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 Is Water Softener and Pool Salt Safe to use in Cooking?
Spankadin  [Team Member]
3/16/2009 5:18:19 PM
I think salt will be in high demand in tough times. I usually buy it 3 lbs/$1.00 at Dollar General Store. (.33 per lb) I currently have about 21 cartons.

I was wandering around the hardware store over the weekend and I noticed an opened bag of water softener salt. Here's what I found:
http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=1336677&clickid=prod_cs

The bag said it contained NaCl pellets. I took out a pellet and like a dummy, tasted it. Tasted like salt to me. It is 40 lb. of salt pellets, 99.9% pure food grade salt, $6.99 for 40 lbs. (.17 per lb)

They also had the Cargill Salt® Diamond Crystals® Extra Coarse 40lb Water Softener Salt for $5.49 for 40 lbs. (.13 per lb) Here's this salt:
http://www.acehardware.com/product/index.jsp?productId=2783782&clickid=prod_cs

I found this when I was searching around the net. AquaSalt is used for swimming pool and spa chlorine generators. It's $7.65 for 40 lbs. (.19 per lb) Here is info about AquaSalt:
http://www.unitedsalt.com/site/html/poolsalt.htm
From the AquaSalt site: "The evaporated process is familiar to most people as table salt or food grade salt. Evaporated Food Quality AQAUSALT is produced using the same method. AQUASALT is produced 100% in the U.S.A."

It would seem to me that if this salt is safe for human consumption, buying this would be a much better value, short of the iodine additive. I can also store it easier stacked in these bags. I also have 7 mil., 5 gal mylar bags that I could double-bag it and store it in.

Couldn't you just put in in your salt/pepper grinder or pound it for cooking? The AquaSalt appears to be a fine crystal and wouldn't need grinding.

What do you guys think?
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kar98k  [Life Member]
3/16/2009 6:57:45 PM
.

Food grade salt intended for human consumption is pretty inexpensive. It stores literally forever if kept dry. It also has iodine in it, and you need the iodine for good thyroid health. You don't see many goiters here in the States since they started iodizing salt.

I fail to see the logic of obtaining a product that might have other additives which may or may not be harmful. I'd leave the water softener salt for water softening use.

lumper  [Team Member]
3/16/2009 7:04:49 PM
I don't know about the pool product, but water softener salt is fine for consumption. It also works well for making home made ice cream.
MrHunterAZ  [Member]
3/16/2009 7:06:46 PM
Your going to want the iodine that is added to table salt post SHTF less you want a giant frog throat. Something tells me that when SHTF there will be just the same nutritional deficits there were years ago and a good supply of table salt will come in handy.

Fuggit  [Team Member]
3/16/2009 7:41:56 PM
It also has iodine in it, and you need the iodine for good thyroid health.


If you live in coastal areas, you'll get enough iodine in your system simply by breathing. Inland, iodine could/would be in your soil. You can have it tested.
EXPY37  [Member]
3/16/2009 8:41:01 PM
What about grinding up one potassium iodate tablet with every 5 pounds of water softener salt?
MrHunterAZ  [Member]
3/16/2009 8:55:47 PM
The daily recommended dietary intake of salt.

Min 1,500 mg Na per day
Max 2,300 mg Na per day

Min 1,500mg Na x 365 days = 547,500 mg = 1.2 lbs Na per year
Max 2,300 mg Na x 365 days = 839,500 mg = 1.9 lbs Na per year

As you can see you do not need to store much salt at all... 2 lbs of table salt per person per year for a cost of around $1 to $2 is all you need.
Spankadin  [Team Member]
3/16/2009 8:58:41 PM
Thanks guys, great answers and I think I will still to food grade salt for SHTF. Thanks again!
Spankadin  [Team Member]
3/16/2009 9:04:35 PM
Originally Posted By MrHunterAZ:
The daily recommended dietary intake of salt.

Min 1,500 mg Na per day
Max 2,300 mg Na per day

Min 1,500mg Na x 365 days = 547,500 mg = 1.2 lbs Na per year
Max 2,300 mg Na x 365 days = 839,500 mg = 1.9 lbs Na per year

As you can see you do not need to store much salt at all... 2 lbs of table salt per person per year for a cost of around $1 to $2 is all you need.


I know, but in a serious economic failure type situation, salt would be a great barter item, and would be easy for long-term storage.
FlatlinesUp  [Member]
3/17/2009 8:23:00 AM
still might be an excellent buy for salt tanning game hides and allow you to save the good table salt for eatin the meat...
efxguy  [Member]
3/17/2009 8:48:06 AM
Originally Posted By MrHunterAZ:
The daily recommended dietary intake of salt.

Min 1,500 mg Na per day
Max 2,300 mg Na per day

Min 1,500mg Na x 365 days = 547,500 mg = 1.2 lbs Na per year
Max 2,300 mg Na x 365 days = 839,500 mg = 1.9 lbs Na per year

As you can see you do not need to store much salt at all... 2 lbs of table salt per person per year for a cost of around $1 to $2 is all you need.


That's what you need to consume, but consider that large amounts of salt are REQUIRED for preserving any food you may have caught or grown (pickling, salting, curing, smoking) a lot of salt on hand is pretty darn important.

I plan on using my softener slat reserves (many pounds) for salt curing and pickling.

efxguy
ilbob  [Member]
3/17/2009 9:14:21 AM
some water softener salt has additives to improve your water softener performance. you might not want to eat that.

also, water softener salt is often not real clean. look in the bottom of your water softener brine tank and you can see the dirt it has mixed up with it. My guess is salt destined for tables is handled a little differently so it is cleaner. Realistically, it probably does not matter much.
mattfoley  [Member]
3/17/2009 10:08:15 AM
water softener salt would probably be safe.... if you're worried get the solar salt: its pure.


the red out types and "resin clean" types have citric acid (safe) and a phosphate; likely sodium hexametaphosphate which is used in toothpastes . while it can cause reactions, it seems to be only in large amounts and its a minor addition (0.1% or less)
odontia32m  [Team Member]
3/17/2009 1:40:01 PM
Water softener and sidewalk salt is usually calcium chloride, not sodium chloride and has no iodine in it. The food grade stuff is just as cheap, store it.


Bob
ilbob  [Member]
3/17/2009 2:39:25 PM
Originally Posted By odontia32m:
Water softener and sidewalk salt is usually calcium chloride, not sodium chloride and has no iodine in it. The food grade stuff is just as cheap, store it.


Bob

water softener salt is NOT calcium chloride. it would serve no purpose to attempt to regenerate the resin with a calcium salt since that is what we are mostly trying to remove when we soften water.

some ice melt products are part or all calcium chloride because it works at lower temperatures than rock salt. its costs a lot more and around here regular rock salt works pretty well most of the time. I get my rock salt at the water place for ice melting because it is cheaper that way.

TACP238  [Member]
3/17/2009 3:43:06 PM
Most feed stores sell blocks of white salt for livestock. That would be the cheapest route probably. You can get 40 lb bags of salt for livestock for a few more bucks.
thedave1164  [Team Member]
3/18/2009 12:19:09 PM
Sam's Club, $.88 for 4lb bulk table salt with iodine.

I am looking for a bulk source of kosher salt though..........
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