Salt Water pool vs Chlorine – Which is best?

Salt Water pool Vs Chlorine – Which is best?

It can be a tricky decision choosing the right method to keep your pool sanitized with multiple options available to choose from. It all really comes down to personal preference at the end of the day and what you value as a pool owner. Maybe you’re not really to phased and just want a bit more knowledge on the topic. Well we’re here to help breakdown the pros and cons of saltwater and chlorine pools.

Saltwater pools

When most people hear the word saltwater pool they naturally assume they are chlorine free. When in fact that’s not really the case at all.

Salt is made up of two elements sodium and chloride. Saltwater swimming pools draw on dissolved salt in the pool to create chlorine. The salt goes through a process in the salt cell or generator called electrolysis to convert the salt into hypochlorous acid(HCIO) and sodium hypochlorite. These are both sanitizing agents used to kill bacteria.

So technically saltwater pools are not completely chlorine free. In saying that the reduced amount of chlorine or chloramines that are in saltwater pools makes them a very attractive choice for some pool owners.

You still need to regularly test your pool water and keep a close eye on the pH levels. Saltwater pools have the tendency to rise in pH so a pH reducer should be kept handy.


  • More gentle on skin, hair and eyes. Also your swimwear will not suffer the wear tear that chlorine can cause.
  • Salt water chlorination are renowned for producing soft smooth feeling water
  • You can operate a saltwater system for a lower cost than using liquid or solid chlorine.
  • Saltwater is a more natural sanitization method which eliminates that harsh chemical odour that chlorine can create.
  • The salt water systems can operate independently meaning your pool will be much easier to maintain.
  • Storage of the salt is safe and you don’t need to be concerned with storing a chemicals.


  • Upfront cost of a salt water generator is costly
  • Uses considerably more power
  • Salt can be corrosive on pool lights, covers and fixture if you do not have salt specific products

Chlorine pools

Chlorine pools have been around for decades. Chlorine is the most common type of sanitization and for good reason, Chlorine is very efficient at killing germs and bacteria.  As time goes on different methods of pool sanitization have been invented to help improve the effects chlorine can have on some people.

Chlorine kills bacteria through a chemical reaction. The Chlorine you add to the water breaks down into different chemicals, hypochlorous acid and hypochlorite ion. Both these chemicals go to work  killing microorganisms and bacteria by destroying the enzymes inside the cell. Once the chlorine has reacted with contaminants in the water such as perspiration or urine you are left with chloramines. Chloramines are what can cause eye irritation and a strong chlorine odour.

Chorine pools require regular testing and diligence if have the time and energy for that then a chlorine pool could be right for you.


  • Initial set up cost is much lower
  • Chlorine is not as harsh on pool fixtures
  • Troubleshooting can be much simpler
  • Chlorine pools use much less electricity


  • Storage of chemicals needs to be safe and completely dry
  • Chlorine pools are high maintenance in regards to constant testing and balancing your chemicals .
  • Chlorine can irritate your skin and eyes as well as being hard on your hair and bathing suit.
  • Exposure to chemicals could pose health risks in the long term
  • Chemical gases from the pool are released into the atmosphere

Salt water vs Chlorine review in a Summary

It all really comes down to if you would rather spend more time or money on your pool. Are you too busy or away a lot? Checking your pool daily might just not be practical for you.

Though some people may love the low manual labour of a salt water pool, others may even enjoy the routine maintenance that comes with owning a chlorine pool. What ever your pool choice may be we’re just here to to help with tips and tricks to keep that pool of yours crystal clear all year round.

Happy swimming.

The Morris's

The Morris's

Hey, we're Lana and Cam the creators of this site. We love to spend time together as a family, and time in our pool. We're here to bring you the best info on pool care, pool cleaners, and other great pool related products.

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