If you are looking for the best water softener salt options here, it means you deal with hard water. It can be such a pain when you’re trying to get clean dishes because your glasses can come out spotty, and you may even see a white crust or film on your dishwasher elements.
Over time, hard water can negatively affect the performance of your dishwasher to the point where it just won’t work at all.
Water Softener Salt Uses
Water softeners, dishwashers, and shower filters use salt to remove hardness. You will need to maintain your water softener because salt replacement is necessary periodically.
Our team searched all over for the best on the market, and we came up with a list of the ten best.
We’ve listed them below in based on the number of positive reviews these products received. What we found is that product popularity correlates with the quality of the salt, and there are a number of brands to consider that you may like. Keep reading to find out more!
Common Types of Salts
Here are 3 types of salts for you to choose
#1. Sea Salt
Sometimes referred to as “solar salt”, sea salt is, obviously, gathered from the sea. The gathering process involves exposing seawater to direct sunlight and wind. That way, the salt forms a solid block with salt crystals. The main advantage of sea salt is that it’s usually cheap and pure. However, although it’s cleaner than rock salt, quality can vary from product to product. That way, finding the ideal sea salt can get challenging.
#2. Rock Salt
Rock salt is gathered from underground deposits that built up over thousands of years. You can easily find it and it’s usually cheap. Also, some manufacturers can deliver rock salt directly to your home. However, rock salt is the least pure of all salt types. In most cases, it contains lots of minerals that can cause clogs over time.
#3. Potassium Chloride
Although it’s considered a non-salt option, Potassium Chloride is a type of salt by definition. Some people even use it instead of table salt. It can be good for people with certain health conditions that require specific sodium intake. However, it’s more like a water conditioner than a softener. It also costs more, so basically, you would be paying more for bad performance.
Let’s see the best salts for water softeners and dishwashers you can get this year!
Read Our Comparison Table
Before we begin, let’s see our first three champions!
Top 10 Products Reviewed
10. Diamond Crystal Bright and Soft Pellets
An excellent thing about this product is its price. For a reasonable cost, you get a high-quality salt for your device. It’s proven to directly extend the lifespan of water softeners, pipes, and fixtures and has up to 99.8% of pure salt!
Additionally, it contains pellets that are specially formulated to prevent bridging, which is a very common problem for water softener owners. Also, this salt is packed in a two-handle bag which makes it effortless to lift and carry.
9. CARGILL Salt
Another great choice is this high-quality salt. It’s ideal for any softener system and it is NSF-certified, which makes it super safe. This manufacturer also gives an 8% discount on certain quantities ordered of this popular product.
Unlike most salts on the market, this one doesn’t case bridging either. It’s purity level makes it extremely safe and healthy to use as part of your water conditioning efforts and comes in a convenient two-handled bag to make transporting it a cinch.
8. Diamond Crystals Solar Salt
This is coarse screened, white crystalline sodium chloride. You can use it in regenerating ion-exchange resin in water softeners. It works with other water softening devices, as well.
In its filtered form, you can also use this product for meat processing, curing olives, and pickling!
Coming in at eighth place on the list is the Diamond Crystals Solar Salt. It’s an all-natural salt that contains over 96 percent pure salt. That’s right – no fillers. Since these salt crystals are so natural and pure, they are the perfect solution for brine tanks.
The best thing about this salt is the price. You get an entire 40-pound bag of salt for an insanely low price tag through some retailers. That makes this one the best salts if you’re on a budget. It’s cheap, and it works well. What more can you ask for?
7. Morton Pure AND Natural Water Softening Crystals
Morton’s solar salt is an all-natural choice for softening water. Composed of sodium chloride, it prevents hard water spots on dishes and appliances. Also, it prevents build-up in water heaters and home plumbing.
Morton is a familiar name in American households because they are known for their table salt products. You’ll always recognize Morton salt when you see it with its familiar icon of a girl in a yellow rain jacket carrying an umbrella.
In fact, this 40 lb. bag of water softening salt has that same exact logo, letting you know that it’s an authentic Morton product. As a leader in salt products, you can trust this is pure salt harvested naturally from saltwater. It’s the real deal, and best of all, it works in all water softeners.
6. Morton Salt Morton F124700000g Pellets
Specifically designed for use with high iron water, it delivers a better-tasting drink experience. You will also notice fewer rust stains in your bathroom and kitchen over time. According to the manufacturer, you should check the salt levels, keeping the tank at least 1/2 full. Also, fill your softener with two bags of this salt every two months.
This Morton product is 5-in-1 product compared to the previous salt water softener product mentioned earlier. This means it also improves water quality, softens hair and skin, and extends the life of your favorite water-using appliances.
The most crucial reason to buy this salt is that it is a master at removing iron from water. In fact, Morton boasts that it removes 15 times more iron from water than other salts. It is the ultimate way to fight rust and extend the life of your appliances.
5. Sprite Mediterranean Blue De-Chlorinating Bath Salts
According to the manufacturer, this salt contains no artificial colors or fragrances and won’t irritate sensitive skin. This bath salt product from Sprite Bath Salts is specifically used to dechlorinate bathwater, and not as versatile as the other versions of salts. If you just want to have a more relaxing bath or shower, this salt product is a great choice.
One popular and attractive feature of this product is that it doesn’t have any artificial dyes. It makes it great for people with allergies or sensitive skin. The lack of dyes and fragrances also makes it great for pets. You won’t be disappointed with this product if you just need a more relaxing bath.
4. Impresa Dishwasher Salt/Water Softener Salt
|Type:||General Dishwasher/Softener Salt|
Residue and limescale are no match for Impresa Dishwasher Salt. Keep in mind that you can only use this 100% pure, very coarse grain salt with Miele, Bosch & Whirlpool products. The company can’t guarantee the quality of the outcome in a different type of dishwasher. You’ll also need to make sure the dishwasher has a compartment for salt.
This Impresa Dishwasher salt is an awe-inspiring product. It’s a coarse grain of salt which is better to use than fine salt, and it’s one of the purest on the market, which means it doesn’t have annoying and useless additives.
This salt is also considered non-GMO and vegan, so everyone can use it no matter what their eating lifestyle might be. One thing that many reviewers have said about this salt is that it’s a pro at leaving dishes residue-free, watermark-free, and spot-free.
3. Diamond Crystal 50 lb. Water Softener Salt
These Diamond Crystal water softener pellets remove hard minerals from water and is suitable for use with most units because the pellet formula uses sodium chloride. The innovative 2-handle bag eases lifting and transportation.
Diamond Crystal is a company that makes salt and sugar products, and this particular product is one of the best salt pellets out there. It’s also good for reversing problems caused by hard water. One of the main things that it’s good at is removing unwanted minerals from drinking water, which makes it a great choice as a water salt.
This product has a highly concentrated purity level, which means you will use less salt compared to other brands. It comes from a solution mine in Michigan and is a famous American company with lots of positive reviews, so you can trust that their products will meet expectations. The Diamond Crystal is a proper salt for Big Boss water softeners.
2. Finish Dishwasher Salt
We’ve made it to the second best salt. The Finish is a company that makes some of the best dishwasher pods and tablets in the industry.
When you consider the quality of their dishwasher pods and tablets, it’s no surprise that their salt ranks in the top two salts on the list. Keep in mind it is compatible with all Bosch 800 Plus and ADA (SGE) dishwashers.
The Finish salt is the perfect size and coarseness that you need to treat your dishwasher water. It dissolves quickly and delivers a performance that is almost unmatched by others. The finish is the perfect solution to water spots and limescale buildup. It might cost a few extra bucks than others, but it’s worth it.
1. Miele Care Collection Dishwasher Reactivation Salt
We’ve made it to the best overall salt on the list, which is the Miele Care Collection. This salt is an exciting product, but can be a bit of a love-hate relationship when it comes to customer reviews. We absolutely love the fact that this salt works unbelievably well. We hate that it’s only working with Miele dishwashers, though this doesn’t mean that you can’t necessarily use it in a different type of dishwasher.
The downside is that it may not be as effective as in Miele washing systems. Many dishwashers have a built-in water softener to optimize cleaning results, but to function perfectly, this softening unit requires special salt. This product reduces hard water residue in the dishwasher, dissolving during the wash cycle and helping prevent scaling.
The quality of the Miele Care Collection salt is fantastic! There is a good chance it will work fine in any dishwasher machine with a water softener compartment. While the Miele Care Collection salt is a little pricey, remember that you get what you pay for: a higher quality product.
Salt for Water Softeners – Buyer’s Guide
When buying a water softener, you should first consider the hardness of your water. If it has a high amount of calcium and magnesium, you will need more salt, which directly affects your monthly maintenance costs. However, if you discover some great deals by purchasing these products in bulk, you could save even more. Also, buying pure salt is a good investment, since you will get a higher purity percentage in the package.
Type of Water Softener
If you buy high-quality salt, you can use it in any type of unit. Depending on the type you use, you may be able to use evaporated, solar, rock, and even block salt. There are also softeners that use TAC media instead of salt. It works by changing the composition of certain minerals, and therefore makes the water soft.
Saltier Water Taste
Water softeners release sodium into the water in small quantities. It’s usually hard to notice, but if you don’t like the taste, you should buy Potassium Chloride salt., however, it costs around three times more.
Money is another thing to consider because the higher quantity you buy, the lower the price per pound. Also, if you often use water (eg. living in a big family), you might need to buy a more expensive salt, which usually lasts longer and could lower your monthly softener expenses.
In some cases, it might be better to buy salt from the manufacturer of your softener. They usually offer various discounts, which can be pretty beneficial sometimes.
At first, you should have regular refills to keep the device efficient. It should also regenerate often, so make sure to check regularly. Some types of salt might cause bridges in your tank, which requires manual removal by breaking it and letting the water absorb the pieces.
What Amount of Salt do You Need?
This mainly depends mainly on two factors: the amount of water you use daily and how hard the water is. Basically, a four-person family with hard water of 8-10 GPG uses around 4-5 kilograms of salt each week. In other words, it’s a 20-kilograms bag each month. This is just an estimation, but if you are spending much more, there are a few things you should consider.
For example, your water hardness might be over 10 GPG. Also, if the number of iron increases, it might cause higher salt consumption. In some cases, even the draught can cause the device to conserve water. That way, it might use more salt and you will notice that the taste of the water has changed.
If you care about the environment, we suggest using potassium-based salts to avoid leaving too much sodium behind, like other brands which are not environment-friendly. Also, plants need potassium, and that is another good reason to use it instead.
Water Softeners Require Salt?
To make the device work properly, you shouldn’t forget to add salt when needed. The size of the tank and the hardness of your water directly determines how much salt you need monthly. No matter what unit you use, it’s advised to regularly check for the following signs:
Salt Levels are Visibly Low
This is the most obvious sign that your water softener needs more salt. You just need to remove the lid and take a look inside. If the tank is less than half full, you should add more salt. If your salt levels fall beneath 25% of the tank, it won’t be as efficient.
Your Device is Old
The fact is that the older devices use more salt and newer models are much more efficient, using less salt to soften the same amount of water. These updated units can run up to 8 weeks on a full tank while older models need regular maintenance.
There is a Bridge in the Tank
It might happen that your water softener is losing efficiency, and you think that it’s time to add more salt. But it could be that there are salt bridges in the tank. This is a common issue when using cheap and low-quality salt. If you keep the device in a low-humidity area and use high-quality salt, these problems shouldn’t happen.
There are a few great water softener brands that make high-quality devices. Be sure to check them out when buying a new unit.
Morton is most probably the most popular water softener brand because they offer many products, including potassium chloride. Also, on sites such as Home Depot, Morton has excellent ratings on its products since customers recognize that this company provides excellent value for the money.
Besides Morton, Diamond Crystal is another very popular manufacturer of salts. With such a high reputation in this niche, you can expect a high-quality, efficient product. Also, they recently patented a dual-handle design so that you can pour the salt with no problems.
Nature’s Own is the best solution for people who prefer potassium chloride, but as we mentioned, keep in mind that it’s a bit pricey.
If you want to shop on a budget, you should check out Windsor Salt. They sell pretty good salt for a decent price.
How To Add Salt
The fact is that water softeners revitalize automatically, but if you do need more sault, you have to do it manually. So, let’s see how to do it.
First, remove the lid and take note of any small buildup on the walls. You can remove it all using a wet cloth, but be sure to remove it completely. Now, it’s time to add the salt.
Although this step depends on the tank size, you usually need to add two bags of 20 kilograms which fills the tank to half full. Once done, you need to manually regenerate the device, which can differ between models. There should be a regenerate button somewhere on the control panel where you can press and hold it until the regeneration starts.
A Few Tips:
- If the water contains iron, it might damage the resin bed. In that case, you should buy an Iron-Out material to clean the system.
- Of course, the tank needs to be cleaned regularly, once a year.
- When it comes to the outlet pipe, don’t forget that it should be above the grate. In another case, it might completely destroy the system and void the warranty.
Using For Sensitive Skin
It’s well-known that hard water can irritate the skin, which is why you should get a water softener, especially if you have sensitive skin. However, like most things, salts also have some advantages and disadvantages.
At first, they are usually very affordable and offer various types to choose from that are not difficult to use. They may be in pellet or crystal form, which you into the tank and press the button. They are also convenient when it comes to storage, and some manufacturers also sell them in two-handled bags.
However, they might slightly affect the taste of water. We recommend you to use potassium chloride if this happens because despite the slightly lower performance, it won’t change the water taste.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is the Best Type of Salt to Use for a Water Softener?
We recommend you use high-purity salts and salt pellets for water softeners. The Diamond Crystal Bright & Soft water softener pellets or the Morton F124700000g Clean & Protect water softener salt are very good options. Make sure you read your softener’s manual and follow the instructions.
Does It Matter What Salt You Use In a Water Softener?
Yes, because no-name sold at home improvement stores or supermarkets can contain high levels of water-insoluble elements or impurities.
Are Salt Pellets or Crystals for Water Softeners Better?
It all depends on the water softener/dishwasher you use, however, salt pellets can help with the reduction of bridging. They work well with all-in-one softener systems’ tanks and are efficient for most homes.
How Long Does a Water Softener Last?
It depends upon several factors. For example, new devices usually last longer than older ones. Also, the quality of the water might directly affect the lifespan. If you have a good, high-quality device, it might last up to 20 years with good maintenance.
Can You Put Any Salt in the Softener?
People usually wonder if it’s fine to use table salt for the water softener, but this is something you should never do. The fact is that table salt has much smaller crystals, which might cause troubles inside the brine tank.
Does Softening Salt Contain Chemicals?
Some salts might contain additives that prevent salt hardening. Fortunately, even if your salt might contain impurities, but it won’t affect the water quality.
Can You Mix Different Salts Together?
It won’t damage the salt, but you probably shouldn’t. The fact is that after months of use, you will find an ideal salt to suit your needs. Remember, not every salt is good for every type of water, so when you find the best product for your needs, it might not be ideal to mix it with other salts.
How Often to Add Salt to the Water Softener?
You should refill the tank at least once per month as part of a routine tank check every now and then. Also, you might notice the drop in your device’s performance when the tank is getting emptier.
We’ve presented the eight best softener salts above with the Miele Care salt being the best. All of these salts are amazing, even the ones in the last places on the list. Choosing one is a matter of personal preference. However, deciding how badly hard water interferes with your lifestyle is important.
Some of them are for specific purposes, while others are for more general use. However, one thing is for sure – having some type of water softener is better than having none at all. Good luck in choosing the one that’s best for you.