How to Clean a Salt Cell in 5 Easy Steps

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How to Clean a Salt Cell, In my years of experience with maintaining salt water pools, I have learned that one of the key components that needs regular attention is the salt cell. This article will guide you through the simple yet essential process of cleaning a salt cell to ensure your pool remains a clean and safe environment for everyone to enjoy.

What is a salt cell?

A salt cell is essentially the heart of a salt water pool’s sanitation system. It looks like a small tube that is placed in the path of the water flowing through your pool’s equipment. Inside this tube, an electrical process takes place that transforms the salt dissolved in your pool water into chlorine, which is what keeps the pool water clean by eliminating bacteria and algae.

Why do salt cells need to be cleaned?

The process of transforming salt into chlorine is quite effective, but over time, minerals and other small particles can build up on the salt cell. This buildup can block the process, making the salt cell less effective or even stop it from working altogether. Regular cleaning ensures that the salt cell continues to function efficiently, keeping your pool water clear and sanitized.

How often should salt cells be cleaned?

The frequency of cleaning a salt cell can vary. Typically, it should be done every three to six months. However, this can depend on how much your pool is used and the hardness of your water. A good indicator that it might be time for a clean is if the pool water starts to look cloudy. If you are ever unsure, it is always a good idea to ask a pool professional for their advice.

How to clean a salt cell

Cleaning a salt cell is not complicated, but it does require a few household items:

  • A bucket
  • A garden hose
  • A soft brush
  • A mixture of vinegar and water

Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Mix vinegar and water in a bucket.
  2. Gently scrub the salt cell with the brush dipped in the vinegar solution.
  3. Rinse the salt cell with water from the garden hose.
  4. Repeat the scrubbing and rinsing until the cell looks clean.
  5. Let the salt cell dry completely before putting it back in place.

Remember, cleaning should be done cautiously to avoid any damage to the salt cell.

Common mistakes people make when cleaning salt cells

When cleaning your salt cell, it’s important to avoid certain mistakes that can harm the cell:

  • Avoid using too much vinegar.
  • Make sure to rinse the cell thoroughly.
  • Allow the cell to dry entirely before reinstalling.

Avoiding these mistakes can help ensure your salt cell remains in good condition and continues to function effectively.

Preventing future salt cell problems

To keep your salt cell working well and to avoid future issues, here are some tips:

  • Maintain the recommended salt level in your pool.
  • Clean your salt cell regularly.
  • If you have hard water, consider using a water softener.
  • Inspect the cell for any signs of damage and replace it if necessary.

By following these simple guidelines, you can extend the life of your salt cell and ensure your pool remains a refreshing and clean place for everyone.


Cleaning a salt cell is a crucial part of maintaining a salt water pool. We have explored what a salt cell is, why it needs regular cleaning, how often to clean it, and the steps involved in cleaning. We also discussed common mistakes to avoid and how to prevent future problems with your salt cell. Following these guidelines will help keep your salt water pool in excellent condition for years to come.

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