How to Keep Inflatable Pool Water Clean With Salt: A Comprehensive Guide

Written By: Jen

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What do you do when you want to fight summer’s heat with some pool time but an in-ground pool isn’t an option? Well, you get an inflatable pool of course!

These are great alternatives to conventional pools as they’re relatively inexpensive and efficiently space-saving. Plus, keeping the water clean is actually pretty simple with one substance that we all have at home…

girl swimming in inflatable pool

Chlorine and bromine are among the most popular ways to maintain the cleanliness of inflatable pool water, but what if you don’t want to be exposed to such chemicals?

This brings us to today’s topic: how to keep inflatable pool water clean with salt.

In the guide below, we’re discussing the pros and cons of using salt in pool water and walking you through the steps of treating water using salt. It’s actually pretty easy!

Step 1: Prepare Your Materials

To keep your pool water clean with salt, you first need to gather your tools and materials.

1. Salt

Of course, the item on top of your list should be the salt. But what type of salt are we talking about here?

Well, the salt we mean here is the good old sodium chloride (NaCl). This is the same salt you use for food and cooking purposes.

As such, you can use regular table salt or sea salt in your household. This is another reason why keeping inflatable pool water clean with salt is a popular method – it can be very affordable.

If you decide to go with normal table salt or sea salt, we recommend using granulated salt as it takes a longer time to dissolve in water, prolonging its cleansing effects. 

Alternatively, you can buy specialized pool salt. A lot of people think that pool salt is different from table salt, but this isn’t true.

It is really just table salt in a different form. Pool salt is also sodium chloride, so it’s essentially the same as table salt. The main difference between the two is that pool salt is available in bigger cuts or sizes.

And because pool salt typically comes in large 40lb bags, it’s cheaper than table salt, which comes in small bags.

Additionally, pool salt often contains cyanuric acid as an extra ingredient. This acid prevents the degradation of chlorine ions and hypochlorous acid, which happens due to UV rays.

Pool Salt
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2. PH & Alkalinity Balancers

As well as adding salt, you should also keep an eye on the pH levels of your inflatable pool water. This is because high acidity reduces the effectiveness of salt as a cleansing agent.

So, you should consider using pH increasers or reducers as well as alkalinity Increasers, before adding any salt to your inflatable pool. This is especially true if it’s a bigger model. Maintaining a balanced pH helps prolong and improve the effect of the salt.

Ideally, you want the pH level of your water somewhere between 7.2 to 7.8. So, choose the appropriate product for your inflatable pool as follows:

  • Test the pH level of your pool water using a pH test kit or strips.
  • If your water pH is more than 8, this means it’s too basic and you need to use a pH decreaser to bring it down.
  • If your water pH is less than 7, this means it’s too acidic and you need to use either a pH increaser or an alkalinity increaser to boost the pH level.
  • Finally, make sure you read the instructions labeled on each agent before using it to add the correct amount of product for the desired effect.
PH & Alkalinity Balancers
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Step 2: Remove the Water

Once you have all your materials in order, your next step is to remove the existing water out of the inflatable pool.

If your pool is already empty, or it’s a new pool that you’ve only just filled with water, then you can move on from this step. Otherwise, you need to drain the pool as the water will be dirty and when it comes to pool maintenance, prevention is better than cure!

This also gives you the chance to get rid of any leaves or debris in the pool.

draining the water from inflatable pool

Step 3: Clean the Floor and Walls

Once the pool’s surfaces have dried out completely, you should start cleaning its floor and walls. The purpose of this step is to get rid of any slime, grime, scum, or algae clinging to the pool’s surfaces.

So grab a brush or a scrap and start scrubbing. You can use baking soda paste (a mixture of baking soda with some water) to remove all the nasty deposits we just mentioned without being too harsh on the pool’s material.

Once you’re done, rinse the pool and wait until it’s completely dried out before moving on to the next step.

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Step 4: Add Water and Calculate

Now is the time to add fresh water to your inflatable pool.

Once it’s full, you need to test the pH of the water and make sure it’s within the 7.2 to 7.8 range.

After that, calculate the amount of salt you should add depending on the dimensions and capacity of the pool.

For complete disinfection, you should add enough salt to achieve a salinity rate of 0.4%. That means that you should add 3.5 lbs of salt for every 100 gallons (or 1.6 kg per 400 litres).

A salinity meter can be very handy to know how salty your pool water is, particularly if it already has salt and you’re wanting to add more.

Digital Salinity Tester
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Step 5: Add Salt

Once you determine how much salt you need to add, just dump it in and stir the water to spread it around the pool.

For example, if your inflatable pool is 250 gallons and it has a salt level of 1200 ppm (parts per million) that you need to raise to 3200 ppm, you should add around 4.5 pounds of salt.

Similarly, if your inflatable pool is 1000 gallons, you need to add about 17.5 pounds of salt.

Step 6: Leave the Pool Uncovered

Last but not least, don’t use a pool cover.

Leave your inflatable pool exposed for as long as it takes for the salt to dissolve in the water.

Covering the pool puts it at risk of algae growth issues due to the lack of air circulation.

inflatable water pool on grass

There you have, a simple step-by-step guide on how to keep inflatable pool water clean with salt. It’s important to keep in mind the pH level of water even after adding the salt because highly acidic mediums hinder the effectiveness of salt.

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Jen is your go-to expert on all things inflatable, from pools to tents and beyond. A former hot tub rental company owner, she's experienced the ups and downs of inflatables firsthand. Nowadays, she writes practical guides on maintaining and enjoying inflatables. A mom of young enthusiasts, her family's favorite outing is the inflatable fun park!

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