How to Add Epsom Salt to Swimming Pools

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If the Epsom salt has not dissolved within two hours, spread the piles using a pool net to speed the process. It will not hurt your filter or your chlorine generator cell to turn them on while there are still piles of Epsom salt on the bottom of your pool.


Do not use Epsom salt in an ordinary, chlorinated pool. Epsom salt will quickly corrode traditional filters and can cause other pool problems that will require the intervention of a professional.

Saltwater swimming pools require a chlorine generator cell to operate properly.

Saltwater swimming pools require different maintenance than ordinary, chlorinated swimming pools -- and that includes the occasional addition of Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate). Epsom salt travels through saltwater pool filters and chlorine generator cells, softening buildup and making cleaning easier. When cleaning, add between 35 and 45 lbs. of Epsom salt to the pool. Allow the salted water to circulate for several hours before attempting to clean the filter or chlorine generator cell.

Step 1

Turn off the pool filter and chlorine generator cell immediately prior to adding salt. Do not leave the filter or chlorine generator cell off for several hours, because they are necessary for maintaining clarity and bacteria control in a saltwater pool.

Step 2

Pour all the Epsom salt onto the swimming pool floor. Evenly distribute it to speed dissolution. To distribute the salt evenly, walk around the perimeter of the pool and pour small piles at short intervals.

Step 3

Allow the Epsom salt to dissolve in your pool for approximately two hours, spreading the piles with a pool net if necessary.

Step 4

Turn on the pool filter and the chlorine generator cell. Allow the filter and the chlorine generator cell to circulate water for at least six hours. Depending on the size and capacity of your filter, you may allow the water to circulate longer for maximum effectiveness. When the water has circulated to your satisfaction, turn the filter and chlorine generator cell off and clean them according to the manufacturer's instructions.

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Eva Talent

A professional writer since 1994, Eva Talent was trained as a journalist by the U.S. Army. She received two Army Commendation Medals and an Army Achievement Medal for journalistic excellence. Her press releases are frequently featured on the websites of the Department of Defense and the Army. Talent holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from the University of Michigan.