Pools 101: How to Clear Cloudy Pool Water

Cloudy pool waterWe all know maintaining your pool can be difficult especially if you own a big one. But after all the partying, eating, and swimming, you’ll have to face a process so crucial yet so taxing—cleanup. Have you ever reached to the point where you can barely see the floor of the pool? Then you notice your previous clear pool water has turned cloudy and milky? A ring around the waterline of the pool might even show up unannounced! You would probably give your pool some algaecide, clarifiers, and stain removers. Unfortunately, my friend, doing so could just add fuel to the fire. That’s because adding too much clarifier won’t make it clear and algaecide combined with shock is just a waste of algaecide.

So what the heck should you do?

Ensure that your pool’s chemical levels are within the recommended ranges

pH level:                    7.2 – 7.6.

Total Alkalinity:         80 – 120 ppm

Calcium Hardness: 200 – 400 ppm

Cyanuric Acid:          25 – 50 ppm

To decrease your pH level, use a pH decreaser or muriatic acid. Remember, if your pool’s pH level is too high, it will reduce the effectiveness of chlorine, and most of us already know that it’s chlorine who fights the buildup of algae. On the other hand, if your pH level is too low, increase it using a pH increaser or soda ash.

Your pool’s total alkalinity can also cause cloudy water especially if it’s higher than 200 ppm. If your pool’s total alkalinity is proper, it can help stabilize the pH level and neutralize any acids. You can also use a pH decreaser to reduce the total alkalinity of your pool, though you might have to use them a few more times.

Cloudy water can also occur if the calcium hardness level is more than 400 ppm. You can reduce the calcium base chlorine using a settling agent.

Shock the pool

After balancing the levels of your pool, you now have to shock it to get rid of the remaining bacteria partying harder than you and your guests. To be safe from all dirt and bacteria, as well as to remove algae, shock the pool. What happens when you shock your pool? It breaks down the contaminants so they can be filtered out. Here’s a short video on how to shock your pool:


The process doesn’t end there. A lot of swimming pool owners think you don’t have to clean your pool surfaces after shocking. Well, prepare to be shocked! You’ll need a pool cleaner to ensure that no dirt or debris will remain. Plus, it will help stir up the pool shock. You also have to take out your pool’s filter and wash it.

Check the pH and alkalinity levels again

Test their levels to make sure they haven’t changed. Once the chlorine level decreases below 3 ppm, then your pool water is all set for the next process.

Use a clarifier

Clarification is the process where you bring back the sparkle and shine of your pool water. Clarifiers help your pool’s filter confine small particles as well. Make sure you read and follow the instructions carefully before applying the ideal dosage then running the filter longer than typical every day.

Dolphin nautiulusAfter applying the pool clarifier, it’s best to run a pool cleaner to help clear up the cloudy water.

You may also use enzyme products, but they’re more expensive. The price, however, will be worth it because these products help remove stains, allowing your chlorine to perform its job. But remember, they require a particular water condition to work efficiently so make sure you follow instructions. Don’t overdose anything, thinking it will speed things up. It might just slow the entire process down.

Voila! Now you can see clearly! Isn’t that better than cloudy water? We know you want to maintain that crystal clear water and that’s why we’re giving you the preventions tips below.

Bonus tips

After several days, use phosphate removers or the ideal dosage of an algaecide. This is your chance to apply a stain prevention or removing chemical. However, if you’ve added enzyme products already as we’ve mentioned earlier, you don’t have to add these chemicals because the enzymes can already do the trick.

Recheck the pool water and if it doesn’t make you feel comfortable, brush your pool or run a pool cleaner one more time.

I suggest you use a filter cleaner for your pool’s filter as well. It can get rid of the oils, sunblock lotions, and sweat dancing in your pool.

Now there’s one thing left to do…

Crystal clear blue swimming pool

Invite everyone to a pool party!

Then when the pool gets cloudy, do the entire process again.

Note: Trust the process. Give the pool some time; it will usually take three to four days before the water returns to its clean, pristine state. It could be sooner than three days, but the point is to give it some space to clear itself, just remember to run the filter longer than usual each day.