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The word salt is normally used to describe the common chemical sodium chloride. But it is extracted from several sources, sold in many forms and used for hundreds of applications. Below is a quick guide to the most frequently used terms for describing salt products. Click on the links below for a more detailed explanation of a particular term. Or please Contact Us if you require some friendly, expert advice before you buy salt.

Describing Salt by its Source

  • Rock Salt – Extracted by mining and crushing rock that is 92% to 99% pure salt. Purity 92-99%.
  • Vacuum Salt – Extracted by pumping water into underground rock salt, then boiling the brine. Purity better than 99.9%.
  • Sea Salt (also known as Solar Salt) – Extracted by evaporating sea water, normally with sun and wind. Purity 98-99.9%.

Describing Salt by its Physical Properties

  • Bulk Salt – Salt that is sold unpackaged, typically delivered in 25-30 tonne bulk tippers or air-discharge tankers.
  • Bagged Salt – Salt that is sold packaged (e.g. 8 kg, 10 kg, 12.5 kg, 25 kg, 1 tonne) on pallets (up to 1225 kg).
  • Fine Salt – Salt with particle sizes below 1 mm, most commonly table salt (with a typical particle size range of 0.2-0.5 mm).
  • Microfine Salt – With particle sizes below 0.25mm, this very fine food salt is typically used on crisps or in making cheese.
  • PDV Salt – Pure Dried Vacuum describes the standard Fine Salt grade manufactured using the Vacuum process.
  • Coarse Salt – Larger lumps or particles of salt (typically above 1 mm), including granular, tablet and grit salt.
  • Granular Salt – High purity coarse salt (typically 1-6 mm particle size), often used in water softeners and dishwashers.
  • Tablet Salt – High purity coarse salt (typically compacted into tablets up to 25 mm across), often used in water softeners.
  • Block Salt – High purity bricks of salt for use in block salt water softeners.
  • Grit Salt – Normally a coarse grade of salt for use in de-icing, containing either naturally occurring marl or added sand.
  • Lump Salt – Lumps of rock salt suitable for licking by livestock and pets, providing dietary sodium and trace minerals.

Describing Salt by its Application

  • De-icing Salt (Winter Salt or Road Salt) – Preferably mixed salt particle sizes (typically up to 3 mm) for effective de-icing.
  • Industrial Salt – Typically high purity Fine Salt used for its chemical properties or as a material in manufacturing.
  • Water Treatment Salt – High purity salt used to improve water quality, most commonly by softening or electrochlorination.
  • Water Softener Salt – Salt for use in regeneration of ion-exchange resin beds for water softening, typically Coarse Salt.
  • Pool Salt (also known as OSEC Salt) – For pools using On-Site Electrochlorination to generate chlorine from Pool Salt.
  • Agricultural Salt (or Animal Feed Salt) – For use in the production of crops and livestock (typically Fine Salt).
  • Salt Licks – Mined lumps or compacted bricks of salt providing dietary sodium and trace minerals to livestock and pets.
  • Food Salt (Table Salt or Cooking Salt) – Salt meeting the standards for human consumption, most commonly fine salt.
  • Kosher Salt – Food salt formally certified as complying with Jewish Kosher requirements.
  • Halal Salt – Food salt formally certified as complying with Islamic Halal requirements.
  • Iodised Salt – Food salt with added iodine as a mineral supplement.

At PureSalt we understand that when you buy salt, there’s a lot to get right – the right grade, quality, packaging, delivery and price! When you buy salt from us, we will give you all the help that you need to get it right first time and every time.

For more information contact our team of friendly salt experts and we will be pleased to help.


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