with the results.

You’d need to know though this water softener cleaner would work top-rated if your iron and manganese levels are just low and manageable. You might not get the results you want for extremely severe cases.

This product still gets a thumbs up because of how good it is in maintaining your water softener units. It is convenient in size and easy to use. That is why it is the number one choice for homemakers who don’t need any complications but just require quick action and reliable results. For the win, it is economically affordable, too.

What We Like
  • Environmentally-friendly chemicals
  • Can be used for general cleaning
  • Extends the life of the water softener system
  • Easy DIY application; simple to follow instructions
  • Maintains your resin beds
What We Don’t Like
  • Limited to low levels of iron and manganese only

Whirlpool Water Softener Cleanser (Outdated)

The water softener cleanser formula is one of the ultimate favorites based on various water softener resin cleaner reviews online. If you want spotless and spot-on cleaning at a budget-friendly price, this is the formula. Note that Whirlpool is a well-established brand, especially when it comes to promoting an exceptional and reliable water-drinking experience. This cleanser formula is no exception at all when it comes to quality standards and steady output.

This Whirlpool water softener cleaner is your trusted ally when it comes to maintaining your water softener system. It helps prevent the buildup of lime scales; thus, your system can perform better and longer. Additionally, this is also formulated to remove the unsafe deposits from your valve and resin bed. As a result, you are ensured that the system can operate smoothly and address potential problems.

You have that level of confidence knowing that your water softener system is working as expected and delivering excellent results for you and your whole family. You might think that you’d need to have a Whirlpool system for this to work, but surprisingly, you don’t need one. It is compatible with almost all water softener brands. You can make it your water softener cleaner for tannins if that’s your system. It will work and deliver results as expected.

Whirlpool would not be a big name if it didn’t provide completely excellent service. That includes general aesthetics and packaging. This robust water solution is packaged in a bottle that is durable and easy to grip and handle. The stickers on the bottle are very informative, too.

As expected, a well-established brand would mean that the product will be priced higher than what is offered by the competitors. However, it is a must-buy, as it is an excellent product with great results. It is what you need to help make your water softener system last longer and always be at its best performance.
What We Like
  • Removes rust stains
  • Good packaging
  • Compatible with most water softeners
  • Extends the life of your water softener
  • Well established and trusted brand
What We Don’t Like
  • Pricier than other water softener treatments

What Is The Top-Tier Water Softener Cleaner/ Who Is This For


Water softeners are modern appliances in many households. They keep the water supply of the household free from metals like calcium and magnesium. So, what happens when a water softener no longer functions? Manufacturers often recommend having the appliance serviced for maintenance regularly, but quite frankly, that is costly.

However, having it serviced is not the only way to maintain the condition of the water softener. There are bottled water softener cleaners available in many markets, but they don’t solve all problems. Some water softener cleaners can only clean up the resin beads in water softeners, removing the filtered metals.

Generally, products become more in demand by the general populace when they offer excellent performance at a low price. It is true, especially for water softener cleaners. The best water softener cleaners are those that clean resin beads, tanks, and dissolve salt bridges all in one. They should also be able to work thoroughly and effectively without affecting the performance of the appliance.

Most cleaners offer to remove the built-up hard water waste from the resin beads without compromising the performance or damaging the appliance. However, they cannot remove tough-to-dissolve metals.

Fortunately, some cleaners in the market can dissolve iron and rid your appliances of rust. It is most suitable to avoid cleaners that use strong chemicals that are abrasive towards specific components of the device and harmful to the users.

Aside from households, countless industries make use of water softeners for production. The use of high-quality water softener cleaners is not only good for household members but also for businesses. Household members can benefit from water softener cleaners by seeing improvements in their skin, hair, and clothes. At the same time, industries benefit from a better quality of products and increasing product value.

How Does It Work

Technically speaking, resin beads in the appliance have a chemical charge. It allows them to attract opposite-charged metals found in the water. Once these metals are attracted to the resin beads, they are removed to create soft water. However, they also build up in the resin beads, causing the appliance to have suboptimal performance.

Bottled resin bed cleaners use the same branch of science found in water softeners: chemistry. The metals dissolved in water (such as calcium, magnesium, and iron) can cause several health problems to the skin or even internal organs (particularly when tap water is used for drinking). Water softener cleaners remove these metals from the resin beads by altering their chemical composition so that they can be flushed out after cleaning the appliance.

Manually, powdered cleaners are mixed with softened water, and the resulting solution is poured into the brine tank. After regeneration, the solution will react with the metals in the resin beads, thus cleaning the appliance.

Another way of cleaning the appliance is via continuous feed systems that drip a solution into the brine well, eventually cleaning the resin bed after each regeneration. However, appropriate measures must be taken to avoid using or ingesting the water right after cleaning.

What Are The Different Types Of Water Softener Cleaners


Aside from metals, water softener cleaners (especially resin beads) can also house massive amounts of bacteria, mold, and algae. Nevertheless, there are water softener cleaners in the market that can deal with such issues, yet choosing the right cleaner may vary depending on the situation.

Easily-filtered metals (like calcium) can be cleaned with most cleaners sold.

Meanwhile, hardened metals and bacteria need to be detected before purchasing their specific cleaners. Iron and manganese can be detected best by merely soaking a sample of the water in hydrochloric acid for 5-10 minutes. It causes a chemical reaction that discolors the resulting solution if either metal is present in the water.

Some cleaners work to remove tough metals such as those. Once added to the brine solution, each regeneration will flush them out. Additionally, there are water softener cleaners in the market that specifically target iron and rust, eliminating the metals and any discoloration from the water.

Another fouling material that affects water softeners’ performance is organic compounds, like tannin, bacteria, and humic acids. Tannin and humic acids are by-products of decomposed plants, while bacteria may be present in the water itself. These compounds or organisms create a foul smell and taste in the water, and may even cause rashes or diseases.

Luckily, these compounds can be easily eradicated with on-hand household items. Bleach and chlorine, the most available materials in most households, can be used to sterilize the appliance. Be that as it may, prolonged exposure to them can ruin the resin in them.

Hydrogen peroxide is an excellent sterilizing material, too, but it can be dangerous when in contact with fouling iron. It reaches boiling temperatures and can cause damage to the appliance. To avoid such a predicament, make sure the fouling iron is cleaned before applying hydrogen peroxide.

Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using A Water Softener Cleaner

Without a doubt, having a preserved water softener is an advantage of using water softener cleaners. The buildup of metals and bacteria on the resin bed of the appliance can affect its performance. It can cause reduced water pressure and low water softening capacity.

Another advantage of using water softener cleaners is that the household or business can be safer by having a cleaner, metal-free water supply. Family members can have healthier skin and a better condition of hair merely by having a cleaner water supply. Clothes may also start to feel softer as the metals found in hard water can affect fabrics.

Businesses benefit from water softener cleaners by providing consumers with high-quality products that require softened water. It increases the consumers’ trust in the brand, eventually allowing it to increase sales. Some of these businesses may include laundry washing, bottled water producers, and products that require the universal solvent: water.

All in all, both businesses and households can benefit from water softener cleaners by reducing plumbing expenses. Often, the status and performance of water softener cleaners can be overlooked. It causes the appliance to function poorly, eventually allowing hard water to pass through the pipes.

Hard water can leave scales as a result of the metals present, and cause clogging or corrode the pipes. By using the top-rated water softener resin cleaner for maintenance, expenses on plumbing can be significantly reduced.

However, using water softener cleaners also has its banes for the user. Many risks may come with using cleaners, as they are made of chemicals that are toxic to the human body. They can accidentally be ingested through the water or cause problems to the skin.

When cleaning the appliance, the cleaners are dissolved into a solution that is poured into the brine tank. This solution mixes with water to de-clog the resin beads. However, when flushed out of the appliance, the solution may mix with tap water.

The cleaners that come as powder often form dust particles when the packaging is opened. When inhaled, these dust particles could significantly affect one’s health. They may also exude a foul smell that is nauseating. Overall, users must always exercise cautionary practices when handling water softener cleaners to protect them from serious illnesses. 

Buying Guide


There are many things to consider when buying the right cleaner for your water softeners. It all depends on what the issue with the appliance is. It is also a matter of the price, the materials used for the cleaner, and personal biases.

Identifying the Right Cleaner

Many things could go wrong with the appliance, may it be a buildup of metals, bacteria, or even salt. Identifying the right cleaner for solving the issue with the machine is not that difficult.

To start, the easiest to identify is the presence of bacteria, molds, and algae. These microorganisms are easily identifiable as they significantly alter the taste, color, and even smell of the water. However, discoloration shouldn’t be confused with the presence of rust in the water, which will be discussed shortly.

These microorganisms can easily be eliminated by using bleach, chlorine, or hydrogen peroxide to clean the resin beads for a certain amount of time.

Iron and rust are also fouling agents that can be found in the resin beads of water softeners. Specifically, rust (oxidized form of iron) changes the water’s color and gives it a metallic taste. As one of the most hardened metals, there are specific cleaners in the market that deal with the alteration of iron’s chemical structure, allowing it to be easily flushed out of the system.

Lastly, calcium and magnesium can also clog up the resin beads in the appliance. However, it is not too difficult to find the “right” cleaner for this kind of problem because most cleaners are made free of resin beads from these cleaners.

Things Cost Money

As the saying goes, nothing in this world is free. Cleaners will cost money, so make sure to buy cleaners when there is money to spare. It would also be wise to determine the appliance’s issue before spending money on just any cleaner, as it may only be a waste to spend hard-earned money on the wrong things. Finding the right cleaner with a little bit of learning could save some money on maintenance services.

Is it Good?

Another thing one could quickly look over is the strength of the chemicals found in a water conditioner resin cleaner. There are cleaners in the market that offer to improve the appliance’s performance, while some hide terrible, destructive secrets.

Some chemicals present in the cleaner could be highly abrasive with a high enough concentration. These chemicals could corrode and damage components in the water softeners, like the resin beads. Eventually, the appliance starts malfunctioning, and additional expenses are needed for its servicing. Thus, it would be wise to look up reviews of the product before purchasing it.

Consumer Bias

Everybody has their preferences, may it be in brands, the smell, or the efficacy of the product. If the consumers know their appliances well enough, they may already have brands or products to stick to when making purchases.

It is always better to stick to trusted products, most notably when the product has been trusted for ages. However, newbies could also do some research and purchase the product/s with the highest ratings. Nevertheless, they should never forget to investigate what they need to solve their problem with their appliance.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What is the typical lifespan of a water softener cleaner?

A water softener system cleaner can last many years, although products vary by brand.

For example, Rheem water treatment is expected to last 5 years from its manufacture date. On the other hand, AO Smith covers its products with a six-year warranty. It would be safe to assume that its water softener additive cleaner will last as long.

Another example is ProGuard water softener cleaner. Although it does not explicitly say how long it will last, we can make an estimate based on its active ingredients. This product mainly contains citric acid. Pure citric acid can last five years, making us believe this product should have similar longevity.

We can expect the same longevity for the Rust Out water softener cleaner, making it a suitable cleansing agent for Harvey water softeners.

Homeowners who prefer homemade water softener cleaners (i.e., vinegar or bleach solution) do not have to worry about the cleaning solution’s longevity. They can make just enough cleaner for a single cleaning session and discard any leftovers.

What makes resin beads dirty in water softeners?

A water softener for well water contains resin beads that exchange sodium ions for magnesium, calcium, iron, and other hard water minerals. Sadly, these chemicals are not the only substances present in the water.

The Environmental Protection Agency says well water can contain:

  • Microorganisms (i.e., parasites, viruses, and bacteria)
  • Nitrogenous compounds (i.e., nitrites and nitrates)
  • Heavy metals (i.e., arsenic, cadmium, copper, and lead)
  • Organic chemicals (i.e., pesticides, pharmaceuticals, disinfectants, and petroleum products)
  • Radionuclides (i.e., radium and uranium)
  • Sediments, silt, and particulates

Water softeners cannot clean out these substances and particulates. Even an expensive water softener iron removal additive cannot prevent these molecules from accumulating on the resin bead, although it can eliminate iron buildup. Only a water filtration system can prevent these impurities from reaching the water softener.

Hence, you can expect water contaminants to dirty the resin beads if you do not have an appropriate water filter. We emphasize “appropriate” because filtration systems come in different types. Some only remove sediments, while others eliminate microorganisms, volatile organics, heavy metals, and other impurities.

What happens if you don’t maintain your water softener?

Failure to maintain your water softener can lead to “hard water” issues, including the following.

  • Shortened water heater lifespan because of limescale-producing hard minerals in the water
  • Limescale formation and accumulation in water faucets and fixtures
  • Increased scum on showers and tubs
  • Spotty or “dirty-looking” dishes, glasses, and other kitchen items
  • Itchy and dry skin because of hard minerals
  • Less-than-clean laundry
  • Sluggish-draining sinks and slow-flushing toilets
  • Shortened water appliance lifespan (i.e., dishwasher, ice maker, and washing machine)
  • Not-so-pleasant showers
  • Increased corrosion in plumbing connections
  • Brick siding discoloration
  • Rusty toilet rings
  • Latherless shampoos
  • Unpleasant drinking water

Maintaining the water softener prevents these issues. However, homeowners must clean and disinfect water softener units as a system. Water softeners have two tanks, one for holding the ion exchange resin beads and another for regenerating the system with brine. Both tanks require periodic maintenance to ensure proper function.

In general, manufacturers advise owners to have a professional perform an annual water softener maintenance checkup. Meanwhile, water-softener resin beads need more frequent cleaning (i.e., GE recommends every six months).

What are the most trusted water softener cleaner brands?

The most trusted brands among water softener cleaners are Pro Products, ResCare, and Ecopur. Others are the rest of those featured earlier. Households also trust brands like Super Iron Out as their water softener cleaners as well as and other stain removers are also reliable choices.

What can I use to clean my water softener?

Water softener tanks can stay in top form by regularly flushing the resin bed in every few months. These cleaners are accessible online or through home improvement centers. Water softener cleaners maintain the efficiency of your resin tank. They convert the residue into a soluble state and can be easily rinsed with water and then flushed naturally. Use cleaners that are made specifically for resin tanks that remove mineral buildup.

The resin beds may contain residue for specific sediment, so you may choose the cleaner from which your tank may greatly benefit. You may opt to find water softener cleaners’ efficacy as they eliminate the following residues on your container:

  • Silt
  • Iron
  • Rust
  • Tannin
  • Limescale
  • Heavy metals
  • Organic compounds

These products lower or adjust your water softeners’ pH and commonly cleanses your tank with fouled resin. Preventive maintenance of your containers is done through cleaners. They restore efficiency and maintain the performance of water softeners.

Brine tank cleaning is essential to prevent a buildup of sludge from salt pellets. The sludge may harden through your tank, and it can be removed manually or hammered Mold may also accumulate, and you should clean it by emptying the tank to scrub it through inside.

How to use a water softener cleaner?

Specific water softener cleaners come with directions as to how much of the product may be used. A mixture of the product and water may be found on the manufacturer’s label.

  • Simply pour the right amount of cleaner as per manufacturer’s recommended volume to the brine well. If the softener does not have a brine well, ensure that the salt level is low and the cleaner can be directly poured on the salt tank.
  • Set your water softener’s system into regeneration mode. It will then manually regenerate the resin beds and eliminate all the residue and debris in the unit.
  • You may repeat the regeneration process using a new resin cleaner to remove the stubborn minerals left.
  • After assessing your resin beds, return the standard setting of the water softener system, and flush it out.
  • Allow the water to run through the unit for a few minutes to ensure that the resin cleaner and any other unwanted minerals are entirely removed.

How often should you clean your water softener?

Water softeners do need maintenance, and they generally last for years if they are well taken care of. Most water softeners come with a manufacturer’s recommendation on cleaning the unit, which ranges from every three months to yearly. Details as to how often units are cleaned vary depending on your water softener brand and model. However, you may clean your unit if the following situations are observed:

  • If you suspect microbial contamination, clean your tank. A ‘rotten egg’ odor or any other foul smell may be noticed. It may suggest that the unit may have been contaminated. A water bacteriologic examination may be carried out to prevent diseases and prompt you to immediately do water treatment.
  • A change in color or a difference in the water’s taste after passing through the water softener may also suggest water softener cleaning.
  • Inactive units or those water softeners which have not been operational for a long time may need cleaning before using it again.

Keep your water softener unit in topnotch condition by doing the following:

  • Check the salt level every month. Most recommend checking salt levels every four to six weeks, to avoid developing hard water.
  • Check out salt bridges or salt mushing that may accumulate in the brine tank. It prevents the unit from cycling properly and may lead to producing hard water.
  • Check the resin tank occasionally to reduce the incidence of ineffective resin. When running low on salt, you may clean the resin tank.

Can I put vinegar in my water softener?

Yes, vinegar may be used in the same manner bleach is used in cleaning water softeners. It may be used to clean the brine tank of your unit, especially if scum has built up. It has acidic properties making it a handy cleaning agent. Its availability makes it an appropriate product for cleaning brine tanks filled with mineral debris. A bleach solution may be made using vinegar as follow:

  • Mix one-fourth cup of vinegar into four to five liters of water.
  • Stir the mixture cautiously.
  • Let it sit for 15 minutes before using it.
  • It can then be poured directly into the water softener; you may scrub the tank with a brush.
  • The bleach solution should be discarded and dumped correctly.
  • Rinse the tank with water to get rid of the bleach solution.

It is still best to use the appropriate cleaner for individual mineral deposits or other water softener issues.

Where to buy?

Like what you could read in reviews, such as resin rescue review, you can buy these cleaners at Walmart, Menards, and Home Depot. Home improvement stores and manufacturers’ websites also sell these products. You can also find these cleaning products on the online shopping sites such as eBay and Amazon and other marketplaces.


Using the best water softener cleaner can help keep your water softening system at its peak condition. It translates to savings because you don’t need to spend on repairs, maintenance, and parts replacements. With regular cleaning, you can also ensure that your system will work optimally in softening water, especially if you’re using well water. Refer to this buying guide and get a water softener cleaner today!

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