Should I be reducing salt amounts in recipes if cooking with tap water that has passed through a salt based water softener? Or is the amount of salt from the softener negligible? I'm probably over-thinking it.... :-)

1 Answer 1



Water softeners do not add any salt to the water. They use the sodium from the salt, not the salt itself.

This is known as an ion-exchange process

If your softened water tastes at all salty, you need to check with a maintenance engineer.

In 'health' terms, there is a slightly increased sodium content, but in flavour terms there is no additional salt.

  • 1
    That's the on-topic answer, though there may be a little salty flavour from the resulting sodium compounds. However the kitchen tap normally bypasses any water softener because the increase in sodium consumption can be a concern for health reasons. The OP may want to review their sodium intake, especially if they drink a lot of that water
    – Chris H
    Dec 10, 2020 at 19:43
  • The recommendation for unsoftened kitchen taps is for houses "with babies or adults on sodium-free diets". My father-in-law is a retired softener installer/engineer. His own kitchen uses softened water. tbh, I'd never even considered it before now - I'm no expert on the subject myself.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 10, 2020 at 19:51
  • Yea, the reason is asked the question is we were told to not water plants with it so we have a tap outside for the hose that bypasses the softener. We only cook with the water here, we drink water from those 5Gal drums you fill yourself.
    – Matt
    Dec 10, 2020 at 19:53
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    @Tetsujin I think that recommendation has been stretched as a precaution for potential future users - my parents had one fitted a few years ago. I'm also told unsoftened makes better tea but I wouldn't know, I don't drink tea - and it might depend on the tea. Anyway not such a worry for the OP if they don't drink it - Matt, IME drinking water straight from the tap is more common here in the UK, than in the US, though I havent spent much time your side of the Atlantic.
    – Chris H
    Dec 10, 2020 at 20:47
  • @Matt - I've never lived anywhere you can't just drink from the tap, whether the water was soft or hard, so general 'potable water' rules would still apply.
    – Tetsujin
    Dec 16, 2020 at 19:00

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