Salt-Free VS Salt Based Water Softener: Which Method is Best?

Are you also confused between salt-free and salt-based water softener? The difference lies in the uses and the technology used. But let us learn what exactly they are.

What is Salt-Free Water Softener?

It is widely believed that Salt-Free Water softeners also remove the hardness of the water by decreasing the Calcium and Magnesium levels. But the truth is, they only transform magnesium and calcium chemically so that they do not stick to the pipes and utensils. Calcium and magnesium levels are not decreased but the water is conditioned for household use.

What are the advantages of Salt-Free Water Softeners?

  • These don’t use chemicals to soften water making them ideal for people who don’t like to use chemicals.
  • Maintenance cost for salt-free softeners is negligible
  • They are easy to install

What are the disadvantages of Salt-Free Water Softeners?

  • Salt-free water softeners don’t free water from hard water elements but condition the water
  • Their effectiveness takes time to show

What is Salt Based Water Softener?

Salt-based Water Softeners work on the ion exchange process. A polymer resin bed attracts hard water minerals and replaces them with sodium ions. The resin bed is also regenerated and positively charged sodium ions replace hard water minerals trapped in the resin bed. These are further flushed down the drain.

What are the advantages of Salt based Water Softeners?

  • Salt-based water softeners remove calcium and magnesium completely from the water
  • The maintenance cost of the faucets, pipes, and utensils is reduced as there are no dirty lime stains or clogging
  • The joy of bathing with lather is back with the soft water

What are the disadvantages of Salt based Water Softeners?

  • The plumbing cost is reduced on the other hand the maintenance cost of the salt-based water softener is higher
  • Salt-based water softeners are expensive to install and use


We all want a clean water supply but we do not have a hundred percent control on the groundwater quality everywhere. Salt-free or salt-based water softeners both have their advantages and disadvantages. You must choose the one depending upon the water quality available.

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