Water softener resin should not end up in a landfill because it is a non-recyclable material. So, you need to put it in a separate bag and throw it in a trash can. But here’s what you need to know about why and how to do it.

About Disposing Softener Resin

Water softener resin, along with being a non-recyclable material, is also a non-reactive and stable substance. Now, it is perceived to be hazardous for the environment, but it is not.

The perception comes from the fact that it is made using polystyrene which is the non-recyclable element. It contains styrene, extracted from natural gas or petroleum, benzene and ethylene.

These three compounds react when they go through a process called polymerization. The result is this non-recyclable product called polypropylene which is used to make resin for ion exchange.

Every water softener has two tanks—one tank has the polystyrene resin and the other has the brine (which is another name for saltwater) solution. The tank with the polystyrene resin contains thousands of small beads which conduct the ion exchange process.

But despite these chemical processes, the beads are not toxic because every manufacturer has to ensure that they meet the prescribed FDA standards.

Now, if you are wondering how to dispose of water softener resin, the process is quite simple. All you need to do really is place the resin beads in a separate bag without missing any. This keeps them from spilling and then you can throw them into the trash can.

And remember not to flush them down the toilet at any cost because it only adds to the oceanic pollution.

Is Water Softener Resin Bad For The Environment?

It is not hazardous to humans but it does contain chloride which can pollute groundwater systems through the septic tank. Chlorides at a certain level are toxic to fish and other marine life if you don’t get rid of it properly.

Are Water Softener Resin Beads Toxic?

They are not toxic, especially because they don’t leave the water softener’s cylinder. But when you have to get rid of them, you must place the thousands of resin beads from the softener into a separate bag instead of letting them mix with other trash.

How Do You Dispose Of Mixed Resin?

Mixed resin is usually a combination of resin and hardener. You can get rid of this with other trash in the regular way. You should try to mix it with unused resin so that it gets cured and then dump it in the trash.


Every water softener has resin and it has a lifespan like every other manufactured product. It is meant to last up to 20 years if it is maintained properly.

But this is not carved in stone because the lifespan depends on the contaminants the resin has to deal with. If there’s more of them, the lifespan reduces, placing a carbon filter in front of your water softener can significantly increase its lifespan.

And if you were not sure how to dispose of water softener resin, you know now that you must be responsible so that the high levels of chloride don’t cause pollution in a landfill or the ocean.