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Will Water Softener Salt Kill Grass & Weed? Easy Hack (2024)

Will Water Softener Salt Kill Grass

Water softener salt, or salt of any kind, can kill the stubborn grass in your yard. 

But it’s not ideal, as it can pollute the soil and groundwater and hinder healthy plant growth.

So, better use these alternative options:

  • Glyphosate targeting weeds
  • An organic weed killer like vinegar
  • Solarization technique
  • MCPA
  • Quinclorac
  • Dicamba
  • Sulfentrazone

Continue reading for a detailed guide on whether water softener salt can kill grass and whether you should use it for weed control. 

🧂Does Water Softener Salt Kill Grass And Weeds?

Does Water Softener Salt kill grass and weeds

Salt kills grass and weeds by absorbing water and displacing nutrients, disrupting the plant’s internal system. 

But salts aren’t selective killers and affect other plants and trees the same way as weeds. That makes salts the worst choice as an herbicide.

Here are some other effects of using salt to kill weeds and grass:

  • Altered soil quality and imbalanced soil pH.
  • The ground can turn infertile by spreading water softener salt to other areas through runoff. It leads to mineral buildup, which kills green plants and trees. And no plant growth happens in larger areas for years.
  • Salt penetrates deep and pollutes groundwater and nearby water bodies. It harms wildlife and creates a scarcity of pure drinking water.
  • Water-softening salt can dissolve the plant roots by altering how much water is available. High salt levels in soil can imbalance water in roots, causing a physiological drought.
  • A high amount of salt in the soil causes salt stress and impacts the plant’s internal system in many ways. Chloride ions can gather in various parts of the plant and become toxic (ion toxicity). These can further move to the leaves to affect photosynthesis and chlorophyll production. It also messes with plant hormones and other protein synthesis. Salt stress makes plants produce harmful substances (free radicals) that speed up aging. Furthermore, high salt levels in the soil weaken the plants’ resistance to pathogens.
  • Lack of plant growth in the affected area results in soil erosion.

Due to the above factors, salt isn’t a safe option to remove weeds.

Also Read: Can You Use Water Softener Salt To Melt Ice?

🤔How To Kill Grass and Weeds Without Using Water Softener Salt?

Dealing with weeds can be a constant battle. But salt isn’t the only choice to free your beautiful garden or yard from weeds. Here are the better alternatives to preserve the quality of your lawn:

1️⃣ Using Glyphosate


Glyphosate is a non-selective herbicide. And it can help you achieve a weed-free lawn for an extended period.

Note: This method affects soil as well. Hence it is no better than softener salt and should be avoided in the long-run.

Applying glyphosate wipes out your protective soil microorganisms, leaving it open to the proliferation of pathogenic organisms (disease).

Also, it is best to get rid of broad-leaf plants and weeds.


  • Before using it, take safety measures and don’t inhale the toxic chemical.
  • Don’t apply it on a windy or rainy day or when there’s a chance of rain after application. This is because water or air can spread the chemical to vegetative parts of your land.

How to Apply?

  • Take 1.5 ounces of Glyphosate in one gallon of water. Mix the chemicals as instructed. And ensure the water is free from dirt and dust. If we have tough weeds, consider adding higher concentration but don’t overdo it. 
  • Do not water your lawn for the next 48 hours and wait till it starts working to kill the unwanted weeds and grass.
Also Read: Safest Way To Discharge Water Softener Backwash

2️⃣ Using organic weed killers:

Citrus or low-concentration vinegar-based weed killers are environment-friendly solutions to weed issues. It doesn’t harm the groundwater and is safe for snails and earthworms as long as we use lower concentrations.

How to Use It?

  • You can make a DIY solution with vinegar, soap, and a pinch of salt.
  • Otherwise, buy a citrus-based organic weed killer to deal with specific weeds and grass in your yard.
  • Follow the instruction manual, put the mixture into a spray bottle, and spray it on the required area.
  • Wait till it works. And reuse if needed.

3️⃣ Use solarization

Solarization is an organic way to kill weeds and grass in your vegetation field. Here, you use a clear plastic tarp to heat the ground with abundant sunlight. 

It creates a greenhouse effect and kills unwanted weeds.

How to Apply?

  • The hottest weather of the season is the best time to apply the solarization technique.
  • First, cultivate and smooth the ground.
  • Spread a plastic tarp of 2–6 mil thickness. You can find it at a local hardware shop.
  • Secure the edges with extra soil and heavy objects to prevent them from escaping.
  • After 3-6 weeks, remove the tarp and discard the dead weeds and pests properly.
Also Read: How To Remove Sodium From Softened Water

4️⃣ Use Flame Weeding

Using Flame Weeding

Flame weeding uses a propane torch or some other fuel-burning device. Here, we use heated flames to kill unwanted plants in the garden.

Flame weeding is best to remove young, actively growing, broad-leaf weeds rather than grass.


Use this technique on your driveway, patio, or a smaller patch. And try to avoid areas near your healthy, green, desirable plants.

How to Apply?

  • Take safety measures and use the flame device to kill the weeds in the area.
  • If you are using propane torches, use them upside down.

5️⃣ Pull Weeds by Hand

Pulling weeds by hand can be laborious when you have a large garden area, and the roots deeply penetrate the soil.

Yet, it’s an inexpensive and natural way to get rid of those pesky weeds.

How to Proceed?

  • Notice some newly grown grass and weeds on your lawn? Uproot them and throw them away to avoid them growing faster.
  • You can use an uprooting tool to make the process easier.

Combine a few of these methods to get the most benefit.

Also Read: Can You Use Pool Salt In Water Softener?

🎯How To Use Water Softener Salt To Kill Weeds Anyway?

Ways to use Water Softener Salt to Kill weeds anyway

If you want to accept the salting risk and use water softener salt anyway, ensure you don’t add excessively. Here are the safest methods to use water softener salt:

👉Method 1

  • Use 1 lb of water softener salt in one gallon of vinegar. 
  • Ensure it’s sunny and there has been no rain in the last 3–4 days. 
  • Stir the mixture and apply it to the area you want to treat. 
  • Be careful of the drain passage with rainwater or regular watering to avoid impacting healthy vegetation areas.

👉Method 2

  • If you don’t have pets or kids, sprinkle salt on the weeds’ roots.
  • Then, mix one cup of salt with one gallon of boiling water until completely dissolved. Apply it hot directly to the weeds.
  • After that, add half a cup of salt to 1/4 cup of white vinegar and spray the mixture on the weeds.

👉Method 3

  • Dissolve two cups of water softener salt into one gallon of boiling water and apply it to the roots of weeds using a funnel. 
  • Increment the salt amount slightly with each repetition until you see results.
Also Read: Best Water Softener Salt 

💡Will Water Softener Salt Kill Grass: FAQs

Will water softener salt kill plants and trees?

Water softener salt will kill plants and trees by sucking the water from the soil and creating a water and nutrient scarcity condition.

Does salt-softened water kill plants?

Yes, salt-softened water from softeners containing sodium or potassium can kill your garden plants through dehydration.

A high amount of salt can imbalance the water inside the plant’s cells, and the plant wilts.

Is water softener discharge bad for plants?

Absolutely. Water softener discharge from the softeners contains a high amount of exchanged calcium and magnesium from the hard water.

Besides, some sodium salt is left behind in the brine tank that the ion exchanger couldn’t take.

The disposed minerals after the conversion of hard water into soft water can kill the grass and other plants, like salt water.

The sodium in discharged water alters the soil pH, dehydrates the root cells, and competes with the soil’s essential nutrients. This results in disrupted physiology, and gradually, the crops die.

How do I make my water softener water safe for plants?

You can reverse the effect of salt-treated water on your plant. Here are a few methods:

1. Install a bypass valve and get untreated water for watering activities.
2. Switch from sodium water softener salt to potassium.
3. Use a reverse osmosis (RO) filter to treat your softened water further and remove sodium and other minerals.

What type of salt is best for killing weeds?

Regular iodized or non-iodized table salt or rock salt (sodium chloride) is the most efficient solution to kill weeds. 

Before purchasing a salt for weeds, check the label to know the composition of the salt.

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