9 Chemicals to Improve Water Clarity in Saltwater Pools

Written by: Stuart Lockhart



Time to read 5 min

Saltwater pools offer a unique swimming experience, providing a softer, gentler water feel than traditional chlorine pools. However, maintaining crystal-clear water in a saltwater pool still requires the right balance of chemicals. This blog will explore nine essential chemicals that will help you keep your saltwater pool like a pro. Whether you're a new saltwater pool owner or a seasoned expert, this guide will provide valuable insights into effective pool maintenance.

1. Salt: The Foundation of Your Saltwater Pool

Salt is the primary component in a saltwater pool, providing the chlorine needed for sanitization. The saltwater chlorinator converts salt into chlorine through electrolysis. The right salt level is crucial for effective chlorine production and clear water.

Depending on the manufacturer's recommendations, you want to keep the salt level between 2700 and 3400 ppm. Regularly testing and adjusting the salt levels ensures your pool remains clean and inviting.

2. pH Balancer: Achieving the Perfect pH Level

pH levels in saltwater pools need to be monitored and adjusted regularly. A balanced pH ensures other chemicals work efficiently and prevents skin and eye irritation. The ideal pH range for saltwater pools is between 7.2 and 7.6.

If the pH is too low, the water becomes acidic, eroding pool equipment and irritating swimmers. The water becomes alkaline if it is too high, forming scale and cloudy water. Using pH increasers or decreasers can help you maintain the perfect balance. Regularly test your pool water and adjust the pH as needed to keep it crystal clear and comfortable for swimmers.

3. Algaecide: Keeping Algae at Bay

Algaecides are essential for preventing and controlling algae growth in saltwater pools. Algae can turn your pool water green and make surfaces slippery and unsafe. Regularly using algaecide can keep algae at bay and ensure your water remains clear and inviting.

Different types of algaecides are available, including copper-based and non-metallic options. Choose one that suits your pool’s needs and follow the manufacturer's instructions for best results. Regular use of algaecide is a proactive step in maintaining a pristine pool.

4. Stabilizer (Cyanuric Acid): Protecting Your Chlorine

Stabilizers protect chlorine from being degraded by UV rays. Proper levels help maintain consistent chlorine levels and clear water. Chlorine can dissipate quickly without a stabilizer, especially on sunny days, reducing its effectiveness.

Adding cyanuric acid to your pool helps to maintain a stable chlorine level, ensuring continuous disinfection. Aim to keep cyanuric acid levels between 30 and 50 ppm. Monitoring and adjusting cyanuric acid levels as needed will help keep your chlorine working efficiently.

5. Calcium Hardness Increaser: Preventing Corrosion and Scale

Maintaining appropriate calcium hardness levels prevents corrosion of pool surfaces and equipment. It also prevents the water from becoming cloudy due to calcium deposits. The ideal range for calcium hardness is between 200 and 400 ppm.

Low calcium levels can lead to corrosive water that damages pool surfaces and equipment, while high levels can cause scale formation and cloudy water. A calcium hardness increaser helps you maintain balanced levels, protecting your pool and ensuring clear water.

6. Shock: The Deep Clean Solution

Pool shock treatments are necessary to eliminate chloramines and other contaminants. Regular shocking is crucial for maintaining water clarity and health. Chloramines form when chlorine binds with organic pollutants, causing a strong chlorine odor and irritation.

Shocking your pool involves adding a hefty chlorine or non-chlorine shock dose to break down these compounds. This process revitalizes your pool water, making it clear and fresh. It is recommended that you shock your pool at least once a week during the swimming season or more frequently if it is heavily used.

7. Metal Sequestrant: Controlling Metal Stains and Discoloration

Metal sequestrants prevent metals in the water from staining pool surfaces. They help maintain clear, stain-free water by binding to metals like iron and copper. Metals can enter your pool from various sources, including fill water, equipment, and certain chemicals.

If not managed, metals can cause unsightly stains and discoloration. Adding a metal sequestrant to your pool water helps to keep metals in solution, preventing them from causing stains. Regular use is essential if your pool water has a high metal content.

8. Enzymes: Natural Organic Breakdown

Enzymes help break down organic contaminants like oils, lotions, and other debris. Using enzymes reduces the need for harsh chemicals and keeps water crystal clear. They work by accelerating the natural biodegradation process, breaking down non-living organic matter into simpler compounds that can be easily filtered out.

Adding enzymes to your pool maintenance routine can improve water clarity and reduce the load on your filtration system. It's a natural and efficient way to keep your pool water clean and clear.

9. Salt Cell Cleaner: Maintaining Your Salt Cell

Regularly cleaning your salt cell ensures efficient chlorine production. The salt cell is the heart of your saltwater pool system, and over time, it can accumulate calcium and other deposits that reduce its efficiency.

Using a salt cell cleaner helps remove these deposits, ensuring the cell can produce the optimal amount of chlorine. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning frequency and procedure to maintain clear water and extend the life of your salt cell.


Rest assured, with the right chemicals, achieving and maintaining water clarity in your saltwater pool is a straightforward process. Regularly testing and adjusting your pool’s chemical levels ensures a safe and inviting swimming environment. By incorporating these nine essential chemicals into your pool maintenance routine, you can confidently enjoy crystal-clear water all season. For all your pool maintenance needs, visit Pool Goods and explore our wide range of high-quality products designed to ensure your pool care is in safe hands.

FAQ: Chemicals in Saltwater Pools

Are saltwater pools completely chemical-free?

No, saltwater pools are not chemical-free. They use salt to generate chlorine, which is necessary for sanitizing the pool. Additionally, other chemicals are required to maintain water balance and clarity.

How often should I test the chemical levels in my saltwater pool?

It's recommended to test your pool's chemical levels at least once a week. Regular testing helps maintain proper balance and ensures the effectiveness of the chlorinator.

Do saltwater pools require less maintenance than traditional chlorine pools?

Saltwater pools generally require less maintenance when adding chlorine manually. However, you must regularly monitor and adjust pH, alkalinity, and other chemical levels.

Why is my saltwater pool cloudy even with proper salt levels?

Cloudy water can result from imbalanced pH, high calcium hardness, or insufficient filtration. Regularly test and adjust these levels, and ensure your filtration system functions appropriately.

How do I know when to clean my salt cell?

Most salt chlorinators have an indicator light that signals when the cell needs cleaning. Regular inspections and cleaning every 3-6 months help maintain its efficiency.

Can I add too much stabilizer to my saltwater pool?

Too much cyanuric acid (stabilizer) can reduce chlorine's effectiveness. Keep stabilizer levels within the recommended range (30-50 ppm) for optimal chlorine performance.

What should I do if my saltwater pool has metal stains?

A metal sequestrant binds and removes metals from the water. Regular use prevents staining and helps maintain clear, stain-free water.