Water softeners use rock salt to neutralize hard water. A water softener has a large tank called a brine tank. This is the tank used to house the rock salt. As water flows over the salt, it drains from the tank and goes into a conditioner. This conditioner then sends the filtered water to your home's water system. You can clean this system by running a bleach cycle, which kills bacteria in the water system.
Locate the brine tank and remove the lid. Measure across the top of the brine tank with a tape measure to determine if you have a 9-inch tank or a 12-inch tank.
Pour 1 cup bleach into a 9-inch tank or 2 cups bleach into a 12-inch tank. Place the lid back onto the brine tank.
Locate the cycle panel on the water conditioner. Configure the control module to run a manual recharge cycle. This process depends on the unit you own. Refer to the owner's manual if the process is not clearly displayed on the module.
Do not use water in the home for drinking until you run the manual recharge process.