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How to Fix Your Swimming Pool Cloudy Water

Everyone loves the feel and aesthetics of a sparkling clear pool. And nothing can throw a wrench in your fun quite like waking up to find your swimming pool water is cloudy. Cloudy swimming pool water can be more than just unsafe and unsightly. Cloudy water can make it extremely difficult to see what’s in the pool. At MKM Pool Spa, we are passionate about helping you keep your pool safe and enjoyable for all. Here, we’ll cover some of the most common reasons for cloudy swimming pool water and how to fix them.

Why Your Swimming Pool Water is Cloudy

There are several reasons why pool water gets cloudy:

  1. Chemical Balance
  2. If your pool chemicals are not properly balanced, the water will not be sanitized, and it will be ill-equipped to handle swimmers or environmental exposure. Also, an excess of a particular chemical itself can cause cloudiness.

    If your chlorine level is too low, algae and bacteria might be having a grand old time in your swimming pool. Test your pool’s chemicals and balance regularly, and adjust as necessary. Add pool shock as needed to maintain chlorine levels.

  3. Excessive Environmental Contaminants and/or Inadequate Filtering
  4. Rainwater, dirt, pollen, leaves, body oils, sunlight. Your pool water comes into contact with numerous organic materials everyday. If the quantity becomes too much for your filter to handle, they can wreak havoc on our pool. If your pool was recently exposed to rain, be sure to check and re-balance it if necessary. If you know it’s going to rain, adding some algaecide ahead of time might help counteract its effects. Be sure to skim the pool for leaves, pollen, and other contaminants. Algae, whether dead or alive, need to be removed from the pool to prevent clouding.

    If your filter is malfunctioning, dirty, or has not been run for long enough, your pool water may not be getting properly cleaned. Between body oils, dirt, leaves, and other external contaminants, a build-up can cause serious sanitation issues in your pool. Ensure that your pool filter is clean and is replaced when necessary.

  5. After Shocking
  6. Sometimes a swimming pool will develop cloudy water right after shocking, and stay that way for a couple of days. If your pool was not cloudy before you shocked it, and now it is, it may be due to the pH level. Some shocks have a high pH, so if you determine that it’s too high, the solution is to reduce pH by using a liquid or a dry acid.

    If, after running the filter for two days, the water still hasn’t cleared, consider other reasons for why the pool is cloudy. Sometimes, excessive chlorine can give a swimming pool cloudy water.

How to Fix Swimming Pool Cloudy Water


Clarifiers, also known as coagulants, bind small particles together, make them easier to filter out of the water.


This is a great quick fix for a cloudy pool. A flocculant clumps particles together and sends them to the bottom of the pool. This is different from a clarifier because it doesn’t help the filter pick up the contaminants. You’ll have to remove the dirt manually with a vacuum. Your filter should be set to “waste” or “backwash” while you’re vacuuming. By doing this, you will ensure that the water doesn’t pass through the filter while vacuuming.

This process will result in a big loss of pool water, so be prepared to add water and rebalance the pool.

Filter System and Bottom Drain

Maybe you don’t have the resources for the first two options. You can stir up the pool water to ensure that the pool skimmer can pick up all it, or you can turn on the bottom drain so water from the floor of the pool is cycled up to the filter.

Pump System

As the main driver of your filter system, if the pump is malfunctioning, the water may not be getting adequately filtered. Make sure you’re running the pump for the required length of time each day, and that the pump is appropriately sized for the filter. If your pump is not properly sized for the filter, the filter may not be operating at optimal capacity. Also, verify that your pump is not overheating during normal operation and that it is operating continuously when turned on.


Once you’ve gotten your pool clear, you’ll want to keep it that way. Here are some actions that can help you keep your pool in tip-top shape:


Ask your pool guests to shower and wash their hair before entering the pool. This will reduce the introduction of body oils, lotion, and hair products into the pool system.

Clear Pool Surroundings

Clear your pool’s surroundings of problematic environmental conditions. Consider cutting back trees and shrubbery to reduce leaves and pollen in the pool’s immediate vicinity. Also, clean up mud, dust, and dirt surrounding the pool.


Clean and replace  filter cartridge when necessary.

MKM Pool Spa’s Commitment to You

MKM Pool Spa is proud to be a leading provider of pool supplies and education in the industry. We guarantee you the lowest delivered prices available anywhere online. If you find one of our products elsewhere for a lower price, we’ll honor the lower price. Be sure to check out our extensive selection for everything you need to maintain safe and fun pools and spas. Also, check out our blog for more discussion on cloudy swimming pool water and other common pool issues. For more information on any of our products and services, please to contact our expert staff.