Expert, unbiased water softener buying guide helps you find the right water softener for hard water problems. Includes salt free and magnetic softeners..A standard water softener runs water through resin beads where calcium and magnesium molecules switch places with sodium molecules, leaving the water soft. There is no scale left in your pipes or on your body because the minerals that would have formed are removed..Water Softener Options Energy and water conservation . Water softeners are notorious wasters of water and salt. Choosing the right features can ensure your water bills don’t go through the roof and you won’t be stuck lugging pound bags of salt to the ba.t every few days. In fact, with some choices, you won’t have to do anything at all..Saltless water softeners, or salt free water softeners are technologies that sounds great, but do they offer the same benefit as a standard water softener?.