Will a Water Softener Make My Water Taste Better?

Will a Water Softener Make My Water Taste Better?

If you’re considering a watering softening system for your home, you may be wondering what changes you’ll notice once your hard water is treated. Will your water taste better? Is it more enjoyable to drink softened water than hard?

Softened water that uses salt to regenerate will have slightly higher levels of sodium, which may be detectable to some sensitive users. Softened water can have a smoother and lighter texture in the mouth, which some people prefer. It is a matter of preference, though there are other benefits beyond taste that softened water can offer.

Keep reading to learn more about the unique taste and texture of softened water, and the benefits of adding a water softener system to your home.

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Ultimate Guide to Water Softeners: Everything You Need to Know
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Why Does My Softened Water Taste Salty – Homeowners Guide

Will My Softened Water Taste Different?

Whether or not your softened water tastes different will depend on the kind of water-softening system that you have installed. While the difference should be negligible and undetectable to most users, sodium-based softener systems do add small amounts of salt to your water.

Water that has been softened with magnets, filters, and other technology that does not involve sodium will have no salt added to the water. While you won’t notice any difference in sodium content, the absence of calcium and magnesium can make the flavor of softened water lighter, and less harsh.

Does Sodium Softened Water Taste Salty?

Though most people don’t notice a difference in water that is treated with sodium, for those with very sensitive taste buds, sodium-treated softened water may have a very slightly salty flavor. It will not be anywhere near as strong as, say, seawater, and most people will not be able to taste a difference.

Though there is an increase in sodium content, the amounts of salt are not unhealthy, and shouldn’t cause any kind of health complications. The amount of sodium in your softened water depends on how hard your water is. The more calcium and magnesium the sodium in your softener tank has to remove, the more sodium will wind up in your water.

If the amount of sodium that occurs naturally in the food you eat every day doesn’t bother you, the sodium content of softened water shouldn’t be noticeable or problematic, either. Those on a low sodium diet, however, may want to consider a water softener that doesn’t use sodium.

Reasons Why Softened Water Can Taste Salty

What if you’re able to detect unpleasant levels of salt in your softened water? Most people shouldn’t be put off by the salt content of softened water, so a very sharp salty taste in your water may be a sign that your softened tank is damaged or clogged.

Common issues include:

  • Too much sodium in the brine tank
  • Clogged or Dirty Injector Valve
  • Clogged Drain Line
  • Clogged or Damaged Brine Line

These injector valves can become encrusted with undissolved salt residue, allowing this high-concentration sodium to find its way into your drinking water. The safest way to clean a clogged injector valve is with warm water and a toothbrush; anything rougher than this may damage the valve, and it does tend to be a delicate piece of equipment.

Other problems can arise when your drain line is clogged. The part can be removed, and simply flushed with water in your sink to clean it. Check your brine line, too, as a clog here can cause sodium to be unevenly distributed in your system, leading to salty drinking water.

Using Softened Water Has Other Advantages

Using softened water has a number of benefits as far as flavor, as well as some surprising practical benefits, and advantages over calcium and magnesium-rich hard water.

There are perks you’ll begin to notice when you start using soft water in the kitchen, as well as some interesting ways to enjoy softened water in cooking and for hydration. While you’ll be reducing sharp minerals in water you’ll also be enjoying the properties that make soft water unique.

Softened Water Has a Unique Texture

Another thing that makes softened water unique, is the way that it can feel in the mouth. Whereas mineral-rich water can have a slightly sharp and complex quality, softened water comes across as a bit smoother to drink, and it can feel less weighty in the mouth.

Many users enjoy softened water for this very reason, finding it easier to drink and that the overall texture of the water is more enjoyable than mineral-rich water. For users whose water is especially hard and metallic, using a softener can make the water much more palatable and can save quite a lot of money over the price of bottled water.

Soft Water Can Yield Tastier Tea and Coffee

One thing that many consumers notice is that softened water can give them tastier tea and coffee. Why is this? Without the minerals of calcium and magnesium adding complexity to the drinking water, the flavor of seeped materials can taste more vivid and deep.

Instead of having to compete with the intricateness of other flavors in the water, the natural composition of the tea or coffee can shine much brighter and be a pleasure to drink. Bitterness can be reduced in coffee, and the lack of calcium deposits in water can prolong the life of your coffee machine.

These are all added advantages if you’re someone who loves to experiment with and enjoy new flavors of coffee or tea. Soft water works equally well in teapots, coffee makers, pour-overs, and French presses.

Soft Water is Easier on Dishes

Another benefit of soft water is the ease of use when washing dishes. Hard water can cause unsightly deposits on glass dishes and removing these encrusted bits of calcium can be a pain.

Soft water is a joy to wash with, however, and whether you use a dishwasher or wash your dishes by hand, you’ll notice a difference in how clean, clear, and streak-free your glassware looks. Soft water is also great for cleaning the metal faucets in your bathroom and kitchen, as you won’t be finding water spots or streaks.

Is Softened Water Safe for Pets?

Just as properly softened water won’t be problematic or dangerous for humans, it should be perfectly safe for pets to drink. Monitor your pets for any adverse reactions to softened water, however, just in case your animal’s system is uniquely sensitive.

Be sure to keep an eye on your pet’s digestive movements, as well. While most pets won’t be bothered at all by softened water, others may need to be watered after you’ve activated the bypass valve on your system. Softened water will not be as problematic as sea water for pets, though you can always supply your pets with bottled water if drinking softened water does not seem to agree with them.


Softened water that has used sodium to remove minerals from drinking water can have a very mild salty taste. This should not be detectable to most consumers, but those with very sensitive taste buds may notice a slight difference. Consumers on low sodium diets may wish to soften water without sodium-based systems.

Softened water is still safe to drink, cook, and wash with, and is generally safe for pets, as well. Softened water works well when used to brew coffee or tea, as the less complex flavor allows for the nuances of the beverage’s flavor to shine through more clearly.

Chief Guru

Richard Boch is a chemical engineer responsible for designing water filtration systems for industrial and residential customers. He has more than 20 years of experience with ion exchange, activated carbon, and reverse osmosis. Richard's expertise has made him a go-to source for municipalities and businesses looking to improve their water quality. When he's not working, Richard enjoys spending time with his wife and two young children. You can also follow him on LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook.

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