Water Softener

What To Do With Old Water Softener?

That is an issue that you would invariably face if you have a water softener at your home. After giving you enough service for years, the water softener is bound to go old one day. What to do with your old water softener? How to get rid of your old water softener? We will try to find answers to those questions. 

Some of the best ways you can get rid of your old water softener is to recycle it, send it to garbage collection, or use it for plastic recycling needs. You can check it out through your local government authorities and check out the requirements you may have in terms of disposing of your water softener.

Why Should You Get Rid Of Your Water Softener? 

There can be several reasons you would want to dispose of your water softener. There can be two specific reasons that you would wish to dispose of your water softener. One of them may be due to the fact that it has reached the end of its lifespan. It may also be the case with some damage or other issues that might be preventing your water softener from performing as it should. 

Some other reasons can include it does not supply contaminated water for some reason. There are possibilities, including a lack of spare parts anymore. You may also want to dispose of the water softener if it is not enough for a large family size. 

old water softener

How to Dispose Off Your Old Water Softener? 

You can make use of several options to dispose of your water softener. But, before that, it would be practical to ensure that your local authorities have any specific guidelines regarding the disposal of water softeners. 

Some of the ways that you can get rid of old water softeners can include 

Disposal in the trash

Water softeners and the resin is not harmful to the environment. Thus, they can be comfortably disposed of in the trash. Check it with your local trash collector and opt for the right approach to dispose of the different parts of the softener. 


If you are buying a new water softener, you can ask your dealer whether they are willing to exchange or recycle your water softener when buying the new one. 

Disposing of your old water softener will involve two significant steps- disposing of the resin and brine tank (salt) and disposing of the unit itself. 

Step 1 – Dispose of the resin and brine tank

This step involves disposing of the resin and the brine tank. 

  • Resin: The resin beads are made of plastic and they are non hazardous in nature. You can choose to empty them into the regular trash or choose to empty them on the ground. However, it is advisable to check with your local authorities to see if they have any specific requirements or guidelines that cover the proper disposal of the resin. 
  • Brine tank: Any unused salt can be bagged and thrown away into the trash that you regularly use. If you want to be eco-friendly, you can consider dissolving a little of it into the bathwater.

Step 2 – Dispose of the Water softener Unit

You can dispose of the water softener unit in three ways – as we have already discussed. Some of the best ways that you can do it include 

  • Recycling: Based on the material used in your water softener and the guidelines as per your local authorities, you can choose to recycle your water softener. You can check out with your local authorities and the recycling facilities for the actual drop-off procedure.
  • Landfill: If there is no option for a recycling, your next best option would be opting for a landfill. You will need to pay the relevant fees for the landfill. 
  • Donate or sell: If your water softener is still in working condition, you can give it a thought and donate it to someone deserving or choose to sell it off. 

Here are a few tips that may be helpful:

  • Make sure to disconnect the unit from the water supply and electricity before dismantling it. 
  • Drain any water left in the water tank or in the pipes
  • Remove the other hoses, pipes, and accessories, which can be recycled separately. 
  • Check if your water softener manufacturer has any specific instructions for proper disposal of the unit.

How to Dispose Off Water Softener Resin?

The water softener resin is nonrecyclable. It is also much more stable and non-reactive in nature. It is a nonhazardous material, and thus, you do not need to worry about the environmental impact of the water-softener resin. The resin is typically made from styrene extracted from natural gas or petroleum, benzene, and ethylene.

Since the resins are not toxic and harmful, you should be able to dispose of them quickly enough. Simply place all of them in a bag and throw them off in a trash can. Make sure not to drain them off in the toilet. These resin beads can reach the ocean and thereby cause oceanic pollution. 

Can you dispose of mixed resin?

A mixed resin is a combination of resin and hardener. But you can get rid of the mixed resin by simply throwing it into the trash can. 

Do note that the water softener resins should not be disposed of directly with the water softener as they can cause environmental pollution. 

How to Dispose Off The Water Softener Salt?

Disposing of water softener salt is easier than disposing of the resin. You can either discard it in the trash or choose to dissolve and dilute it. 

Here are a few ways that you can dispose of the water softener salt –

Send the salt to the trash

Salt is typically not an environmental hazard. You can simply get rid of it by trashing it. Pack it in the trash bags and place them at the trash pickup locations. That does it, and you are done!

Mix it up with weed killer 

Salt can be dangerous to the plants. So, you would not want it to come in contact with your lawn or other vegetation. However, you can perhaps put it to great use to kill weeds. Mix it up with your weed killer, and it can be helpful in many ways to kill off weeds. 

Use salt to de-ice the walkways

Another excellent means to use salt is to use it for de-icing the walkways. If you belong to a region that has a very heavy ice formation in winter, the salt can definitely be a good choice to go with.

Yet another way to dispose of water softener salt is to drain it off in the bathtub. However, it may be illegal in some regions. Not many municipal water treatment plants are capable of removing salt from the water. 

Are Old Water Softeners Worth Anything?

Whether your old water softener is worth anything is mainly dependent on several factors. You can analyze the condition of your salt and check how you can dispose of it. 

Based on functionality 

If the water softener is functional, you can

  • Donate it for charity or sell– Instead of sending the water softener to waste,  it can be used by someone who needs it. 
  • Sell it through online stores or secondhand stores – This can perhaps fetch you more money. The price you get may be dependent on brand, model, condition, and local demand.
  • Exchange offers – Some dealers will be willing to exchange your old water softener when buying a new one. You will get some amount off on the new softener. 

If the water softener is non-functional, you can send it to the trash. 

Based on the material

  • Metals – Some elements of the water softener may have a resale value. The brass valves and copper wires may be a good example. You can send them to the local recycling shops for a little monetary consideration. 
  • Resin – Resin does not have any resale value. You can dispose of it as per the guidelines of your local authority. 

Unless your water softener is relatively new and has a good functionality still left in it, you won’t be able to get any value from the old water softener. However, from the environmental considerations, it is advisable to donate it, trade it in, or recycle scrap metal components.

What to do with the old water softener near me?

Based on where you are located, you can consult the local authorities for the guidelines on what to do with your old water softener. 

What to do with old water softeners in Austin?

Austin/Travis County residents can contact the local drop-off centers for information on recycling or drop-off. The local drop-off center is located at 2514 Business Center Drive, Austin, TX 78744. You may also contact them through the following phone numbers –

  1. 512-974-4343 (household hazardous waste) 
  2. 512-974-4373 (recycling and reuse)

What to do with old water softeners in Texas?

Texas was one of the regions that banned the use of water softeners in the past. In 2001, the water softeners were banned entirely in the Texan region. However, the laws were amended in 2003 to allow the use of water softeners in homes and businesses as long as certain conditions are met. 

That would be enough to let you know that Texas has stringent laws that govern the use of water softeners in Texas. You can contact your nearest waste management service for the proper disposal tips and procedures. 

What to do with old water softeners in Calgary?

In Calgary, you can simply take your old water softener to a landfill site and dispose of it. However, the appropriate landfill charges would be applicable. You can put the water softener salt and bags in your black cart for disposal. 

Final Thoughts

Well, the water softeners are essential today. They help you remove the corrosiveness of water and make the water potable and usable. However, there are times when it goes old and needs to be replaced with a new one. In such scenarios, replacing the old water softener can get a little tricky if you do not know the procedure and guidelines that govern it. We assume that the tips shared here should help you find the best ways to dispose of your old water softener. 

About the author

Atish Ranjan

Atish Ranjan is the founder of WaterBrower. The water-related problems faced by him in his childhood led him to take this kind initiative to help many others who might be facing similar problems. He has been into research and water testing wherein he has found great water treatment solutions in different regions of the world. This blog is about everything that he has learnt during this study. Hope it helps many:)

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