Morton and Cargil are industry leaders in products that remove the high levels of magnesium, calcium, and dissolved solids that create hard water.

Best Water Softener Salt for Sensitive Skin

Choosing the best water softener salt for sensitive skin is an important decision. Water softeners can reduce or eliminate the itch and rash some people with sensitive skin suffer from hard water.

Removing white calcium and magnesium stains or the red rust left by high iron content is the work of water softener salt. We’ll review the best water softener salt for iron as well as overall hard water chemicals, including removing excess chlorine.

In this review, we’ll look for the best salt for water softeners overall.

Reviews of one of the most popular products, Diamond Crystal water softener, and its rivals from Morton, and a comparison of potassium versus salt in water softeners will give you all the information you’ll need to eliminate hard water.

Type of Water Softener Salt

The two main players in the world of water softener salt are Diamond Crystal and Morton.

The industrial process of preparing their products is quite different. Morton mines the salt then mills it into a consumer-quality product by crushing it with heavy rollers.  Diamond Crystal evaporates saltwater and extracts the resulting residue.

Diamond Crystal water softener salt dissolves a little easier than Morton and is a better product for controlling high iron in your water.

Morton has an advantage in broad spectrum uses. It can abate iron but works well with dissolved solids and other minerals as well.

The Advantages of Using Water Softener Salt

Hard water can irritate the skin, dry out your hair and leave a hard-to-remove white scale on shower walls, bathtubs, and sinks.

Hypoallergenic water softener salt can help with that skin irritation and rash. Choosing water softener salt for sensitive skin can be difficult if you add too many parameters to your choices.

A worse problem with hard water is the destruction it creates inside copper plumbing and iron pipes. The dissolved solids in water can act as microscopic grinders, wearing pipe walls thin until they burst and leak.

A water softener eliminates the iron, and minerals that create these problems. Choosing the best softener salt for iron is important if you notice those dark red rust stains around your home.

A good water softener salt is the key element in getting your water softener working at its best.

My water has high iron; which water softener salt do I need?

The consensus is the Diamond Crystal is the best softener salt for iron. Morton will work to reduce iron content as well, and can solve other water problems, but isn’t as efficient against iron alone as Diamond Crystal.

How Can You Tell If Your Water Softener Needs Salt?

The easiest method is just to check the salt tank, if it’s low, fill it back up. This method requires a little self-discipline, along with scheduled checks of your tank.

If the salt runs out, your softener will still try to work but won’t soften the water. You’ll soon be able to tell when washing dishes or showering since hard water takes a lot more soap to create a lather.

If you use a lot of water in your home, you’ll need to check the salt level more frequently. If your water softener is older, it will use more salt. Some models use more salt than others. A final check is to know the size of your brine tank. Larger brine tanks need to be checked less often.

At a minimum, you should check your softener salt every two weeks. 

Best Water Softener Salt for Sensitive Skin

Best Water Softener Salt for Sensitive Skin

1. Morton Clean and Protect II Water Softening Pellets

Clean and Protect II Water Softening Pellets by Morton is among the best for hypoallergenic water softener salt.

Morton Clean and Protect

Morton is the acknowledged leader in salt protection in the United States. The Louisiana-based corporation has mines, and production facilities across the world, with much of their water softener products, mined, milled, and processed in Utah.

The pellets dissolve easily in water, are affordable, work effectively at softening water, and are safe for the home market.

Effective at reducing the minerals that create hard water, these pellets are also a good remedy for reducing rust from high iron content water.

The pellets are available for the home market in easy-to-carry 40-pound bags. They can be purchased online or in a wide variety of home improvement and home supply stores.

Morton Clean and Protect II can rejuvenate older water softeners for years of non-use or have lost their effectiveness by using sub-standard salt pellets.

The ability of the pellets to chemically removed minerals and iron, converting once hard water to a softer, safer, and more friendly to people with sensitive skin, is accomplished by the high quality of the product.

The bag’s small size could be a concern since it will take several to fill the salt basin. Most water softening systems will require from four to six bags of this product to fill the machine.

When using this salt, there is no clumping of any kind. It keeps water soft and devoid of harsh minerals and met all of the testing criteria. If the bags were filled to a larger quantity than 40 pounds, it would fill an easier task with fewer trips.

Overall this is the best choice for water softeners thanks to its great performance and affordable price.

2. Cargill Salt 7304 Water Softener Salt

Many users prefer the Diamond Crystal brand of water softening salt produced by Cargill. Diamond crystal water softener salt is different than the competition since it is created via evaporation.

Cargill Salt 7304 Water Softener Salt

Claims are that the evaporation process creates an easier to dissolve, more natural salt for water softener uses.  The product is packed in 40-pound, waterproof polymer bags, with a preformed handle and an easy-to-tear bag opening.

The sodium chloride crystals dissolve easily in all types of water but are especially effective at removing iron from well water.  The product is cleaner and more efficient than water softener pellets mined from rock salt.

The product reduces channeling, bridging, and mushing that are common problems and annoyances with many home water softening systems.

The Diamond Crystal brand by Cargill is simple, food-grade quality salt, the same salt you use at your table. It is clean, effective and the waterproof bags it arrives in won’t ever be compromised by getting wet during shipping.

Tests by consumer advocacy groups found the product didn’t clump and had great results with water heavily contaminated with iron and removing hard water minerals.

Its unique evaporation production appealed to many consumers, though it is just simple table salt, identical to mined sodium chloride, just produced in a different manner.

The price is higher than other competitive brands, which could make you look elsewhere.

3. Morton Morton-40E Solar Salt Water Softening Crystals

This product isn’t as popular as some water softening crystals made by Morton, but it is one of the favorites for people with sensitive skin, dry hair, or other water-related ailments caused by exposure to hard water.

Morton Morton-40E

Morton-40 E Solar Salt is considered the best water softener salt for hair, and the best water softener salt for sensitive skin

Morton advertises these crystals as being produced from completely organic substances, ie: seawater via evaporation. They are recommended for use in hard water conditions that impeded laundry, housekeeping, and showering. The added benefit of scale-free dishes and countertops is a plus.

A home with hard water requires more soap and detergent to clean, can leave residue on surfaces, and doesn’t produce effective suds when washing.

This product is designed to improve the washing functions from clothes to dishes, to countertops, and even the hair and skin of people living with hard water.

The crystallized Solar Salt is packaged in waterproof, 40-pound poly bags. The bags are conveniently designed to carry with one hand, open easily, and are easy to pour into a water softener salt reservoir. 

Soft water is better for all types of hair, leading many people to search for the best water softener salt for dry hair. It improves moisture intake, reduces breakage, and can bring back a natural glow to dry hair. This leads many users to consider it the best water softener salt for hair.

This high-quality sodium chloride salt is effective at removing magnesium and calcium from hard water. It works well in reducing and removing iron too. It works at both softening water and reducing rust stains.

4. Morton Potassium Chloride Pellets

There are two types of salt commonly used for consumption: the standard sodium chloride we are all familiar with, potassium chloride, or KCL used by people on low sodium diets.  The salt tastes different, with more of an acidic after taste when consuming potassium chloride. Potassium vs salt in water softener applications is an important choice.

Morton Potassium Chloride

The difference in the products is even more noticeable in water softening applications.

Most water softeners are used to reduce and remove the chemicals in hard water. Sodium chloride and potassium chloride both do this equally well. During the water softening process the chemicals in hard water are replaced by the chemicals mixed in the brine solution created by the combination of water and salt crystals or pellets.

Potassium chloride effectively removes magnesium and calcium from well water but has an additional benefit if you are on a municipal water supply with heavily chlorinated water.

Chlorine is added to municipal water supplies to kill bacteria and protozoa. Some water supplies require so much chlorine that it reduces quality, sometimes making the water taste like you’re drinking from a public swimming pool.

Chlorine is a leading cause of hair damage and can lead to dry itchy skin. This potassium chloride mix may be the best water softener salt for sensitive skin. If you find the best water softener salt for dry hair, it will improve your dry skin as well.

Potassium Chloride, in the form of Morton pellets, can reduce the chlorine content in your water by up to 20%, creating much tastier water to drink and removing that telltale smell of chlorine common to some city water systems.

If it comes down to a question of potassium vs salt in water softener applications, decide whether you need to reduce chlorine, as well as other chemicals and potassium, potassium will be your choice.

How to Add Salt to your Water Softener

Can Water Softener Salt Irritate Skin?

Yes, it can cause people suffering from dermatitis to have flare-ups.  The salt itself is an irritant if it comes in direct contact with the skin of some people. This should only occur when you’re loading the salt into your water softener.

Wearing latex or rubber gloves will protect you during the loading procedure, but water treated with salt can still cause problems in people with very sensitive skin.

The alternative isn’t great either, since hard water can cause even more of a reaction than softened water.

Why Does my Water Softener Make me Itch?

Water softener salt can create an itch, and even rashes in people with sensitive skin. The reaction you’re having is most likely from the increased sodium in your water that has replaced the iron, calcium, and magnesium present in hard water.

Some people have an itchy reaction to sodium, but others have even more dramatic reactions to iron, calcium, and magnesium.

Is Solar Salt the Same as Crystals?

No matter the marketing, salt is salt. Sodium chloride and potassium chloride are identical chemicals, whether they’re produced by evaporation from the heat of the sun or mined from the earth.
Those mined salt deposits were created long ago by natural solar evaporation as well.

The difference may be in the texture of the crystals. Solar evaporation produces a softer, more soluble crystal many times than crush rock salt can.


Hard water is an issue on all six inhabited continents. It covers half of North America and much of Africa and Asia.

The solution is as easy as installing a water softener, finding a softening salt that works with it and that benefits you, and simply converting your hard water to soft water chemically.

Choosing the best salt for water softener applications depends on what you’re trying to pull out of the water. Some salt works better with iron, others with calcium, and still others in removing chlorine.

The benefits of softer water almost always outweigh the cost of producing it in your home.

If you have sensitive skin, a water softener can greatly reduce itching, rashes and even clean your hair more effectively.

The benefits to your dishes, countertops, shower doors, toilets, and sinks will be noticeable with the absence of both white scale and brown rust spots.

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