How To Clean A Green Pool: What’s Causing The Pool To Turn Green And Strategies For Cleaning Your Pool

When you swim in your pool for several days, it may turn green. Read on to learn about some reasons for this occurrence and how to avoid or correct it.

If you’re considering swimming in green water, the answer is no. To clean a green pool, it’s important to maintain your pool correctly and address the cause of the problem when you can. Hopefully, this information will help with cleaning your pool.

How To Clean A Green Pool

green swimming pool with sand colored deck floor and wicker chairs

Regardless of the cause for your pool water being green or if you’re looking to get your pool clean fast, you’ll want to do the same set of steps.

We understand that green pool water is a job best reserved for professional pool cleaners. Our process follows the same steps as noted in this post. However, we do make exceptions to draining or power washing your pool in extreme cases.

Remove Organic Debris

Pools can be invaded by debris like leaves, branches, and things falling into the water. These organic materials will break down over time, which means they carry bacteria.

Removing organic debris is a necessary step in keeping a residential pool filter clean. This will also ensure that any chemicals added are not obstructed by the debris and a quicker breakdown of every so often issue.

This will also provide the extra benefit of halting or slowing the growth of algae spores currently in the water. Be cautious when disturbing water, as it can cause bacteria to spread.

Assess Pool Water Chemistry

Next, you want to make sure your pool’s chemistry is in order by using a pool test kit like this one to check for acid demand, bromine, chlorine, pH, and total alkalinity.

Leslie’s Pool recommends taking a pool water sample 12-18 inches below the surface and obtaining the sample in the morning before sunlight dissipates chlorine.

Shocking Your Pool Water

To properly chlorinate a pool, you need to know how to shock or bleach your pool and what happens when the chemicals are introduced. Although it is called “shocking” a pool, what you’re doing is introducing chlorine into an abnormally low-chlorinated water system.

To kill any remaining bacteria and algae in the pool, chemicals are added to the water. The process of introducing these chemicals will often turn your water cloudy, but it should return to normal within 24-48 hours. For your treatment to be effective, you should use them at night when UV rays from sunlight aren’t interfering with their effectiveness or between pH levels of 7.2 and 7.4 [7].

Filter And Vacuum

When you have shocked your pool and the algae have died off due to the shock or algaecide, it is time to filter and vacuum your pool.

Vacuuming your pool before running the filter will help avoid costly repairs by keeping your fillers sand, cartridge, and Diatomaceous Earth functioning better.

Experts agree that running your pool filter for at least 24 hours and occasionally backwashing can help prevent clogs in the filtration system.

Maintain Proper Pool Maintenance

After your pool is no longer green or cloudy, it’s time to put regular daily, weekly, and monthly maintenance into practice. Backwashing your filters regularly can improve the clarity of the water, in addition to removing debris from the swimming pool floor.

Steps To Clean Your Pool In 24 Hours

The following few steps will ensure that you know how to clean your pool in 24 hours.

  • Check your pH balance
  • Clean the filter and skim the pool with a net
  • Remove any remaining debris.
  • Add the appropriate amount of algaecide and run your pump for 60 minutes.
  • clean the pool with a brush and vacuum

There is a pH level of the pool that lets you know which chemicals to use to adjust acidity and alkalinity levels. Once you know what chemicals to add, the next step is cleaning debris from the filter and pool.

To clean the pool, remove any algae with a mixture of algaecide. You may need to brush certain areas and vacuum the bottom of the pool if you spot any stray algae from missed areas.

Lastly, run your pump for the next 24 hours to circulate the right chemicals – these should clear out any remaining bacteria and algae. Your pool should be obvious by then if done correctly.

Cause Of The Pool Water Turning Green

natural swimming pool overgrown with algae is complemented by a wooden deck and green landscaping

Use Of Pool Heater

The high temperatures can reduce the amount of chlorine available, giving more room for algae to grow.

The pH May Be Too High.

The pH is used to measure the balance of how alkaline or acidic something is. The goal for pool water should be a pH that is neutral, usually around 7.3 to 7.6. At lower pH levels, it becomes more difficult for chlorine to sanitize the pool adequately, and at higher levels, chlorine’s effectiveness decreases.

Regular pH tests must be done to ensure the pool water’s pH stays at an optimum level. If it rises beyond its set point, chlorine can no longer do its job, and algae can start growing. A pH reducer is needed to reduce environmental stresses on the pool and help keep it in good shape for a long time.

Test The Pool’s Phosphate Levels

The high levels of phosphates in pool water can make it an ideal food source for algae, so if your pool is leaking or has high levels of contaminants, one solution is to balance chlorine with other sanitation sources.

There are plenty of websites that suggest scrubbing the water and walls, dumping heavy phosphate remover chemicals in your pool – but these won’t make a difference. The only thing that will help is balancing the chlorine levels.

The Free Chlorine Levels Might Be Low

The scent of chlorinated pool water can be comforting for some, as the smells often reminded people of their childhood summers. Yet, most pools have an even chlorine balance and should not give off a detectable smell. Chlorine is typically used to purify drinking water due to its ability to kill nearly any organism that could harm humans.

When chlorine levels are properly balanced, there should be little to no algae in a swimming pool. If not enough chlorine is present, however, the water will gradually turn green as algae take over; if too much chlorine is present during treatment of an algae bloom, metal oxidation may result in and change pool water color.

When the level of chlorine in your swimming pool is difficult to maintain at an appropriate level, you can contact a professional and discuss other options for maintaining sanitation.

Algae Overgrowth Is The Most Common Cause Of A Green Pool

this natural swimming pool overgrown with algae is equipped with a wooden deck with chaise longues and umbrellas

Algae is the primary cause of green pool water, which usually occurs due to an imbalance in circulation and chemicals.

If the water circulation or chemical levels in a swimming pool are off, algae can grow and make it difficult to see. Natural algae are common on ponds and streams, but an overgrowth of algae in a pool poses a health hazard as it is much more concentrated.

Plus, a bloom means there is an imbalance of dangerous bacteria. Please do not get in the water until it’s clear again.

Pollen And Metals Can Also Cause A Pool To Turn Green

Pollen can contribute to your pool turning green, as can the oxidation of metal elements in and around the pool. Sometimes those metals react with an oxidizer in your pool water and release particles that throw off their chemical balance.

To avoid getting too much pollen in your pool, use a cover to keep the pool closed when it is not in use. Have a professional check that your equipment is healthy and working properly.

There Is A Problem With The Pool Water Filter System

Pool filters clean the water by sucking small debris and dirt from microscopic particles that are mixed in. Even if you don’t see them, pool filters will remove algae and pollen as it pushes the water through for cleaning or changing.

If you are also wondering, “what’s causing my pool to be cloudy?” then the problem is probably your filter. You may not have been running the filter for enough time—in warm weather, a pool should get eight hours of filtration every day, and more if there are lots of people using it.

The filter may need to be cleaned if you leave it running for an appropriate length of time. Cartridge filters should typically be cleaned every 2 to 6 weeks, diatomaceous earth (DE) filters should typically be backwashed every 1 to 3 months, and sand filters should typically be backwashed every 1 to 4 weeks. If this does not correct the problem, the filter and pump will need replacing.

Contact A Pool Care Professional To Ensure Clear Water

It’s reasonable to expect that one person can maintain the chemical balance of a small pool. Larger pools are more complicated because they collect more debris and be filtered, cleaned, and balanced regularly.

If you’re not sure how to shock a pool, including adding chlorine and lowering pH balance levels, then it would be best to call in a pool expert.

If you have recurring problems with the pool, a professional might have specialized knowledge to provide for your needs.

Many pool industry professionals offer seasonal contracts for reduced-cost maintenance. You can choose to hire someone else or schedule visits to open and close the swimming pool.

Know that chemicals may cost you a lot of money as you try to figure out why your pool is green. Hiring someone who really knows what they’re doing typically costs less in the long run, so that it might be worth the cost upfront now.

Tips On How To Clean A Swimming Pool

swimming pool with wooden deck being cleaned with net and long stick

The idea of a relaxing dip in the pool is less appealing once you consider all the chemicals in your pool water. Fortunately, there are natural alternatives to cleaning products typically used to keep pools clean and sanitary. One way to minimize the effects of pollen in your pool is by taking steps to reduce the number of particles that end up there.

Add Plants

The best way to maintain a clean pool is by keeping it well-fed with oxygen. This can be done by having plenty of green, leafy plants around the pool, which give off oxygen and help promote good bacteria. These good bacteria scour organic materials like algae, doing away with problematic substances like algae.

Encouraging good bacteria in your pool is as simple as placing plants near the edges of your pool. If you’re feeling adventurous, try turning a section of your pool into a natural water garden with plants placed directly in the water.

A natural pool is a type of filtration and oxygenation system common in Europe that runs on plants. If you have a saltwater pool, choose plants that like brackish water.

Grab A Shower

A natural and simple way to keep your swimming pool cleaner is to shower before jumping in. Your body sweat leaves some of its oils on the water, which dries and mixes with all the other foreign substances in there.

Showering before jumping into the pool removes oils from any product you use, reducing water contamination and potential chemical reactions.

Have A Ball

Even if you shower before entering the pool, body oils from your skin still seep into the water, in addition to protecting your skin with sunscreen while in the sun.

To remove these oils, throw a few tennis balls into the water and let them float around. The outer felt covering of the tennis ball would absorb any oils in the water, pulling them off when they start to look dirty. Replace them once they get too oily from time to time.

Sanitize With Hydrogen Peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide is an all-natural alternative to chlorine for sanitizing your pool. Hydrogen and oxygen combine to make H2O2, which is commonly used as a disinfectant or antiseptic.

True hydrogen peroxide is only a 3% concentration, and you’ll need a higher concentration for pool maintenance (around 35%). Seek out the higher concentration solution at natural food stores, pool supply centers, or online. Add one cup of hydrogen peroxide to your pool for every 100 gallons of water.

Naturally, Alter pH

Maintaining a pool requires more than just vacuuming the tile. In addition to sweeping debris out of the way, it’s important to monitor and regulate pH levels for general water clarity.

If your pool’s pH level is too high, you can add baking soda. Add 1 and 1/2 pounds of baking soda to 10,000 gallons of water to balance the pH levels. If the pool’s pH level is too low, add borax and follow the same measurement guidelines as you did with the baking soda–add ½ cup for every 10,000 gallons of water. Borax is a natural mineral that can be found at most grocery stores in the laundry aisle.

Get A Robotic Pool Cleaner

A robotic pool cleaner may not be a natural way to clean your pool, but it’s an important first step. Homeowners use chlorine and other chemicals for cleaning because they work well. Natural ingredients don’t always do the same job, especially after a big party or heavy usage of the pool.

A robot vacuum will clean your pool without labor, saving you time and money. Robots reduce the amount of debris that would cause the pool filter to clog, preventing bigger problems.

How To Clean Algae In Swimming Pools

backyard swimming pool with live hedgerows under maintenance on cleaning

Spring is approaching, and you will soon have friends or family over for a pool party. To get ready, make sure to clean the pool before inviting everyone in. One of the biggest issues you’ll encounter during Spring cleaning is algae compromising the water quality.

Algae growth in a swimming pool ranges from imperceptible to ridiculously painful. Algae form primarily because the water is stagnant and not treated with proper chemicals.

Algae is one of the major reasons for keeping water circulating and filters clean during warm weather. Algae can also grow in dark places with low circulation, including on your steps, the corners of the pool, and creases.

The first step to killing algae in your pool is figuring out the type of algae you have. There are three common forms:

  • Green Algae – Light green, similar to the color of pea soup
  • Yellow or Mustard Algae – Found mostly in the Southern region
  • Black Algae – The Enemy of The Pool Owner

Green Algae

How do I get rid of green pool water? Gentle, light green algae are usually easily removed by shocking the pool with a mixture of chlorine (to kill it) and brushing.

We recommend doubling the normal dose of shock treatment if you have a light green algae problem. A small amount, one pound, will treat up to 10,000 gallons of pool water. If your pool is less than 20,000 gallons or so, we recommend adding four pounds of shock.

Adding 6 pounds of shock for pools with 30,000 or fewer gallons and so on. We also have industrial-strength chemical treatment. The powerful result with or without chlorine makes it our go-to solution for the fast removal of all algae types.

Yellow or Mustard Algae

The mustard algae are persistent and can be hard to kill. You must be strict when treating the pool so it does not keep coming back. If your pool has a yellow or mustard color, we recommend using Mustard and Black Magic Algaecide.

To prevent algae, the best way is to clean the filter regularly and maintain a pH balance between 7.4 and 7.8. Brushing them off with visible accumulations on walls, floors, steps, skimmers, and under ladders will help keep an area clear of colonies in the future.

First, apply 4 ounces per 10,000 gallons of pool water close to the residue; double the dosage for severe algae outbreaks. Immediately apply 1 pound of ProTeam Power Magic per 10,000 gallons in the pool.

Keep your pool and filter continuously circulating until the water clears. Wash all of your pool toys and anything else that comes into contact with the water. Clean any swimsuits in the laundry as well.

Black Algae

If you have Black algae, this is the worst kind of algae. It takes a lot of effort to kill and keep it out of your pool. We recommend using Black Algaetrine.

This product is designed to eliminate tough black algae. Containing copper and exclusive agents, it will even combat deep-rooted cells of the black algae. This product is suitable for all pool types and won’t discolor when used. There’s a guide depending on the severity of your black algae infection.

Visible Algae Growth

Apply 12 ounces of this product to 10,000 gallons of pool water. Debris from accumulated algae may be removed by vacuuming.

Heavy Algae Growth

The first vacuum, scrub and clean the walls. Apply 12 ounces of Black Algaetrine algaecide to the water per 10,000 gallons of pool water. Vacuum off any dead algae debris.

Maintenance Dose

(Free visible algae) Apply Black Algaetrine algaecide at a rate of 6 ounces per 10,000 gallons of water every 5 to 7 days. NOTE: If the pool is heavily used or the temperature gets high, add maintenance dose more frequently.


This algaecide is formulated to kill black algae and contains 3.07% active copper as its key ingredient. As the algae die, it’s important to maintain higher chlorine levels for a week to ensure that any microscopic remains are eliminated.


the activity of cleaning a swimming pool with a vacuum and a hose attached to a long pole

What Are The Quickest Methods To Clean A Green Pool?

While there are various methods for cleaning green pools, the quickest method is to make the pH level below 7.2 and then shock with chlorine. Use plenty to begin, followed by your pump and filters until it becomes clear.

How To Get The Green Out Of My Pool?

To clean your pool of green algae, use a chlorine shock treatment to kill the algae and then use a filter or brush to clear out any remaining spores.

What Kills Green Algae In Swimming Pools?

Low pH levels and high chlorine levels help kill green algae, specifically in swimming pools.

Final Word

The problem with algae is that it has a way of getting out quicker than anticipated. So, to prevent an issue from becoming much worse, make sure you do a weekly maintenance check-up on your pool.

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