Fishing & Hunting Tips

How to soften water without salt

Water, the elixir of every living being breathing on this planet. A fluid so precious, without its existence, life can’t go on for long. Water can be found almost everywhere but, the type may vary from place to place. Geographical and different sources of water render variant in taste and quality. Out of all the different types of water, sometimes necessary modifications are needed to make it more useful to our accordance. That’s why here, I will try to enlighten you on how to soften water without salt.

Salt is a vital element that has been used to soften water for a long time. Those who are wondering if it is possible to soften water without any salt, read along with our article. Most of the water softener on the market using salt has led some consumer to look for alternatives. Below, we will try and elaborately discuss how to soften water without salt.


Before we dive into the sea of innovative ideas and knowledge, let’s put our information in two categories.

  • Soften water with salt-free softener
  • Soften water without softener

Salt-free softener

There is a controversy among consumers and expert analysts that salt-free softener is a deception. A classification of a salt-free softener tool that helps decrease or better yet dissolve hard water minerals like calcium and magnesium. Unfortunately, the saltless system does not extract these minerals thus it can’t soften hard water.

The water softener illustrates a technology that replaces ion from hard water and exchanges it with sodium ions. Companies that advertise salt-free softener uses tank similar to normal water softeners. It helps reduce sludge, odor, and chlorine from water. But, the much anticipated soft water transformation will not happen. Imagine the top dollar you paid for a saltless softener.

There are quite a few technologies accessible which inaccurately advertised as saltless water softeners that will avert scale from accumulating but won’t soften your hard water. Even if you do manage to hard water “scaling”, more than 90% of its convenience will be lost in the process. The reliable manufacturer will market this technology as anti-scaling, or scale inhibitors.

The market strategy of these deceiving manufacturer will label their water softener with the tagline of salt-free. They claim the use of sodium chloride ( salt ) is replaced by potassium chloride. Even with misinterpreted information, the system manages to reduce water hardness. Note that potassium is 5 times costlier and 30% less effective.


Definition of soft water

Soft water is lower in ion concentration, particularly in calcium and magnesium. Soft water has a low mineral count that allows it to lather smoothly. You can check whether your water is hard or soft by mixing it with soap. If the formation of lather with soap does not get interrupted, then you have soft water.

What is more astounding that some of the renounced company is claiming their product to be soft yet leave traces of minerals? I mean, the very definition of soft water has indicated to have lower in minerals! These companies are deliberately exposing the truth in a nice little gift wraps of lies. I really find it ironic that quite a few well-reputed companies are selling their softener unit with this following tagline ‘ Naturally softened water ’.

Now last time I checked that the source of natural unadulterated soft water is from rainfall and the drainage basin of rivers are formed of solid, impermeable and calcium poor rocks. Also, most of the company don’t even have certified water expert employees. To this day we haven’t found any water softener that has lived up to its claim. I’m not trying to eliminate the need of a softener tool altogether, I think that every consumer has the right to know exactly on what kind of tool they are spending thousands of dollars on.

Softener or Conditioner?

In the salt based system, the hardness and minerals actually get extracted from the hard water. But in the salt-free system, water retains its mineral content, but the transformation has prevented them ( minerals) to adhere on the surfaces. That’s why water experts have labeled this kind of system as “conditioners” rather than a softener.

The water is processed through an incendiary method using a physical procedure called Template Assisted Crystallization ( TAC ). The method converts the hard water minerals into a hardness crystal thus making it unable to bind to surfaces. This is more like a conditioning of the hard water rather than softening.

soften water without salt

As an example, imagine you’re proceeding with a water test, before the procedure, 10 gallons of hard water, after the procedure, 10 gallons of hard water. Difference? Despite the presence of hardness, the mineral fails to form to surfaces. There is no electrical valve on a salt-free water softener because the system only operates to conditioning and never apprehend anything thus removing the need to dispose of any minerals.


Advantages of a salt-free conditioner

A salt-free conditioner prevents hardness from building up in pipes, geysers, water heaters, appliances and increases the lifespan of the plumbing, fixtures, and appliances. It is little or better yet, zero maintenance needed and also they don’t operate with salt. The salt-free water conditioner is compatible with almost every type of hard water out there, but there are a few exceptions. The conditioner might not be suitable for someone and their water condition.

Other ways

  • Boil water: Boiling water extracts some hardness but temporarily. So it might not meet your expected convenience. You can boil your water for a couple of minutes and then let it cool down for nearly 2 hours. In this way, white minerals will resolve to the bottom of the pot.
  • Duct or drain the top level water will leave the mineral contents to the bottom portion of the pot.
  • To avoid the flat flavor, you can spill the water rapidly between two containers. The process reimposes lost air during boiling.
  • Compaction interchangeable filter: This technology offers 2 different methods, it can be linked with water taps valve, and it comes with a container where you can deposit water for later appliances. The method to soften water affects its taste.
  • Look for a device that has a secondary filter, because the primary filter not actually removes all the impurities. ( Buy the one which has carbon filter or reverses osmosis )
  • Most of us despise the taste of your tea or coffee made with soft water. A faucet model with the switch off valve can keep hard water prepare.


The significance of water testing

Salt-free or not, to keep your household tasks flowing and plumbing systems from clogging, you have to buy a water softener. So, before you make a thousand dollar decision, test your water mineral level of calcium, magnesium and other contaminants. For a free analysis, you can check out some free services online and know more about how to soften saltwater without salt, which practically impossible to date. Ever wondered how does a salt water softener operate? Well, let me feed your curiosity.


Salt water softener

It is imperative to understand the operating statistics of a salt water softener because some of us might give up hope on a saltless system and install a system with salt in it. The water softener has appeared on the market in 1903, more than a hundred years ago. Basically, the mechanism exchange hard water minerals with sodium ions ( salt ).

The ion exchange resin within the softener entices calcium and magnesium from the water using sodium ions replacing method, thus eliminating scale and making accessories stainless, materials cleaner and shinier and tender skin.

How to soften water without salt

The center of a salt softener is a mineral tank. There are sufficient small polystyrene beads, also familiar as resin or zeolite which convey negative charge. Calcium and Magnesium bear positive charges which makes them clutch to the beads while hard water flows through the mineral tank. Sodium ions also contain positive charges but not as responsive as the calcium and magnesium.

Hence comes the very strong brine solution that flushed through a tank filled with beads already soaked with calcium and magnesium. The staggering amount of sodium ion is sufficient enough to drive the calcium and magnesium ions off the beads. To create the brine solution from common salt, water softener have a separate brine tank.

When the system operates, hard water flows into the mineral tank. At the same time, magnesium and calcium ions proceed to the beads, forming the sodium ions exchange. The sodium ions travel into the water. The unit infiltrates in a 3 stage regenerating cycle once the beads are saturated with magnesium and calcium. In the first stage, the backwash reverses the water flow to flush out dust and filth out of the tank.

In the second or you could say, the resupply stage, the intense sodium-rich salt solution is carried through the mineral tank flowing from the brine tank. The calcium and magnesium are exchanged with the sodium collect on the beads and the extracts, then evacuate through a drain. To the third stage, the extra brine is flushed out towards the brine tank thus completing the softening process.

How to know your recommended system?

This article has hopefully helped you to apprehend the methods of how to soften water without salt. Now you need to have a clear idea about your preferred softening system. I got a few ideas that might help you decide.

  • After testing your water, if the hardness exceeds 12-15 grains per gallon, that means it’s time to buy a water softener.
  • If you already have a softener or owned one in the past, and you like minimal soft water which is lower than 1 grain of hardness/gallon, then buy or stay with your softener.
  • Consider a salt free conditioner, it might not keep your plumbing, fixtures, and other appliances spotless. But having an improved scale control can prolong your utensils lifespan.
  • If you prefer a softer water, and also looking to save some cash, install a salt-free conditioner as it is easier to install and practically has zero maintenance.

Health issues

There are no known medical conditions that can be triggered or caused by consuming hard water. But beware if you are on a sodium-restricted diet and those who don’t like the salty taste in their water, it’s wise to avoid salt water softener water. To solve this, you can set up a dispenser so the water can bypass the softener. And I wouldn’t recommend using potassium chloride because of higher cost and lower feedback.

Stop wasting water

Every year, we are consuming nearly 4 trillion cubic meters of freshwater. As 97.5% water is seawater so it’s unusable for our daily use. On the contrary, many of the world’s fresh water sources are drained faster than it can be replenished. With this serious notice, I hope you understand the significance of water. So next time, when you playfully waste fresh usable water, please don’t. The supply of usable water is not infinite.



The power is yours. I’m merely an informer who is trying to portray the exact operating methods of your softener and conditioner. Of course, a modern world demands you to get a softener which will be expensive, yet convenient and useful. The water industry is evolving as time passes by, but my biggest concern is, is this innovation for the people, or for the corporate profit?

Regardless of the facts, it’s imperative that you know and understands the method of how to soften water without salt. Because you may not always find a conditioner, descaler or softener, at your disposal.


Nicholi Wyto

Hey I'm Nicholi Wyto is a professional sports fisherman and hunter, love to enjoy spending time in Michigan’s rugged northern forests. I love to explore my experience and help others who are interested in fishing and hunting.

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