7 Best Water Softener Salt for Sensitive Skin (February 2023)

We’ve extensively researched, reviewed, and compared the best water softener salt for sensitive skin. Find reviews of our top picks in this buyer’s guide.

📌 Things You Need to Know

  • You could be struggling to find the best water softener salt for sensitive skin because many water softener salt products are irritating and cause dermatitis flare-ups.
  • Most of our competitors recommend water softener salts based on their affordability, regardless of whether or not they’re suitable for all people or needs.
  • We focused specifically on the water softener salt products that are most likely to cause minimal skin irritation due to their ingredients and manufacturing process.
  • When you’re choosing sensitive skin-friendly water softener salt, consider your budget, your household water hardness, your water softener type, and more.

🥇 Best Water Softener Salt For Sensitive Skin

  1. Best Overall: Morton Clean and Protect II Water Softening Pellets
  2. Best Natural Salt Option: Diamond Crystal Solar Naturals Solar Salt Crystals
  3. Best High-Purity Salt: Diamond Crystal Bright & Soft Salt Pellets
  4. Runner-Up Natural Salt: Morton Pure and Natural Water Softening Crystals
  5. Best Non-Salt Option: Morton Potassium Chloride Pellets
  6. Best For Hard Water With Iron: Morton Clean and Protect with Rust Defense
  7. Runner-Up Non-Salt Option: Nature’s Own Potassium Solution

📊 Comparison Chart of Skin-Friendly Water Softener Salt Options

ProductMorton Clean & Protect
Morton Clean & Protect review
Diamond Crystal Solar Naturals
Diamond Crystal Solar Naturals review
Diamond Crystal Bright & Soft
Diamond Crystal Bright & Soft review
Morton Pure and Natural
Morton Pure and Natural review
Morton Potassium Chloride Pellets
Morton Potassium Chloride Pellets review
Morton Clean & Protect Rust Defense
Morton Clean & Protect Rust Defense review
Nature's Own Potassium Solution
Nature's Own Potassium Solution review
Ranking1st2nd3rd4th5th6th7th
Ratings5/54.5/54/54.5/54/54.5/54/5
Price$$$$$$$$$$
TypeEvaporated salt pelletsAll-natural solar saltCompacted salt pelletsHigh-purity salt crystalsPotassium chlorideEvaporated salt pelletsPotassium chloride
Weight50 lbs.50 lbs.50 lbs.40 lbs.40 lbs.40 lbs.40 lbs.
Use for2-4 bags/month2-4 bags/month1 bag/month3-4 bags/2months 2-4 bags/month1 bag/month2-4 bags/month

⭐ Reviews – Best Water Softener Salt For Sensitive Skin of 2023

We love this salt because it’s sold by Morton, the leader in the water softener salt industry and a brand that has become synonymous with quality and purity. The Clean and Protect II Water Softening Pellets dissolve easily in water and contain up to 99.65% sodium chloride, so they’re a great option for anyone looking for a highly pure, dissolvable softener salt product.

Key Features:

  • High-purity pellets – The Clean and Protect II Water Softening Pellets are sold in pellet form, making them ideal for treating very hard water. They’re 99.65% sodium chloride, so they’ll leave minimal residue behind in the brine tank.
  • 3 bag sizes – You can buy this Morton salt product in three size options: 25, 40, and 44-pound bags.
  • High-quality softening – Customers agree that the Clean and Protect II Water Softening Pellets is one of the highest-quality softener salt products available today, and can even be used to rejuvenate old water softeners that have previously been used with poor-quality salt products.

Best For:

People who want to spend their money on the highest quality skin-friendly water softener salts available today.

Pros:

  • Using the Morton Clean and Protect II Water Softening Pellets in your water softener is easy thanks to the easy-tear opening and the sturdy plastic handle.
  • You won’t find a better quality, highly-pure salt pellets product than this Morton softener salt.
  • Enjoy reduced cleaning thanks to the salt’s high purity, which minimizes dirt accumulation, bridging, and clumping in the brine tank.

Cons:

  • You pay more for a premium product. Morton’s Clean and Protect II Water Softening Pellets are competitively priced, but costlier than rock salt and solar salt products.

These NSF certified salt crystals have a high purity of 99.6% and are produced by the natural process of evaporating sea salt, which produces a product with a low insoluble content and superior dissolving abilities – good news if you have sensitive skin and need salt that properly dissolves in water.

Key Features:

  • High purity – The Diamond Crystal Solar Naturals Solar Salt Crystals are just 0.05% off being as pure as our top pick, the Morton salt pellets, with a purity rating of 99.6%.
  • Made naturally – Solar salt is made by the natural process of evaporating seawater with the sun, a process that just uses “sun, wind, and time” (according to the manufacturer).
  • Multiple bag sizes – You can save money by buying a bigger bag upfront if you decide to be a committed Diamond Crystal customer. The salt crystals come in bags from 25 pounds to 20 kilograms, plus extra-large totes from 1,800 pounds to 2,000 pounds.

Best For:

People who prefer all-natural water softening salt that won’t add anything artificial or impure to a softened water supply.

Pros:

  • We love that the Diamond Crystal Solar Naturals Solar Salt Crystals are made from a completely natural process, meaning you can enjoy salt-softened water that doesn’t contain added chemicals or impurities.
  • These salt crystals have a low insoluble content (which is obvious by their clean, white appearance), minimizing residue in the brine tank and making cleaning easier.
  • It’s good to know that this Diamond Crystal water softener salt conforms to the NSF/ANSI/CAN Standard 60 requirements for drinking water treatment chemicals.

Cons:

  • Sodium chloride crystals aren’t typically as good as salt pellets for treating very hard water, so check with the manufacturer to make sure they’re right for you.

These salt pellets are up to 99.8% pure– that’s about 0.2% purer than any other softener salt on this list – meaning that skin sensitivities are highly unlikely to be triggered by the minute concentration of impurities in the product.

Key Features:

  • Highest-purity salt – You won’t find many other water softening salt products with a higher purity rating than this. With only 0.2% non-NaCl molecules, the Diamond Crystal Bright & Soft should almost eliminate skin irritation associated with impurities.
  • Prevents mushing and bridging – Due to their high purity, these water softener pellets reduce the likelihood of mushing and bridging in the brine tank, ensuring your soft water always contains the right amount of properly-dissolved salt.
  • 5 bag sizes available – The manufacturer sells this salt product in 5 bag sizes, from the smallest 25 pound bag to the largest 2,000 pound tote.

Best For:

People who want to look after their skin and their water softening system with the highest-purity salt.

Pros:

  • We love that the Diamond Crystal Bright & Soft pellets are almost completely 100% water soluble, so they’re highly unlikely to cause skin irritations linked to dissolving problems.
  • Again, this Diamond Crystal water softener salt conforms to NSF/ANSI/CAN Standard 60 for drinking water chemicals with health effects, which is reassuring to see when you’re looking for water softening salt that won’t irritate your skin with impurities.
  • Carrying, lifting, and pouring salt from the bags is made easier thanks to their two-handled design.

Cons:

  • Unlike some of the natural salts on this list, the Diamond Crystal Bright & Soft pellets aren’t entirely additive-free. They contain Sodium Hexametaphosphate (SHMP), which is generally recognized as safe by the FDA, to prevent mushing and bridging.

Customers love Morton Pure and Natural salt, but this product is on the pricey side and doesn’t seem to have an NSF certification, which puts it slightly behind the Diamond Crystal salt in our eyes.

Key Features:

  • High-purity salt crystals – From what we can tell, the Morton Pure And Natural Salt is made from solar salt, although we’re missing information about the salt’s actual purity rating.
  • 40-pound bags – There’s a single bag size for these Morton water softener crystals: 40 pounds. Morton recommends adding about two bags of salt to your softener every two months, depending on your water hardness and daily water usage.
  • 4 benefits in 1– The Pure and Natural salt offers a complete solution in most water softening systems. Importantly for sensitive skin, it reduces skin and hair dryness, as well as reducing scale buildup, extending appliance lifespans, and minimizing your cleaning duties.

Best For: People who are loyal to Morton but want a natural, additive-free alternative to Morton’s slightly more processed salt products.

Pros:

  • Again, no additives and minimal impurities means a greatly reduced risk of skin sensitivity and irritation.
  • Like all Morton products, the Pure And Natural Salt is one of the best salts for treating hard water scale in most water softener systems. Expect good dissolving and complete scale elimination (with the correct softening settings).
  • Thanks to the easy-tear opening and sturdy plastic handle, Morton salt bags are easy to open and lift.

Cons:

  • We couldn’t find information about this product’s purity percentage, which makes it difficult to compare to competitors.

These pellets are almost entirely free from salt, (containing at least 98.1% potassium chloride), but have the same benefits as a Morton salt-based product, including complete water solubility and exceptional water softening.

Key Features:

  • 98.1% potassium chloride – The Morton Potassium Chloride Pellets contain almost 100% potassium chloride, so they’re almost completely impurity-free.
  • Salt-free softening – You use this potassium chloride product exactly the same way as you’d use normal salt in your water softening system, and it produces the same results – you just need a bit more potassium chloride for effective softening.
  • 40-pound bags – The Morton Potassium Chloride Pellets are available in easy-open, easy-carry 40-pound bags.

Best For: People with big budgets who want to avoid all the setbacks of using salt in their water softening system – including possible skin irritation and additional salt intake – and prefer to buy from the most reliable brand.

Pros:

  • There’s no risk of salt-related skin irritation with this Morton product because it contains no sodium chloride (salt). It’s almost completely pure potassium chloride.
  • Aside from being kinder to skin and hair, the Morton Potassium Chloride Pellets have other benefits due to being salt-free: they’re suitable for people on low-sodium diets and they don’t give water a slimy feel (which is common with sodium chloride).
  • You shouldn’t notice a difference in your softening results after switching from salt to this product. You’ll enjoy the same scale prevention and improved lather with soap and detergents.

Cons:

  • The cost of these potassium chloride pellets is significantly higher (about $25 upwards) than the Morton salt products. The perks of salt-free ion exchange come at a premium.

These water softener pellets offer all the usual benefits of a Morton product, including easy dissolvability and high-efficiency water softening, so the salt itself shouldn’t aggravate your skin.

Key Features:

  • Removes 10x more iron – According to Morton, the Clean and Protect with Rust Defense pellets can remove 10x more iron than normal sodium chloride salt pellets. We’d love to see data to support this impressive statistic.
  • Evaporated salt pellets – This Morton water softener salt product combines evaporated salt pellets with other ingredients to both soften and reduce iron in water.
  • Better for water softening system – If your water contains iron, the Clean and Protect with Rust Defense pellets offer good protection for your water softener. Benefits of iron-free water include reduced fouling of resin beads and longer softener lifespan.

Best For: Well owners who have hard water with a low iron content and who want to avoid the skin and hair effects of scale and rusting with a pure, all-in-one product from a reliable brand.

Pros:

  • We think it’s great that the Morton Clean and Protect with Rust Defense prevents skin and scalp issues associated with both hard water and iron. If you’re looking for a convenient solution to treat both of these issues in one, you’ll find it here.
  • Reducing iron in water also prevents rust stains and metallic taste.
  • You don’t need any more salt than normal when you add this product to your water softening system. Morton recommends about 2 bags every 2 months – the same as for its other salt products.

Cons:

  • Due to its additional iron removal abilities, this Morton salt product contains the following additives: sodium citrate and citric acid (naturally occurring, FDA-approved), and a small amount of surfactant (detergent). Not ideal if you want to avoid additives and impurities that could irritate your skin.

Why does it take second spot behind the Morton potassium chloride? It’s not quite as long-lasting or popular with customers as Morton’s product.

Key Features:

  • Salt-free softening – Enjoy all the usual soft water benefits without the salt. We can’t find a percentage for purity for this product, though.
  • NSF Certified – Just for extra reassurance that the Nature’s Own Potassium Solution won’t add any dangerous chemicals to your water, it has an official NSF/ANSI/CAN Standard 60 certification.
  • 40-pound bags – You can buy this potassium solution in a single 40-pound bag size.

Best For: Anyone who, for some reason, doesn’t want to buy the Morton potassium chloride and still wants to enjoy the benefits of no-salt softening.

Pros:

  • No salt means no risk of irritation for people who are sensitive to salt in water.
  • We always love to see an official NSF certification for safety and quality.
  • Customers reported benefits including no slimy feel as you get with salt) and better water for watering plants.

Cons:

  • We’d love to know what percentage of potassium chloride is included in this product, but we can’t find the information anywhere.

🧾 Buyer’s Guide: How To Choose The Best Water Softener Salt For Sensitive Skin

When you’re deciding on the best water softener salt for sensitive skin, make sure to consider the following factors:

Your Budget

Start by determining your maximum annual budget for water softener salts.

Skin-friendly water softener salt is often slightly more expensive than normal water softener salt because it’s made using the most natural processes (usually evaporation) and is typically a very pure form of salt that dissolves well in water, reducing the likelihood of skin irritation.

The purer the salt, the more expensive the product. The general cost of a 40-pound bag of high-purity softener salt is $5-$8.

Potassium chloride, a salt-free alternative that doesn’t aggravate skin like sodium chloride, is significantly more expensive, costing about $26 per 40-pound bag. But the cost might be worth it if you want to avoid sodium altogether.

Faucet water flowing

Your Household Water Hardness

Your household water hardness is another factor to consider when deciding on the exact type of skin-friendly salt to use in your water softener.

Test your water hardness if you don’t know it already. Very hard water supplies are best suited to softening with salt pellets, which are less prone to bridging and more efficient than water softener salt crystals.

However, salt crystals tend to be more naturally produced, which often means that they’re better for sensitive skin.

Regardless of the type of salt you choose, you can save money by looking for bulk-buy deals that reduce the cost per pound of salt.

water testing with tap score

Your Water Softener Type

The type of water softener system you own will also affect the type of salt you can use.

Most water softener salts for sensitive skin are suitable for all types of water softening systems. But if you have an all-in-one system that combines the brine tank and the resin tank in a single unit, it’s best to use water softener pellets rather than crystals to prevent clogging.

Check your user manual or contact the manufacturer to learn about the recommended type of salt for your water softener.

Springwell SS salt based ion exchange water softener new install

Salt Purity & Type

The purity of a salt product may be linked to its likelihood to cause skin irritation.

Pure-grade sodium chloride is 100% NaCl, meaning that it contains no impurities or additives that could trigger sensitive skin.

📌 It’s very rare to find a salt product that’s 100% salt, so the closer the percentage, the better. Most water softener salts for sensitive skin are around 99.6% to 99.8% sodium, which is still very good.

Salt purity is linked to salt type. If you’re concerned about your skin health, we’d suggest avoiding rock salt, which is the least pure type of salt and doesn’t dissolve well in a brine solution.

Evaporated and solar salt are both good options. Solar salt is created through a natural process, so it’s a generally safe option for sensitive skin, but it’s not ideal for homes with very hard water. Evaporated salt tends to have the highest purity and dissolves very well in water, so the salt itself shouldn’t trigger skin irritation.

You might have to pay a bit more money for high-purity salt, but the overall benefits – including healthier skin, reduced brine tank cleaning and maintenance, and better dissolvability – make the extra cost worth it for most people.

Your Preferred Maintenance & Upkeep

Finally, consider your preferred maintenance and upkeep for a water softener system.

The type of salt you buy will, in part, affect the frequency of maintenance and cleaning required.

Most skin-friendly water softener salts require the least maintenance because they’re pure and natural, meaning they absorb the best in water and don’t leave dirt behind in the brine tank.

Again, these salts typically cost a bit more, but their long-term benefits are worth the extra upfront cost.

adding salt to water softener brine tank

🔎 What Is Water Softener Salt For Sensitive Skin?

Water softener salt for sensitive skin, also known as hypoallergenic water softener salt and skin-friendly water softener salt, is a type of salt used in water softening systems that is less likely to irritate the skin.

We also class potassium chloride as a skin-friendly water softener salt, even though it isn’t typically a salt at all, because it’s used as an effective sodium alternative in water softeners. Potassium chloride is the best option for people with very sensitive skin because it’s completely salt-free.

📌 Salt-softened water is much kinder to skin and hair than hard water. So using any high-quality salt in your water softener should reduce skin irritation and sensitivities. However, some salt brands and types are better than others for people with sensitive skin issues.

There are a range of different water softener salts available today, which are categorized by three key factors:

  • Type: The most common type of water softening salts are evaporated salt, rock salt, solar salt, and block salt. Potassium chloride, a sodium-free alternative to salt, is also used in water softeners. Evaporated salt has the highest concentration of sodium chloride (up to 99.99%).
  • Purity: The purer a water softener salt product, the more sodium it contains, and the more efficient its performance. We recommend looking for a water softener salt product that’s as close as possible to 100% pure salt, which dissolves best in water and prevents a buildup of debris in the brine tank.
  • Form: Two common forms of water softener salt are pellets and crystals. Natural water softening crystals are a popular choice for people with sensitive skin, but the best salt form is salt pellets because they’re typically purer and better for treating moderate-to-high water hardness.
Deciding between salt pellets and crystals for a water softener

🆚 Skin-Friendly Water Softener Salt Vs Potassium Chloride

If you’re looking to load your water softener brine tank with a product that’s suitable for sensitive skin, you have two choices: skin-friendly water softener salt and potassium chloride.

Water Softener Salt

Water softener salt for sensitive skin is pure, natural salt that’s used in water softeners.

What makes certain types of water softener salt a good option for sensitive skin? Usually, it’s if the salt is:

  • Made with a natural process that doesn’t add chemicals or additives
  • As pure as possible, minimizing potentially irritating impurities
  • Effectively dissolving in water, to reduce irritation with the salt itself

There are no special water softener salt products that are specifically designed and marketed to be hypoallergenic. But some types of water softener salts are better than others if you have sensitive skin and want to minimize reactions to salt-softened water.

Potassium Chloride

If you prefer to avoid salt altogether in your water softener, you can use potassium chloride.

Potassium chloride has the same purpose and benefits as salt in an ion exchange water softener. The only difference is that the hard minerals are exchanged with potassium chloride, not sodium chloride, which means your soft water contains potassium, not salt.

The clear benefit of potassium chloride is that it shouldn’t cause any skin irritation at all, so it’s the best alternative to salt for anyone who has sensitive skin, but still wants the same superior water softening results.

You will, however, have to increase your water softener’s hardness settings by about 15% if you plan to use potassium chloride, because you need more of this mineral compared to salt to achieve the same outcome.

Sodium chloride vs potassium chloride

⚖️ Pros And Cons Of Hypoallergenic Water Softener Salt

Below, we’ve outlined the advantages and disadvantages of hypoallergenic water softener salt compared to other types of water softener salt.

Pros

  • Reduces irritation – Some skin-friendly water softener salts reduce skin irritation, while others eliminate the risk of flare-ups entirely.
  • Pure, natural salt product – Most water softener salt for sensitive skin is organic, pure, and made from the most natural processes, so it’s better for you than non-natural, impure softener salt.
  • Reduces water softener maintenance – Because of their high purity and natural production, skin-friendly water softener salt pellets reduce clogging and dirt in the brine tank, minimizing maintenance.
  • Same high-quality softening – Hypoallergenic salt products have the same benefits in water softener systems, offering the same effective softening performance as any other softening salt.

Cons

  • Not guaranteed to be completely effective – Even the best water softener salt for sensitive skin (excluding potassium chloride) is still salt. That means you might still experience some skin irritation and flare-ups even with a hypoallergenic product.
  • Can be more expensive – Because hypoallergenic water softener salts are often purer and more natural than normal softener salts, they’re often more expensive (especially if you buy potassium chloride instead).
  • Skin-friendly salts not always obvious – Most manufacturers don’t advertise their water softener salt products as skin-friendly or hypoallergenic, which means you often have to read the ingredients and learn about the manufacturing processes to decide whether or not a product is suitable for you.

📖 How To Add Salt To A Water Softener

To add salt to your water softener, follow these simple steps:

  1. Locate your water softener’s brine tank and open the lid.
  2. Check the salt levels. If the tank is less than half-full, it needs a salt top-up.
  3. Make sure the salt in the tank is loose, not clumped together. Use the handle of a broom to break up clumps if you see them.
  4. Open the bag of water softener salt and pour the contents into the brine tank.
  5. Continue to add salt until you reach the max fill line.
  6. Shut the brine tank’s lid.
Putting salt in a water softener

❔ Best Water Softener Salt For Sensitive Skin: FAQ

Can water softener salt irritate skin?

Yes, water softener salt can irritate skin. Most people won’t experience skin irritation from using water containing dissolved water softener salt (but you may experience skin irritation if you come into direct contact with the salt pellets or crystals while loading the brine tank). However, people with sensitive skin or dermatitis may experience flare-ups due to using salty water.

Does water softener salt make your skin dry?

No, water softener salt shouldn’t make your skin dry. In fact, using salt to soften your water should actually reduce dry skin issues because you’re removing one of the most common causes of skin dryness: calcium and magnesium minerals. Hard water minerals strip your skin of its natural oils, leading to dryness and flakiness. Salt softened water is calcium and magnesium-free and won’t have this effect on your skin.

Is soft water good for sensitive skin?

Soft water is generally better for sensitive skin than hard water, which contains minerals that aggravate skin conditions like eczema. However, for some people, the salt content in softened water poses its own problems. Salt is an irritant, so it might aggravate flare-ups in people with skin allergies and dermatitis.

Is there an alternative to salt for water softener?

Yes, there’s an alternative to salt for water softeners: potassium chloride. Potassium chloride is entirely salt-free, so it’s a good choice for people who have skin conditions that are triggered by contact with sodium, and people on low-sodium diets. However, potassium chloride is about five times the cost of softener salt, which makes it inaccessible to some people.

Can you be allergic to water softener?

Yes, the salt used to soften your water might trigger allergies. However, the likelihood of being allergic to water softeners is slim. If you notice skin irritation after coming into contact with salt-softened water, check that you’re not using too much salt in your system. If you aren’t, consider switching to a hypoallergenic softener salt or potassium chloride.

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