The best water softener cleaner safeguards a water softener’s limescale reduction capabilities, allowing families to enjoy more pleasant showers and more durable water appliances.
Cleaning a water softener clears clogged resin pores and ensures peak water softener performance. It also translates to continuous limescale prevention and more enjoyable water use.
Homeowners who want a more effective cleaning and sanitization of their water softening systems should use a commercially available water softener cleanser. Manufacturers formulate their products especially for these water treatment systems, ensuring thorough cleaning and guaranteeing peak system performance.
Choosing the right cleaning agent requires an understanding of several factors, including the following.
- Cleaner Formulation: Water softener cleaners come in two forms: liquid and powder. In general, liquid formulations are more straightforward to use, requiring the immediate pouring of the solution into the tank. On the other hand, powdered formulations are excellent for multipurpose applications.
- Cleaning Effectiveness: A reliable water softener cleanser must not only remove common water softener debris, but also remove heavy metals, organic compounds, and even microorganisms. Having an NSF/ANSI certification is one way a water softener cleanser can prove its cleaning effectiveness.
- Compatibility: Many water softener cleaners have a generic formulation, allowing them to clean almost any water softener model. However, some products work only with select water softening systems. It would be best to check one’s water softener if it requires a specific cleaner or not.
Prospective water softener cleanser buyers can also consider other parameters, which we will discuss in our buying guide and illustrate in the following product reviews.
Table of Contents
- Top 10 Water Softener Cleaner Reviews
- 1. Pro Products Res Care RK02B Liquid Water Softener Cleaner
- 2. Whirlpool 12062002229 WHEWSC Water Softening Cleanser
- 3. Pro Products RO65N Rust Out Water Softener Cleaner
- 4. OUT Filter Mate TO06N Water Softener Cleaner
- 5. Pro Products Ban-T Alkaline Water Neutralizer and Cleaner
- 6. Pro Products Softener Mate SM65N City Water Softener Cleaner
- 7. EcoPure EPCL Water Softener Cleaner
- 8. Res-Up Water Softener Cleaner
- 9. Morton MWSC Universal Water Softener Cleanser
- 10. Tier1 WS-CLNSR-16 Water Softener Cleanser
- What to Look for When Buying Water Softener Cleaners
- Does a Water Softener Need to Be Cleaned
- How Often Should You Clean Out Your Water Softener
- How Do You Clean Resin Beads in a Water Softener
- How Do You Deep Clean a Water Softener
- Does Vinegar Clean Water Softener Resin
Top 10 Water Softener Cleaner Reviews
1. Pro Products Res Care RK02B Liquid Water Softener Cleaner
If I base my review on the number of positive ratings a product has, the Pro Products Res Care RK02B will come out as the best water softener resin cleaner. It is also one of the few products with the NSF/ANSI 60 certification, making it one of the most reliable, safe, and high-quality water softener cleaners anyone can buy.
I love this cleaner’s liquid formulation because it is easier to apply than a powdered form. One only needs half a cup of the solution, and the whole water softener system will function like new. There is no mixing involved and no waiting times. People can pour the agent straight into the brine or salt tank.
It is one of the most practical water softener cleaners one can buy. Not only is its use more economical, but also its unit price is perfect for the budget-conscious family.
I am also amazed at the product’s chemical composition, capable of removing manganese, iron, other metallic compounds, and organic molecules from the resin matrix. Not only does it improve the water softener’s performance and efficiency, but this product also protects it against corrosion and limescale formation.
Families who want to integrate this cleaner into regular water softener maintenance can purchase a drip feeder system. They can pour the water softener cleanser into the feeder bottle, and it automatically cleans the system every regeneration cycle.
2. Whirlpool 12062002229 WHEWSC Water Softening Cleanser
One issue with some water softener cleaners is the preparation required before use. Most products require dilution that can spell problems if the user fails to achieve the correct concentration.
The Whirlpool Water Softener Cleanser is a no-fuss solution to dirty water softener resin beds. It is one of the most convenient cleaners on the market, requiring users to pour the cleanser straight into the resin tank and activate the regeneration button.
All that is left to do is wait for about two hours, and the water softener is back to its brand new state.
I like this Whirlpool water softener cleaner alternative because of its unique formulation that eliminates stubborn particles from the resin bed. One can see the results right after regeneration, improving the water softener’s performance and allowing families to enjoy more pleasant water use.
I also love its long-lasting formulation, unlike other products that one must use every regeneration. People can use this product once every four months.
To prove its effectiveness, other water softener manufacturers also recommend it. For example, Rheem also suggests using this cleaner to maintain its impressive line of water softeners.
3. Pro Products RO65N Rust Out Water Softener Cleaner
The Pro Products RO65M Rust Out Water Softener is an efficient water softener system cleaner and iron remover. Its exceptional formulation makes this product ideal for households with high iron concentrations in the water, eliminating iron and rust buildup from the water softener’s resin bed.
This water softener cleaner contains sodium hydrosulfite, citric acid, and other robust cleansing agents that remove iron and rust stains, dissolve salt bridges, and eliminate harmful deposits. The product improves the water softener’s efficiency and extends water softener life.
Not only is this cleanser effective against rust in water softeners. Its unique formulation also makes it an all-around stain remover, particularly on ceramic and other nonporous surfaces.
One can scrub away the rust stains from the kitchen sink by dusting the powder and moistening it with clean water. The rust seems to bubble away in the resulting chemical reaction.
I am glad this product can remove rust from water softeners, allowing a salt based water softener to continue running optimally for many years. It is also less expensive than big-name brands, providing substantial savings for the modern family.
I have two concerns about this water softener cleaner.
4. OUT Filter Mate TO06N Water Softener Cleaner
Households with low iron and heavy metal levels can choose the OUT Filter Mate Softener Cleaner to clean their water softener and safeguard its optimum functionality. This product is one of the most effective water softener cleaners on the market.
I like this cleaner’s extra-strength formulation, making it a breeze to maintain a water softener’s operating efficiency. Since it comes in powder form, families can use it for other purposes. Households can add it to their water softener tank, regardless of brand and model.
Although it is a powder cleaner, it does not renege on its promise of removing iron, calcium, magnesium, lime, and other heavy metals from the water softener. Eliminating these chemicals from the water softener also renders the water more pleasant to drink or use in cooking delicious meals.
I am also happy to learn that it has an NSF/ANSI 60 certification. At least I am more confident with the product’s safety and cleaning effectiveness. It also works with different water softeners, unlike other products that are brand specific.
Unfortunately, this resin cleaner for water softener systems requires meticulous preparation. It is also less economical than other products because it requires two cups for initial use.
5. Pro Products Ban-T Alkaline Water Neutralizer and Cleaner
The Ban-T is an effective water pH neutralizer and resin bed cleaner used for water softeners and other household water fixtures and appliances.
This cleaning agent is phenomenal in neutralizing tannins, iron, and other organic and heavy metal compounds in the water, limiting limescale and corrosion formation in household water appliances and plumbing.
I am unsure about this product’s precise mechanism of action. However, its effectiveness is in the results. One will see a dramatic improvement in the water softener functioning a few days after the initial use of this water softener cleaner.
Even if the product does not have an NSF/ANSI 60 certification, people will be happy knowing this water softener cleaner works as intended.
I also like the lemony scent, unlike others that irritate the nose. Its pH-balancing formulation guarantees more effective dishwashing, car washing, bathing, and other water-related activities in the home.
Although this product is for water softeners, one can use it for other purposes. It can remove rust stains and other surface discolorations due to iron and tannin deposits.
6. Pro Products Softener Mate SM65N City Water Softener Cleaner
Here is another water softener cleaner from Pro Products homeowners can use to maintain their water softening system’s optimum functioning and peak performance. Whereas other products are suitable for city water, the Softener Mate is perfect for municipal water.
I am pleased with the company’s decision to formulate an extra-strong cleaning agent for water softeners. Most of the brand’s powdered formulations are not economical, requiring two cups to a quart of water to achieve the desired results. This product only uses a cup for every two quarts of tap water, signifying its effectiveness.
The product has an NSF/ANSI 60 certification that guarantees its quality, safety, and effectiveness. The documentation should put doubters to rest. There is no question this water softener additive can remove iron and mineral buildup.
This water softener cleaner and iron remover is beneficial to households with mild to moderate concentrations of heavy metal compounds. It can dissolve iron, metal particles, and other compounds.
I am confident the cleanser will eliminate impurities in the valve and resin bed, improving water softener operation while protecting the integrity of water fixtures, plumbing, and appliances.
7. EcoPure EPCL Water Softener Cleaner
The EcoPure EPCL Universal Water Softener Cleaner is one of the most trusted cleaning solutions one can buy for any water softener. While the company formulated this product for its impressive water softener line, it also works with other brands, including Kenmore, Whirlpool, General Electric, Morton, Culligan, and Omni.
I love this cleaner’s universal formulation, including those of leading brands. Families looking for a Kenmore water softener cleaner can use this product instead, knowing how difficult it can be to search for brand-specific cleaning agents.
Surprisingly, this water softener iron remover and cleaner works exceptionally with non-EcoPure water softeners.
I am biased towards liquid formulations because they are a breeze to use. The EcoPure water softener cleaner is no different. One only needs to open a bottle, pour the contents into the brine tank, and activate the system to start regenerating. There are no inaccurate measurements and messy mixing to worry me.
The best part? This cleaner protects the water softener’s integrity for up to four months. Other water softener cleaners require more frequent application, with some brands recommending pouring the solution every time the water softener regenerates.
Performance-wise, this water softener cleaner removes heavy metals and organic compounds stuck in the resin bed. While it does not have an NSF certification to prove its claim, the proof is in the water coming out of the recently-treated water softener beads.
8. Res-Up Water Softener Cleaner
People trust a Res-Up water softener cleaning solution for its exceptional cleaning capabilities and unparalleled practicality. This cleaning agent is one of the most economical products one can ever use to maintain a water softener’s integrity, peak performance, and operating functionality.
While this product does not say it can remove rust from the resin bed, I read it can turn reddish-colored water into a crystal-clear liquid. One will never have that odd iron taste in the water, making it more pleasant to have coffee, tea, juice, and other beverages. People will also notice an improvement in the water flow.
I am happy this product is compatible with many water softener models and brands, including the leading ones. Families will never have issues maintaining their branded water softeners as long as they use this product accordingly.
I mentioned this water softener cleaner’s practicality. One can pour the 128-fluid ounce bottle into the brine tank without mixing or diluting. Families who have a drip feeder system can also use this product to clean their water softeners automatically.
Using it in a feeder system only requires half an ounce per cubic foot. Most water softeners have a 1.5-cubic foot resin bed, requiring only three-quarters of an ounce of this cleaning solution.
9. Morton MWSC Universal Water Softener Cleanser
The Morton MWSC Universal Water Softener Cleaner is a versatile cleaning agent compatible with Morton, GE, Kenmore, EcoPure, Whirlpool, Culligan, Omni, and other leading water softener brands.
It is an effective cleanser that removes stubborn metallic and organic compounds from the resin bed, ensuring families have an optimally performing water softener.
I love this cleaner’s formulation, only requiring a thrice-yearly application. Most water softener cleaners need reapplication every regeneration, making them costlier in the long run. Not only is it more economical, but it also underscores the product’s extra-strength formulation.
Unlike other 1-gallon liquid cleaners, The Morton water softener cleaner is only 16 fluid ounces, sufficient for an entire tank.
I can only guess its chemical formulation is substantially robust to break the chemical bonds of iron and other heavy metals in the resin bed. The resulting water is also free of silt, sediment, and other particles. Families will love their rejuvenated water softener’s performance.
As mentioned, the product’s universal formulation is noteworthy. However, people with a Morton water softener can extend their system’s warranty to five years if they use this cleaning solution.
10. Tier1 WS-CLNSR-16 Water Softener Cleanser
Families who want a liquid water softener cleaner might want to consider the Tier1 WS-CLN5R-16. This product has a pre-measured and extra-strength formulation that knocks mineral deposits off the water softener resin bed.
I love this liquid cleaner because I won’t have to fret about inaccurate measurements, tedious mixing, and messy chemical reactions. All I ever need is to pour the 16-ounce bottle into the brine tank and regenerate the system.
One also does not need to add this product every recharge. The company recommends cleaning the water softener with this product only once every three months.
Homeowners will appreciate the savings they get from using this water softener cleaner, including its effortless application. They can also use it on their water softener, regardless of brand or model. It does not matter if one has a Culligan, a Morton, a Kenmore, or a Whirlpool.
This cleanser will keep the water softener running for many years.
The best part is this product works to eliminate stubborn deposits from the resin bed. One can see the water softener discharge murky and dirty water filled with chemical substances and particles.
After several days, family members will notice an improvement in their water use, making showers more pleasant and washings more enjoyable.
What to Look for When Buying Water Softener Cleaners
Water softener cleaners are fascinating products people can use to maintain their water softener’s optimum functioning, ensuring a continuous supply of softened water for the whole family. It protects the machine that safeguards plumbing and water appliance integrity by removing deposits from the resin bed.
The question now is what things people must look for when buying a water softener cleaner.
Manufacturers produce two forms of cleaning agents for water softening systems: liquid and powder.
Most people prefer liquid formulations because they are more effortless to apply. Many of these products are pre-measured and come with the correct strength necessary for deep cleaning water softeners. Using a liquid water softener resin bed cleaner is as straightforward as pouring the contents straight into the brine tank.
Unfortunately, some brands have extra-strength liquid formulas that require dilution. It would be wise to use precise measurements in such cases to achieve the ideal cleaner strength.
On the other hand, powder water softener cleaners are less expensive. However, one may not achieve the correct solution strength necessary to clean the water softener.
It also tends to be messier because of the chemical reaction between the cleaner’s active ingredient and the base water. One must also wait several minutes before pouring the solution into the brine tank.
Assessing the effectiveness of a water softener cleaner is challenging because one must first use the product to get the results. Reading water softener cleaner reviews and exchanges in online community forums can provide prospective buyers with an idea of a product’s performance in the real world.
However, one must realize these reviews are often subjective or biased.
Thankfully, some manufacturers subject their products to rigorous testing and certification by third-party laboratories and quality organizations. For example, a company may test its water softener cleaner against the NSF/ANSI 60 standard, ensuring quality, safety, and performance.
While not a guarantee, one will feel more confident with products with an NSF/ANSI certification.
In general, a water softener cleaner must remove water hardness minerals stuck in the resin matrix, including iron, manganese, other heavy metals, sediment, silt, and organic compounds. It would be best if the product neutralizes microorganisms, too.
Water Softener Compatibility
Most water softener resin cleaners have a universal formulation, allowing people to use them on almost any water softener brand and model.
However, some water softener manufacturers recommend using only their products to avoid voiding their warranty. Other brands extend their product warranties to entice water softener owners to use a specific cleaner.
Ease of Preparation and Use
Some people do not know how to use water softener cleaner. That is why it would be best to check the product’s ease of use. In general, liquid formulations are more straightforward to apply because there is no mixing or diluting necessary.
On the other hand, powdered formulas require precise measurements of the cleaning agent and water to create the correct cleaning solution strength.
It also helps to check where to pour the cleaning solution. Most manufacturers recommend pouring their products into the brine tank, while others prefer adding their cleaning agents into the salt during regeneration.
One might also want to consider application frequency. Some manufacturers recommend cleaning the water softener every regeneration cycle. If one’s machine regenerates twice a month, it makes sense to clean the water softener every two weeks, too.
Some brands require cleaning the water softener with their products only after three to four months.
Feeder System Compatibility
Some water softener cleaners are suitable as additives to regeneration salts. These products require a drip feeder system that automatically delivers a predetermined amount of the cleaning solution into the tank during recharging.
Does a Water Softener Need to Be Cleaned
Yes, water softeners do require cleaning.
For the most part, water softeners are low maintenance. Most users refill the salt in the brine tank now and then.
Nonetheless, water softeners remove the “hard” minerals, such as calcium and magnesium, from the water supply. Over time, these minerals build up and can clog the resin matrix.
Salt bridges can also occur, which is when the salt gets trapped in the brine tank. It affects the regeneration of the softener’s resin beads.
Cleaning water softener ensures it is running at peak performance. Moreover, consistent care can also prevent sudden and expensive breakdowns.
How Often Should You Clean Out Your Water Softener
Water softeners have different components with various functions. Thus, cleaning and maintenance schedules can vary on each piece.
The Brine Tank
The water softener’s brine tank or salt storage tank releases salt and water to remove the build-up and replenish the salt level in every resin bead.
Many users recommend thoroughly cleaning the brine solution tank at least once a year if it gets dirty quickly. Otherwise, it can result in clogged valves or salt mushing, and other serious problems.
The Softener Tank
The softener tank contains resin beads that remove the hard minerals in the water. Usually, the regeneration process is enough to clean these beads.
However, the resin tank will require cleaning if the water supply contains high levels of iron, manganese, and other metals and organic compounds. In such situations, cleaning the resin beds every three to twelve months is mandatory.
Using a water softener cleaner can help. The water softener cleaner ingredients include acetone, butanone, hydrochloric acid, and some acid that can combat metal and mineral buildup. Some products also act as water softener salt boosters.
However, there are specific cleaners for iron and manganese build-up.
Well-known cleaners include Kenmore water softener cleaning agent, Res-up water softener cleaner, Rheem water softener cleaner, and Sears water softener cleaner.
How Do You Clean Resin Beads in a Water Softener
Cleaning the resin beads is essential if your water supply contains high levels of iron, manganese, and other metals and organic compounds. These minerals often get stuck between the resin beads and thus, affect their water softening capabilities.
If you are wondering how to clean Whirlpool water softener or any other water softening system, you can do the following steps:
- Choose the correct water softener cleaner by looking at your water softener type and the minerals you want to remove. It’s best to ask the manufacturer or read through the owner’s manual to determine the specific cleaner brand and type.
- Pour the solution into the tank by following the instructions indicated in the water softener cleaner. Some types require you to pour it directly into the water or salt, while others need to go through the brine tank.
- Switch to regeneration mode to expel the dirt and grime from the water softener. Run the cycle at least twice to get rid of it completely.
- Return to the normal mode and run some water through the tank to flush out the remaining cleaner solution.
How Do You Deep Clean a Water Softener
While water softening devices don’t require cleaning, you should regularly do so to ensure peak performance.
Here’s how to clean your water softener by yourself:
- Detach the pipes connected to the unit. Then, drain the water inside the resin tank.
- Remove the old salt from the tank. Pour hot water to remove large or hardened pieces.
- Pour your chosen water softener cleaner into the brine tank or salt tank. It’s best to add it when salt levels are low.
- Pour bleach or vinegar inside the water softener for a deep clean. To do this, mix ¼ cup of vinegar or bleach with five liters of water and leave it for at least 15 minutes. Then, pour it inside the tank and scrub on the walls. Ten minutes is sufficient for it to work before rinsing.
- Activate regeneration mode to finish the deep cleaning. Then afterward, switch back to normal mode and reassemble the unit.
- Add 55 gallons of water into the brine or salt tank and 100 pounds of salt. Do a test run to check if everything is in order.
Does Vinegar Clean Water Softener Resin
Yes, vinegar is a popular homemade water softener cleaner. You can even use bleach and dish soaps for the job.
However, you’ll need to be careful when using these alternative cleaners since they can potentially damage your water softener.
Many users recommend using not more than a tablespoon of vinegar, keeping the concentration between 50 PPM and 100 PPM. Any more than that can already damage the water softener.
Aside from being cheaper than most water softener cleaners, vinegar is also safe to consume. However, it might leave an aftertaste and smell.
Families deserve only the best water softener cleaner to maintain their water softening devices’ optimal operating functionality. The correct product effectively guarantees a water softener’s peak performance, delivering soft water to the whole family.
The top-tier cleaner is effortless to apply while ensuring optimal removal of mineral, organic matter, and heavy metal deposits from water softeners resin bed.