Simple Steps to Clean a Salt Cell with Vinegar

Vinegar can clean your salt cell, which is essential to the health of your saltwater pool system, easily and cheaply. The salt cell produces chlorine to keep pool water clean and safe to swim in. Mineral deposits and scaling on salt cell plates can reduce efficiency over time. This simple guide will show you how to clean your salt cell with vinegar to extend its lifespan and keep your pool clean.

You only need a few common products and basic directions to do this work, not swimming pool knowledge. Cleaning the salt cell regularly will keep your pool a soothing and welcoming sanctuary for you, your family, and your guests.

What is a Salt Cell?

A salt cell keeps pool water clean and safe for swimmers. Electrolysis is essential to how it all works. The operation is as follows: Just add a little specialized salt to your pool, and the salt cell will take care of the rest.

Two plates are visible in the salt cell. These plates produce chlorine from water’s salt with an electric current. Chlorine maintains pool water quality by eliminating bacteria and odors. No need for chlorine tablets or solutions!

The best part is that it keeps producing chlorine while the pool pump is running. This relieves you from adding chlorine to the water constantly. Just check if there’s enough salt left. It’s simple, safe, and keeps your pool water sparkling clean! Adding a salt cell to your pool enhances your swimming experience.

How Do Salt Cells Work in Pools and Spas?

In swimming pools and spas, a salt cell is like a magic machine that keeps the water clean and safe for swimming. Actually, it’s part of a bigger device called a saltwater chlorinator. Chlorine production for water disinfection is done using kitchen salt.

The operation is as follows: Sprinkle salt into pool or hot tub. It’s not much, just enough for a flavorful dinner finish. The salt cell’s function is carried out. Specific plates are in the salt cell. Water passing over these plates has an enchanting touch. The electric current transforms salt into chlorine in saltwater.

Chlorine is used to remove unwanted organisms and microbes from water. The salt cell helps produce enough chlorine for your pool or spa. No need for constant manual chlorine addition with this method. Swimming in healthy water is good for your skin and eyes. Regularly inspecting and cleaning your salt cell keeps your pool or spa in good condition.

Steps to Clean a Salt Cell with Vinegar

Using vinegar to clean a salt cell is an easy and effective way to keep your saltwater pool system in good condition. Minerals and scale can accumulate on the salt cell over time, decreasing its efficiency. Follow this guide to keep your salt cell working well and make it last longer.

Clean a Salt Cell with Vinegar

Materials You’ll Need

  • White vinegar
  • A plastic container or bucket
  • A garden hose
  • A wrench or pliers (if necessary)

Step 1: Turn Off Pool System

Before cleaning your salt cell with vinegar, turn off your pool system to protect yourself and others. Your pool system, including the pump, uses electricity, making dealing with the salt cell unsafe. Therefore, this precaution is necessary to avoid mishaps.

Find the pool pump or control panel near the equipment to turn off your pool system. It’s best to learn your pool’s layout because the placement may fluctuate. After finding the pump or control panel, discover the pool equipment power switch or breaker. It cuts power to the salt cell and other components when turned off.

This process ensures your safety and salt cell health. When removing or cleaning a running cell, you risk electrical dangers and cell damage.

Step 2: Salt Cell Removal

Remove the salt cell for cleaning after turning off the pool system. The salt cell is usually near the pool equipment and connected to the piping. A wrench or pliers may be needed to access the salt cell, depending on your pool system.

Find the salt cell’s mounting points and fittings. Use the right tool to loosen and detach these fittings. This technique must be cautious to avoid harming components. If you have trouble removing the salt cell, consult your system’s handbook or a specialist.

Carefully remove the salt cell from its housing after disconnecting it. The cell should be in a clean, safe environment to avoid contaminating the cleaning vinegar solution. Exposed salt cell plates may have mineral deposits and scale growth, affecting performance.

Step 3: Mix Vinegar Solution

Next, make a vinegar solution to clean the salt cell. Vinegar removes mineral deposits and scales well. A plastic bucket and white vinegar are needed to make the solution.

Mix equal parts water and white vinegar in your plastic bucket. Water dilutes vinegar, making it safer to use, while vinegar’s acidity dissolves mineral deposits on salt cell plates. Softening and eliminating deposits with this solution will help clean the salt cell and restore its performance.

The vinegar solution is easy and cheap to make. Its natural cleaning characteristics make vinegar a safe and environmentally friendly alternative for this task. You can immerse the salt cell for excellent cleaning after making your vinegar solution.

Step 4: Soak Salt Cell

Immerse the salt cell in the vinegar solution for a good soak. This soaking is necessary for the vinegar to remove mineral deposits and scale from the salt cell plates. A 30-minute-to-hour soak is common.

Vinegar reacts with deposits in the salt cell, breaking them down and loosening them. The chemical reaction between acidic vinegar and mineral deposits makes this procedure effective. This softening and dissolving will make cleaning the salt cell easier and restore its optimal performance.

Soaking the salt cell allows for intimate inspection. Note where the residues are most concentrated and any tough spots that may need extra cleaning.

Step 5: Scrub Salt Cell

Scrubbing follows soaking the salt cell in vinegar. Now, softened mineral deposits should be easier to remove. This task requires a soft brush or toothbrush. The salt cell plates should be gently scrubbed to eliminate loose deposits.

You must use a gentle brush or toothbrush to prevent damaging the salt cell’s fragile plates. Remember to be gentle and allow the vinegar to do most of the work. The vinegar acid will break down deposits, making them easier to remove.

Focus on locations with thicker deposits. A popsicle stick or plastic scraper can be used to remove the residual deposits without damaging the salt cell.

Step 6: Rinse Salt Cell

After washing, rinse the salt cell to remove vinegar and loosened mineral deposits. Do this using a yard hose.

Position the salt cell to direct water over the plates. Washing away vinegar solution and dissolved sediments is guaranteed. The clean water rinse removes vinegar residue and mineral particles from the salt cell, which can affect pool water chemistry when reinstalled.

Take your time rinsing the salt cell to remove all vinegar and deposits.

Step 7: Reinstall Salt Cell

Reinstalling the salt cell into your pool system follows washing and rinsing. This step is essential for pool chlorine restoration. Carefully follow the manufacturer’s directions to reinstall the salt cell.

Attach the salt cell securely, but don’t overtighten it to avoid damage. Salt cells should be securely reinstalled with all connections and fittings tightened to specifications.

Step 8: Restart Pool System

After reinstalling the salt cell, turn on the pool system. Restart your pool pump and system to restart chlorine production in the clean salt cell. Rejuvenated salt cells keep pool water clean and clear.

This stage requires monitoring your pool’s chlorine levels and salt cell performance to ensure efficiency. Your clean salt cell, free of mineral deposits and scale, will better regulate your pool water chemistry, giving you a clean, refreshing swim. Regular maintenance and cleaning will extend the life of your salt cell and keep your pool a paradise.


How often do I vinegar-clean my salt cell?

Cleaning your salt cell with vinegar every 3–6 months is recommended. However, water quality, climate, and pool system performance may affect frequency. Regular scale tests and reduced chlorine output might assist you in deciding when to clean.

Can I use apple cider vinegar?

Salt cells should be cleaned with white vinegar. It dissolves mineral deposits better due to its acidity. Apple cider vinegar may work, but it’s weaker and takes longer to act.

If vinegar doesn’t eliminate all salt cell deposits, what should I do?

Repeat the vinegar soak and cleaning or use a salt cell cleaner if persistent deposits remain. Consult a pool specialist if you suspect any difficulties with your salt cell’s performance.

Can I clean my salt cell with muriatic acid instead of vinegar?

Salt cell cleaning is not advised using muriatic acid, which is stronger and more harmful. If misused, muriatic acid can harm your salt cell, pipes, and equipment. It’s safer and more effective to use white vinegar.

Should I clean the salt cell apart?

Cleaning the salt cell rarely requires disassembly. Soaking and washing cell plates while connected to the housing typically works. Disassembling the cell is complicated and may not be necessary unless you have serious concerns.

Can I put the salt cell in vinegar longer for better results?

Avoid leaving the salt cell in vinegar for too long, since it may damage its components. A 30-minute to one-hour soak softens deposits. Longer soaking may not help and may even hurt.

Must the salt cell be rinsed with distilled water after vinegar soak?

The salt cell can usually be rinsed with tap water to remove vinegar residue. Rinsing doesn’t require distilled water, but vinegar residue in the cell can damage your pool’s water chemistry.

What are the symptoms my salt cell requires cleaning?

Salt cells need cleaning if they produce less chlorine, have limited water flow, and have scale or mineral accumulation on the cell plates. Monitoring pool water chemistry and cell function will assist you in deciding when to clean.

Can I clean the salt cell while my pool runs?

You must turn off your pool system before cleaning the salt cell. Working on the cell while it’s running is dangerous. Always power down and disconnect the system before cleaning.

Can vinegar clear the salt cell in cold weather?

The salt cell should be cleaned with vinegar at moderate temperatures. Extreme cold slows cleaning, making it less effective. Take the salt cell indoors or wait for a milder day to clean it.

Final Words

Now you know how to clean your salt cell with vinegar, a simple method that can improve your pool’s water quality. Regular cleaning helps the salt cell create enough chlorine to keep your pool clear and safe. Always turn off your pool system before starting for safety.

Mineral deposits and scales can be removed by soaking, scraping, and washing with vinegar. It’s eco-friendly, cheap, and doesn’t require specific tools. These simple actions will keep your pool cool and attractive for swimming and relaxing. Regular maintenance extends salt cell life and keeps your pool clean.


Hi, I'm Asim! I love giving you cleaning guides, tips and tricks that will make your place sparkle and shine. Through years of practice, I've learned effective ways to clean and can't wait to help you. From tough spots to general cleaning, I can help you. Come along with me on this cleaning adventure, where I'll give you tips and tricks to make your cleaning process easier. Let's work together to make clean haven.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *