How to Get Rid of Algae in Your Pool Quickly

Written by: Zach Riggs



Time to read 3 min

Pool algae can be a persistent nuisance, thriving under various conditions. Whether it's green, yellow, or black algae, dealing with it promptly is crucial. To effectively address algae issues, follow these comprehensive steps for deep cleaning and implement preventive measures to keep your pool pristine.

Identifying the Causes of Pool Algae

Pool algae can infiltrate your oasis through various avenues, including rain, dirt, and wind. However, the real trouble begins when these spores multiply, leading to algae blooms or growth on pool surfaces. Factors such as low chlorine levels, improper pH levels, dirty filters, and poor pool circulation create an ideal environment for algae. Contaminated swimwear or toys used in natural bodies of water can also introduce algae into your pool. 

Types of Pool Algae

Understanding the type of algae in your pool is crucial for effective treatment. The most common varieties include:

  • Green Pool Algae: The most prevalent type, easily identifiable by its green color. Ranging from teal green to dark, blackish green, it quickly spreads, causing cloudiness and slime on pool surfaces.
  • Yellow Pool Algae (Mustard Algae): Found in humid climates, it resembles globs of pollen or sand clinging to shaded pool corners. Unfortunately, it's chlorine-resistant, requiring multiple rounds of brushing and extra shock treatment.
  • Black Pool Algae: Despite its name, black algae is a bacteria that embeds itself into concrete surfaces. Eliminating it requires thorough, deep cleaning, as it tends to regrow quickly.
  • Pink Algae (Pink Slime): Not true algae; pink slime is an airborne bacteria. Removing it involves a different process, including the use of pink algaecide.
Green algae in a pool.

Getting Rid of Algae in Your Pool: Step-by-Step Guide

1. Manual Pool Vacuuming:

  • Use the filter's Waste setting to manually vacuum your pool, bypassing the filter to prevent recirculation of contaminated water.
  • Pay special attention to algae-prone areas, refilling the pool water as you vacuum.

2. Pool Wall and Floor Brushing:

  • Use a stiff pool brush on a pole to scrub walls and floor, focusing on corners, crevices, and shady spots.
  • For concrete or gunite pools, use a brush with stainless steel bristles. Nylon bristle brushes are suitable for other pool types.

3. Test and Balance the Water:

4. Shock Your Swimming Pool:

  • Use calcium hypochlorite shock, adjusting the dosage based on the type of algae:
    • Green Algae: Double dose (x2)
    • Yellow/Dark Green Algae: Triple dose (x3)
    • Black Algae: Quadruple dose (x4)
  • Shock at dusk or night to avoid chlorine depletion by sunlight.

5. Filter Out Pool Algae:

  • Cloudy water after shock indicates dead algae. Run the filter for at least eight hours to clear the water.
  • Consider using a water clarifier for faster results.

6. Test Pool Water Again:

  • Ensure chemical levels are balanced and chlorine is back to normal before allowing swimming.
  • Test cyanuric acid and calcium hardness levels if water has been replaced.

7. Clean Pool Filter:

  • Deep clean filter cartridges with diluted muriatic acid or replace them. Backwash sand or D.E. filters.

Using Algaecide and Pool Flocculant:

  • Algaecide: Effective for early-stage algae growth, in small amounts, or as a preventive measure. Use after vacuuming, brushing, and shocking.
  • Pool Flocculant: Suitable for early-stage algae. Use with caution for more severe problems. Follow the provided guide for application.

Preventing Algae in Your Pool:

Follow these maintenance practices to prevent future algae issues:

  • Regularly test and balance water chemistry.
  • Shock your pool weekly during peak season.
  • Run the pump for 8 to 12 hours daily for proper water circulation.
  • Clean or backwash the filter consistently.
  • Sanitize swimwear, pool equipment, floats, and toys used in natural bodies of water.
  • Consider using flocculant or algaecide at the early stages of algae growth.

FAQs about Algae in Pools:

Can you swim in a pool with algae?

  • Technically, yes, but it's not recommended due to potentially harmful bacteria and reduced visibility.

How do you treat algae in saltwater pools? 

  • The process is similar to chlorinated pools; use calcium hypochlorite shock.

Does phosphate remover kill algae in pools? 

  • It cuts off the nutrient source but won't solve water chemistry issues.

Does shock kill algae in pools? 

  • Yes, shock is crucial for killing algae by raising chlorine levels.

Prompt action and consistent maintenance are crucial to enjoying a crystal-clear pool. By incorporating these steps, you'll eliminate algae and create an environment discouraging future growth.

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