How to Fix Salty Homemade Pickles.

Don’t be embarrassed. We’ve all been there.  You made homemade pickles and they’re so salty cows are wandering into your kitchen looking for the salt lick. And the salt lick is your lips.  Here’s how to fix them.

My Kosher Dill Pickle Recipe

So you got your Laura Ingalls on and made homemade pickles.    You don’t do this sort of thing a lot, but you’ve always wanted to make pickles so you did it.  You *finally* made them.  You bought the cucumbers, washed the jars, made the brine, let them sit.

Then you casually mentioned to as many people as possible that you were about to, were in the middle of or had just finished making homemade pickles.

After a few weeks you couldn’t wait any longer and you cracked open a jar, smelled them (delicious!), stuck your fingers into the pickle brine, chose a big, juicy pickle and took a bite. You can’t remember very much of what happened after that because you instantly went into a rare salt coma – the most severe on record since the great Cured Meats and Mixed Nuts convention of ’72.

When friends and family come over asking for one of your famous homemade pickles, you’re forced to lie to them and say they aren’t ready for tasting yet. They need to “steep”.  They’re immature.  You must give this sort of thing time.

One thing leads to another and before you know it you’ve told everyone no one can ever try your pickles because you’re moving to Japan and you’re taking your pickles with you. (Japan is well known around the world for their Fall Fairs pickle competitions and you plan on entering your pickles into all of them on account of the fact you can just tell they’re award winning quality.)

Lord only knows what’ll happen after you and your pickles move to Japan, I mean, it’s a slippery slope. At the very least you’ll get involved in the underground Cosplay world.

Instead of going through all the lies and deception you might want to just fix your salty pickles.

In fact this method can be used to cut saltiness in anything that can be soaked in water.

Get a notepad and pencil ready (’cause Laura Ingalls kicks it old school) and take these notes.

How to Fix Salty Pickles

1, Take pickles soak them in water.

The end.

How to Fix Salty Homemade Pickles.

How to Fix Salty Homemade Pickles.

Active Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Difficulty: So Easy!
Estimated Cost: $0

Fix those salty pickles in NO time.


  • Water
  • salty pickles


  1. Take salty pickles and soak them in water for 10-30 minutes.


  1. The longer you leave the pickles in plain water, the more salt that comes out of them.
  2. If you cut your pickles into quarters or slices, the salt will dissipate more quickly.
  3. The process should only take 10 – 30 minutes depending on the saltiness and the thickness of the pickle.
  4. Take little bites of the pickle as they sit to see when they’re ready to your liking.
  5. If you leave the pickles in the water too long ALL of the salt (and flavour) will be removed from them leaving them tasteless. So don’t do that.
  6. If you're canning homemade pickle do NOT reduce the salt of the recipe. The salt acts as a preservative. If you're not canning them, but rather storing your pickles in the fridge it is fine to decrease the salt in a recipe.

That’s it.  That’s all there is to fixing pickles that are too salty.  So.  Now what are we going to talk about?

I guess I could give you a bit more direction but really there’s not much left to say.

The science behind it is osmosis which you may remember for high school science.  You put the salty pickles into unsalty water and the salt is drawn out of them.

  1. The longer you leave the pickles in plain water, the more salt that comes out of them.
  2. If you cut your pickles into quarters or slices, the salt will dissipate more quickly.
  3. The process should only take 10 – 30 minutes depending on the saltiness and the thickness of the pickle.
  4. Take little bites of the pickle as they sit to see when they’re ready to your liking.
  5. If you leave the pickles in the water too long ALL of the salt (and flavour) will be removed from them leaving them tasteless. So don’t do that.


If you made homemade pickles that are two salty those are your options.  Soak them in plain water – or rent yourself a Hello Kitty costume and buy a plane ticket.

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How to Fix Salty Homemade Pickles.


  1. sally says:

    what can you do about too salty dill pickle juice?????
    Heard it was good for your blood sugar but it is soooooo salty!!!
    I bought a gallon of it.

  2. Trent says:

    Anyone know if this applies to salty pickled fish also? Pickled some fish and it is way salty. Need a fix!

  3. Mary W says:

    Well I’m from Florida and having made too salty pickles, read your title as I really need to read this since that describes my last venture into pickle making. Thanks so much for this. Now back to making refrigerator pickled onions. So good!

  4. Peggy says:

    I’m in Mississippi, and when I saw the title, I thought it was a recipe for salty pickles. As in, “I’m fixin to woop up a batch of salty pickles”.

  5. Rosemary Baker says:

    You had me on tenterhooks and laughing at the same time.
    Now I must go tend to the pickles….

  6. For a batch of kimchi that was too salty, (I only rinsed once, when 3 times is standard after a 4 hour initial soak) I tried pouring off the original liquids, rinsing once with distilled water then adding distilled water to cover once more. Worked great and far better than throwing it all away. The kimchi tastes more like conventional sauerkraut after the rinse, but enough of the flavors remained so still very good.

  7. RJ Hirsch says:


    I have had to do similar/same with gravlax. Both times I have made, I left it in the salty rub too long and had pucker salmon. What worked was to first, of course, wash the fish off. Wash off the salty stuff.
    Then dry.
    Then coat in mayonnaise. In this instance, don’t do a water soak– after having just pressed the liquid out of the salmon!
    Mayonnaise did pull the salt out. My more recent batch had this treatment– and was totally luscious.

    PS Karen, I am having an impossible time with pop-up ads on your site — only recently. There are ads ads ads. Ones I click the x to quiet down, re appear. And the three little Pinterest/fb/email boxes– see no way to avoid their taking up space.
    ?Is there any way to clean this screen?? I support your being supported by ads….. and this has become over what is doable.
    thank you for so many wonderful wonderful years of great funny brilliant writing. RJ.

    I can’t even click on ‘notify me if anyone answers….’ Bec pop up interferes. waaaahhhh

  8. CV says:

    Yeah well, who couldn’t figure this out? I had figured it out but I am still changing the water and soaking. Maybe I’ll try reading a recipe next time.
    Thanks for being there.

  9. Virginia says:

    Thank you so much! Years and years ago I made brined pickles a lot and never had this problem. It has to be because I used quart jars this time instead of a five gallon bucket. It worked like a charm!

  10. Sarah says:

    Brilliant. I recently threw out a jar and am anticipating the rest of that batch.

  11. Pat says:

    Thanks for this article. Mine weren’t quite that “too salty”. After nearly a week they’re still too much for me. I’m considering chopping them up fine and mixing with salmon or tuna for salad. Meanwhile I made another batch.

    • Jay says:

      Pat, make potato salad with them, the next day it should be good.

      I have quite a lot of jars with cherry tomatoes. They are horribly sour (vinegar). I don’t know if that would help to soak them. It would be good to make tomato sauce with them. Or not.

  12. Cory says:

    When you replace half the brine with water, can you then continue to ferment at room temp? Or does It have to be stored in the fridge at that point?

  13. Joanne says:

    You saved me a gallon of kimchi! Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!! I tried to rate this 5 stars, but the site wouldn’t cooperate:(

    • Karen says:

      Ohhhh it’s because it isn’t an actual recipe. :/ Don’t worry if I fix it and turn it into an actual recipe, I’ll mark you down as a 5 star rating. ;) So glad it worked out for you! ~ karen

  14. Gayle Dunning says:

    Thank you, I know I put too much salt in my first batch of spicy dill beans this year (accidently doubled salt amount)!
    Was thinking after opening of draining 1/2 brine and adding equal parts water and vinegar, but guess I’ll just do water instead.

  15. Lori says:

    I forgot that I was doubling a brine recipe so I only put in half the salt needed. I have these amazing spicy dill pickles that still turned out pretty great, but are a little too vinegary and flat for my taste. I want them saltier, the way they were intended to be. I would like to know if each jar can have some salt added after the fact, once the jar is opened and ready to be eaten. If so, how much and what kind of salt would you recommend? Should the salt sit in the jar for a day or so before eating?

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lori! Sure you can add salt after the fact. Just remember that it takes longer for a pickle to absorb salt than to release it. So instead of having a salty taste all the way through it’ll just be on the outside for the first little while. ~ karen!

  16. Loli says:

    If you don’t put them back in the same brine-what do you put them into?

    • Karen says:

      This is for eating them individually or serving. If you want to do a whole jar, pour out half of the brine and replace it with water. So you have 1/2 brine and 1/2 water. Leave them and taste them the next day. It’s a bit trial and error, you may need to use more or less water depending on how salty your pickles are. ~ karen!

  17. Lisa says:

    omg, this was so funny! Are you spying on me??!! Lol… Thanks for the great tips!!

  18. Lauren from Winnipeg says:

    Stupid question – do you put them back into the same brine?

    • Karen says:

      You do the soaking prior to serving or eating them. If you want to do a whole jar try pouring out half the jar of brine and filling it with water. That’ll help suck out some of the salt of the pickles. Then you can keep the whole jar in the fridge. That way is a bit trial and error because you may need to use more or less water/brine. ~ karen!

      • Don says:

        So you don’t need to boil anything to reseal them after replacing some of the brine with water? Just screw on the kid and put back in the fridge?

      • Karen says:

        Hi Don, yes. After doing this you store them in the refrigerator. So if you’ve processed and sealed a batch of pickles to discover they’re way too salty, you would do this on a jar by jar basis as you open them. You wouldn’t want to do it prior to processing in case you remove too much salt because salt acts as a preservative when you process. ~ karen!

  19. Susan Schneider says:

    This is great! I have pickles from last summer that I haven’t had the heart to throw out. I am going to try this. Since we won’t be eating all of them at once, would the best thing to do be to let them stay in the brine and then only de-salt them as you want to serve some? Thanks for the so-simple fix!

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan. Yes, just keep them in the brine and either de-salt before serving them or pour out half the brine and refill the jar with water. That will have the same effect but you can keep them in there and not eat them right away. That way it’s a bit of a trial and error thing though. You have to soak and taste. ~ karen!

      • mert says:

        So good to know. I was given a jar of pickled turnip, one taste was enough for me. (I love turnip) Also, had others taste, same reaction. Still have them, so going to drain half the brine, etc. Hopefully the turnip will be edible for us!

      • Karen says:

        Good luck Mert! I hope it works for you and the turnip. It should. :) ~ karen!

  20. oscar schneider says:

    What an unbelievably simple trick! Thanks.

  21. Katt Hunsaker says:

    How did you know I needed this!?!? The pickles I just made… 😩

    • Karen says:

      Booo. The other thing you can do is pour half of your brine out and fill the rest of the jar with water when you open them to eat. ~ karen!

  22. Shawna Lawry says:

    “or rent yourself a Hello Kitty costume and buy a plane ticket” LMAO.

  23. Mary W says:

    Always finding a simple fix – you are the best!

  24. Karen says:

    I just threw mine out! But great tip for next time. Thanks!

  25. Lynda says:

    We had a too spicy chili and couldn’t eat it (and we like spicy!). Went a tad heavy on the red pepper flakes. Anyway, another can of tomatoes and beans did the trick. Now it’s 👌🏻.

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