How to Keep Your Inflatable Pool Water Clean with Salt

Maintain clean inflatable pool water by using salt, a natural, cost-effective, and skin-friendly method. Salt disinfects, reduces skin dryness, and minimizes irritation, promoting a healthier pool experience with extended pool life.

how to keep inflatable pool water clean with salt

We all remember being kids and having an inflatable pool out in the backyard. We would spend hours running in and out of the pool.

Now those inflatable pools are bigger and made for adults and kids to enjoy during the long hot summer days. The pools may be larger now, but one thing that hasn’t changed since we were kids is the need to keep the water clean. 

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Why a Clean Pool Is Important

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First, water that just sits, stagnant water, is a breeding ground for bacteria and some insects. Ensuring the water is clean will reduce the risk of bacteria and keep everyone healthier while enjoying the pool.

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Second, it also helps to extend the life of the pool. Bacteria that build up can also weaken the plastic that inflatable pools are made from.

Third, algae will also form in dirty water. Keeping the water clean will reduce or eliminate the algae from growing. 

Keep Your Inflatable Pool Water Clean With Salt

Keeping the water clean can be accomplished with chemicals. However, chemicals are expensive and harsh on the skin. We all are familiar with the chlorine smell.

There is something we all have in our pantry that can keep your inflatable pool water clean without using harsh chemicals – salt!

Adding salt, even Epsom salts, to your inflatable pool has many benefits, both healthwise and financially wise.

Unlike chlorine and other chemicals, salt will not cause red, bloodshot eyes. It reduces that prickly sensation that chlorine can cause that makes us rub our eyes.

Salt is also a natural disinfectant. Salt also is great for your skin. It helps to reduce skin getting dry. Less dry skin means less itching and irritation.

For those with sensitive skin, less irritation and itching can make the pool more enjoyable. It also helps to get rid of excess oil on our skin. 

People are less likely to be allergic to salt than to the chemicals most commonly added to pools. Salt is also much less expensive than chemicals.

If you’re spending less on the treatment, you are more likely to treat the water more often. This fact, in turn, allows for more enjoyment in the summer and also increases the longevity of the pool itself.

Regularly treating your inflatable pool water with salt will also reduce the algae and bacteria growth in the pool, and none of us want to swim with algae and bacteria.

Guide To Using Salt for Your Pool Water

How do you keep your pool clean with salt? First, the pool needs to be empty. Once you drain the water from the pool, ensure the walls and floor of the pool are clean. Next, refill the pool.

Check the Capacity of the Pool

On average, larger inflatable pools will hold at least 1500 gallons of water. Kiddie pools take much less.

Knowing the pool’s capacity is an essential piece of information. You can do this with some simple math. All you need to know are the dimensions of your pool and its shape.

For rectangle-shaped pools, you can calculate how many gallons of water it holds by multiplying the length by the width by the depth by 7.5 (length x width x depth x 7.5).

For round pools, the formula takes us back to geometry class. Multiply the radius, or half the diameter, by itself (squaring the radius). Then, multiply by the depth and then multiply by pi (3.14) and multiply that by 7.5 (radius squared x depth x 3.14 x 7.5). The size of the pool is a determining factor in the amount of water it holds. 

Test the pH Level

Now, you should test the pH level of the water in the pool. Generally speaking, the level should be between 7.2 and 7.8 for smaller pools; and between 7.4 and 7.6 for larger pools.

Don’t forget to check the pH and alkalinity levels of the water regularly. Using the pool, the environment, and the weather can all affect these levels. Your owner’s manual should specify the ideal pH levels for your pool based on its size. 

Add Salt

The size of your pool will determine how much salt to add. The volume of water it holds determines the best salt level. For example, if your pool holds 1500 gallons of water and the salt level is currently at 1200 ppm (parts per million), and the number you want to reach is 2800 ppm, you would need to add approximately 25 pounds of salt. 

Once you’ve filled the pool and added the salt, it is very important to leave the pool open so the salt can dissolve properly.


There are always other things to consider when dealing with a swimming pool. Here are some common questions pool owners and those considering the salt method ask.

When should I change the water in my pool?

Changing the water in a kiddie-sized inflatable pool is an easy process that you should do every few days, depending on usage. Larger pools generally don’t get a fresh fill up after the initial fill during the summer, but they do tend to get topped off either by the trusty garden hose or by mother nature with summer rain. It is vital to check the pH level and alkalinity levels after a rainstorm or after topping the pool off with the hose. 

What will adding water do to the levels?

Additional water will change the levels. It will also change the balance of salt to water ratio. You will need to add more salt as more fresh water goes into the pool. It is crucial to keep track of pH levels, alkalinity, and salt levels in your inflatable pool water. 

What are some benefits of using salt?

Keeping your inflatable pool water clean with salt is a cost-effective, healthy, and easy way to enjoy your pool all summer long. It will help to extend the life of your plastic pool and keep all your friends and family who want it healthy.

More FAQs

Can you use salt to keep inflatable pool clean?

Using salt to keep an inflatable pool clean is possible. To maintain the cleanliness of the pool water, you can follow the process of filling the pool and adding salt to achieve the desired salinity level. For every 100 gallons (400 liters) of water, it is recommended to add 3.5 lbs (1.6 kg) of salt. To ensure the pool remains disinfected, it is ideal to maintain a salinity rate of 0.4%.

Does salt water damage pool pump?

Saltwater does not damage pool pumps. However, owners of saltwater pools should be cautious about potential corrosion in pumps, filters, heaters, and metal pipes. It’s important to note that this corrosion is not solely caused by the salt pool itself, but rather an electrical issue.

Can you use salt water in a vinyl pool?

Salt water can be used in a vinyl pool, but it is important to consider the type of pool material. It is not recommended to use a saltwater system with a steel or aluminum pool, as it can cause damage to the pool. However, a resin pool is suitable for salt water use. Additionally, vinyl pool liners are designed to withstand the effects of salt and are resistant to damage.

How long does salt last in pool?

Salt does not have a specific lifespan in a pool. The need to add salt to your pool arises only when you introduce fresh water or after significant rainfall that dilutes the salinity levels, as salt does not dissipate from the water.

Can I use salt to keep a kiddie pool clean?

Using salt to keep a kiddie pool clean is a common practice, as it is considered a healthier option compared to adding chlorine. Saltwater is known to be more gentle on the skin, making it a popular choice. Epsom salt, in particular, is often recommended due to its unique chemical composition. Unlike regular salt, Epsom salt is made up of magnesium chloride instead of sodium chloride.

What kills germs in a salt water pool?

The process of converting bulk salt into chlorine using a saltwater chlorine generator in a saltwater pool is what kills germs. The converted chlorine effectively eliminates bacteria and algae, while also oxidizing dirt and chloramines, just like conventional pool chlorine.

How do I use salt instead of chlorine in my pool?

To use salt instead of chlorine in your pool, start by checking the pool’s chemistry using a test kit or test strips to ensure it is balanced. Next, install a salt chlorine generator. After that, add the required amount of salt to the pool. Finally, recheck the pool’s chemistry to ensure it is properly balanced.

Does a salt water pool need chemicals?

A salt water pool does require chemicals, contrary to the misconception that it doesn’t. It is important to note that chlorine is still necessary for sanitizing the pool. Neglecting to use other chemicals can potentially harm the pool and pose risks.

How much salt do you put in a kids pool?

The amount of salt needed to maintain a safe, salt water chlorinated pool for kids is typically between 2500 and 3500 PPM (parts per million).

Is Epsom salt the same as pool salt?

Epsom salt is not the same as pool salt because Epsom salt is a mineral containing high levels of magnesium and sulphate, which are used to help coral calcify and grow in Aquaria. It’s important to note that Epsom salt is not actually a salt, and these salts should not be added to your swimming pool.

How do I keep my pool clean without chlorine?

To keep your pool clean without chlorine, you can consider using alternative methods such as bromine, ozonation, reducing water temperature, PHMB, U/V light, ultrafiltration, mineral water pool systems, and Pristine Blue.

Do I need to treat water in inflatable pool?

The water in an inflatable pool should be treated to prevent the spread of germs, especially in small inflatable or plastic kiddie pools and water slides where disinfectants are not typically added. However, larger inflatable or plastic pools will usually require a filter and disinfection system to maintain water cleanliness.

Why does my inflatable pool water turn green?

The reason your inflatable pool water turns green is due to a low level of chlorine. When the chlorine level remains low for an extended period, bacteria and algae thrive, resulting in a green pool. Fortunately, this issue can be resolved quite easily. To start, you should test the chlorine level to determine the exact extent of its deficiency.

How many 40lb bags of salt do I need for my pool?

You will need approximately six or seven 40-pound bags of pool salt for your pool if you are converting to a salt water system for the first time and have a 10,000-gallon pool.

Why did my pool turn green when I added salt?

Your pool turned green when you added salt because it is likely experiencing an algae problem. Even after shocking the pool, algae can still persist. Additionally, a green pool, especially one that turns green quickly or after rain, may be caused by inadequate water circulation from a pool pump or a problem with the filtering system.

How do you use salt to sanitize a pool?

The following is a rephrased answer to the question: “How do you use salt to sanitize a pool?”To sanitize a pool using salt, one can utilize salt chlorine generators which automatically produce chlorine by utilizing salt. In a saltwater pool, the process is similar to that of a regular swimming pool, except instead of adding chlorine tablets, one would add a fine-grain salt.

How soon can you swim after adding salt to pool?

The salt added to the pool usually takes about 24-48 hours to fully dissolve. However, this timeframe may differ depending on various factors. It is advisable to wait for at least 24 hours after adding salt before swimming.

What can ruin a salt water pool?

A saltwater pool can be ruined by corrosion, which is a frequent issue. The process involves passing salt through an electrolytic cell to generate chlorine. If the sodium hypochlorite levels become excessively high, the pool water can become extremely over-chlorinated and corrosive.

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