How to Get Rid of the Algae in Your Swimming Pool

Not many people are aware of the fact that standard sanitization practices do not have an effect on the algae in pools. On a regular sunny day, algae can proliferate greatly in your swimming pool as it uses the process of photosynthesis to thrive. In little to no time, a tiny algae infestation in your pool can become a full-blown problem for you, covering your entire swimming pool.

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It is easy to ignore a slight bit of algae in some remote corner of the pool that just does not seem to go away. If you overlook algae for long enough and the conditions are right, you can end up having to spend a lot of money to get rid of the problem. You need to take the right measures to get rid of the problem before it turns your entire swimming pool into a slimy and gooey mess.

Are you at odds about how you should approach getting rid of algae in your swimming pool? No need to worry. We have you covered with our guide on how to get rid of the algae in your swimming pool.

You need a deep cleaning procedure that involves a few critical steps you should follow. In this guide, we will tell you everything you need to know about the algae problem and everything you need to get rid of the algae in your swimming pool using some smart preventive measures.

Signs You Might Have Algae in Your Pool

Algae can start getting in your pool initially as microscopic particles that you cannot see with the naked eye. It can come into your pool through a slime patch on a float or through particles on someone’s swimming suit. It does not matter how the algae are introduced to your swimming pool. Once it gets in, you need to take steps to get rid of it as soon as possible.

Many swimming pool owners tend to ignore the importance of maintaining a healthy swimming pool water chemistry. If the pool water chemistry is not adequate, you might as well be rolling out a red carpet to welcome the algae in your pool.

While the pool algae do not pose serious health risks for swimmers, it does look absolutely awful in your swimming pool. Additionally, the algae itself is not harmful to your health, but it can serve as a food source for several bacteria that can be detrimental to your health. Besides the potential harmful effects, a green and slimy pool is simply not something anybody would want to swim in.

Discolored water is the most obvious sign that algae is causing problems in your pool. Any of three colors—green, yellow, or even black and bluish—can result from an algal bloom.

It’s repulsive to even imagine that the pool water looks like that. Seeping water or residue of the colors we indicated above in pool crevices, walls, jets, or skimmers is another telltale indicator of an algae infestation. Algae grow in dark, damp places where they are difficult to spot until they have spread and become a major issue.

Kinds of Pool Algae

The particular tint in the color of the water might not be obvious. It could even be cloudy, so it makes it more challenging to find out the particular algae that have made a home in the swimming pool. Take a closer look at any of the spots where the algae have started to grow. It will give you a decent idea about which type of algae is in your pool.

  • Green Algae: This is the most common algae you can find in the pool. It gets its color from chlorophyll. The algae float in the water giving it a greenish tinge and causing the water to become cloudy. It is slimy, and it can attach itself to the pool floors and walls. If your pool has poor sanitation or a malfunctioning filtration system, green algae are likely to grow.
  • Yellow Algae: If you ever see something that looks like sand or pollen in a shady corner of your swimming pool, you likely have a yellow algae infestation. It is rarer than its green cousin, but it is chlorine resistant, and it is tough to get rid of.
  • Black Algae: Technically, it is not an algae but a type of bacteria. This algae grows its own food, and it grows fast. It has roots that dig into the concrete surfaces, and the problem is tough to do away with. If you don’t remove this properly, black algae can easily return to infest your pool.

Getting Rid of the Algae

There are a few steps you can take to get rid of all three types of algae in your swimming pool. In this section of the guide, we are going to discuss the steps you need to take and what you will need for each step.

1. Manual Vacuuming Your Pool

Perhaps the most underrated step in getting rid of algae in pools is through vacuuming it out. Robotic pool cleaners and automatic pool cleaners are not suited well to deal with algae infestations. It is always best to manually vacuum the swimming pool so that the algae-infested water does not find its way into the filtration system and then recirculate it in the swimming pool. When you are vacuuming your swimming pool manually, you need to be particularly attentive towards the areas with substantial algae buildup.

A manual swimming pool vacuum you can use to rid your pool of algae is the Milliard Pool Vacuum. It helps you tackle a major chunk of the algae infestation effectively and efficiently so you can move on to the next step in getting rid of the algae in your swimming pool.

2. Scrub the Entire Pool

The next step in getting rid of algae in pools is to scrub, scrub, scrub as much as you can. Scrubbing the algae away in your pool allows the sanitizer to do a deep cleaning job to remove the remaining algae. Brushing the pool also dislodges any sediment that your pool’s filtration system can remove from circulation.

Make sure you use a reliable pool brush to take care of this step. A recommendation we can make for a terrific pool brush to help you scrub the algae in your pool is the Algae Brush with Stainless Steel Bristles by Poolmaster. The stiff pool brush lets you get the tough buildup off the surfaces in the pool. Focus on the worst affected areas first as the water becomes cloudy while you scrub.

3. Test the Water Chemistry and Balance it

The first and second steps allow you to get rid of a significant portion of the algae in your pool. Now, you need to determine the chemistry of the swimming pool and make appropriate adjustments to the water. You can use either test strips or digital testing kits to check the pH level of the pool.

We would recommend using the Digital Pool Water Testing Kit by LaMotte to test the pool’s chemistry. It can get you an accurate reading of the pH levels in the pool, among other important details, so you can take the appropriate measures to balance out the chemistry. Balancing the pH level will help the pool sanitizer perform a more effective job of keeping the pool water free of algae.

Related article – 5 Top Pool Test Strips in 2023 Reviews & Buying Guide

4. Use Shock Treatment

If the algae in your swimming pool are resilient, you need a tougher solution to get rid of the problem permanently. The more resistant algae require shocking your swimming pool to get rid of the problem once and for all. We are not talking about literally applying an electrical shock. Higher or lower pH levels in the water usually do the trick of shocking the algae.

We recommend using the Calcium Hypochlorite Chlorinating Shock Treatment by DryTec and lots of the material so you can get rid of the toughest of algae infestations. The package comes with a set of instructions on how to use the pool shock. Determine the ideal dose you should use for your swimming pool, and then double or triple the dose depending on how bad the infestation is.

Do not shock your pool with stabilized chlorine. If you use too much stabilized chlorine in your pool, it will break down into cyanuric acid, which will reduce the effectiveness of your sanitizer. Algae might return if cyanuric acid levels in your pool remain high for an extended period of time.

An essential hint is to add chlorine to the pool after dark. Shocking the water in your pool during the day will render much of the chlorine ineffective before it has a chance to eradicate all the algae in your pool. When shocking a pool, it’s best to do so with the cleaning equipment in the shallow end. The pool shock can also be used to disinfect the pool’s upkeep tools.

5. Filter Out the Dead Algae

Between the vacuuming, scrubbing, and pool shock, you will kill all the nasty algae in your pool. That is not the end of your problems, though. You need to remove the dead algae. Shocking your pool will turn the water a cloudy shade of blue. You should keep the swimming pool’s filtration system running nonstop for at least eight hours until the water is no longer cloudy.

If you want to speed up the process of making the water clear again, you can always add a clarifying product. We recommend using the Super Pool Water Clarifier by Clorox. The clarifier binds up all the dead algae and other particles in the pool together. The pool’s filtration system has an easier time getting rid of the bigger clumps of dead algae and makes your pool water clear in a shorter period.

6. Test the Pool Water Again

Once the filtration system has done its job to clean the pool water and it is no longer cloudy, you need to run tests on the pool water. With everything that you have been doing to get rid of the algae in the swimming pool, you want to be sure that the chemistry of the water is suitable for you to swim in and the chlorine levels are adequate to keep your pool clean.

We recommend using the 7-in-1 Pool and Spa Test Strips by AquaChek to test the swimming pool water for its chemistry and chlorine levels. Balance out the pool chemistry again based on what the levels are in the test you run after getting rid of the algae in your pool.

7. Thoroughly Clean the Pool Filter

Filling up your swimming pool with microscopic algae particles is one of the worst things you do because it can lead to another full-blown infestation just after you have worked so hard to get rid of the problem. You might not know this, but all that hard work your pool filter has been doing to help you get rid of the algae can get some of the particles stuck in there.

You should do a deep cleaning of your swimming pool filter. Simply rinsing the pool filter outside the pool with clean water doesn’t do the trick. You should soak the swimming pool filter in diluted muriatic acid. We recommend using the Muriatic Acid by Sunnyside to take care of this. If you do not want to go through the process of cleaning the pool filter, the best alternative is to get yourself a new pool filter.

Using Flocculant to Remove Pool Algae

With that, we have gone through the steps you need to take in the event of a full-blown algae infestation. If you are lucky enough to catch the algae growth in your pool early on, you do not need to follow all those steps to get rid of the problem before it becomes huge.

You can use a chemical called a flocculant to save a lot of time and money to rid yourself of the algae infestation. You simply add the chemical to the pool water. The flocculant makes all the floating algae particles stick together and form clumps. After using the flocculant, you can get a vacuum to remove those pesky clumps.

We recommend using the Pool Flocculent Water Clarifier by Clorox. Using flocculent alone is effective if you only have a mild infestation of green algae. If the problem is more substantial, or you have a different type of algae in your swimming pool, we recommend going through all of the steps we have provided above to clean up your swimming pool.

Preventative Measures are Better than Cleaning the Pool

To round everything off, we are going to discuss a few tips on how you can prevent the problem from ever occurring in the first place. Remember that prevention is always the best cure. Keeping up with all the basics can go a long way in helping you make sure your swimming pool is algae-free.

Here are some of the basic tips and tricks to keeping your pool clear of algae infestation:

  • Maintain the pool chemistry, make sure you run the pool’s filtration system for at least eight hours each day, and you do not miss out on shocking the water from time to time.
  • Always make sure you thoroughly clean the pool equipment, floats, and toys before you let them get into the swimming pool. Keeping them clean can be as simple as a good wipe down with a bleach and water solution.
  • Pool accessories are not the only way algae can find its way into your swimming pool. You should also make sure you sanitize the swimming suits before you let them into the pool. Swimming suits can get algae on them, especially if you went out on the beach and swam in seawater. Be sure to thoroughly wash your swimsuit before you bring it into the pool.
  • If the pool surface is old and needs resurfacing, you should not waste any time. Any cracks or etches on pool surfaces provide algae the perfect hiding place where it can grow. These places are difficult to clean. Resurfacing removes the hiding spots for algae and helps you prevent the start of an infestation.

Final Thoughts

A swimming pool algae problem is possible even if you are diligent in your efforts to prevent it and have everything under control. In humid locations, heavy winds can also blow algae into swimming pools. Algae spores can be introduced to water via a number of unavoidable sources.

When you see the first signs of an algal infestation, it’s crucial that you respond quickly. Ignoring the issue only makes it more difficult to fix in the long run.

If you’re having trouble swimming because of algae, we hope this information will help you get rid of it. Enjoy the water, everyone!


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