What type of salt should I use to soften my water?
Water softeners are great additions to homes of all types and sizes. The use of a water softener can save you money on detergents and other cleaners, remedy dry skin conditions, protect your appliances from limescale for the long term, and cut your cleaning time right down thanks to the ‘self-cleaning’ softened water unlocks.
Those living in hard water areas will see the positive impact softened water can have in no time at all, realising the benefits of water softening in their everyday lives.
To achieve softer water, water softeners use salt, but as you’ll discover from this blog post, there’s not just one type of salt that’s used to soften water at home. We take a look at granular, tablet, and block salt, so you can find out which is right for you, your softener and your home.
How salt is used to soften water
Salt is integral to the water softening process. Salt is broken down during softening to extract the precious sodium within. Sodium removes troublesome hard water minerals (like magnesium and calcium) through ion exchange and successfully softens the water before it’s used within your home.
How much salt you need to soften your water at home depends on several factors as Kitchen Smug explains:
“The water softener performs depending on the number of minerals available in the water. If the minerals are many, the water softener will have to do frequent cleaning to achieve a positive outcome. More salt will get in use if the minerals are too hard. The more the minerals, the larger the resin tank and the more salt you will need to clean up the resin tank. If the resin needs frequent cleanliness, you will also need a lot of salt.”
As the name suggests, granular salt is granulated. Its fine form makes it suitable for dishwashers as well as water softeners. It’s also commonly used to soften the water in swimming pools and commercial grade softeners.
Older water softeners tend to be ‘granular salt only’, but it is possible to use salt tablets instead of granules if that’s more convenient for you.
Tablet salt is the most popular type amongst water softener users. Often referred to as ‘pellet salt’, tablets offer a mess-free, easy to use alternative to granular salt. As a result, most modern water softeners use tablet salt.
Tablet salt is popularly used across our range of electric softeners too, including the Nuwave MD160 and MD260 models.
Block salt is another bestseller for water softening in the UK. Like tablet salt, it is used widely in modern-day models but is preferred in non-electric softeners. Non-electric softeners are great options for many homes, offering a more cost-effective solution than electric water softeners when reducing water hardness.
The dense nature of block salt unlocks more savings for non-electric softener users, and blocks generally last longer than tablets and granular salt. Non-electric softeners like the Kinetico 2020C or Mini B, TwinTec, Minimax, Mega Twin, and Crown use block salt easily, affordably, and conveniently.
Need salt for your water softener? We stock block, tablet, and granular salt, which can be delivered to your door or collected from one of our local shops.