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How to Clear Cloudy Pool Water (3 Quick & Easy Methods)

cloudy dirty green swimming pool with plants and rocky edge

cloudy dirty green swimming pool with plants and rocky edge

Pools can be annoying. One night you go to bed and everything looks great. The next day, you wake up and the water is cloudy. If you do nothing about the murky water, chances are it will continue to cloud up. If you need some quick and easy ways to clear up your pool and some reasons as to why it may have happened, we are here to help.

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Top 3 Methods to Clear Up Your Pool Water:

Here are the three basic ways to get your pool water clear again. Each one will work depending on the original reason why your pool is clouded up.

1. Use a Clarifier

Pool clarifier takes those tiny particles that your pool filter is not catching and clumps them together. When the particles are clumped together, the pool filter can now recognize them and work to get them clean. This process will take some time, and it is best to keep your pool filter running as long as you possibly can to make sure all of the water is properly circulated.

It is not dangerous to swim in a pool that has a clarifier in it, but if the pool is very milky, we recommend waiting until it has cleared up before going in. Pools without excellent visibility under the water are dangerous.

2. Use a Flocculant

A flocculant is a bit faster than using a clarifier. Although flocculant and clarifier are somewhat similar, they differ in one critical aspect. When you use flocculant, it will attach to those tiny particles clouding your water and sink them all to the bottom of the pool. Now that they are on the bottom of the pool, you will have to vacuum them all out. You will have to use a manual vacuum.

Most flocculant manufacturers recommend running your filter for about two hours after putting the flocculant in. After you have run the filter for this period, turn it off and wait twenty-four hours for the particles to fall to the bottom of the pool. Once you can see them on the bottom (they will be visible), you can use the vacuum and get the pool looking bright again.

We do not recommend swimming in the pool while the flocculant is trying to work. Let it do its job, and when the pool is all clear, everybody can get back in for a swim.

Clorox Pool&Spa Super Water Clarifier 32 oz
  • Concentrated pool clarifier to clear dull, hazy or cloudy pool water
  • Creates crystal clear pool water
  • Combines Small particles into large ones for easy filter removal

3. Clean the Filter

If you don’t want to use the flocculant or the clarifier, you can help your filter to clear up the pool. Brushing all of the sides of the pool is the first step, and then manually skimming anything will also help. Make sure that your filter is rinsed, cleaned, and backwashed as well. Sometimes it may just be clogged and not allowing the water to be properly cleaned. Know that if you are going to rely on your pool filter to clean the cloudy water, it will not be as quick or as easy of way to get this process done.

clean pool bottom

Steps to Clear the Water

Regardless of what method you choose to get your pool water sparkling again, always follow the following process.

You can repeat this process as needed until your pool is clear.

Why Is My Pool Water Cloudy?

Now that your pool is clean and beautiful again, wouldn’t it be great to keep it this way for as long as possible! Here are a few reasons this cloudiness may have started.

  • Chemical Imbalance: Pool chemicals need to be continuously checked, and when they are not in balance, you will have lots of issues with the water clarity and cleanliness in your pool. The chemicals that could affect water clarity are pH, chlorine, calcium hardness, and alkalinity. Make sure your pool test kit is capable of measuring the levels of all four of these.
  • Filter Problems: If your filter is struggling for some reason or it is not being used often enough, it can leave you with a cloudy pool. Make sure that you have your filter set for an appropriate number of hours a day based on the swim load, location of the pool, and the sun. If the water is not circulated and moved around enough, it can be a great place for algae to start growing.
  • Environmental Factors: Certain factors can attribute to a cloudy pool. If there are leave and debris steadily falling, pollen flying around or even bugs or animals swimming in your pool. These things can lead to cloudy water. A heavy rainstorm can also through off your pool’s chemicals and leave things quite ugly. If you are struggling with murky water, continually make sure that you have a reliable pool cleaning regime in place and that you are following it strictly.
INTEX 29003E Type A Pool Filter Cartridge: For INTEX Filter Pumps – Easy-To-Clean – Dacron Paper...
  • ✔ CONVENIENT MAINTENANCE – A must have cartridge to the INTEX Krystal Clear Cartridge Filter Pump, this filter cartridge is made...
  • ✔ FILTER PUMP COMPATIBILITY – For best use and results, the filter cartridge A by INTEX is compatible for filter pump models in of...
  • ✔ ROUTINE USAGE – For maximum efficiency and results for your above ground pool, the recommendation is to replace cartridges every...

Future Preventative Measures

If you realized that your pool water was cloudy because of chemical imbalance, make sure you follow the proper steps to treat that. Just because you have your water looking good right now does not mean it will stay that way for long. If you are not checking your pool chemicals at least twice per week, you will continue to see issues with cloudy water come up.

pool tiles underwater
Image By: oatpost, Shutterstock

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Fixing cloudy water in a pool is not hard. The more significant issue is keeping the pool from clouding up again. If you continually check your pool chemical levels and keep a bottle of flocculant or clarifier around just in case, you can get back in the pool before you know it.

Featured Image credit: Peter Galleghan, Shutterstock


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