Salt-Based Water Softener
Because salt-based water softeners actually remove the hardness causing minerals from the water, they outperform the salt-free systems. All of the advantages of softened water are present in a salt-based system: no scaling on fixtures or appliances, bright and hydrated hair and skin, spot-free dishes, bright and soft clothes, and less soap use across the home. Other long term benefits include more efficient and longer-lasting appliances as well as less repairs and plumbing maintenance.
Water hardness results from excess mineral content in the water, like calcium and magnesium. A salt-based water softener removes those minerals, thus lowering the hardness and creating softer water. On the other hand, a salt-free system works by crystallizing calcium, but not removing it.
Think of salt as the fuel that powers your water softening system. The salt is used during the regeneration process to rid the resin beads of all captured hard water minerals.