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What’s the Best Water Softener Salt to Use: Your Top 3 Options

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So, what’s the best water softener salt to use in my water softener?  Before we get into that , lets discuss the importance of water and its impact on your well being.

Water is very essential both for our body and household to function well daily. Unfortunately, it is more than likely that, the water running in your home may contain high levels of calcium and magnesium that cause it to be hard.

This is evident if your soap and detergents are not as effective as they’re supposed to be. Mineral deposits can also build up in your plumbing system and appliances, causing clogging and repair issues.

Those are perhaps the key reasons why you have invested, or are thinking about investing in  one of the best salt-based water softeners available. Now you might be asking yourself what’s the best water softener salt to use to finally experience the magical work of your new equipment.

Before we give you the best options, it would help to know first, how much salt your water softening system will need.

How Much Salt Does Your Water Softener Need

If you think about water and salt, what instantly comes to mind is saltwater in the ocean. In terms of water softening process, the salt does not come mixed with water, but is used to cleanse the resin in the water conditioning tank that is responsible for removing all of the hard water causing minerals from your water.

The amount of salt you need depends on the type of water softener you have in your home, and the level of hardness you are dealing with. The national average amount of salt used monthly is about 60 lbs., but, it may vary according to the quality and quantity of your water.

To give you a specific example, an average water softener, (typically has 30,000 grain capacity with 1 cu. ft. of resins) will require around 6 to 8 lbs. of salt per regeneration cycle to effectively treat hard water.

In addition, the more often your softener regenerates, the more salt you will need for it to do its wonderful job. Now, getting back to your major concern earlier, what’s really the best water softener salt to use in my water softener? Let’s take a look at your options.

What’s the Best Water Softener Salt to Use

The market is rich with plenty of different water softener salt types. Some are a lot cheaper than others, but they can leave behind a messy deposit in your brine tank. So, it’s better to be wiser, and spend a little more on high quality salt that will save you money and time in the long run.

First up, you can choose between sodium and potassium chloride. Sodium chloride is what you use as table salt for cooking, while potassium chloride is different and ideal for those under low sodium diet. It’s just that potassium is harder to find and a bit more expensive.

Water Droplet in Shallow Photo

More specifically, you can select from among the three variations of water softener salt.


  • Rock salt – this kind of salt has a purity level of about 98% – 99%. It has a water-insoluble level of 0.5% – 1.5%. Making it not great to use in your water softener, as the undissolved particles will form a buildup in your tank.
  • Solar Salt – this one has a higher purity than rock salt, ranging from 99.5% or more. It has a much lower insoluble level of less than 0.03%. It comes either as crystals or pellets or blocks. Works great if you have very hard water or big household size.
  • Evaporated Salt – this salt is considered by many to have the highest quality, because it has greatest purity between 99.6% – 99.99% and lowest insolubility of only 0.01%. It usually comes as pellets.

To ensure the quality of the salt you choose, consider its purity because salt naturally contains some amount of trace minerals and impurities. Such impurities can cause a mushy buildup in your brine tank, making your water softener regenerate inefficiently.

So, what’s the best water softener salt for your own system? Here are the top three best options you can find on the market.

Solar Natural Water Softening Salt (50 lbs.)

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As the name implies, Solar Natural Water Softening Salt is a solar salt crystals that has a high purity of 99.6%! It’s a sodium chloride that’s specially intended to use by water softener ion-exchange resins.

The product is naturally evaporated by the wind and the sun and has a low insoluble level. Minimizing the chance of tank residue or buildup and salt bridging.

Also, what makes it on our list is the fact it’s NSF International certified, meaning it stays true to its promise of softening your water.

If you buy one bag of this salt, you will have a supply that can last up to 3 months. If you’re worried about stocking it that long, the salt is packaged in polyethylene film liner for added moisture protection.

Diamond Crystal Iron Fighter Pellets Bag (40 lbs.)

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If your water contains not just hard minerals but also high iron. This water softener salt is specifically made for you. High iron content in your water is what is causing those ugly rust stains on your sinks, tubs, and laundry.

While these evaporated salt pellets cost a bit more expensive. They’ll be worth your money in helping you remove rust from your fixtures and appliances.

Iron Fighter by Diamond Crystal utilizes an FDA approved additive that will soften your water, making it smell better and turning your skin much softer, too!

What you will love about this salt is that it’s 100% soluble in water! This means no tank cleaning and bridging more often for you to worry about. It also works for all sorts of salt-based water softeners.

It comes in patented two handles bag so that you can carry it around much easily. What’s more is the citric acid it contains for effective prevention of rust discoloration.

Cargill Salt 40# Potassium Chloride Pellets 7376

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This Potassium Chloride Pellets from Cargill differs from the rest because it’s not a sodium chloride but is a potassium chloride. It’s a perfect choice if you or any of your family member requires a low sodium intake.

It’s made up of 99.1% pure potassium chloride. Containing low insoluble content that will help keep your softener run smoothly while minimizing buildup in your tank.

The salt pellets will help remove all your hard water issues while promoting your good health. No wonder it’s hailed as one of the options for what’s the best water softener salt to use. It is also suitable for all sorts of salt-based water softeners.

The Verdict

So, who’s the fairest of them all? Choosing the best water softener salt largely depends on its purity and low insolubility level. Plus,you must also take into consideration the amount and type of hard water causing minerals that is in the water that you’re treating. Health problems concerning salt-intake should probably be another factor to be taken in to consideration.

Each of the salt products that we have showcased in this article are what we feel is the best water softener salt to use depending on the circumstances we have highlighted throughout this article. Just remember that, just like the rule for all  things purchased, what you get is what you pay for.

Last update on 2024-06-13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the Author Jack Wilson

Jack Wilson is a water treatment consultant as well as a topic researcher and post editor for all posts on bestpurifiation.com.

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