• September 06, 2020 4 min read

    Does Brita Remove Salt From Softened Water?

    brita filter

    Are you worried about the sodium in your softened water? For those high blood pressure or on a low-sodium diet, it is an important question to ask - How much sodium does softened water contain? And can I use a Brita to just filter out the salt?

    Well, it all depends on how much “hardness” was in the water to begin with. The softener “exchanges” about an equal amount of sodium for the initial hardness. If your water is very hard - meaning it has more calcium, magnesium, and possibly other contaminants - the water softener will have to replace more hardness particles with sodium.

    There has been little research done to prove that a standard Brita filter can effectively remove all the added sodium in your water. If you are on a low sodium diet, a better option would be to have your kitchen water tap taken off of the water softener so your tap water can run with hard water instead. This way, your home appliances are protected from hard waters harmful effects, and you can drink the water that is most appropriate for your health condition.

    Do water softeners leave salt in water?

    salt shaker spilling

    Since calcium and magnesium are exchanged for sodium during the softening of water, you may wonder if this will increase the sodium intake to your diet? The simple answer is, “not really”. The amount of sodium in your soft water after going through the softening process will depend on the hardness level of your water to begin with. But here's the truth: there is very little sodium in softened water.

    Softened water still contains all the natural minerals that we need. It is only deprived of its calcium and magnesium contents, and some sodium is added during the softening process. That is why in most cases, softened water is perfectly safe to drink as it contains only up to 300mg/L of sodium. It’s important to remember that soft water is not saltwater, it only contains a small amount of sodium due to the ion exchange process. Typically less than eating two ounces of cheddar cheese!

    Note: In areas with very high hardness the softened water must not be used for the preparation of baby-milk, due to the high sodium contant after the softening process has been carried out.

    slices of white breadDuring the ion exchange process, the resin beads do release sodium into the water when grabbing ahold of the hardness minerals. But the amount of sodium in softened water isn’t unhealthy, and actually is far less than what is widely imagined. If you have moderately hard water, for example, 5 gpg that’s only adding 37 milligrams of sodium per quart of water. That’s less than 2% of the suggested daily sodium intake! Comparatively, a slice of white bread has around 170 milligrams of sodium, and a slice of pizza has about 640 milligrams.

    The amount of sodium added by a water softener is linearly related to the number of hardness minerals being reduced. For every milligram of hardness in the water, the softener releases 2 milligrams of sodium. This only becomes problematic if you live in an area with extremely hard water. If your water has a hardness level of over 400 ppm, you will want to install a reverse osmosis system to treat the water that you drink and cook with. The reverse osmosis system pushes water through a semipermeable membrane capable of eliminating almost all dissolved solids and salts from the water. If your doctor has recommended you reduce your sodium intake due to blood pressure or kidney problems, it is also advisable to install a reverse osmosis system after your softener. 

    How do you remove sodium from softened water?

    For those who want to get rid of hard water problems but not able to drink sodium, there's a solution for you! You can still enjoy the benefits of soft water, such as reduced stains and limescale, more efficient soap usage and longer appliance life, while having another option for the water you drink.

    Here are a couple of options:

    1. One solution is to use potassium chloride instead of sodium chloride pellets to soften your water.
    2. Or you can always have your kitchen water tap taken off of the water softener so your tap water runs with hard water instead.
    3. Another option is a reverse osmosis drinking water system installed along with your water softener. Reverse osmosis removes 95%+ of “everything” in the water, including sodium. 

     Of course, if sodium is still a concern, your physician is the best person to consult for further discussion.


    You can drink softened water, but it’s important to check the hardness level beforehand. If it’s below 400 ppm, then it’s safe to drink. If it’s above 400 ppm, then by law, you will need to place a reverse osmosis filter to get rid of the sodium levels.

    Sodium is a naturally occurring mineral and is found in almost everything you consume—from apples and almonds to water and milk. And while sodium is used to soften water, one of the biggest misconceptions is that it makes your water noticeably salty. Luckily, that’s not the case. Learn more at Aquatell about how a water softener can help benefit you today.