Pool Salt vs Table Salt - What's The Difference?

Is Pool Salt The Same As Regular Table Salt?

If you own a saltwater pool or have considered getting one, you are likely aware that plenty of salt has to be added to the water to maintain sanitation. When looking at salt for your pool, you may have wondered: is pool salt the same as table salt?

In this article we will talk about the differences between pool salt and table salt, as well as how pool salt compares to rock salt.

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Pool Salt vs Table Salt

There is no difference in the chemical formulation of pool salt vs table salt. Both of these types of salt are made of sodium chlorine, or NaCl. Unlike table salt, pool salt tends to be sold in much larger chunks and in higher quantities.

However, it’s important to note that pool salt is not intended for human consumption.

Although the main chemical formulation of both of these products is the same, many steps are taken to ensure that table salt remains pure and food-grade while it is processed.

Because manufacturing standards are not as strict for salt intended in chemical uses, it is recommended that you do not eat salt intended for pools due to potentially dangerous contamination.

Pool Salt vs Rock Salt

Now that you know pool salt and table salt are technically the same, you may be wondering: is pool salt the same as rock salt? The answer is yes.

Rock salt refers to a specific type of salt that has not been processed, and is typically mined directly from nature rather than being purified and recrystallized.

Some types of rock salt can be used in your pool as the other minerals present in it are beneficial to your water quality, but this can vary.

Impure varieties of rock salt can occasionally cause mineral and metal staining. Because of this, we recommend only using salts that are intended for pool use.

Louis from Pool Advisor


A chemical engineer by trade, Louis is committed to debunking myths in the pool industry by explaining the underlying chemistry and making it accessible to all.