What Is Water Softener Salt?

by Team HomeServe
salt blocks for softener

What is water softener salt? If you have hard water, a water softener system, including the water softener salt that goes in it, could be your best friend.

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Water softeners can help reduce the mineral buildup in your home’s water. The salt is the most important component of that system.

What Is Water Softener Salt?

Water softener salt is a type of salt — usually sodium chloride — that goes into the brine tank of your water softener. Some water softener salt uses potassium chloride instead. As hard water goes through the water softener, sodium ions from water softener salt take the place of the minerals that make the water hard. Water softener salt comes in different types based on the manufacturing method and in different forms, including pellets, crystals and cubes. You need to top off the salt regularly.

What Are the Different Kinds of Softener Salt?

Water softener installation can be pricey, so you want to maintain the machine properly and use the right salt for your system. Understanding the different types of salt that are available helps you choose the best option for your situation.

  • Evaporated salt: This type comes in pellets or cubes so it dissolves evenly. It's usually the purest form of water softener salt, which reduces potential contaminants that could damage your system. It also tends to be the most expensive.
  • Rock salt: Typically the cheapest option, rock salt can have higher contaminant levels due to being mined from underground salt mines. It doesn't dissolve as easily and can cause clogging.
  • Solar salt: This type of water softener salt usually comes as pellets or crystals and is made when seawater is evaporated in the sun. It has higher purity than rock salt, but it may still have some contaminants that can clog the system.

Check for recommendations on the best type of water softener salt from your system's manufacturer. Some water softeners work best with a certain type of salt.

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