A high-quality water softening system can work wonders in your water source. You’ll likely experience reduced energy bills due to increased efficiency in water appliances. The plumbing fixtures plus appliances may also last longer due to zero limescale buildup. However, you’ll only experience 100% of these benefits if you fill the system with the best water softener salt. High-quality water softening salt means improved soap lathering for a better cleaning experience. You’ll also reduce the mineral damages caused to pipes and appliances.
We reviewed five products and found Morton Morton-40D System Water Softener to be the best overall. Diamond Crystal 804017 Solar Naturals Water Softener Salt makes the best runner-up product and the best solar salt on this buying review. All the other products are pretty forthcoming in quality and low maintenance needs.
We understand the frustrations associated with a low-performance product. That is why we spent more than 30 hours shortlisting the best water-softening salts for testing and reviewing. We leverage buyer reviews and direct expert references to point us to reliable brands. We also tested the products before talking to a few customers to get first-hand experience in using these products for your brine tank refill.
The best product overall is ideal for a homeowner who wants to prevent bridging or scale buildup. It is also a go-to option if you want to experience hassle-free maintenance. The best runner-up product is ideal if you’re after double-action, cleaning, and restoring the water softener’s function. Other water softener salts on this buying review include the best natural, the best rock salt, and the best potassium chloride.
Here is a trusted buying guide featuring the product mini-reviews and where to buy these water softeners:
Best Water Softener Salt Products
- Morton Morton-40D System Water Softener– Best Overall
- Pro Products RO65N Rust Out Water Softener Cleaner– Best Cleaner
- Cargill Salt 7304 Water Softener Salt– Best Natural
- Morton U26624S Pure AND Natural Water Softening Crystals– Best Rock Salt
- 40lb Diamond Crystal Water Softener Bag– Best Potassium Chloride
Best Water Softener Salt Reviews
Morton Morton-40D System Water Softener is the best product overall on this review guide and ranks as the number one seller in water softeners. Generally, this product’s quality is unquestionable since it has the highest positive customer reviews.
Moreover, it originates from the USA. It makes a perfect try if you don’t like taking chances with wannabe brands.
This water softener comes in 50lbs pellet bags. Pellet softeners are ideal if you want to refill a high-capacity water softener system.
The number of bags needed depends on the size of your brine tank. This product comes with an easy-to-read user manual, making it suitable for first-time homeowners. However, you can always ask for assistance if you don’t trust yourself with refilling.
Unlike crystals, pellet water softeners will hardly cause bridging or limescale buildup at the bottom of the tank. Thus, this product will likely improve the efficiency of your water-based appliances. The water heater will also experience an improved lifespan. Most importantly, you’ll spend less in maintaining or cleaning your brine tank.
This product comes with a sturdy handle and an open tab for easy carrying and application. The manufacturer notes that it can ship on the same day of placing your order. However, this product is relatively costly than the other brands on this buying review. The bags are also heavy, and you might need someone to help you around.
Can you imagine a product that cleans and restores the performance of your water softener system? That is what Pro Products RO65N Rust Out Water Softener Cleaner does.
You might want to buy this product if you experience heavy iron pollution. It is suitable for removing rust stains in your plumbing pipes and fixtures. Thus, you’ll experience fewer stains in the sinks, tubs, toilets, and showerheads.
This water softener cleaner originates in the USA and is pretty forthcoming in quality. Most customers give it a five-star rating thanks to its high performance.
Even though this water softener comes at a relatively high cost, it cuts your budget for a cleaning agent. Generally, you’ll experience hassle-free maintenance.
This product is easy to use. You only need to use it in rinsing the brine tank, and you’re good to go. It can help clean the resin bed in the water softener system to remove iron buildup. Furthermore, it comes in portable jerry cans that make application easy. You’ll need to use at least one jerry can per month.
However, this water softener cleaner is reactive. You might want to use a dust mask when pouring it into the brine tank. Also, the manufacturer notes that you may only experience better results after eight months of use. Your water will hardly be free of calcium and magnesium ions in the first three weeks.
Cargill Salt 7304 Water Softener Salt might be your best option if you have deep concerns about consumer impact on the environment and climate change.
This product makes the best solar salt, processed with a renewable energy source. This product is multifunctional, and you can buy an extra bag for use in poultry and meat processing.
This water softener salt is easy to use, making it a favorite pick for amateur users. Its application in the brine tank doesn’t require bridging, mushing, or channeling.
Some products may require tweaking the water level or the system’s settings, which can be pretty expensive if the job requires hiring a water softening expert.
According to many customers, Cargill Salt 7304 Water Softener Salt is more efficient than rock salt water softeners. They are also cleaner and come at a relatively affordable price. This product is pretty durable, and you’ll only need a refill when the salt contents are visibly low in the water softener system.
The packaging has moisture protection to keep the salt fresh until when it’s time for use. Besides the polybag, this water softener salt is also usable in the quality-grading of sensitive vegetables. However, the shipping costs are relatively high.
You might want to buy Morton U26624S Pure AND Natural Water Softening Crystals if you want a product that guarantees high-quality water treatment for up to a year.
Just like the other Morton product on this buying review, this water softener comes in 40lbs bags. They are pretty heavy, and you might need help during the application.
We love this water softener because it is all-natural. Thus, it treats your water without introducing any toxins or unwanted minerals.
Drinking from an all-natural water softener means improved hair and skin health. You’ll experience quick hydration, thanks to smaller water particles. Briefly, this system guarantees your money’s value.
This water softener contains high-purity sodium chloride. Sodium chloride has highly concentrated positive ions that replace the calcium and magnesium ions. You’ll likely end up with less rust buildup around water-based appliances. That translates to improved efficiency and prolonged lifespan in the long haul.
Morton U26624S Pure AND Natural Water Softening Crystals also guarantee you soft water for easier cleaning. It doesn’t leave residue on your laundry or dishes. However, shipping this product is relatively costly, making the initial cost a bit expensive for some users. You might also experience strange sulfur odors.
Lastly, you might consider this 40lb Diamond Crystal Water Softener Bag if you want a high-quality alternative to sodium chloride water softeners.
While most experts recommend using a potassium chloride water softener only with the recommendation of the system’s manufacturer, this product is reportedly compatible with all systems.
This product makes an ideal option if you’re looking forward to protecting your pipes, valves, and appliances.
The potassium ions stimulate leaf and flower development. Thus, you might want to use the wastewater for gardening. Generally, any water that passes through this product will hardly go to waste.
It is imperative to note that potassium chloride is highly soluble. That means this product introduces few to zero limescale buildup in your brine tank. Potassium chloride also eliminates hard mineral ions to give you water that cleans better with soaps and detergents. You’ll likely end up with softer and brighter laundry than when you use untreated water.
Generally, this 40lb Diamond Crystal Water Softener Bag makes one of the few products with zero complaints from customers. You might also want to try it and see if you’ll want to leave positive feedback. Even so, shipping this product takes a while.
What is a Water Softener Salt?
A water softener salt product treats water by removing hard mineral ions such as calcium and magnesium. These slat products are rich in sodium ions that flush out hard minerals in unfiltered water to give you soft water.
How Does a Water Softener Salt Work?
These water softeners contain a high concentration of sodium salt. When your water flows into the brine tank (refilled with your water softener salt), the highly concentrated sodium ions displace calcium and magnesium ions. Thus, you end up with soft water that lathers easily with soap to enhance your cleaning experiences.
Types of Water Softener Salt
Hard water isn’t bad but can have bothersome effects that impact your daily life. Besides clogging your pipes and affecting water waste, hard water doesn’t lather quickly with soap. That means you won’t shower, clean, or do laundry without wasting detergents.
You might also experience dry skin and residue in your hair. The best water softener salt will work efficiently in your water conditioning system to save you from these woes by replacing hard mineral ions. Here the types of water softener salt to look out for:
Sodium chloride is the most preferred water, thanks to its wide availability. This salt occurs naturally in underground rocks and evaporation ponds. Sodium chloride water softeners are relatively affordable than potassium chloride alternatives. Sodium chloride products soften your water by replacing the hard mineral ions with sodium ions when the water comes into contact with brine resin.
Most sodium chloride water softeners come in crystals, pellets, blocks, or even cubes.
Rock salt emanates from underground salts. Brands may pack the salt in pebbles or small rocks because they hardly undergo any processing. However, experts recommend using rock salts only when the manufacturer of your water softening system recommends so.
In that case, you can buy the softening salt refill from the manufacturer or authorized dealers. Also, remember that using the wrong salt in your system voids the warranty.
Advantages of Rock Salt
Rock salts make the most affordable option than other salts. Thus, it sounds like a good plan if you want to enjoy the benefits of softened water without breaking the bank. Rock salt products are also the better option if your tank medium requires frequent replacement.
Disadvantages of Rock Salt
Most rock salts have high calcium concentrations, which makes them less pure. Other salts such as solar and evaporated rank better in purity and solubility. Rock salt leaves the biggest buildup at the bottom of the tank. Thus, you may end up spending much on maintenance while trying to save on initial cost.
As the name suggests, evaporated salts are a product of evaporation. The manufacturer uses water and steam to produce salt in crystallized form. The crystals go for thorough drying and screening before packaging. Evaporated salts are available in pellets.
Advantages of Evaporated Salt
Generally, evaporated salt makes the best go-to product since it has the highest purity rate of all the other types. A water softener salt with a higher purity rate translates to hassle-free maintenance. You’ll likely experience less buildup at the bottom of the tank, thanks to the reduced insoluble matter in the salt.
Disadvantages of Evaporated Salt
Evaporated salt softeners tend to be more expensive than the other salts because of their high purity. Thus, evaporated salt may not be a good shot if you want to save a few bucks from your water treatment budget.
However, the investment may prove worthy in the long haul. Remember, using other lasts means you might sacrifice high costs of future cleaning and maintenance.
Solar salts are products made from seawater through evaporation. The process uses sunlight energy; hence the name solar. You’ll find these products in pellets or crystals. Solar salts are a go-to option if you want highly soluble products.
However, most customers have good experiences if they use it on city water. Solar salts may not be that much soluble in hard water from private wells.
Advantages of Solar Salt
Are you an eco-conscious customer? If yes, you might want to associate yourself with solar salts because their processing relies on a renewable energy source. You’ll likely contribute positively towards a greener world. Solar salts are more eco-friendly than the other salts.
Disadvantages of Solar Salt
Solar salt products have high salt contents of up to 9.6% or above. However, they are relatively insoluble compared to evaporated salts. For instance, you can find brands with insoluble levels of up to 0.03%. Thus, you might end up with excess buildup in your tank with solar salt as the softening agent. That translates to higher cleaning and maintenance costs.
As the name suggests, block salts come in block crystals. These salts have a higher purity rate of up to 99.8% and are 100% soluble. Thus, the high initial cost reflects a high performance and fewer maintenance needs. Even so, only use block salt products if the manufacturer of your water softening system recommends so.
Advantages of Block Salt
Block salts have high purity and probably guarantee you good water softening experience. They are highly soluble, hence resistant to mushing and bridging inside the brine tank. Hassle-free maintenance and fewer cleaning needs translate to more savings in the future.
Disadvantages of Block Salt
Some brands come in pretty large block salts. That means you may have to raise the water level or switch to a bigger tank that ensures fully submerged blocks. If you already installed a small tank, block salts may mean additional costs for a new tank. Even so, it is a one-time purchase that lasts, especially if you buy from a reputable brand.
Potassium chloride salts make an alternative option for sodium-based salts. They are up to 99.9% sodium-free and can make a good product for regenerating softening resin in your brine tank. These products mostly come in pellets. However, they are somewhat costly than evaporated and solar salts.
Potassium chloride makes the best water softener salt if you’re on a dietary restriction or experience sensitivity to salt. Even so, kindly note that salt-based softeners don’t add salt to your water. Thus, water softeners don’t make water salty.
Advantages of Potassium Chloride
As noted, potassium chloride caters to homeowners who can’t have salt in their diet or prefer an alternative to salt-based water softeners. These products might also be ideal if you use wastewater in your backyard garden. Potassium is a rich nutrient for plant and flower growth. Thus, you might prefer potassium to sodium waste for plant watering.
Disadvantages of Potassium Chloride
Potassium chloride softeners are more expensive than the other salts on this buying guide. Moreover, you may have to change your system’s programming before using potassium chloride softeners. A company-programmed system will require you to hire a water softening specialist to increase the salt dosage setting during regeneration.
Softener Crystals Vs. Pellets
Most of the products on this buying review come in either crystals or pellets. Crystal water softeners are ideal for households with low water consumption. Low means an average use by up to two people.
Crystals might also be suitable in a home that relies on a two-part water softening system. Using water softener crystals in high-volume applications can cause bridging and buildup.
On the other hand, pellet water softeners are ideal if you want to mitigate bridging. These salts will serve you well if a high-capacity system for multiple endpoints. Pellet water softeners are also a go-to option if you use an all-in-one tank system.
What to Look for When Buying The Best Water Softener Salt
Have the following considerations in mind before buying this product:
A thumb rule for buying any water softener salt is adhering to the recommendations by the water softener system manufacturer. Using the wrong salt in your water softener may damage the system or affect the lifespan of some components.
In that case, the manufacturer might not offer free servicing or profit-free parts as per the warranty. If you must use a different salt from the recommended refill, kindly consult an expert or the manufacturer.
Not all water softening salts are ready to use. You’ll find some products that require bridging or increasing water levels in the brine tank. Some salts are also ideal for particular water sources; private wells or municipal supplies.
Moreover, some softeners might require you to pass the water through a pre-filtration media before the treatment. Buying a water softener with few to zero usage requirements sounds like a good plan. You don’t want to spend much on application, even before knowing whether the product will attract high maintenance costs.
Before buying any product, whether online or from physical stores, you might want to consider the complementary after-sale services offered by the manufacturer. If you’re a first-time buyer, you would want reliable customer care services for help if you experience application challenges.
Also, buying from a supplier who offers free shipping and delivery costs translates to a lower initial price. It will also help if you scout for vendors with discounts or coupon codes for first-time buyers. Another complementary after-sale service you shouldn’t miss is lifetime technical support.
Factors to Consider Before Buying Water Softener Salt
Everyone wants to enjoy the benefits of soft water without jeopardizing the safety of their piped water. There are many softeners in the market, some processed in the US, while others imported.
Handpicking the best water softener salt from all these products can be pretty daunting, especially if you’re a first-time buyer. Consider these factors to make the best buying decision:
Household Water Hardness
Every household experiences a different level of water hardness, depending on the source. For instance, water from private wells may contain more calcium and magnesium ions than municipal water supplies.
In that case, you would want a water softener salt ideal for your water conditions. Manufacturers will always include a mark/label that indicates whether the product is ideal for hard or soft water. Remember, soft water might also contain temporary hard mineral ions.
Types of Water Softener and Salt
The type of salt you use will depend on the water softener system or aesthetic preferences because some salts are compatible with all systems. Some salts are also relatively reactive and will require extra caution when pouring into the tank.
Prevalent water softener salts include rock salt, bock salt, solar salt, and evaporated salt. Evaporated salt has the highest purity, while solar salt makes the most eco-friendly product.
Some people don’t like salt in their water. If you want to improve salt, potassium chloride water softeners make the best choice. These products are also ideal if you’re on a strict diet. However, we noted that using a salt-based softener doesn’t make the water salty.
Budget is relative when it comes to purchasing salt water softeners. What might look expensive to you might be affordable to another homeowner. Similarly, some customers may confuse a product that is relatively affordable for low quality. Most water softener salts are relatively inexpensive.
What makes them expensive include shipping costs. Thus, you might want to purchase from an online store with a pickup point to cut the shipping and delivery costs. Also, never fret from bargaining, especially if you feel the product should cost lower than what the supplier or manufacturer indicates.
Softener Maintenance and Upkeep
Lastly, you would want to consider a softener’s upkeep and maintenance. For instance, does it require other items to function optimally? Does it require thorough cleaning before every refill? These are the questions you might need answers to.
Most water softeners will last for about a month before a refill, while some brands can have a prolonged lifespan of up to two months. You might also want to purchase a product with double action properties to cut maintenance costs. Thus, you can go for a salt that cleans the brine tank while restoring its function.
Wrapping It Up
Water is the most used commodity in any household. Whether it’s drinking, cooking, laundry, washing utensils, or even watering plants, treated water comes in handy. You also need treated water to prolong the lifespan of your water-based appliances by preventing rusting, corrosion, and limescale buildup.
All the products on this buying review are reliable and will likely guarantee you such benefits of using soft water. Even so, each softener is unique and might perform optimally in varying conditions.
Thus you might want to leverage the factors and considerations in our buying guide section to get a product that matches your needs and expectations. Click individual product links to purchase directly from Amazon.