If you are sure that the water coming from your tap is soft and you are not having any kind of hard water symptoms, then you can skip the dishwasher salt entirely. Yes, you can skip it.
We use Dishwasher salt because: The sole purpose of using a dishwasher salt is to help the dishwasher water softener in working efficiently.
How it works: The dishwasher salt helps the water softener to swap those hard ions like Mg++ and Ca++ from hard water, with sodium or Na+ ions. Read How does a dishwasher water softener work to know better.
Bottom Line: In the soft water area, you don’t need the dishwasher salt at all, as the water going into your dishwasher is already soft. Run the dishwasher with the salt light flashing, it will do no harm. Also, if you own an external water softener, then also skip the dishwasher salt.
What if I don’t put salt in a dishwasher? Will it get damaged?
If you don’t put salt in a dishwasher, it will not get damaged.
You don’t need to put salt in the dishwasher while living in soft water area. It means the salt section will stay empty and the dishwasher will run without it. And if there is a salt indicating light in your dishwasher then it will blink continuously. Looking at the light may make you nervous, but trust me, your dishwasher will not get damaged, given that you are sure about your water softness.
Clearly, running your dishwasher without salt, either will give you spotty and stained dishes or dishes will come out just fine. Which result you will get depends on your water hardness level.
Usually, if the water hardness level is around 7 grains per gallon or more, then the water is deemed as hard, and putting salt is crucial.
Hard water leaves nasty white films and spots on your dishes. As the dishwasher salt helps your built-in water softener to make the hard water soft, it can be an essential part of your dishwashing.
If your tap water is soft then you don’t need the dishwasher salt. As simple as that.
In case you have a water softener in your house that gives you soft water straight from the tap, then keep the salt light flashing in your dishwasher. Your dishes will come out clean and shiny without the salt.