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What Are the Different Water Softener Salt Types?

People who drink and use tap water should use a water softener. It’s a type of filtration method that “softens” hard water. Hard water is caused by high magnesium and calcium concentrations. These minerals can cause buildup in appliances that use water and may not be good for your health.

Water softeners use special salts that can remove harmful minerals and replace them with sodium or potassium. You can’t use regular table salt as a water softener. There are special salt products that are only used for this purpose.



However, there are two types of water softener salts on the market. It’s important to know about these types before buying any softener for your home system. Here are the different types of water softener salts that you can use.

Sodium Chloride

This type of water softener can come in different forms: cubes, crystals, or pellets. Typical households often use salt pellets because they’re easy to find. Also, they’re cheaper than potassium pellets.

Evaporated sodium chloride salt pellets are some of the best to use for any equipment. Because of their purity, they contain very little insoluble matter, which means you won’t end up with sludge in the bottom of your tank, which would otherwise need to be cleaned out every so often. This lowers the need for cleaning out your brine tank.

You can get a 40-pound bag of sodium chloride for less than $10. It’s a budget-friendly option to remove hard water.

Potassium Chloride

If you don’t want sodium-residue water, you can use potassium chloride instead. It works similarly to sodium chloride. The difference is that instead of sodium, potassium will replace the harmful elements in the water.

Having potassium in your drinking tap water may be good for the health. It’s also much safer for the environment, but potassium chloride is much more expensive than sodium chloride.

A 40-pound bag of potassium chloride can cost up to $40 depending on the brand. It’s expensive, but a safer option for people with sodium-affected issues such as high blood pressure.

When buying water softener salt, you should ask yourself these questions:

  1. Do I have health concerns with sodium?
    1. If yes, go with potassium chloride.
    2. If no, use sodium chloride.
  2. Do I value health benefits more than costs?
    1. If yes, spend some extra money on potassium chloride.
    2. If no, settle for sodium chloride.
  3. Do I have a limited budget?
    1. If yes, go for the cheaper option – sodium chloride.
    2. If no, go for potassium chloride.

These questions can serve as a guide when choosing water softener salt. It’s also important to buy high-grade softeners, as buying cheap ones can also affect the quality of your water.

After deciding on what type of water softener salt you want to use, decide on the form you want to buy.


There are two types of pellets – solar pellets and evaporate pellets. Evaporate pellets can purify better and are more expensive than solar pellets. Pellets are the most common water softener that people buy. This is because they don’t create much buildup in your brine tank.


Crystals are less expensive than pellets. But, they have a higher calcium sulfate content. This may lead to buildup that will end up requiring more maintenance checks.

Block Salts

This type of water softener shouldn’t be used in normal systems. Unless your system calls for block salts, avoid this type.

Besides the type of salt, it’s important to get a high-quality water softener system. Installing a water softener requires the skills of a professional. Maintenance of water softener systems isn’t much of a problem but it’s important to get them checked once in a while. A professional plumber can also give you a heads-up if you need to get your system replaced. With your water softener installation, only trust a reputable plumbing service company, like Spartan Plumbing