Hardness consists of calcium carbonate and magnesium hydroxide. Conventional water softeners remove these. They accomplish this using a resin. The resin has an electrical charge that attracts the calcium and magnesium That resin is replenished using a salt rinse. The rinse flushes the hardness down the drain and replaces them with sodium on the surface of the resin.
Conventional water softeners work. They remove hardness.
Saltless conditioners work differently. They use another type of media. This media works by ‘capping’ the electrical charge on calcium and magnesium ions. This is said to make them less able to stick together or to surfaces and build up on appliances. When using salt free conditioners one thing to note is that the calcium and magnesium are still in the water.
If you’re having issues with the hardness deposits, and it is all personal preference, then a water softener is the only solution.
The saltless softeners not only don’t eliminate buildup I’m not sure what they’re doing to the minerals is healthy. Keep in mind that the human body is accustomed to drinking those minerals in their natural form. I wonder if we’ll find out one day that modifying them was a bad idea.
I’d stick with the traditional methods for now or suffer through the hard water.