A water softening system softens water and improves its quality. With this, you can ensure better drinking and cleaning water. To make it work properly, you need the best water softener salt that enhances the function of your softener.
But then, choosing the right salt for water softener system can be a challenge because there are many types of these products, which we’re discussing a bit. Besides, many brands also offer softener salt in different sizes and features.
It would be a mistake to think that buying water softener salt is as easy as picking a culinary version from a grocery store’s condiment and seasoning section. First-time water softener owners often find choosing a suitable product challenging, especially if they fail to consider the following factors.
- Water Softener Compatibility: Your first consideration should be the salt’s compatibility with your water softener. Most water softener brands have specific recommendations on what salt products to use, while others are more lenient. These companies allow homeowners to choose any water softener salt brand.
- Form: Water softener salts come in evaporated pellets, solar crystals, salt blocks, and rock salt. Although pricey, evaporated salt pellets and salt blocks have the highest sodium chloride purity. Meanwhile, rock salts are perfect for budget-conscious families, while solar crystals are suitable for ecologically-minded households with moderately hard water.
- Formulation: Although all water softener salts contain sodium chloride for removing calcium and magnesium in the water, some products have special formulations. For example, a water softener salt might have anticaking agents to prevent the formation of lumps in the brine tank. Others might feature a unique additive that reduces rust stains on tubs, sinks, showerheads, and other water fixtures.
But with a buying guide like below, you can better compare the features, pros and cons of each product. Knowing what to expect, you’ll also be able to consider your choices closely and pick one that matches your needs. Let’s get started with the following reviews.
Table of Contents
Most Trusted Water Softener Salt Reviews
1. Morton Salt 1501 Water Softener
These clean and protective Morton salt pellets come in a substantial 50-lb size, eliminating your need to buy a salt bag too often. You can depend on its practicality as a choice for a water softener salt that can last longer versus those available in smaller bags. But, it can also depend on how often you will replenish the salt amount in your water softener, especially if you’re living in a place where hardness levels are too high.
Using this Morton salt 1501 for your water treatment system can also extend the life of your water softener because this product comes without any filler or chemicals that will degrade the performance and efficiency of your system.
With it, you can ensure water purity, too, which will help in extending the lifespan not just of your softener but also of your plumbing system and fixtures. You also don’t need to worry about replacing parts or spending on repairs.
Especially if you’re living in an area where water hardness is very high, using Morton salt 1501 can ensure the longevity of your appliances, including heaters and washing machines. This salt can work effectively in softening your water so that you can avoid straining your appliances with residues.
In addition to these benefits, this Morton salt 1501 is also with a patented formula that works to extend the life of your heating system. It can ensure its optimal function so that you can get more out of this appliance and never again worry about spending on hefty repairs due to scale and mineral build-up.
I also liked the packaging of this variety. It is available in an easy-open tab along with a hard handle, which can make pouring and carry from one place to another convenient. I appreciate that the manufacturer has thought about this in the manufacture of their softener salts.
2. Cargill Salt 7304 Water Softener Salt
The Cargill Salt 7304 is a consistent top ranker in most reviews. Sometimes, this product is compared with a Morton salt, too, for its quality and performance. But many prefer this brand and model over the other brands because solar and natural salt crystals are said to be cleaner and more efficient than rock salt for water softener.
This natural salt crystal product is practical and economical because it can work effectively. It will not result in salt bridging, a hard crust forming in the brine tank that leads to improper regeneration. You don’t have to worry about this because this salt will not form and harden. In this case, you can have peace of mind that your water softener will work as it should.
This salt is also multifunctional. It can be used in quality grading sensitive veggies, processing meat or poultry, and curing pickles and olives. So, if these benefits interest you, you might want to check this out. The packaging is a polyethylene bag with polyethylene film liners for protection against humidity and moisture.
3. Morton F124700000g Water Softener Pellets
Are you living in an area where the hardness level of the water is too high? If so, you might want to consider water softener salt for well water. These water softener pellets can offer a clean solution for your water softener because they will not cause any mushing or channeling. They are also economical because they contain no harmful chemicals or fillers to damage your water softening system.
The Morton Salt water softener pellets are also from a trusted brand, which has been around for quite a while and is the top choice among homeowners looking to get more out of their purchase. There are also many advantages offered by this brand in their softener salts. For example, these pellets can improve water taste and help in preventing rust formation in the bathroom, kitchen, and plumbing fixtures.
Besides, the salt pellets can help in keeping the appliances free from water spots and mineral buildup. Thus, they can reduce spending on repairs or buying a new dishwasher, washing machine, or heater.
You can have peace of mind that your soap will lather better to cut laundry time. Also, this softener salt can prevent scale formation in pipes and plumbing fixtures, showerheads, and faucets, which would otherwise lead to parts replacement and repairs.
4. Morton U26624S Water Softening Crystals
When looking for the top-tier type of salt for water softener, you might have bumped into these softening crystals, which are preferred by many homeowners that want a cleaner and more efficient solution.
They will not lead to bridging, mushing, or channeling. Otherwise, your water softener’s efficiency might be reduced because of the reduced water flow or set of salt in the softener. These are common issues with other salt products, but you don’t need to worry about these when you pick the Morton U26624S.
This sodium chloride product also contains no additives or extenders. It is pure and highly effective, making it one of the most reliable in the category. You also don’t need to worry about your softener being damaged by issues like salt crystallization. In addition, because this product improves soap lather, your laundry will feel softer and cleaner. It’s not just your clothes that benefit from this; your skin and hair will thank you too.
The 40-Pound Morton softening crystals are also naturally harvested from salt water and are ideal for all types of water softeners. Using this product, you can also have peace of mind that your appliances will function longer because hard water spots will not form in them.
5. Diamond Crystal Bright & Soft Salt Pellets
If you’re looking for water softener salt pellets, this is an excellent choice. It has a high purity rating of 99.8%, meaning no additives that might cause damage to your water treatment system. The pure pellets can also effectively work in ensuring the smooth flow of your water and optimal operation of your water softener.
Besides, this product can offer advantages aside from efficiency. These sodium chloride pellets can help in removing hard minerals, including calcium, iron, barium, and magnesium, which would otherwise lead to the building up of rust, spots and scales in a plumbing system and fixtures, faucets, showerheads, and sinks. It can also work in preventing stains in your clothing and improving the lathering of soaps.
In addition, these pellets can improve the health of your hair, scalp, and skin. With these, your water softener can function optimally to up the quality of your water. As such, you can take advantage of smoother and shinier hair and reduce instances of itchy scalp and dry skin. Thus, if you have family members who have sensitive skin, you must consider these pellets in treating your water and enhancing its quality.
These are arguably the top-rated salt pellets for water softener, and they come in a 50-lb. bag, which makes them an economical choice if you would like to avoid buying salt too often.
6. Morton Salt 1499 Clean Protect
The Morton salt 1499 is another consideration for a water softener salt because it has many benefits that can make your life easier and your water supply cleaner. Using it, you don’t need to replenish the salt of your water softener often while it works effectively in removing hard water minerals.
Also, I love that it can help in preventing damage of appliances, pipes, and water fixtures and preventing frequent repairs in your plumbing system. This often occurs due to the buildup of minerals and scale in plumbing. However, you wouldn’t need to worry about it if you used an effective salt for your treatment system.
I also like the easy to open and carry bag that this variant comes in. To prevent spills, this bag is also designed for easy pouring. Besides, salt is also recommended by top water softener manufacturers, such as ECOPURE and NORTHSTAR.
This product also has resin cleaners to ensure that your treatment system will run smoother and longer. It can also reduce the buildup in your water softener.
7. Morton Salt System Saver II Club Bag
No matter what type of softener salt you’re looking for,, you should consider the Morton System Saver for its efficiency and performance. It comes in a large bag of 44 pounds, which is an economical and practical solution for those who don’t want to buy a new salt bag for their water softener often.
Also, this product is by a trusted brand, which is one of the most highly recommended in the category. If you select Morton, you can have peace of mind because it has been around for quite a while and has been consistent in providing quality products to its consumers.
You can easily find this brand on Amazon and other online marketplaces. With that, you don’t have to worry about not having salt when you need it. It can be quickly shipped to your location, which is also convenient for many homeowners who want to buy online rather than in stores.
On the downside, it can be slightly expensive. But overall, it is one of the highest-quality items on this list. It can reduce hard water issues and can enhance overall water quality.
What Is Water Softener Salt/ Who Is This For
A water softener salt, like a Morton softener salt, is usually composed of sodium chloride or NaCl and is almost similar to the typical salt used in cooking.
Softener salt is added to your water softener to remove the minerals in water that makes it hard. Hard water has high levels of calcium and magnesium minerals. These minerals contribute to the limescale buildup and cause your plumbing system and water fixtures to deteriorate more quicker.
Just as what you might have read on Reddit forums, there are also theories that the high mineral water content of hard water can contribute to health problems, but these are not yet proven.
Water catalyst salt is used to remove the water’s hardness so an ion exchange can occur. Hard water mineral deposits are eliminated when the water goes through the resin beads of the softener tank.
The water softening salt is utilized to recharge and renew the resin beads periodically. This is necessary so that it can carry on removing these minerals.
Water softening salt is for households or even organizations who want to soften their hard water. This is an affordable option, and salt is always available for purchase. It is one of the easiest ways to turn your hard water into soft water.
How Do Water Softeners Salts Work
Having a good background in how water softeners work can make understanding the process easier, especially if you add salt to the equation.
Most of today’s water softeners are founded on ion exchange. This means that the hardness ions which turn water into hard water are exchanged for another ion. In this case, it will be exchanged for salt ions since it is the primary catalyst in the process.
Unlike incorporating water purification tablets which kill and destroy all the unwanted elements in your water, an ion exchange will swap ions, leading to softening of the hard water.
The process of ion exchange using water softener salts happens in the softener’s resin tank. As the water goes and flows through the tank, it will contact resin beads protected in salt ions. When the water flows and makes contact with the resin beads, the hardness ions will switch places with the salt resin beads, making the water soft.
With the non-stop contact of the hard water, the salt resin beads would gradually lose their capacity to switch any hardness ion, but this can be remedied by recharging the resin beads. You do this by adding more salt bags, pellets, crystals, or tablets. When restored, they can continue with the ion swap and produce enough soft water to sustain your entire household.
What Are The Different Types Of Water Softener Salt
Aside from water softener salt price comparison, you might also want to know the different types of these products on the market. It is surprising to know that there are different kinds of water softening salt that you can use in your water softener. Each of the types has its advantages and disadvantages, so you have to identify your need before choosing the top-quality type to use.
Here are the different types of water softener salts:
Rock Salt – as the name implies, this salt looks like small rocks and pebbles. This is considered the most economical among all types of water softener salts, but unfortunately, it is the least favored. The calcium sulfate of rock salt is very high, so it doesn’t dissolve very well in water. It can also leave a generous amount of residue.
Sea Salt – also referred to as solar salt because of the process of manufacturing that it goes through. This kind of salt is mined from the sea and, when processed, is more soluble than your rock salt. It is also budget-friendly and can be widely procured. A drawback of this kind of salt is that its efficiency is not so reliable, especially if your water hardness level is exceptionally high.
Block Salt – this is literally what the name suggests, a block of salt. This is not recommended to use with your water softener unless expressly advised by your expert plumber. When instructed to use this salt, your brine’s water level should be made higher because the blocks need to be fully submerged.
Evaporated Salt – this type is the purest of all salt types and is also the most expensive of them all. Salt with higher purity is the best kind of water softener because it is very soluble. It also decreases the risk of bridging, mushing, or buildup that can further cause clogging.
Potassium Chloride – although colloquially this is referred to as a ‘non-salt’ alternative, it is still a type of salt. It is 99.9% sodium-free, making it the ideal salt for households with members who need to reduce sodium consumption due to health concerns.
Advantages And Disadvantages Of Using Water Softener Salt
You can use other catalysts for your soft water, but salts, like do it best water softener salt, are always the top choice both among long-time users and folks who are just checking if they will work for them.
Using salt as your ion exchange agent comes with many advantages, but like all products, it is not perfect, and there are also some drawbacks. Here are just some of the perks of using salt:
Very affordable – our water softener is useless without a compound that can soften the water, and fortunately, salt doesn’t cost that much. You can easily stock up on your salt sacks to last you for months and even a whole year. You won’t need to abruptly stop getting soft water just because you can’t afford your catalyst. Salt is sweet on the budget.
Easy procurement – you can buy salt almost everywhere. So, it being out of stock is not going to happen. You can drive to Home Depot and go home with bags of salt. You can order online, and you’ll have the salt delivered to you. It is just so accessible that it makes having soft water easier.
Better water quality – this is the ultimate goal anyway, and water softener salts deliver just that. A water softener salt for rust is an effective way to make your water ‘cleaner’ and taste better. It makes your laundry retain its bright colors. You’ll see reduced mineral buildup on your sink, faucets, and plumbing system.
One drawback of using water softener salt, such as water softener salt for sensitive skin, is that it can affect the taste of your water. This is especially true for folks with discerning palates. Aside from this, it would help if you were vigilant in doing your maintenance routine so you can address any bridging in your tank. You need to be wary of the amount of salt you put in as well because it can affect the system’s efficiency.
Sure, you already have a top of the line water softener, but this doesn’t mean that you’d automatically use salt as your catalyst. It pays a lot to get to know your current investments, and it is even more beneficial if you also invest time and effort when shopping for your water softener salt. Here are some things you need to consider when buying your water softener salt.
Before buying tons and tons of salt, make sure that your water softener is salt-based and not a salt-free water softener. Don’t make the mistake of procuring tens and hundreds of salt bags just because you have a water softener. This is a common problem for many.
Price – quite surprisingly, there are so many kinds of salt you can use for your water softener. The reality is, most will go for the lowest price or purchase whatever type of salt that they can get their hands on without really pausing to look into labels.
The goal might be to save some dollars by going for the least expensive ones but consider the possibility of having to spend more because of low-quality salt that would mean more maintenance for your actual water softener. Go through the content, look it up, and always get the salt that gives you top-tier value for your money.
Performance – this is a huge consideration if you have more extensive water softening systems. You have to make sure that your salt is effective in softening your water. So far, the most suitable option for a whole house type of water softener will be evaporated salt for water softener.
Health – a critical consideration because you have to make sure that members of your family won’t have any adverse health reactions to salt. You might think that it is just a small grain of salt but consider household members who have kidney stones and have sodium issues.
Sure, you can still use salt but opt for potassium chloride. But if it is blood pressure that you are keeping an eye on, don’t risk using potassium chloride. Consider everyone who would be using or drinking your water that is softened by salt.
Maintenance – you have to include in your calendar timings for salt refilling and regeneration. Are these tasks something that you can continually accomplish? Note that water softeners using salt would need to be regularly checked to keep an eye on salt mush and humidity.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Can you mix different brands of water softener salt?
No, you should not mix different hardness minerals and rust-removing water softener salt brands. Some products might have more impurities than others, which makes the softener more prone to clogging.
A water softener brand might have a specific recommendation to optimize its products’ performance. For example, the K-Life sodium-free crystals are perfect for Culligan water softeners, especially the brand’s potassium water softener series.
Meanwhile, the Diamond Crystal Bright and Soft salt pellets are suitable for Kinetico systems. These products might not be the cheapest, but Kinetico considers them the best for its water softeners because they are 100% soluble and do not leave salt residues.
On the other hand, you can use almost any salt for RainSoft water softener systems, provided they are potassium chloride or sodium chloride.
It is worth noting that water softeners vary in design. Some use pellets, while others use crystals. Still, some brands use block salt. It should be okay to mix different brands as long as they have the same salt form (i.e., pellet for pellet or crystal for crystal).
Salt crystals are ideal for low-salt screens and all-in-one water softeners. Pellets and salt blocks are perfect for single-tank softeners.
How often should you add salt to water softeners?
Manufacturers have different recommendations on the frequency of adding salt to water softeners, although the average suggestion is once a month. Water consumption and hardness levels also impact salt addition frequency.
For example, a 40-pound dishwasher salt is sufficient for a four-member household with moderate water hardness for a month. Meanwhile, a six-member family with very hard water might find the salt amount insufficient, lasting only two to three weeks.
You might want to check the manufacturer’s guidelines on how much natural salt you must add to the water softener a month. For instance, the brand might suggest using a 50-pound bag of salt for septic systems per month. On the first day of the second month, assess your brine tank to evaluate your salt usage. You can adjust it from there.
Note that the brine tank should be at least 25% full of salt. You can add more salt until the level reaches four to six inches from the brine tank’s top.
Does it matter what salt you use in the water softener?
Yes, the difference salt for softener system products has over ordinary salts (i.e., table salt) is like night and day. These salts dislodge calcium, magnesium, and other minerals in the water, not for imparting flavor.
Water softener salts vary in form. Evaporated salt pellets have the highest sodium chloride purity, making them the most suitable solution for households with very hard water. People buying softeners for hair and skin health should consider this option, as it can reduce unpleasant residues and contaminants.
Pros pick solar salt because of its eco-friendliness while maintaining exceptional water softening capabilities for moderately hard water. Rock salt is budget-conscious households’ choice, while block salt is ideal for resisting brine tank mushing and bridging.
Brands can have water softener salts in different forms. For example, Morton Clean and Protect vs Pure and Natural pits evaporated salt pellets against natural solar salt crystals. Morton Waves vs pellets underscores the brand’s block salt formulation.
It is the same case with Diamond Crystal. In the Bright and Soft vs Solar Naturals debate, it is easy to determine that the former is an evaporated salt pellet while the latter is a solar variant. That also addresses the blue vs yellow water softener salt conundrum, with blue being solar and yellow being an evaporated variant.
Does softening salt contain chemicals?
Water softener salts should contain only sodium chloride or potassium chloride as an alternative. However, most products do not undergo comprehensive processing. Hence, they may have dirt and other particles we do not know.
Some brands might add stabilizers, anticaking agents, and other chemicals to the water softener salt. You can bring a sample to a laboratory if you are doubtful about your water softener salt’s chemical composition.
Type “water softener salt chemical testing laboratory near me” on your browser’s search bar to determine the most accessible facility for you.
What are the most trusted water softener salt brands?
Today, there are many businesses — big and small that manufacture and provide salt for water softeners. With so many commitments and expectations of reliability and softer water, it can be a little daunting to be loyal to a brand.
If you want quality, functionality, and reliability, explore these brands. They are the most trusted water softener salt brands on the market today. Read their reviews too for unbiased feedback.
- Morton Salt
- Diamond Crystal Water from Cargill Salt
- True Value by Compass Minerals
Pick any of these three brands and you’ll get your money’s worth and water that is softer, cleaner, and better tasting.
Diamond crystal vs Morton water softener salt: Which one is better?
Water softener salt pellets or crystals? As far as type is concerned, there are water softener salt brands that are considered the best. Among the many available water softener salts, Diamond Crystal and Morton are the top favorites.
Morton is one of the most trusted brands when it comes to water softening salt products. It has many varieties, including potassium chloride and evaporated salt pellets with patented and unique formulas that reduce scale buildup.
It is known to be compatible with most of today’s water softeners, fixtures, and appliances. Morton is of great value, and the price is very affordable. It is also exceptionally reliable in removing calcium and magnesium from your water. With stellar reviews and ratings, you can’t go wrong with this brand for evaporated salt pellets or potassium chloride.
Diamond Crystal, meanwhile, is one of the other manufacturers of the top-rated water softening salt. With NSF-certified products, you can be sure that their quality is top-class. The brand’s crystals are guaranteed to extend the longevity of your plumbing system and your appliances because it decreases the buildup of your sinks and showers.
Is one brand better than the other? Most would say Morton is the better option but with either, you can be sure of high-quality salts and water that is softer and more usable.
Are salt pellets or crystals better?
The salt that you use for your water softener impacts its efficiency. There is a choice between using softener crystals and pellets. Both have their advantages, and knowing which one to use can yield you better results.
Softener crystals are 9.6% solar-made sodium chloride. It is produced by the salt going through the process of solar evaporation. Softener crystals look like white abrasive gems. These are highly recommended for homes with low water consumption or those who are using a 2-part water softening device.
Crystals being used in households with high water consumption may lead to bridging problems within your brine tank.
Salt pellets, meanwhile, reduce salt bridges and are designed to work with households with high water consumption and those all-in-one tank systems.
Some salt pellets have citric acid, a cleaning agent, in their component, which serves as an additional layer of protection for your plumbing system and appliances.
Is crystal better than pellets? It depends entirely on your current set-up and water softener. Crystals are for homes who only use water minimally, while the pellets are for families with moderate to high water use that frequently makes their plumbing system work.
Can I use pool salt in my water softener?
Technically you can use pool salt in your water softener, but it is not advisable. Water softeners are recommended to work with a coarser type of salt so they can be more efficient.
Pool salt is more refined than the regular salts intended for water softeners, so as a result, it will not permit the water to flow through as quickly as desired.
Additionally, using pool salt can make your water taste very salty. This is because pool salt can prevent the brine from coming out of the tank. As a result, that brine will be in your water.
How to use it?
Now that you have an overview of how salt becomes vital in a water softener system and the different types of salt that you can consider, we’ll talk about usage.
The process is straightforward. No complications, just some minor details that you need to look into.
Once the salt is ready, open your tank’s lid and check the status of the tank. Keep an eye on any sediment, salt deposits, buildups, or anything that is off.
You also have to double-check the salt level. By checking this, you will know if the amount of salt you are putting in is correct. At the same time, it will help determine if your water softener is efficiently using the salt that you are adding.
If all is well, you can pour the recommended amount of salt into your tank and securely close the tank’s cover.
How to care and store?
Your water softener salt should always be kept dry, and its package tightly sealed to prevent humidity and moisture from getting into it.
It is top-tier to store it in airtight containers that can protect it from dust, dirt, and moisture. At the same time, keeping them in secured storage can also keep your kids from playing with them and your pet animals from having a salt attack.
It’s good to stock up on salts like Morton water softener salt but not too much, especially if you don’t have space to store them. It is highly recommended to keep your salt supply in a dry and dark location.
Once you open up salt sacks, always ensure that you tightly secure the opening to avoid any clumping. Should airtight containers not be readily available, you can store them in the bags they are initially packaged in, but you must regularly check for any damage and holes.
Where to buy?
The most trusted place to buy water softener salt depends on your preference. You can easily buy from your local hardware store and grocery stores. Most gasoline stations also carry these among their merchandise.
If you have a particular preference for a brand, you can directly go to its retail outlet if it has one near you or order from its website. You also can buy from water conditioner servicing businesses since they usually carry such products while doing routine maintenance jobs.
Alternatively, shopping online is always an option. Costco and Amazon carry a wide selection of water softener salts, so you can just ‘check out’ and wait for your purchase to be delivered. You can also compare different water softener salt prices from different marketplaces.
You can refer to our guide on the best water softener salt to make a better choice and get more out of your purchase. Be sure to compare the pros and cons for an idea of what to expect should you consider one product over another.
Also, consider reliable brands of top-quality salt for water softeners for peace of mind. If you’ve decided, go ahead and buy a water softener salt today!
Hi, I am Ronald, founder of Saveourh2o. With this website, we aim to solve all the problems related to your water filters, softeners, and heaters. I have five years working in water equipment sales & service. I hope to bring the knowledge gathered from my daily work to help you to achieve comfort and safety in your home!