A citric acid water softener, or a citric acid water conditioner, is a type of water treatment system that uses citric acid to reduce water hardness.
Citric acid water softeners work by chelating or sequestering hard water mineral ions, preventing them from forming scale deposits.
Scale Prevention Method Salt-based softeners use ion exchange to physically remove hardness minerals by exchanging them with sodium ions, producing soft water in a literal sense.
Citric acid water softeners use a “conditioning” process to prevent scale formation without actually removing hardness ions from the water. They use citric acid to treat water, making them a salt-free alternative to conventional softeners.
Regeneration is a process that only occurs in the traditional sense in a conventional softener. This is another difference to note between salt-free citric acid systems and salt-based systems.
The water treatment outcome is also slightly different when comparing a citric acid water softener to a conventional salt-based water softener system.