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Will Water Softener Salt Kill Grass? (4 Possible Ways To Save Your Plants!)

As the summer season approaches, you find ways to make your house look as beautiful on the outside as it looks on the inside. You use different products and techniques in your garden to help it grow.

What most home gardeners don’t know is that the wrong amount of water or sunlight can ruin their lawns in the blink of an eye.

Nutritional imbalances also destroy yards. But correcting the wrong acts at the right time can save your lawn from being destroyed.

Do the products you use to maintain your lawn contain water softener salt and you’re concerned that will water softener salt kill grass? Are you looking for some reliable piece of information to satisfy your concern?

This article contains all the information you need to know whether will water softener salt kills grass or not? Is it beneficial or harmful for your garden? By the end of this article, you will also get to know about the alternatives you can use instead of water softener salt. So, if you are interested, keep on reading!

What Is Hard Water?

Hard water is categorized as water that is high in mineral content. It contains high levels of calcium and magnesium salts in the form of bicarbonates, chlorides, and sulfates.

Hard water can pose serious issues in industrial areas as hardness can cause breakdowns in boilers and heavy machinery. On a smaller scale, it results in the formation of limescale in kettles and water heating systems. Hard water in gardening can result in scale build-ups and water stains on plants.

Why Water Softeners Are Used?

Water softeners are used to treat hard water. They contain potassium and sodium which prevents the mineral build-up and makes the water soft. This softened water can also be used for gardening. The question that arises here is will water softener salt kill grass? Let’s find out!

Will Water Softener Salt Kill Grass?

Soft water contains high levels of salt or sodium as it is treated with salts to become softer. Plants that are treated with soft water have an excess of sodium salt that interferes with the water balance system of the plant.

This interference might trick the plant into believing that enough water is being absorbed which will result in dehydration.

The results of using soft water will not show right away, but if it is used for a longer period, it can result in the yellowing of the plant which can ultimately result in plant death.

So the answer to the question will water softener salt kill grass is yes it can, if it is used for a longer period.


Most plants can not tolerate salt but a few exceptions are present which cannot be ignored. Some plants including ferns, oak trees, and maple trees can tolerate a very high level of sodium.

The grass is usually said to be more resistant to harsh environments as compared to other plants, but the use of water softener salts can pose life-threatening conditions.

What Is Your Lawn Telling You?

Are you doing every possible thing and still not getting the results you want? If you are planting your seeds in the most favorable season, watering them timely, fertilizing the soil, aerating when required, and still not getting the best results, chances are there that you need to stop using soft water for your garden.

The quality of your soil is also affected by the type of water you are using. Watering with soft water results in the accumulation of salts. In areas where enough rainfall occurs, the salt is washed away by the rainwater, but prolonged use of soft water in other areas can be dangerous for your lawn.

Soft Water Solutions

Several ways to avoid using soft water for your plants, even if you have a water softener installed in your house, are described below.

1. Bypass Valve

If you have installed a water softener in your house, you need to install a bypass valve. You can install it outside your house allowing the water to flow naturally without getting softened. By doing this simple step you can save your plant from dying due to dehydration.

2. Salt-Free Water Softeners

Salt-free water softener helps you get rid of the mineral buildup without increasing the sodium level. By using salt-free water softeners to soften the water, you can save your plants. Here is a salt-free water softener that we recommend. Not only does it prevent mineral buildup, but it is also easy to install and drain.

Watts OFPSYS OneFlow Plus Whole House Water Filter System & Water Softener, System + Carbon Water Filter + Scale Reduction Cartridge, 3 Piece Set
  • Chemical-free scale reduction and protection converts hard minerals into soft particles preventing build up inside pipes and does not add or remove anything from water, allowing useful minerals such as calcium, potassium, and magnesium to remain
  • High-capacity, 20-micron water filter removes chlorine taste and odor while reducing sediment without chemicals or salt which is better for the environment leaving nothing but quality drinking water
  • Virtually maintenance free, no electricity, wastewater, control valve and includes 1 carbon block good for up to 50,000 gallons, 1 scale reduction cartridge good for up to 250,000 gallons or 3 years, and multi-function tool for cartridge change-outs
  • Improves efficiency of all water heating devices and downstream plumbing components, improves equipment life, reduces energy consumption and is a great alternative to standard water softener or other whole house water filter systems
  • Easily installed to the floor or wall using included mounting bracket; connect the system to the main water supply pipe before the water heater and do not expose the system to freezing temperatures

3. Rainwater

The easiest possible way to water your plants without the fear of getting them damaged is using rainwater. Rainwater is known as ‘naturally soft water’ as it does not contain high levels of minerals and salts in it. It has the perfect pH and mineral level your plants need.

You should make the most out of the rainy season and use large barrels to collect rainwater to water your plants. You can also mix the rainwater you collected with the softened water to balance out the effect.

4. Dechlorination

High amounts of chlorine present in water can be harmful for your plants. If you want to use water with high chlorine levels, it is suggested that tap water should be allowed to sit in the watering can to dechlorinate.


The use of soft or hard water for plants is a constant battle for gardeners. The answer to the question will water softener salt kill grass is yes it can. It might not show symptoms immediately but over time, plants can turn yellow due to dehydration if other alternatives are not used.

Enjoy your softened water for cooking, cleaning, and bathing but when it comes to plants, softened water will not give you the best results!