How to Clean a Water Softener Brine Tank: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to clean a water softener brine tank? Cleaning a water softener brine tank is essential for maintaining the integrity of the system’s components and reducing the frequency of repairs. Regular cleaning ensures optimal performance and extends the lifespan of the water softener.


In our previous articles, we have provided a detailed guide on how to install a water softener in the garage and how to winterize it. And today, we are going to discuss another component related to it.

Today we are going to see how to clean a water softener brine tank.

clean a water softener brine tank
Clean a water softener brine tank

For this process, I going to explain the process based on my experience and the research I have done related to the topic.

Before starting the cleaning process of the brine tank, it’s important to follow these preparatory steps:

  • Shut off the water supply to the water softener to prevent any water flow during the cleaning procedure.
  • Drain the brine tank by opening the drain valve located at the bottom of the tank. This will allow the removal of any remaining brine solution.
  • Disconnect the brine line from the water softener to facilitate easy access to the tank for cleaning.
  • Inspect the tank for cracks, holes, or any other damage that may require repair before proceeding with the cleaning process.
  • Remove any debris or sediment from the tank using a scoop or a vacuum cleaner. This ensures that the tank is free from any loose particles that could interfere with the cleaning process.

Removing Scale and Buildup

To dissolve mineral scale and buildup inside the brine tank, you can use a specialized brine tank cleaner or create a mixture of equal parts water and white vinegar. Based on my experience, I recommend using the following steps:

  1. Pour the brine tank cleaner or vinegar mixture into the tank. But I recommend you to ensure that it covers the entire interior surface.
  2. Allow the cleaner or vinegar mixture to sit in the tank for several hours or overnight. This will give it sufficient time to dissolve the scale and buildup effectively.
  3. Using a soft-bristled brush or a scrub brush, gently scrub the inside of the tank, paying particular attention to areas with heavy buildup. This helps to loosen and remove the scale effectively.
  4. Thoroughly rinse the tank with water to flush out the cleaner or vinegar mixture, along with any loosened scale or buildup. Thus, leaving the tank clean and ready for the next step.

Cleaning the Tank

After removing the scale and buildup, it’s important to clean the tank thoroughly using a mild detergent and warm water. Follow these steps:

  • Prepare a solution of mild detergent and warm water in a bucket.
  • Dip a soft-bristled brush or a scrub brush into the solution and scrub the inside of the tank, ensuring all surfaces are thoroughly cleaned.
  • Rinse the tank thoroughly with water to remove any soap residue, leaving the tank clean and free from any dirt or grime.

Sanitizing the Tank

The next step is about sanitizing the brine tank. It is crucial to eliminate any bacteria or microorganisms that may be present. Here’s how I recommend to do it effectively:

  • Use a sanitizer specifically designed for water softener brine tanks. However, as for the application and dosing, follow the manufacturer’s instructions.
  • Apply the sanitizer to the tank, making sure to cover all surfaces.
  • Allow the sanitizer to sit in the tank for the recommended amount of time mentioned in the instructions to ensure effective sanitization.
  • Thoroughly rinse the tank with water to remove any traces of the sanitizer.

Refilling the Tank

After cleaning and sanitizing the brine tank, it’s time to refill it with water and reestablish the brine solution. The following steps are the most synchronized to follow :

  • Refill the brine tank with water. Ensure that it reaches the appropriate level as indicated by the manufacturer.
  • Add the recommended amount of salt or potassium chloride to the tank. For this, all you have to do is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions carefully.
  • Stir the solution gently until the salt or potassium chloride is fully dissolved. But make sure to have a homogeneous brine solution.
  • Check the brine level and adjust as needed to ensure the tank is adequately filled.

Reconnecting and Testing

With the brine tank cleaned, sanitized, and refilled, it’s time to reconnect it to the water softener. Following are the steps for it:

  • Reconnect the brine line to the water softener, ensuring a secure and leak-free connection.
  • Turn on the water supply to the water softener to allow the flow of water into the tank.
  • Test the water softener to ensure it’s working properly and producing soft water.
  • Check the water hardness levels to verify the effectiveness of the cleaning process.


Regular cleaning of the brine tank is essential to maintain the efficiency and effectiveness of your water softener system, ensuring optimal water quality. As far as how to clean a water softener brine tank, we have seen the step-by-step guide outlined above; you can keep your brine tank clean, prolong the lifespan of your water softener, and enjoy the benefits of consistently soft water.

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