This article is for you if a saltwater pool struggles with cloudy water. Many pool owners have frequently complained about their salt water pool’s cloudy water. Therefore, in this article, I will help you explore the causes behind cloudy water in saltwater pools and discuss some effective strategies to clear it up.

Later on, I will also provide you with some essential tips that can help you prevent this problem in the future. But before I tell you what you can do about the cloudy saltwater pool, let’s find out the common causes of saltwater pool cloudy water.

4 Common Causes of Salt Water Pool Cloudy Water

4 Common Causes of Cloudy Water in Salt Water Pools

Insufficient Chlorine Levels

First, you must maintain a proper chlorine level to prevent cloudy water. If you provide an appropriate amount of chlorine, your pool water should return to its normal state with a crystal-clear appearance.

However, insufficient chlorine levels can result in the growth of bacteria & algae, which may make the water appear hazy or cloudy. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, it is recommended to have a chlorine concentration of 1-3 PPM to keep the water clear and sanitized.

When it comes to saltwater pools, they particularly rely on chlorine generators / the presence of salt to generate chlorine. Therefore, chlorine production will also be compromised if the salt generator fails to produce chlorine or falls below the recommended level.

Also, chlorine generators which are important for saltwater pool maintenance, may accumulate scale or become coated with debris, hindering their effectiveness. Therefore, you must pay attention to regularly cleaning & maintaining the chlorine generator to ensure optimum chlorine products and prevent cloudy water. Always test the salt level in the pool and adjust it accordingly to maintain proper balance.

Poor Filtration & Circulation

Your saltwater pool’s cloudy water is due to poor filtration & circulation. Proper filtrations & circulation is required to keep your water pool clear & free from debris. Therefore, if the filters have become clogged, their efficiency in capturing impurities will be compromised or reduced.

Therefore, you must regularly backwash & clean the filter to prevent blockages and maintain optimal filtration. A study by Bob Vila found that proper filter maintenance can significantly improve water quality and reduce the incidence of cloudy water.

Also, if the water pump operation is insufficient, it will further the proper circulation back into the water. Therefore, ensure you also check and maintain the pool pump system, including an appropriate flow rate to prevent cloudy water.

pH Imbalance & Alkalinity Issues

Another major contributor to saltwater pool cloudy water could be PH imbalances or alkalinity issues. You must maintain a correct recommended range of PH & alkalinity level for water clarity and comfort.

Any imbalances in these water parameters may lead to cloudiness and other water quality. The pH level can make the water cloudy when it comes to Salt Water Pools. That’s why keeping the pH range of pool water between 7.2-7.6 is recommended.

Also, regularly test the pH level & use pH decreasers if required to help restore clarity and maintain the appropriate balance. Sometimes low alkalinity levels also fluctuate in pH, contributing to cloudy water.

You must know that alkalinity acts as a buffer helping the pH level in the pool. Therefore, Make sure also to maintain the Alkalinity level in the recommended range of 80-120 PPM for water clarity.

Related Topics: How to Raise pH Without Raising Alkalinity

Presence of Organic Matter

Another major reason behind the cloudy saltwater pool water could be the presence of organic matter. You should know that leaves, debris, body oils, cosmetics, sunscreen, sweat, and other residue can all contribute to cloudy water.

Also, this kind of organic matter provides nutrients for bacteria & algae growth, causing the water to appear dull or murky. Therefore, please pay attention to regular pool maintenance practices like skimming the surface or vacuuming the pool to remove organic matter and prevent it from accumulating.

Also Read: Why is the Pool Cloudy After Shock

5 Strategies for Clearing Salt Water Pool Cloudy Water

5 Strategies for Clearing Cloudy Water in Salt Water Pools

Regular Testing & Maintenance

The first thing you need to do is test the water chemistry to identify & address any imbalances. Many test kits widely available can help you measure important parameters like chlorine level, pH alkalinity, and salt concentration in your saltwater pool. Therefore, monitor these factors to pinpoint the actual cause of cloudy water and promptly take appropriate action.

Proper Filtration & Circulation

Another that you need to ensure is the proper filtration & circulation for maintaining clear water. Therefore, ensure you are backwashing the filter to remove any trapped debris & helping restore filtration efficiency.

I will also advise you to refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for guidance on the frequency of backwashing. In addition to this, you will also need to clean the filter periodically to remove any accumulated residue.

Hence, make sure that you are checking the pool system regularly to ensure it’s functioning at its best. It would help to let the pump run appropriately to maintain proper circulation, which could last several h. Also, ensure no stagnant areas where debris or contaminants may accumulate in your pool.

Adjusting pH & Alkalinity Levels

Another thing that you can do is to correct the pH & alkalinity imbalances for water clarity. First, test the pH level; if it is too high, I recommend using muriatic acid to bring it back or lower it to the recommended range.

On the other hand, if you find the pH very low, you should use sodium bicarbonate to raise it. However, follow the product instructions carefully & make gradual adjustments to avoid drastic pH swings. Regarding alkalinity, consider using sodium bicarbonate to help stabilize alkalinity levels which further acts as a buffer preventing sudden pH changes and improving water clarity.

Shocking the Pool

Shocking, also known as super chlorination, is important to eliminate organic contaminants and restore water quality in any pool. Depending on your specific reference and pool requirement, you can consider chlorine or non-chlorine shock treatments.

Non-chlorine shock treatments of potassium monopersulfate are very effective in oxidizing organic matter without significantly affecting the chlorine levels. You can also consider chlorine shock treatment if you follow the manufacturing instructions to sanitize your pool and eliminate cloudy water-causing agents.

Related Topic: Should You Filter or Recirculate Pool When Shocking?

Removing Organic Matter

Lastly, use a pool skimmer or net to remove contaminants like leaves, insects, or other debris from the water’s surface. Also, you must perform this task frequently and regularly to help prevent organic matter accumulation.

As I told you in the above section, you will have to vacuum the pool floor & wall to help remove the debris & algae that might be contributing to cloudy water. However, ensure that you are using the appropriate type of pool vacuum and following the manufacturer’s recommendations & instructions for optimal results.

3 Prevention Tips for Salt Water Pool Cloudy Water

Prevention is key to maintaining crystal clear water in the saltwater pool; you must establish regular maintenance rooting and implement the following measures to prevent cloudiness in your pool water. 

Regular Maintenance Routine

Regarding the regular maintenance routine, you must perform daily, weekly, and monthly pool maintenance. Also, consistently clean and maintain your pool to prevent water quality issues.

As I told you earlier, you must diligently remove debris from the skimmer baskets and filter parts to ensure unobstructed water flow. Also, you should know that brushing the walls & floor will help you prevent the accumulation of Dirt and the major contributor of cloudiness, algae growth. It would help if you focused on areas where algae & debris tend to accumulate most, like corners and steps.

Maintaining Proper Water Chemistry

It is important to balance the pH & community level in saltwater pools and other water parameters. Therefore, make sure that you are regularly testing the water parameters & chemical balance to adjust them as required to ensure optimal sanitization and prevent the growth of bacteria & algae.

Not only should you check the pH level or alkalinity, but you should also pay attention to determining the salt concentration chlorine level as well as other chemical stabilizers present in your pool water to determine the actual culprit and maintain a perfect balance between them for crystal clear water & save swimming experience.

Keeping the Pool Area Clean

Cleaning pools helps water clarity, and maintaining a clean pool area can contribute to consistent water clarity. Therefore, consider trimming off the nearby plants & trees to reduce the amount of organic matter falling into your saltwater pools to minimize the nutrients available for bacterial & algae growth.

Also, it would help if you encouraged swimmers to rinse off before entering the pool to reduce the introduction of body oils, lotions, and other substances contributing to cloudy water. It’s best if you establish rules about swimming and stick with them to prevent the introduction of contaminants & bacteria.


Since it is important to maintain crystal clear water in a saltwater pool for both aesthetic & swimming safety, make sure you are addressing the cloudiness of water as soon as possible. By understanding the causes of cloudy water & implementing the strategies that I discussed in this article, you can enjoy a pristine pool with crystal-clear water all season long.

Also, consider regular testing maintenance and preventive measures to keep your pool waters sparking, inviting, and ready for endless hours of swimming enjoyment. I have given my best to properly understand saltwater pool cloudy water and what you can do about it to make it crystal clear.

If you find this article helpful, then consider sharing it. Your share will help many people learn about the reasons behind the saltwater pool’s cloudy water and how to make it crystal clear & inviting for a swimming experience. Do check my other helpful guide on pool care & maintenance. See you in the next post, till then, take care & goodbye.