Salt: The Secret Ingredient in the Best Water Softeners

Salt is an essential component in best water softeners, as it aids in the elimination of hard water’s mineral and other impurity content. Here is how the top water softeners use salt.

Change of Ions
Ion exchange systems, which employ salt to purge hard water of minerals like calcium and magnesium, are the most popular water softener. The system exchanges the scale-causing minerals in the water for scale-resistant sodium ions. Water passes through resin beads in a water softener, where it becomes trapped by the beads and mineral-free after being treated with sodium ions. If a certain threshold is reached, the system will commence a regeneration cycle, which entails flushing the resin beads with salt water to remove the minerals and restore the resin’s capacity to exchange ions.

Compare and contrast: salty and salt-free
Water softeners can either use salt or not, but these are the two most common options. Systems that rely on salt to remove minerals from hard water are called “salt-based,” whereas those that don’t utilize salt rely on other methods, such as carbon filtering or magnetic fields, to avoid scale accumulation. Unfortunately, salt-free systems are not as successful as salt-based ones in avoiding scale accumulation because they do not remove minerals from the water.

Different Salts
Rock salt, solar salt, and evaporated salt are all viable options for water softeners. Nevertheless, the resin beads in the softener might be damaged by contaminants in rock salt, making it a less desirable alternative. When saltwater or brine is exposed to sunlight and evaporates, a purer form of sodium chloride is produced than when the same brine is heated to a boil to have evaporated salt.

Use of Salt
Salt consumption in a water softener is proportional to the unit’s size, the water’s hardness, and the number of times the regeneration cycle is run. Most water softeners have a recommended salt that should be replenished when it runs low. Keep an eye on the salt level and give the softener a once-over to ensure it’s tip-top.