8 Best Water Softener Alternatives On The Market

water softener alternatives

What are water softener alternatives? Water softeners are an investment that can significantly improve your quality of life. They can help reduce the effects of hard water on your home, skin, and hair and make cleaning and bathing easier. 

Water softeners remove the excess minerals in hard water, like calcium & magnesium, which can cause several issues, such as soap scum, scale build-up, and decreased water pressure. 

You’re not alone if you’re looking for an alternative to a water softener. Hard water can cause many problems, such as clogged pipes, dry skin, and cloudy dishes. Fortunately, several alternatives to traditional water softeners can help you get the same results without the expense and hassle. 

In this article, we’ll provide an overview of the different water softener alternatives and the benefits they offer. 

From magnetic devices to potassium chloride, these water softener alternatives reduce the hardness of your water without the need for added chemicals. You’ll need to understand their differences and what each offers to get the most out of your water softener alternative.

Why Should You Look For Water Softener Alternatives?

Approximately 80% of households experience the issue of hard water. If that includes you, make sure to investigate the potential solutions.

People are familiar with water softeners, which can minimize the difficulties associated with hard water. Nevertheless, these units have some drawbacks: 

  • Hard water contains large amounts of calcium and magnesium, which can be replaced by sodium. However, this renders the water unsafe for human consumption.
  • You can’t use it to water plants, fill an aquarium, or give it to children. In addition, it can’t be for individuals with diabetes and hypertension.
  • The detrimental effects this has on the environment caused certain states to forbid or restrict them.

Fortunately, other solutions can address these problems and provide the same advantages as water softeners, but without drawbacks.

I have examined 8 of the greatest alternatives and evaluated their advantages and disadvantages.

Best 8 Water Softener Alternatives

Most water softeners are salt-based. Thus, they utilize ion exchange technology to replace the magnesium and sodium ions in the water with sodium ions.

Nevertheless, salt-based softeners require frequent refilling and upkeep, which can be costly. In this article, we’ll look into some of the optimal water softener substitutes: 

Template Assisted Crystallization (TAC)


A TAC system does not require salt, power, or upkeep to function correctly. Once it is set up, no cleaning or additional chemicals are necessary.

The TAC system utilizes ceramic-polymer beads to reduce the hardness of the water. Their resin turns minerals into crystals instead of molecules with a charge. Rather than adhering to items such as appliances and pipes, these crystals are carried away via flowing water.

The TAC process does not eliminate calcium and magnesium from the water, so the water still contains beneficial elements.

TAC is an eco-friendly selection. It does not contain electronic valves, which are often costly to replace if they malfunction. You won’t need to connect the system to a drain. Thus, resulting in water conservation.

This tank has excellent durability, which helps to minimize costs associated with water processing. Since salt is not added to the water, it does not affect the quality or taste.

No one is certain how effective the TAC systems are in the long term. The medium is still resilient to chlorine to a certain degree. To ensure longevity, install a carbon filter that removes chlorine before the water passes through the medium.

Therefore, if the only difficulty you have with your water is the limescale buildup, TAC provides an economical, healthier, environment-friendly, and salt-free solution.

Electrically Induced Precipitation (EIP)

An EIP system changes the molecules that cause water to be soft deposits on an electrode instead of accumulating hard layers on your kitchen faucets, pipes, and other standard fixtures.

It is advisable to clean the electrode regularly. EIP systems are capable of diminishing the accumulation of limescale by nearly half.

In contrast to template-assisted crystallization systems, these systems are substantially more costly and require more water for backwashing, thus making them more water-intensive.

EIP systems are advantageous because of their effortless setup and upkeep compared to other water softeners.

Salt-Free Water Conditioner


The purpose of the salt-free water conditioner is to impede the accumulation of limescale and make it simple to eliminate. It does not block or take out the minerals causing hard water.

This process alters the chemical components of several minerals, such as calcium and magnesium. It introduces an anti-scaling resin that interacts with the water to accomplish its purpose.

A lot of people opt to install a salt-free water conditioner in combination with a pre-carbon filter. This keeps the water pleasant to smell and taste, eliminating any unpleasant chlorine flavors.

You can prolong the use of your plumbing, can clean more quickly with lesser materials, and experience better-quality water with this and other water softener alternatives.

Electronic Descaler


The electronic descaler uses nanotechnology to make the water more pliable than brine. It changes the molecular composition of the dissolved salts, causing them to become inactive.

The electronic descaler is beneficial in eliminating the limescale from the plumbing. Nevertheless, unlike other methods, this water-softening approach is only practical when the water is in motion.

If you wish to eliminate any impurities from a boiler or reservoir, you should consider an alternative to a water softener.

Electronic descaling is not capable of treating water with very high hardness, and it is most effective when the water’s hardness is at a maximum of 75 grains per gallon.

Reverse Osmosis (RO)


A reverse osmosis system is a filtration system that eliminates impurities such as dissolved solids, minerals, chemicals, and microorganisms from the water.

The system uses pressure to push the water through a permeable barrier, thereby decreasing the hardness of the water. Reverse osmosis systems can eliminate almost all suspended particles and pollutants in water, resulting in a highly purified beverage.

Specific reverse osmosis systems incorporate more than one filter to purify the water, resulting in an excellent product. The taste, smell, and look of RO-processed water are substantially more pleasant than untreated water.

As these systems do not rely on electricity, don’t get concerned about the expenses of operating them or having high electricity bills.

Taking care of RO systems is effortless. The filter needs to change every 1-2 years. And, the membrane needs to be substituted every couple of years, depending on the water quality in your locality.

Despite its advantages, Reverse Osmosis (RO) systems have some disadvantages, including the fact that the process can take a long time to complete. Once all the filtered water in the storage tank has been consumed, it must be replenished, which can take a while.

One of the main disadvantages of a reverse osmosis system is that it eliminates all minerals from the water, which can cause issues down the line.

The RO system is intricate and sensitive, and the filters must be changed periodically, which can be costly. Nevertheless, reduce expenditure on upkeep by utilizing sure water heaters, plumbing, taps, and other water-run appliances.

Excessive chlorine in your area can damage the RO system, and it may require repairs or the installation of new parts. Despite this, this is one of the top water softener choices.

If the Reverse Osmosis system doesn’t get proper care, the small openings in the membrane will get blocked, and the appliance will not function correctly. To safeguard your well-being, you should routinely clean and sterilize the Reverse Osmosis (RO) system to avoid developing mold or mildew.

Electromagnetic Water Treatment

Electromagnetic water treatment involves magnets that generate magnetic fields & cause calcium and magnesium molecules to absorb more water. This makes them too weak to stick to surfaces and hence helps to minimize the buildup of limescale.

Electromagnetic water treatment systems are advantageous since they do not add calcium molecules to the water, and they do not employ any chemicals. Additionally, they are environment-friendly since they do not necessitate backwashing and do not generate any wastewater.

If you are looking for an economical way to soften your water, then an electromagnetic water treatment system may be the solution. While these systems do use electricity, it is minimal.

Nevertheless, these water softener alternatives have a few restrictions. For instance, electric gadgets or machines in the vicinity can get confused by the system’s electromagnetic charge.

It must come into contact with the magnetic field to soften the water. And if the water is taken away for more than 48 hours, the water will return to its hard state, preventing the treated water from being kept for extended periods.

Capacitive Deionization


Capacitive deionization is also known as electrically regenerated ion exchange. The capacitive deionization system employs electrodes to divide the molecules into opposite charges of ions, expels them, and lowers the rigidity of the water.

This technique is both cost-effective and eco-friendly. However, it needs regular backwashing. Instead of using chemical treatments, people often turn to this technique as an alternative to chlorine in swimming pools.

Furthermore, it has low energy efficiency, and the installation fees are costly. The capacitive deionization system, generally used in a business environment, produces water free of minerals, which can damage the pipes but offers no advantage to the consumer.

Electrochemical Water Treatment


An electrochemical water treatment system makes the water more gentle and eradicates its hardness.

The treatment requires attaching electrodes and introducing an electric current through the liquid, which assists in eliminating the salts and germs, thus purifying the water.

The electrical flow creates ozone and other substances that contribute to water purification. Furthermore, these purifying agents originate from dissolved salts that are organic.

Electrochemical water purification is a secure technique since it does not involve any chemical substances and is an effective way to acquire clean and suitable drinking water.

If you want water to be spotless, go for electrodes coated with either platinum or platinum oxide.

Water Softener Alternatives To Suit Your Needs

There is an extensive selection of water softeners on the market, with some being more efficient than others. A salt-based water softener is necessary if you aim for soft water in your home.

One of the advantages of salt-free water softener alternatives is that they are environment-friendly, require minimal upkeep, and do not contribute excessive amounts of salt to the environment or wastewater.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) On Water Softener Alternatives

1. Is there a way to soften water without a water softener?

There are several methods if you’re looking into the top approaches to getting soft water in your house without setting up a water softener. It is possible to reduce the hardness of water through several methods, like boiling it before consumption, incorporating specific substances, or installing filters.

2. Is there an alternative to salt water softener?

Potassium Chloride, a substitute for salt in water softening systems, is a low-sodium option compared to conventional salts. These crystals are composed of 99.1% pure potassium chloride and have a low quantity of insoluble material, which helps the water softener to function optimally.

3. Do alternative water softeners work?

If you are trying to find a salt-free water softener, you won’t be able to find it because they do not exist. The ion exchange mechanism employed by water softeners cannot be effective unless the sodium ions replace the calcium and magnesium ions that cause hard water.

4. Do you really need water softener?

It is up to individuals to decide whether or not they want to go softer on their home and the environment. Suppose the amount of minerals in your water is more than 7 grains per gallon or 120 mg/L. In that case, you should get a water softener so that your appliances will operate properly and your water’s taste, smell, and appearance will improve.

Summary: Water Softener Alternatives

The water softener options detailed here are offered to the general public. Other water softener alternatives are developed for industrial purposes but are not accessible to the public.

That is why I only chose to demonstrate these items to you. So, what should you select as a replacement for your water softener in your residence?

Although there are advantages and disadvantages to each of these products, they are not identical. Some may require regular upkeep, while others could require a considerable financial investment in the long run.

Water descalers are superior to other options. They share water softeners’ advantages, but without drawbacks. As an alternative to exchanging calcium and magnesium ions with sodium, a water descaler restructures the crystals so they aren’t sticky. This allows you to retain all of the beneficial elements in the water.

Secondly, the installation process is simple and doesn’t need any upkeep. Follow the instructions in the guide and wrap the two coils around your primary pipeline. After that, plug it into a power source and enable it to do its task.

I hope this article on water softener alternatives sounds helpful!

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