Where to buy salt in bulk?
February 5, 2010 12:33 PM   Subscribe

Where to buy salt in bulk?

I do some occasional vat dyeing of fabric in my washing machine, using Procion dyes from Dharma Trading, but the recipe calls for dissolving 20 cups of non-iodized salt each time. I'm tired of buying/lugging boxes of pickling salt from the grocery store. I do have a Costco membership, but they haven't had bulk salt in ages; just a 3-pack of boxes of kosher salt. Any alternatives?
posted by sarajane to Home & Garden (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Would road salt work? not sure if it's iodized or not, but you could probably get bags of de-icing salt in a hardware store....maybe not if you're in a hot state like Arizona or something
posted by AltReality at 12:38 PM on February 5, 2010

Agricultural and feed stores will carry large bags of (noniodized) salt at very reasonable prices. We use this for SCIENCE! but I suppose it would work for ART! too.
posted by bonehead at 12:39 PM on February 5, 2010

Maybe the salt used in water softeners? Not sure it's the same salt though. When I lived in an area with hard water, I would buy 20kg bags of it from Costco.
posted by MagicEightBall at 12:47 PM on February 5, 2010

Would road salt work?

Road salt is calcium chloride, as opposed to table salt's sodium chloride. Not sure if that matters for the recipe in question, but road salt also isn't guaranteed to be 100% pure.
posted by mkultra at 12:51 PM on February 5, 2010

Yeah, if you need sodium chloride that's not food-grade, your best bet is probably buying rock salt at a hardware store, or an agricultural supply store as bonehead suggests. Not all de-icing compounds are pure (or even partially) sodium chloride, so be sure to read the label.
posted by Johnny Assay at 12:53 PM on February 5, 2010

Water softener salt comes in two varieties, the cheaper is NaCL the more expensive low sodium version is Potassium Chloride. Available at your local home improvement Borg. 20Kgs is about as much as a box of table salt.
posted by Mitheral at 12:53 PM on February 5, 2010

Excellent! Thank you... Ag store it it!
posted by sarajane at 12:56 PM on February 5, 2010

(mkultra, road salt is sodium chloride around these parts, and my city uses up to 150,000 tonnes of it annually)
posted by scruss at 12:59 PM on February 5, 2010

We bought water softener salt from Lowes to use in salt crust baking. I think it was $8 for 40 lbs of pure NaCl. It comes in rock salt, and football shaped tablets. Just make sure it's NaCl and not KCl. Coarse kosher was about 10 times more expensive.
posted by electroboy at 1:03 PM on February 5, 2010

A lot of coops/natural food stores have salt available in their bulk bins. They may even order you a bag if you ask nice.
posted by OmieWise at 1:29 PM on February 5, 2010

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