Types of Water Softener Salt

It can be difficult choosing among the many different types of water softener salt sold today.  The choices range from pellet, solar, rock, block salt, and potassium chloride  Which salt is best for your water softener?  We dissect the choices and give you helpful information the next time you purchase salt for your water softener.

When choosing a water softener salt, purchase a salt with a low level of impurities or insoluble matter, 99.8% soluble or clean.  By choosing a clean salt, there is less potential of impurities building up in the salt tank causing the need to clean the salt tank regularly and even worse causing the water softener to malfunction.

Types of Water Softener Salt:

  • Pellet Salt – this type of salt is the cleanest and most pure salt on the market.  Pellet grade salt is mined from underground salt deposits.  During the mining process, the salt is made into a brine solution, the moisture is evaporated out of the salt and the salt is formed into a pellet or crushed.  This type of salt is typically most expensive.  We prefer our customers use pellet  salt.
  • Pellet Salt w/Rust Inhibitor – this is the same salt as pellet, but it has a rust remover additive.  It is not a cure all for irony water in your home, but it will help your water softener stay as efficient as possible to fight any iron in the water.  The salt can be purchased with the rust remover in the bag of salt or you can purchase containers at any local hardware store or water dealer.
  • Solar Salt – this type of salt is obtained through the evaporation of seawater and then dried.  Solar salt can be described as a salt crystal and is small in form.  With solar salt, there are typically more impurities in the salt than pellet salt because it is more natural.  Keep in mind, some water softeners require solar salt since due to its natural state and if there is not a  platform at the bottom of the salt tank.
  • Rock Salt – this type of salt is considered “dirty” and not safe for water softeners.  This salt is least expensive, but also has the highest level of impurities.  It is not recommended for use in a water softener.  The best use for rock salt should be used to melt ice and/or snow for your driveway or sidewalks during the winter months.
  • Block Salt – this type of salt is inexpensive, but contains a high level of impurities.  It should only be used if your water treatment dealer suggests using block salt.  Also, block salt is not packaged well and is exposed to dirt and dust.  Instead of using block salt, a homeowner should consider using solar salt instead.
  • Potassium Chloride – the main reason to choose potassium chloride is to eliminate sodium as a regenerant from your water softener.  Homeowners should consider the high cost per bag and the amount of potassium chloride used during a water softener regeneration cycle.