How To Clean Salt Build Up In Hydroponics: Easy Solutions

The salt build-up in hydroponics is one of the most severe problems most people have been facing for a very long time. Having high salt concentrations can cause fatal damages to the plants. It will hinder the water and nutrients from reaching the plant’s roots. The roots become weak and break off very easily due to salt build-ups. It also becomes unable to supply nutrients.

Salt build up in hydroponics also causes burns to the leaves. As a result, the leaves wilt, have scars and sometimes die from high accumulated salt.

Removing salt build-ups from plants is necessary to save plants. We have narrowed down some simple ways to clean these salt build-ups to eradicate them. Our article will help you with our complete guide to clean salt build-up in hydroponics.

How To Clean Salt Build Up In Hydroponics

What Causes Salt Build Up In Hydroponics?

You will often find high salt concentrations in the hydroponic system. Most people use a nutrient solution in hydroponics. Salt build-ups occur when the plants are soaked in the solution for a very long time. The dissolved salt in the solution evaporates faster than the minerals and is absorbed by the roots.

High salt concentration in the surface area causes great damage to the roots; they become mushy and break off easily. The plants also become unable to supply nutrients and water. Sometimes, over-fertilizing can also cause salt build-ups in hydroponics. The main elements of the solution are highly salt accumulated.

To avoid having salt build-ups in the hydroponic system, you can neutralize high salt concentration in the nutrient solution by applying remedies. 

Simple Ways To Identify Salt Build Up In Hydroponics

When you have a hydroponic system in your garden or backyard, you will often face salt building up in your plants because of excessive nutrient solution/fertilizers. Salt build-ups can cause serious damage to your plants. To clean salt build-up in hydroponics, first, you need to identify the symptoms.

For that, we have put forward some simple ways to identify these salt build-ups in hydroponics. Here we go!


When you see your plants have reduced their growth and have burns on the tips of their leaves, then you can assume the plants have high salt concentration. Because of salt build-ups, you can also see brownish/black scars on the leaf tips. 

Mushy Root Tips: 

When there is salt build up in your hydroponics, the water and nutrients can’t reach the roots of the plants, the root tips get mushy and break off very easily. The salt build-ups in the surface level of the soil also damage the roots.

Brown Tips and Margins: 

Sometimes, salt build-ups in hydroponics cause serious damage to the plants. Because of high salt accumulation, the leaves may wilt, the leaf tips and the margins get brown/yellowish. Plants can also die from salt build-ups.

Quick Fix To Clean Salt Build Up In Hydroponics

It’s important to clean your hydroponic system once in a while to keep your plants safe from any fatal damages. Salt build-ups in hydroponics are a common problem, and plants may die if immediate prevention is not taken. 

To save your plants from dying or severe damage, we have narrowed down some of the best elements to clean salt build-up in hydroponics. Here they are!


Water is one of the easiest remedies to apply for cleaning up the hydroponic system. Sometimes hot water can flow through various levels of the soil, including the surface level and flush away the salt build-ups immediately. However, the salt build-ups can be difficult to remove sometimes; in that case, you can apply other remedies.

Lemon Juice and Vinegar

Sometimes, lemon juice and vinegar can remove the salt build-up from plants in no time. You can mix lemon juice or vinegar with warm water and apply it to your hydroponic system to remove salt build-ups. It can neutralize the high salt accumulation and keep your plant safe from fatal damages.


You can use the Oxiclean solution to the surface area by pouring it directly or with a cloth, sponge or brush. Let it stand for 5-10 minutes max, then scrub it with warm water or rinse. You can also blot until the soils dry by using an absorbent material.

Phosphoric Acid

Phosphoric Acid can also help remove or neutralize salt build-ups in hydroponics. They are inorganic acid electrolytes and are generally used for good ionic conductivity. Using them in the right amount will maximize the nutrient growth by adding the pH levels of the nutrients slightly acidic. 

Cultured Solutions:

These cultured solutions will also help your hydroponic system avoid damaging your plants from salt build-ups. It will eliminate all the harmful materials, including biofilms, to protect your plants from severe damage and other harmful diseases. 

These are the easiest remedies to apply when a salt build up in hydroponics occurs. It’s essential to keep your hydroponic system clean and healthy. You should also clean the clogged lines to clear ways for your plants to have the proper nutrients and water.

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What are the main causes of salt build-ups in hydroponics?

Salt build-ups can occur when your plants are continuously soaked in the nutrient solution. The solution contains dissolved salts that evaporate comparatively faster than the minerals. These salt build-ups can sometimes damage the entire hydroponics system. 

What dissolves salt build-ups faster?

You can use water to dissolve the salt build-up. It will flow through the soil of your plants and flush away the salt build-ups; however, the surface level of the soil will need hot water to penetrate the soil and dissolve the salt. Hot water also dissolves salt build ups faster than cold water.

How to identify salt build-ups in hydroponics?

When your plants start to build up salt, they lose their ability to uptake water and nutrients. As a result, the tips of the leaves start having burns and a yellowish scar, sometimes brown/black scars. Salt build-ups cause serious damage to the hydroponic system.

How can I stop salt build-ups in hydroponics? 

When you have a hydroponic system, you will often face salt build-ups in your plants. You can use the flushing/leaching system to remove it completely from the roots. Other than that, you can also apply some home remedies to clean salt build-ups.


If you have read this far, you have almost gathered all the necessary information you need to know to clean the salt build ups in hydroponics. When you have a hydroponic system in your garden or backyard, it’s important to learn the common problems and their symptoms to remove them from your plants.

Salt build-ups can be the death of your plants, and sometimes it becomes very difficult to eradicate them. To save your plants, cleaning up these salt build ups is essential.

With the help of our complete guide, you can now identify any of the problems salt build-ups can cause to your plants and find solutions accordingly to clean salt build-up in hydroponics to keep your plants safe and healthy.

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