Sodium in Soft Water—What You Need to Know

Everyone wants to know their water is safe, and there’s often a lot of confusion about sodium levels in soft water. It makes sense to have concerns about your water quality. That’s why we’re dedicating a post to review the hard facts on soft water and sodium.

Types of Water Treatment Solutions

At Indy Soft Water we’re all about making sure your water is healthy, clean, and worry-free. In general, there are two types of water systems: a filtration system, and a softener. A lot of homeowners in the Indianapolis area invest in a water softener because it’s better for cleaning. Regular tap water, on the other hand, is notoriously “hard” with minerals.

The dissolved calcium in tap water can actually do a lot of damage around the home. Softener systems remove the hard minerals in your tap water through a process called ion exchange. A negatively charged resin layer in the softener replaces your hard water’s calcium and magnesium ions with sodium ions—giving you soft water!

The Hard Facts on Soft Water and Sodium

So how much salt is actually added to your water with a home softener? It depends on the water’s hardness level. Harder water requires more ion-exchanging, and that means your softener and resin layer need more sodium ions to swap out. The resin needs to have a negative charge to attract the hard water ions, and it usually gets this from a sodium solution. (Hence the softener salt.) That’s why harder water requires more salt.

Still, the sodium levels in soft water are very low, even by FDA standards. Even if your hard water level is 11 gpg (which is considered Very Hard) the sodium level for your softened water would be relatively low. Normally, it should only get up to 20.6 mg/cup. And because the FDA deems servings with 35 mg of sodium or less as “Very Low Sodium,” drinking soft water is very minor to your overall sodium intake.

Processed foods and table salt are the real culprits of high sodium. Regardless, some people would still rather not drink their soft water. In that case, a home filtration system can eliminate impurities in your water.

A reverse osmosis (RO) unit is a great solution for any sodium concerns with your water. Because these filtration systems are specifically designed for drinking water, they’re great at removing trace amounts of sodium, fluoride, and other microbes from your basic tap or softened water. Pairing a filtration system with your softener lets you have the best water for your whole home—great, soft water for cleaning, and clean, pure drinking water that’s sodium-free.