Can You Use Water Softener Salt in a Pool? – Pros & Risks

Robert Wimberly

can you use water softener salt in a pool

When you’re all about having a clean and safe pool, nailing the water quality is the name of the game. One question that often comes up when discussing water quality upkeep is: Can you use water softener salt in a pool?

Well, the short answer is: yes, you totally can! However, you should know a few hitches about chemical water softener before even considering using them.

We’re talking about things like messing with the water’s chemistry, damaging your pool gears, and even putting a damper on the health of swimmers. Don’t worry, we’re breaking it all down below.

What is Water Softener Salt? Definition and Types

First, what exactly is water softener? A water softener is a special kind of salt naturally used for hard water treatment, meaning it removes certain minerals from the water that can cause problems like scale buildup in appliances and pipes.

There are a few different types of softener salt available in the market:

  1. Rock Salt: Rock salt is the cheapest option out of the three, but it may contain more impurities than other types of salt, which can lead to sediment buildup in the water softener system.
  2. Solar Salt: Solar salt is obtained by evaporating brine or seawater from salt mines using the sun’s heat. It generally has fewer impurities than rock salt and is available in two forms: pellets and crystals.
  3. Evaporated Salt: This type of salt is considered the purest softener salt and is available in pellets or blocks.

No matter the type, make sure to stick to what the manufacturer suggests for the right kind and amount of salt. That way, your softener will stay in tip-top shape for the long haul.

Can You Put Water Softener Salt in a Pool?

Now, can you use a water softener for your swimming pool?

1. Pros of using water softener salt in pools


Throwing some softener salt into your pool could come with a couple of upsides.

  • One pro could be the lower price tag compared to pool-grade salt. So, if you’re all about pinching pennies, this could be right up your alley.
  • Another advantage is if you can’t lay your hands on pool-grade pool softener salt in your area, water softener salt can be a good, temporary substitute for pool salt to soften hard pool water.

But like we mentioned earlier, there are risks when using water softener salt to soften pool water.

2. Potential risks


Here are the main risks associated with using water softener salt in a pool when you don’t use the right type and amount:

  • pH Problems: Water softener salt can throw off the pool’s pH balance, tipping it towards being too alkaline. This can make the water less pleasant for swimming.

However, if this occurs, there are ways to restore balance. Some opt for a bit of muriatic acid to lower the pH level. The sweet spot for your pool water’s pH should be between 7.4 and 7.6.

  • Scaling Trouble: One of the key differences between pool salt vs water softener salt is that water softener salt tends to dissolve at a slower pace compared to pool salt.

So be prepared for the possibility of calcium accumulating on your pool’s surfaces and equipment, which could lead to some serious wear and tear overtime.

  • Chlorine System Issues: If you’re rocking a saltwater pool, using water softener salt might not play nice with the chlorine generator, which is responsible for keeping your water spick and span.
  • Cloudy Water: Softener salt could make the pool water cloudy or unclear due to impurities it contains. The minerals found in softener salt can also cause unsightly stains and discoloration. This can be a major turn-off for swimmers, as it gives the water an unclean and murky appearance.


If you’re thinking about getting a pool and the question “Can you use water softener salt in a pool?” pops up, you’re all set with the answer now.

Remember, if you want to make pool water soften, softener salt can stand in for pool-grade salt. However, because it comes with some potential risks, it’s super important to get the right amount and type spot on. That way, you’ll keep your pool and all the people who use it out of harm’s way.

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