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FAQ

If you have questions, we’re here to help. Take a look below to find the answers to some frequently asked questions. If you don’t find what you’re looking for, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.

    • What is the Morton Salt Girl's name? How old is she?

      She is known as the Morton Salt Umbrella Girl, or the Morton Salt Girl for short. To us, she’s ageless. But in our historical documents, she has been referred to as an 8-year-old.

    • How many Morton Salt Girls have there been since 1914?

      There have been seven official Morton Salt Girls. She first appeared on the Morton table salt package in 1914 and her image was updated in 1921, 1933, 1941, 1956, 1968 and 2014.

    • Did Morton come up with the saying, "When It Rains It Pours®"?

      Yes. In 1911, Morton created free-flowing salt by adding magnesium carbonate as an absorbing element. Following that, Morton decided to run a series of ads in Good Housekeeping magazine promoting its new product. An ad was developed featuring the little girl carrying the round container and holding an umbrella during a rain shower. The original copy read, "Even in rainy weather, it flows freely." Everyone agreed on the ad's appeal, but thought the copy was too wordy. It was reworded and a new advertising slogan was born!

    • How can I get nutritional information for Morton food products?

      Each food salt product package has a Nutrition Facts Panel on the label.

    • Which Morton products for food usage are iodized? Which are not iodized?

      The following Morton products are iodized:
      • Morton® Iodized Table Salt
      • Morton® Lite Salt™ Mixture
      • Morton®All-Purpose Iodized Sea Salt
      • Morton®Iodized Salt & Pepper Shakers

      The following are not iodized:
      • Morton®All-Purpose Natural Sea Salt
      • Morton®Extra Coarse Sea Salt Grinder
      • Morton®Extra Coarse Sea Salt Grinder Refill
      • Morton®Salt Balance™
      • Morton® Canning and Pickling Salt
      • Morton® Plain Table Salt
      • Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt
      • Morton® Popcorn Salt
      • Morton® Salt Substitute
      • Morton® Sea Salt Fine
      • Morton® Sea Salt Coarse

    • Can water softening products be used for canning or eating?

      No, water softening products should not be used for canning or eating.

    • Which Morton products can be added directly to a koi pond or fresh water?

      When salt supplementation is advised, Morton recommends using Morton® Solar Salt or Morton® Canning and Pickling Salt for fish ponds and fresh water aquariums, as these products do not contain additives. Note that it may be advisable to make a solution from the salt before adding it to the pond or aquarium. Please see your fish expert or veterinarian for the proper use of salt in a pond or aquarium.

    • Which Morton products can be added directly to a salt water aquarium?

      For salt water fish, Morton recommends using commercially prepared seawater (marine) mixtures, as they should contain the proper ratio of trace minerals. Morton does not make a product specifically for salt water aquariums. Morton®Solar Salt is not a sea salt obtained from evaporation of ocean water to dryness. It is a higher purity salt, and therefore cannot be used to make seawater for salt water fish without additional trace mineral supplementation. Please consult your fish expert or veterinarian for the proper use of salt in a pond or aquarium.

    • Which salt(s) can I use in my dishwasher (if it has a built in water softener)?

      Always consult your dishwasher manufacturer for specifications regarding the salt used. Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt works well in most models. Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt is a non-iodized, granulated salt compacted into coarse flakes. This product contains a water soluble anti-caking agent.

    • Which salt can I use to make bath salts? Do you have any bath salt formulas?

      Morton recommends using Morton® White Crystal® Solar Salt in coarse and medium grades for bath salts. Morton Salt has no bath salt formulations we can offer.

    • Since I'm allergic to a certain ingredient, how can I find out all the ingredients in your food salts?

      All Morton products have an ingredient statement on the label. If you have further questions about specific ingredients, please contact us through Ask Morton Salt

    • How many mg. of sodium per serving of table salt?

      Table salt contains 590 mg. of sodium per 1/4 teaspoon.

    • How many grains of salt are there in a pound?

      There are about 10,000,000 crystals per pound. For additional salt information, visit www.saltinstitute.org.

    • Why is iodine added to salt? Why is dextrose added to salt?

      In 1924 Morton became the first company to produce iodized salt for the table in order to reduce the incidence of simple goiter. Dextrose is added to stabilize the iodide. Iodine is vital to the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and the prevention of goiter. Actually, the amount of dextrose in salt is so small that it is dietetically insignificant. Morton® Iodized Table Salt contains 0.04 percent dextrose or 40 milligrams per 100 grams of salt. Morton® Plain Table Salt contains neither iodine nor dextrose. All Morton Salt products containing potassium iodide are labeled as such.

    • Why is calcium silicate added to salt?

      Calcium silicate is a white, odorless, tasteless, anti-caking agent with no nutritional characteristics. Anti-caking agents absorb moisture inside the package that would otherwise be absorbed by the salt. In this manner, it allows salt to keep its free-flowing characteristics. It is added at less than one half-percent.

    • When should I use Kosher Salt?

      You may use Coarse Kosher Salt in place of table salt in recipes. Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt may be used whenever a coarse flake salt is desired, such as garnishing the rim of margarita glasses; as a topping for bread, rolls, bagels and soft pretzels; or for brining meat and poultry. Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt may also be used to kosher meat and poultry, and in cooking where salt is used to encrust meat, fish or chicken. We do not recommend using Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt in baking recipes, unless used as a topping, where a coarse salt would be desired.

    • Can I substitute Kosher Salt in a recipe that calls for table salt?

      Generally, you may use Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt in place of table salt in recipes. We do not recommend using Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt in baking recipes, unless used as a topping, where a coarse salt would be desired. For general use in teaspoon amounts, use the same amount of Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt as table salt. For amounts greater than a teaspoon, please refer to the Morton Salt Conversion Chart.

    • What are the differences between Morton® Iodized Salt and Morton® Canning and Pickling Salt?

      Morton® Canning and Pickling Salt is a pure granulated salt which does not contain potassium iodide, dextrose or an anti-caking agent. In other words, it does not contain any additives. This salt product can be used in cooking, baking, canning, pickling and for the table. Please note that since there is no anti-caking agent added to Morton® Canning and Pickling Salt, it may form lumps in humid weather or if exposed to moisture. This product is available in four-pound boxes and can be found in your local grocery store. Morton® Iodized Salt contains potassium iodide, dextrose to stabilize the iodide and calcium silicate which is an anti-caking agent. This product is fine for baking, cooking and normal table use. However, since the anti-caking agent in this product is not water-soluble, we do not recommend this salt for some canning recipes as the calcium silicate may settle at the bottom of the jar and the water may cloud. This is really not a problem but it could be an aesthetic issue for some users.

    • Can Table Salt be used for canning vegetables?

      Morton® Iodized Salt contains potassium iodide, dextrose to stabilize the iodide and calcium silicate which is an anti-caking agent. This product is fine for baking, cooking and for the table. However, because the anti-caking agent in this product is not water-soluble, we do not recommend this salt for some canning recipes as the calcium silicate may settle at the bottom of the jar.

      Morton® Canning and Pickling Salt is a pure granulated salt which does not contain potassium iodide, dextrose or an anti-caking agent. In other words, it does not contain any additives. This salt product can be used in cooking, baking, canning, pickling and for the table. Please note that since there is no anti-caking agent added to Morton® Canning and Pickling Salt, it may form lumps in humid weather or if exposed to moisture. This product is available in four-pound boxes and can be found in your local grocery store.

    • Can Morton meat curing products be used for canning?

      No, Morton meat curing products --- Morton® Tender Quick, Morton® Sugar Cure® (Plain) and Morton® Smoke Flavored Sugar Cure® should only be used to cure meats.

    • Is salt used for other purposes besides cooking and baking?

      It has been estimated that salt has 14,000 specific industrial uses. Several hundred of these are direct uses such as food seasoning, curing of animal hides or the preparation of saline solutions for intravenous injection. However, the greatest number of applications is indirect through the use of thousands of chemicals derived from a dozen or so basic chemicals produced from salt. Salt also plays important roles in the manufacture of steel, aluminum components, lubricants, rubber tires, seat covers, vinyl tops, paint removers, soap, textiles, ceramics, inks and dyes to name a few.

    • Is Morton Ice Cream Salt edible?

      Morton® Ice Cream Salt is not intended for food use. You may find edible rock salt at house wares stores where salt grinders are sold.

    • What is brining?

      Brining is soaking meat, poultry or fish in a saltwater solution prior to cooking so it will retain moisture. Brine can be made from water and Morton® Coarse Kosher Salt, Morton® Table Salt or Morton® Canning & Pickling Salt. Learn more about brining in The Ultimate Guide to Brining. For Morton brining recipes, please go to Recipe Search and do a keyword search using the word "brine."

    • Why can't salt be tinted different colors to make it easy to see on light-colored food?

      Over the years, we have received many other suggestions that we market "colored salt." However, to date, all of our research into colored salt has shown that the vast majority of salt users prefer a pure, white product. This is the principal reason we have not marketed such a product.

    • How can I keep salt from caking?

      Even though an anti-caking agent is added to Morton® Table Salt, salt can cake under extreme humidity. If these conditions are experienced, you may wish to keep salt in a Tupperware®-like container or sealed in a plastic bag to prevent the salt from absorbing the moisture from the air.

    • Does salt expire?

      The salt itself does not expire but added ingredients such as iodine may reduce shelf life. The shelf life of Iodized Salt is about 5 years.

    • How can I tell if my water is hard?

      You may have hard water if your soaps and laundry detergent don't lather very well, or if glasses and dishes are left with spots, or colored clothing looks dull. Tubs and bathroom fixtures may be covered with an unsightly film.

      You can have your water tested by your water dealer or you may use a home water testing kit.

    • Are water softening products iodized?

      No, Morton's Water Softening Salt is not iodized. Our water softening salt does not supply iodide.

    • Which Morton water softening salt is the best product to use?

      Each water softening salt product has a unique formula, and is tailored to different water softening needs based on mineral levels in your hard water. Please check each product description on the website for further details.

    • What is the difference between the Morton® System Saver® II Pellets and Morton® System Saver® Brine Blocks? Which should I use?

      Both products are made with the patented System Saver® II formula. Thus, both products are equally effective at softening your water. Only some softeners can use blocks. If your softener can use blocks, it can also use pellets. Please consult your softener manufacturer.

    • Can I mix Morton water softening products in the brine tank?

      Yes, all of the products are compatible.

    • Can I mix potassium chloride with salt products?

      Yes, if you wish to reduce the sodium content of the softened water. The products can be mixed in any ratio you desire. We would recommend starting with a 50/50 ratio and see how that works for you. If mixing potassium chloride with salt, it is important to note that softened water will contain a higher ratio of sodium to potassium at the beginning of the service cycle and a higher ratio of potassium to sodium near the end of the service cycle.

    • Are Morton products safe for my septic system?

      Yes, all Morton water softening products are safe for septic systems. In recent years the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a special facts sheet summarizing studies by NSF and the University of Wisconsin on home water softeners and onsite treatment systems. What they found was softener effluent has no deleterious effect on bacterial functions, increased volume of wastewater does not cause hydraulic overloading and that the calcium and magnesium actually improve soil stability and percolation in the leach field. A link to the EPA web page is given below:

      http://www.epa.gov/ordntrnt/ORD/NRMRL/Pubs/625R00008/html/fs3.htm

    • Is water softened by Morton sodium-based products or Morton potassium-based products safe for me to drink?

      Yes, softened water is safe to drink for people that are not on sodium or potassium restricted diets.

    • If I am using salt in my water softener, how much sodium is in the soft water?

      The amount of sodium in soft water is directly proportional to the hardness of the untreated water, and for most water supplies it is not very high. For each grain per gallon of hardness, multiply by 7.9 to convert to milligrams of sodium per liter (a liter is slightly more than a quart). For instance, water with 15 grains/gallon hardness will contain118 milligrams of sodium per liter after softening. Thus, 2 liters of water per day provides less than 250 milligrams, which is small compared to the normal daily intake. If you have any health concerns about consuming or cooking with salt-softened water, please consult your physician.

    • Can softened water be used for my lawn?

      Many people choose to either leave the water for outside taps unsoftened, or bypass the water softener when watering the lawn because the volume of water needed will deplete the supply of softened water quickly; the water softener will need to recharge more frequently, thus using more salt. Since the lawn does not need softened water, this may be the best course of action.

      If you do not want to bypass the system, you should be aware that normally the small amount of sodium that is discharged into your water from the water softener is not a problem for most lawns. However, if your soil already has a high content of sodium, that may not be advisable. In this case and because potassium is a major and essential plant nutrient, some people use potassium chloride to recharge their softener.

    • Can Morton® System Saver® II or Rust Remover Water Softening Salt Products be added directly to a koi pond or aquarium?

      No, Morton does not recommend adding either Morton® System Saver® II or Rust Remover directly to fish ponds or aquariums. Both products contain additives that are specific for water softening, so they are not appropriate for direct addition into a fish pond or aquarium. For the same reason, we would not recommend adding other products like Morton® Table Salt directly to ponds or aquariums.

    • Why is my softened water yellow or cloudy after using Morton water softening products?

      The yellow color or cloudiness is likely to be colloidal iron, but it could be manganese. Without an actual analysis, we can only speculate. If you have iron in your water supply and have never used salt formulated with resin cleaning additives, your first use of Morton® Rust Remover may loosen rust deposits that have accumulated on the water softener resin. If the amount of rust released is excessive, it may not all be rinsed out during the rinse cycle of the regeneration process and may enter the household water supply. For this reason, we usually recommend conducting several consecutive manual regenerations. This should clean up the resin and rinse water allowing clear, softened water into the household. Another possibility is if the softener was dormant for some period of time, the soluble iron on the water softener resin may have oxidized to rust during this time frame. Then, as water is run through the softener, the rust will slough off into the softened water. If the softener will sit dormant for an extended period of time (three weeks or more) you may wish to conduct a manual regeneration just prior to leaving for your extended absence.

    • After using Morton water softening products will my water have a salty taste?

      With a water softener that is operating properly, the water should not taste salty. The salt should be totally rinsed from the system during the brine and rinse cycle of the regeneration process, except for the sodium which exchanges onto the water softener's resin replacing calcium and magnesium. During the service cycle, hardness in the water is exchanged for sodium.

      If your water tastes salty, it is likely that the water softener is malfunctioning, such as a stuck valve or valve that isn't seated properly. You could try cleaning the venturi valve and directions for doing this are in your owner's manual. Otherwise, you should call a reputable water dealer to have the unit checked.

    • After using Morton water softening products why does my skin itch?

      The additives used in Morton® System Saver® II or Morton® Rust Remover are normally removed from the water system during the brine and rinse cycle of the regeneration process. Even though it is unlikely that the additives in the salt product could be the cause of the skin itch, you may wish to try a product with no additives, such as Morton® White Crystal® products or Morton® Potassium Chloride Pellets. It would be prudent to consult with a dermatologist

    • Will softened water cause discoloration of my dyed hair?

      No.

    • What are the benefits of using a potassium chloride-based versus a sodium chloride-based water softening product?

      The benefits of potassium chloride-based products include:

      • Reduces sodium contribution to soft water by 99%
      • Provides a means to increase potassium, an essential human and plant nutrient, through softened water
      • Reduces chloride discharge by up to 20% as compared to sodium chloride softened water

    • What are the health implications of using a potassium chloride-based product?

      The level of potassium contributed from potassium chloride softened water is safe for normal healthy people. For healthy individuals, potassium from the diet is absorbed slowly from the gastrointestinal tract and the excess potassium is excreted. However, in certain individuals with medical conditions such as kidney disease, diabetes, heart disease or high blood pressure, the body may not excrete excess potassium. Individuals with these conditions must consult a doctor prior to consuming potassium-softened water. If you have any questions as to whether your health condition allows you to use potassium based water softener products, please consult your doctor.

    • Will the water taste different if I use a potassium chloride-based product?

      If your raw water is 22 grains of hardness or higher, a metallic, bitter taste may be noticed. If you find this objectionable, you may wish to switch back to a sodium chloride - based product, such as Morton® Pellets with System Saver® II Formula or use bottled water for drinking.

    • Will Morton® Potassium Chloride Pellets work in any softener that can use Morton® System Saver® II Pellets?

      Yes, you can use Morton® Potassium Chloride Pellets in any softener that uses sodium chloride (salt). We do not know of any brand of water softener in which Morton® Potassium Chloride Pellets would not work.

    • How do I switch over to Morton® Potassium Chloride Pellets? Do I have to empty the sodium product from the water softener?

      No, you do not have to empty the water softener. When you are ready to add more salt, simply pour the potassium chloride product on top of any remaining salt product.

    • How will the Morton® Potassium Chloride Pellets or Morton® System Saver® II Pellets affect my plumbing or septic system?

      There are no detrimental effects on plumbing or septic systems if Morton® Potassium Chloride Pellets or any of the Morton sodium chloride-based products are used.

    • Does Morton® Potassium Chloride Pellets contain the resin cleaners found in Morton® System Saver® II Pellets or Morton® Rust Remover Pellets®?

      No. Morton® Potassium Chloride Pellets do not contain any additives. Therefore, you will not get the benefit of the resin cleaners found in Morton® System Saver® II Pellets or Morton® Rust Remover Pellets

    • Will Morton® Potassium Chloride Pellets affect the resin beads?

      Use of Morton® Potassium Chloride Pellets will not harm the resin beads. However, if your raw water has a high iron content of over 2 ppm, you may want to use Morton® Rust Remover Pellets. This product contains a resin bead cleaner which will help prevent fouling of clean or new resin beads. Morton® System Saver® II Pellets also contain two food grade resin cleaners that keep resin beads from fouling if your water contains less than 2 ppm of iron.

    • Do you make potassium chloride in block form?

      No. Morton® Potassium Chloride is only available in pellet form. Blocks are not available

    • What is the potassium level of water softened with Morton® Potassium Chloride Pellets?

      Using potassium chloride in your softener will contribute approximately 32 milligrams of potassium per 8 ounces of water for each 10 grains of hardness softened.

    • Is water softened by potassium chloride safe for houseplants?

      Yes. Potassium is one of the 16 elements necessary for plant growth. It also helps plants resist disease and optimize moisture utilization.

    • Is water softened by potassium chloride safe for pets?

      If your pet suffers from heart disease, diabetes or kidney disease, consult your vet as to whether or not your pet can drink potassium chloride softened water. For healthy pets potassium chloride softened water is safe to drink.

    • Is potassium chloride mined the same way as salt?

      Yes, the Morton product is mined the same way as salt.

    • What holds Morton® System Saver® II Pellets together? Do they contain glue or binders?

      High pressures are used to formulate Morton® System Saver® II Pellets. No glues or binders are used in any of our water softening products.

    • How does a water softener work?

      For details on how water softeners work, please click here.

    • Where can I get more information about salt?

      You can use our 'Ask Morton Salt' section, call us at 312/807-2693 or write us at:
      Morton Salt
      Consumer Affairs
      123 North Wacker Drive
      Chicago, Illinois 60606

      You may also visit the Salt Institute's website at www.saltinstitute.org, call them at 703/549-4648 or write to them at:
      Salt Institute
      700 North Fairfax Street
      Alexandria, VA
      22314-2040

    • How do salt water pools work?

      Chlorine is a necessary agent to maintain a safe swimming pool environment. Chlorine not only disinfects water, it reacts to kill disease-causing organisms such as bacteria, algae, ammonia and other organic matter that can be introduced into a pool system over time. Traditionally, liquid chlorine has been used to introduce necessary chlorine agent into a pool system. While liquid chlorine works well functionally, it can lead to many negative side effects on hair, skin, eyes and clothing which are not ideal. Today, pools equipped with a salt chlorine generator system or automatic sanitizer system ( a.k.a. salt water pools), can perform the same function but without the negative effects.

      When pool salt (NaCl) is dissolved in a salt water pool, the salt chlorine generator system or automatic sanitizer system electrolyzes the salt and transforms the chloride (Cl) portion of the salt into chlorine. This chlorine dissolves in the water to perform the same functions as conventional liquid chlorine used in pool maintenance. However, unlike traditional liquid chlorine used in pool maintenance, salt chlorinator systems generate “free” chlorine as water passes through the electrolytic cell which destroys chloramines responsible for “chlorine odor”, red/irritated eyes, bleached/green hair and damaged bathing suits.

    • Do I need pool salt for my pool?

      You should only use pool salt if your pool is equipped with a functioning salt water chlorinator or generator system. If you are unsure if you have a salt water system, please consult your pool installer or a pool professional to confirm.

    • Can I use pool salt in a pool without a chlorine generator?

      Morton does not recommend adding pool salt to a pool without a chlorine generator. Adding pool salt to a pool not equipped with a salt chlorine generator will not generate the free chlorine agents necessary to maintain a safe swimming pool environment.

    • How often will I need to add pool salt?

      After starting up your pool and achieving optimal salt levels, you will only need to add salt when necessary as salt levels in the pool decrease (typically due to leaks, rainwater overflow, splash-out or filter backwashing). The amount of salt you will need to add depends on the starting salt level of the water. Please contact a pool professional if you have any questions or concerns about maintaining your salt water pool.
      Note: normal water evaporation will increase the concentration of salt in pool water. You will need to add “make up water” to bring salt concentration back to target ppm levels.

    • What is in Morton® Pool Salt?

      Morton® Pool Salt is made of high purity salt (sodium chloride) designed to maintain salt water pools.

    • Does Morton® Pool Salt contain iodine?

      Morton® Pool Salt does not contain iodine.

    • Does Morton® Pool Salt contain anti-caking agents (like YPS)?

      Morton® Pool Salt does not contain any anti-caking agents.

    • What is the difference between sodium chloride and salt?

      It is the same item. Sodium chloride (NaCl) is the chemical name for common salt.

    • What advantage does salt have over sand or salt-sand mixtures?

      The Marquette University Center for Highway and Traffic Engineering has documented that applying salt and plowing two-lane roads pays for itself within 25 minutes. Mixtures of salt, cinders or other abrasives were proven not to recover costs. Not only did these other abrasives not recover the costs of application there were additional costs to clean roadways and catch-basins each spring. Source: 1996 Marquette University study.

      Salt is the most economical deicer. It is readily available—rock salt is the type most commonly used though solar salt or evaporated salt may also be used for deicing. Salt also works best when the temperature is near freezing. The watery brine formed by moisture and salt break up the snow and ice so that roads can be plowed. Municipalities may have to salt numerous times during large or extended snowstorms and salt gives the best results and value for the money spent.

    • Are there any other advantages to using salt?

      Salting and plowing help to maintain community and societal standards. Emergency and police units are better able to respond when roads are salted and plowed. Fewer accidents occur on maintained roadways. People are able to go about their daily travels at or near normal rates. Businesses, schools, and municipalities can operate. Foodstuffs and goods may be delivered to businesses, preventing disruption of commerce.

    • How does salt work on the road?

      As salt is spread over the roadway, it forms a brine (moisture and salt) as the snow and ice melt. The snow and ice that remain float on the brine, breaking the bond with the roadway. As more traffic passes over the surface, slush is formed which can be plowed to the sides of the road. Plowing alone cannot accomplish this. Salting and plowing together make safer roadways. The brine's freeze point is lower than zero and breaks up the bond formed between the road and the snow. Temperatures, time of application, weather conditions and the type of road surface, are among the many variables that can affect the success of deicing. For instance, at 30° F salt is five times more effective than at 20° F.

    • How does Morton get the salt to customers?

      Morton produces bulk road salt year round to meet the winter demands of our customers. We produce product at six salt mines in North America along with a solar salt facility in the Bahamas. From these facilities, salt is shipped and stockpiled in strategic locations throughout snow belt areas. Our network of mines and stockpiles is one of the largest in the industry and offers the greatest flexibility of customer deliveries.

    • How does Morton get the salt out of the earth?

      There are a number of methods used to produce the salt. Morton Salt uses solar evaporation, rock salt mining and vacuum pan evaporation. Solar evaporation is the oldest method of salt production - used since salt crystals were first noticed in trapped pools of seawater. Its use is practical only in warm climates where the evaporation rate exceeds the precipitation rate, either annually or for extended periods, and ideally, where there are steady prevailing winds. Solar salt production is, typically, the capturing of salt water in shallow ponds where the sun evaporates most of the water. The concentrated brine precipitates the salt which is then gathered by mechanical harvesting machines. Any impurities that may be present in the brine are drained off and discarded prior to harvesting.

      Morton also uses the second oldest method of producing salt - underground mining. Large machines travel through vast cave-like passageways performing various operations. Salt may appear in veins, as does coal. Veins are the original bedded salt deposits. Salt also may be found in domes, which were formed when Earth pressures forced salt up through cracks from depths as great as 30,000 or 40,000 feet. Domes resemble plugs of almost circular shape which are a few hundred yards to a mile across. Rock salt typically ranges between 95% and 99% NaCl, and mechanically evaporated salt and solar salt normally exceed 99% NaCl. Evaporated salt made with purified brine has the highest purity, in some cases 99.99% NaCl and is more costly than rock or solar salts.

    • Can table salt melt snow?

      Table salt will melt snow and ice. Table salt grains are fine and relatively fast-acting. However it would not be cost efficient for large-scale snow melting.

    • How do melting salts affect the environment?

      Proper spreading of road salt, adequate covered storage for salt stockpiles and pre-wetting salt with salt brine have combined to make salting of roads the most cost-effective and safest method for snow and ice control.

      Improved spreading equipment and proper calibration can ensure that only the minimum amount of salt is used for the job. Proper salting procedures and techniques are covered in "The Snow Fighter's Handbook" published by the Salt Institute. In addition, the Institute offers Sensible Salting training to public works agencies.
      Adequate covered storage of salt stockpiles and placement on non-permeable pads are necessary to limit run off into the environment. Non-permeable covers are used to cover the Morton Salt network of stockpiles used for customer deliveries. Morton Salt also uses asphalt or concrete pads at the stockpiles.
      A relatively new development in salting is the use of pre-wetting salt brine to moisten the salt at application. Studies have shown that pre-wetting salt reduces salt scatter on the roads by 15 to 30 percent. (Michigan DOT, "1974-5 Pre-wetted Salt Report', June 1, 1975). Pre-wetting with salt brine can reduce the chlorides released into the environment by 14-29 percent. (Asset Insight Technologies, LLC, "Review of Two Documents Pertaining to Chloride Reduction and Cost Savings Resulting from the Use of Pre-wetting in Winter Maintenance", Dr. Wilfrid A. Nixon, March 24, 2003.

    • How is salt processed?

      There are three methods used to produce salt: solar evaporation, rock salt mining, and vacuum pan evaporation.

      Solar Evaporation Method

      The oldest method of salt production known to man is solar evaporation. Solar salt production is the capturing of sea water in shallow ponds where the sun evaporates most of the water. This method uses two types of ponds -- concentrating ponds and crystallizing ponds. In the concentrating ponds, the water from the sea or ocean evaporates due to the effects of sun and wind. The highly concentrated salt brine is then drained into the crystallizing pond. In the crystallizing pond, the salt crystals begin to grow. When the salt layer is thick enough, the salt is harvested with a mechanical harvesting machine.

      Rock Salt Mining Method

      The underground mining of salt is the second oldest method of producing salt. There are two shafts in each Morton mine: one for personnel and one to lower equipment and materials into the mine, as well as to hoist the mined salt to the surface. Large chunks of salt are crushed and the salt is then loaded into "Skips" (large holding bins) and then hoisted above ground.

      Vacuum Pan Evaporation Method

      In this method, salt from any of several sources is dissolved to create saturated brine. This brine is then pumped into vacuum pans. The steam vessels are normally in a series of three. The brine is pumped into the pans, steam is then introduced. When the brine reaches the boiling point, the brine separates into steam and the salt begins to crystallize. The heavier salt crystals will fall to the bottom of the pan in a slurry. The salt slurry is then drawn off and sent to the dryer wheel.

    • What is the "GRAS" list?

      Shortly after passage of the 1958 amendment to the Food and Drug Act, the Food & Drug Administration (“FDA”) clarified the regulatory status of a multitude of food substances that were used in food prior to 1958 and amended its regulations to include a list of food substances that, when used for the purposes indicated and in accordance with current good manufacturing practice, are GRAS—that is Generally Recognized as Safe. This list has been incorporated into the FDA's regulations. Section 182 of Title 21 of the Code of Federal Regulations is commonly referred to as "the GRAS list." Substances on this list are generally recognized among experts as having been adequately shown through scientific procedures or through experience based on common use in food to be safe under the conditions of their intended use.

    • Is salt generally recognized as safe?

      Salt is generally recognized as safe. However, it is not found on the GRAS List as such. The FDA acknowledged that it would be impractical to list all substances that are Generally Recognized As Safe for their intended use. However, the FDA Commissioner acknowledges salt's inherent safety. 21 CFR 182.1(a) states: "It is impractical to list all substances that are generally recognized as safe for their intended use. However, by way of illustration, the Commissioner regards such common food ingredients as salt, pepper, vinegar, baking powder and monosodium glutamate as safe for their intended use."

    • What are the Food Chemicals Codex ("FCC") standards?

      The Food Chemicals Codex ("FCC") is a compendium of internationally recognized standards for purity and identity of food ingredients. Published since 1966, FCC allows manufacturers of food, food ingredients, food additives, and processing aids to comply with standards that have been created and vetted by a highly rigorous and transparent scientific process. The United States Pharmacopeia (“USP”) acquired FCC from the Institute of Medicine in 2006, with the goal of providing full support for the continuing revision and update of the compendium. Learn more at http://www.usp.org/fcc/

    • What is NSF salt?

      NSF salt refers to the salt products tested and certified by the American National Standards Institute/National Sanitation Foundation (“ANSI/NSF”) under the NSF Standard 60 for drinking water treatment chemicals health effects standards. Morton® Salt products with NSF 60 Certification may be found at http://www.nsf.org/business/search_listings/.

    • What is ASC or Reagent Grade salt?

      Reagent Grade Sodium Chloride is sodium chloride which meets the standards of ACS Reagent Chemicals, Current Edition. Reagent grade chemicals are high quality and high purity chemicals suitable for laboratory and standardized industrial use. The American Chemical Society Committee on Analytical Reagents establishes the standards for reagent chemicals.

    • What is USP salt?

      USP Sodium Chloride is selected from chemically purified production of vacuum crystallized salt to meet the standards of the United States Pharmacopeia (“USP”). The crystals are cubical or granular in form and the actual purity theoretically exceeds 99.95% sodium chloride, dry weight basis. It is used to prepare numerous types of liquid solutions including intravenous (IV) or vascular injection, hemodialysis surgical cauterizing, contact lens solutions, and for various other medical care and pharmaceutical applications. Salt may be used in either its dry form or dissolved in a solution.

    • What salt do I use for my corrosion spray test?

      It is generally best to use a high purity sodium chloride such as Culinox® 999® salt or Reagent Grade Sodium Chloride. These contain a minimum of 99.9% Sodium Chloride and additives. Using this salt will reduce the incidence of inconsistent test results due to impurities or other additives. For more information, see ASTM Method B117-03 Standard Practice for Operating Salt Spray (Fog) Apparatus. Other variations for salt spray testing may also be found at the ASTM website at http://www.astm.org

    • What are the basic material handling options for salt?

      There are four basic material handling options: Bagged Salt, Semi-Bulk Salt, Dry Bulk Salt, and Bulk Salt for Brinemaking.

    • What is a brinemaker?

      A brinemaker is a vessel or pit that stores salt and converts the salt into brine, or saltwater through the introduction of water into the vessel. Brinemakers range in size from small units 3’ diameter by 4’ in height to large bulk brinemakers 8’ or 12’ diameter by 10’ to 21’ in height. A variety of shapes and sizes of tanks or pits are used for brinemaking purposes. A brinemaker can utilize many types of salt.

    • How many bags of salt are on a pallet?

      • 2000 lb. semi-bulk totes = 1 tote bag per pallet
      • 80 lb. bags = 30 bags per pallet
      • 50 lb. bags = 49 bags per pallet
      • 40 lb. bags = 63 bags per pallet
      • 25 lb. bags = 100 bags per pallet

    • What is a brine table?

      This is a table providing information about the amount of salt, specific gravity, brine strength and freezing temperatures based on the salometer measurement of the brine solution with a salometer.

    • Where can I obtain a brine table?

      A copy of the Morton Salt Sodium Chloride Brine Table may be obtained from your Morton Salt sales representative.

    • What is a salometer?

      A salometer is a hydrometer calibrated to measure the density of sodium chloride brine. A salometer has a graduated scale of 0° - 100°S, where 1°S is about 0.26% salt at the salometer’s calibration temperature.

    • How do I use a salometer?

      Instructions for the correct use of a salometer may be found in the Morton Salt Sodium Chloride Brine Table. A copy of this table may be obtained from your Morton Salt sales representative.

    • What is the percent weight of salt in a saturated brine solution?

      A saturated brine solution contains 26.4% salt by weight at 60°F. This will vary slightly with temperature between 32° and 100°F.

    • What is the melting point for salt?

      The melting point of crystalline sodium chloride is 800.8°C or 1,473.4°F

    • What is the eutectic point?

      A eutectic mixture is a mixture of two or more substances with a melting point lower than that for any other mixture of the same substances. In the case of salt and water, the eutectic point is -21.12°C or -6.016°F in a solution of 23.31% salt. For additional information, visit http://antoine.frostburg.edu/chem/senese/101/solutions/faq/why-salt-melts-ice.shtml.

    • What is the shelf-life for salt?

      In its dry crystalline form, salt is chemically stable. It does not degrade or become stale. However, the free-flowing, usable life can be limited by caking or lumping of salt crystals due to moisture. Proper storage conditions, including minimal cycling through 75% relative humidity are helpful in prolonging the useful life of salt. For more information, refer to the product data sheet for the product you are purchasing.

    • What is "ppm"?

      The abbreviation "ppm" is short for "Parts Per Million." 1 ppm equals 0.0001%. 1000 ppm is equal to 0.1%. 10,000 ppm is equal to 1.0%

    • Why do animals need salt and trace minerals?

      Salt is as necessary for an animal’s diet as it is for people. Salt is an ideal carrying agent for other minerals known as trace minerals which animals must have and cannot always obtain from natural feeds. They are important for the prevention of disease and production of better livestock.

    • If I have questions relating to salt that are not covered in this FAQ section, how may I obtain an answer?

      Contact your Morton Salt Representative or send an e-mail to: Ask Morton Salt