Can You Put Bleach In A Water Softener?

You can put bleach in water softener when needed , but it should not be done regularly. Bleach can cause damage to the resin beads inside the softener and can also contaminate your water supply if used in excess. Therefore, it is best to use other cleaning solutions such as vinegar or baking soda instead of bleach for routine maintenance of your water softener.

Why Put Bleach In A Water Softener?

Why Put Bleach In A Water Softener
Put Bleach In A Water Softener
  • Removes Undesirable Consequences: When you add bleach to a water softener, it helps to remove the build-up of iron, calcium and other hard minerals from your home’s water supply. This can help improve the taste of your drinking water as well as reduce scale buildup on dishes, clothing, and fixtures.
  • Bacterial and Mildew Contamination: If a water softener is contaminated with bacterial or mildew growth, bleach may be used to disinfect it.
    Bacterial and Mildew Contamination
    Bacterial and Mildew Contamination
  • Avoid unpleasant odour: bleach can be used to eliminate unpleasant odours from the water softener that may arise due to bacteria build up. A small amount of bleach can be added periodically, but never more than ¼ cup per 150 gallons of water in the system.

How Do I Know If My Water Softener Needs Cleaning?

How Do I Know If My Water Softener Needs Cleaning
Water Softener Needs Cleaning

If your water softener is not performing as it should, there could be a few indicators that indicate that it needs cleaning. These include cloudy or smelly water, unpleasant taste/odor, stains on fixtures and dishes, slow draining sinks and tubs, and increased soap scum.

What Kind Of Bleach Should I Put In My Water Softener?

What Kind Of Bleach Should I Put In My Water Softener
Chlorine bleach

You can put chlorine bleach into a water softener, but it’s not necessarily the best option. If you decide to use bleach in your water softener, it should be of high quality and free from other additives or fragrances. Generally speaking, household cleaners and laundry detergents are not recommended for use in water softeners due to their potentially corrosive properties.

What Kind Of Bleach I Can Not Put In A Water Softener?

  • Scented bleach: Scented bleach is not recommended for water softeners because the perfumes and fragrances used to make the scent can be corrosive and may damage your system.
    Scented bleach
    Scented bleach
  • Low splash bleach: You should not use low splash bleach in a water softener. It may contain a high concentration of sodium hydroxide, which can damage the resin beads and clog the system.
    Low splash bleach
    Low splash bleach

How Can You Put Bleach In A Water Softener?

How Can You Put Bleach In A Water Softener
Put Bleach In A Water Softener

1. Start by turning off your water softener, as well as the water supply to it.

2. Locate the brine tank and remove the brine valve at the bottom of the tank.

3. Fill a measuring cup with 1/4 cup of bleach for every gallon of water in your brine tank and slowly pour it into the brine tank.

4. Once all of the bleach is in the brine tank, replace the valve and turn on the water supply to your softener.

5. Allow your water softener to run a full cycle while adding 1/2 cup of bleach each time it regenerates or cycles through.

6. Once the softener has completed all of its cycles, turn off the water supply and drain the brine tank.

7. Flush the tank with fresh water until all traces of bleach are gone and replace the brine valve.

8. Turn on your water supply to complete the process.

Simple Ways To Sanitize Your Water Softener Using Bleach

  • Pour diluted bleach into the water softener brine tank: Diluted bleach can be used to sanitize your water softener brine tank. To do this, you will need to fill the brine tank with warm water and one cup of chlorine bleach per every 50 gallons of water in the tank. Allow the solution to sit for at least 15 minutes before flushing it out and refilling with fresh water.
  • Put undiluted bleach into a water pre-filter housing: You can pour ½ cup of bleach into the pre-filter housing to disinfect it. This is a common practice in water filtration systems and may be done as part of periodic maintenance.

Can A Water Softener Get Damaged If You Put Bleach In It?

No, a water softener will not be damaged if you put bleach in it. However, the chlorine in the bleach can react with minerals in hard water, creating substances that may clog up the inner components of your water softening system over time. It is also important to note that bleach can corrode metal parts and dissolve rubber or plastic pieces within the system.

When Should You Not Put Bleach In A Water Softener?

If you have iron in your water than you should not use bleach in your water softener. Bleach is a base and will react with the iron, causing it to precipitate out of solution, leading to potential staining or buildup in your pipes.

Alternative To Bleach To Sanitize A Water Softener?

  • SANI-SYSTEM: The SANI-SYSTEM Sanitizer is a popular solution for sanitizing water softeners. It is a chlorine-free, non-toxic and biodegradable formula that disinfects the entire system in just one hour. This product has been specifically designed to be used with water softener systems, so it does not contain any harsh chemicals or toxins that could damage the equipment. Additionally, it does not produce any toxic by-products and is safe for both drinking water and wastewater applications. It also provides protection from bacteria, algae, fungi, slime and rust.
    SANI-SYSTEM Sanitizer
  • GREEN SAND: In terms of water softening, green sand is another popular option. This is a naturally occurring form of iron oxide and manganese dioxide that can be used in place of sodium chloride in most water softeners. It works by binding to the calcium ions in hard water and preventing them from being deposited on plumbing fixtures or appliances. Green sand is also said to be more effective than sodium chloride at preventing scale buildup and can last up to three times longer.
  • Hydrogen peroxide: You can use hydrogen peroxide in a water softener. Hydrogen peroxide is an oxidizing agent and can help reduce the amount of calcium and magnesium compounds that cause water hardness. When using hydrogen peroxide, it is important to make sure your system is set up properly to prevent any damage. Additionally, you should always follow the instructions on your product label in order to ensure proper usage. Be aware that hydrogen peroxide can cause discoloration of fabrics, so it is important to take precautions when using this type of product.
    Hydrogen peroxide
    Hydrogen peroxide
  • Vinegar: Vinegar can be used in water softeners as an alternative to bleach. Vinegar is a natural acid that helps remove scale buildup from water softeners and other plumbing fixtures, while also disinfecting them. Though vinegar is not as powerful as bleach, it does the job just fine for regular maintenance of water softener systems.

How Much Bleach Should I Put In Water Softener?

  • Regular-Sized Home Water Softener Unit: 2 ounces: For a regular-sized home water softener unit, 2 ounces of bleach is all that is needed. To ensure the bleach reaches the resin bed, pour it directly into the brine tank.
  • For Small Softener Units: 1-2 tbsp (¾ ounces): It is generally considered safe to put 1-2 tablespoons of chlorine bleach into small water softener units. Chlorine bleach is a strong oxidizer, which helps to remove iron and other minerals from the water, making it softer.
  • For Bigger or Industrial Softener Units: , ½ cup or 4-5 ounces: If you’re dealing with a bigger or industrial-style water softener unit, then you should use ½ cup or 4-5 ounces of bleach to sanitize the system.


What happens if you mix bleach and salt?

Mixing bleach and salt can be dangerous as it can cause an exothermic reaction, which produces a large amount of heat and can potentially create a hazardous situation. Additionally, chlorine gas may be created when these substances are mixed, which is harmful to humans.

Can I put liquid bleach in my washing machine?

No, you should not put liquid bleach in your washing machine. Bleach is an alkaline chemical compound that can cause damage to the plumbing and other components of a washing machine. Additionally, it could cause corrosion of metal parts if used over time.

Can you wash clothes with just bleach and fabric softener?

No, you should not attempt to wash clothes with just bleach and fabric softener. Fabric softener is meant to be used as a laundry additive, not as a cleaning agent on its own. Bleach is a powerful chemical that can damage clothing if used incorrectly. Always use both detergent and bleach together when cleaning clothes for the best results.

Does bleach dissolve some plastic?

Yes, bleach does have the potential to dissolve some types of plastic. This is especially true for soft plastics such as polyethene and polypropylene. Harder plastics such as PVC are less likely to be affected by bleach.

Can you put chlorine tablets in a water softener?

No, you should not put chlorine tablets in a water softener. Chlorine tablets are designed to be used in pools and spas to help keep the water clean, while a water softener is designed to reduce hardness minerals found in hard water. Chlorine can damage the resin beads inside the softener, causing it to become less effective at treating the water. Additionally, chlorine can react with the softened water and create compounds that are not beneficial for drinking.

Can I put vinegar in my water softener?

No, it is not recommended to put vinegar in a water softener. Vinegar can interact negatively with the brine tank and resin of a water softener system, leading to reduced efficiency and damage to the appliance. Additionally, using vinegar or bleach as a substitute for proper maintenance of your water softener could lead to an increase in buildup and sediment in the lines, which could decrease the lifespan of your system.


You can only put bleach in water softener when needed for disinfecting and cleaning. It is not recommended to use bleach as a routine maintenance agent for water softeners. If in doubt, consult the manufacturer of the water softener before adding any type of chemical to the system. Bleach can cause damage to the mechanical parts inside the system and affect its performance. The best way to ensure your water softener is functioning properly is to regularly change the salt and perform any other maintenance required. Doing this will help keep the system running efficiently for years to come.

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