How To Clear Cloudy Pool Water FAST!

Pool water should be clear and fresh. Cloudy is best reserved for Ouzo or Lion’s milk as it’s often called. (A Damn Tasty Drink you can get in Greece!)

Not only does cloudy, murky water look absolutely horrendous, it’s actually a symptom of an underlying problem. Cloudy water is an indication that the water chemistry is imbalanced – this can be harmful for swimmers’ health and can also damage pool surfaces, fixtures and equipment.

Cloudiness compromises visibility and hence it is hard to detect if someone is drowning, making it a potentially life-threatening situation, especially for small children and pets.

Cloudy Swimming Pool Water

In this post, we’ll learn about the causes of cloudy water in pools and also how to fix it quickly and easily. Understand that the solution for clearing up the cloudiness depends upon why the water became cloudy in the first place. So this problem is actually trickier to solve than it may seem.

Your pool can be clear one day and then suddenly appear cloudy the next day. So it’s important to pay close attention to the water – this way, you’ll be able to detect the earliest signs of cloudiness and nip the problem in the bud before it balloons into a big mess.


All kinds of contaminants are constantly being introduced into the pool one way or the other.

When even something as innocuous as a few dried leaves enter the water, the sanitizers in the pool are depleted at an alarming rate. Algae uses up a lot of chlorine as well.

The Sun’s UV rays break down hypochlorite ions and cause them to evaporate, reducing the amount of chlorine in the pool and leaving it vulnerable to algae and bacterial growth.

Humans are another major source of contaminants. Sweat, sunscreen, urine etc disturb the pool chemistry and cause sanitizer levels to plummet. The crux of the matter is that just balancing chlorine levels once is not enough – you have to keep testing and adding more if required.

Solid debris such as leaves, twigs, dirt etc should be removed from the pool as often as possible. If you’re a busy person and do not have time to vacuum your pool manually, you might consider getting a robotic pool clean to do all the heavy lifting for you.

The Pool Circulation System

The pool’s circulation system should be in top condition. If it’s not functioning properly, it can be the hidden culprit behind cloudy water.

When your circulation system is healthy, it works in conjunction with the sanitizer to keep the pool clean and clear.

You should run the pool filtration for at least 8 hours every day. The filter must be cleaned often and replaced if necessary. Regular maintenance checks of the filtration system help to prolong its life.

Pool Chemistry

Most high school kids think that subjects like Chemistry, Mathematics and Physics are only meant to studied to pass the exams and that they’ll never really be of any use in real life. Well, it turns out that this is not completely true.

For example, if you own a pool, you need to have at least some basic knowledge about pool chemistry!

If the water in your swimming pool is chemically imbalanced, then cloudiness is the least of your problems. If the pH is too high or too low, it can lead to serious issues (read: expensive to fix) like staining of pool surfaces and corrosion of pool equipment.

Swimmers may complain about burning skin and eyes, irritation in lungs and the water can become downright hazardous.

So even if you didn’t like Chemistry one bit in high school, you’ll have to learn it for the sake of your pool.

Thankfully, testing pool water is fairly easy via a commercially available kit, as long as you can read and follow simple instructions.

Other Considerations

High pH, high alkalinity, high amounts of sanitizer (chlorine) and calcium hardness also contribute to a cloudy pool.

Pool water also becomes cloudy after it has been shocked. However, this type of cloudiness usually clears up on its own in a few hours.

This website has loads of info on balancing pool chemistry, increasing and lower pH, preventing and treating algae etc. Just a quick read can help you make giant strides in understanding the basics of pool care and maintenance.

How To Clear Cloudy Pool Water FAST!

Ways To Treat Cloudy Water And Return Your Pool To Its Former Sparkling Glory

  • Give The Pool A Good Old Scrubbing: Remove debris using a net and use a long pole to brush the walls and floor. You can also benefit from vacuuming the pool manually. If this seems too difficult, use a robotic pool cleaner as its the smart choice for busy people.

Some pool cleaners can climb walls while others cant. If you get one that cannot climb walls, you’ll have to scrub them yourself. Some can do walls but struggle with stairs. We recommend the #1 Top Rated Automatic Pool Cleaner on - the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus:

Note: Read Our Nautilus CC Plus Review

  • BUT - If your pool tends to collect a lot of debris (leaves, bugs, etc) on top of the water, we'd suggest going with a pressure side cleaner such as the Polaris 360 .  
  • Shock The Pool: Shocking kills bacteria, algae etc and makes the water safe for swimmers. A pool shock should be administered periodically to ensure that the pool does not become a haven for all kinds of harmful bacteria and algae spores. If the pool has a bad case of algae, you might need to employ double or even triple-shock!
  • Filter: Run the pool filter for 8 hours to day. Clean and replace the filter as required. Filtering out debris prevents sanitizer levels from depleting too fast. Note that the main skimmer is usually near the surface of the water and it cannot get to the dirt and debris that is at the bottom of the pool. Hence, it is a good idea to use your bottom drains (this is best done when the pool is empty.)
  • Pool Water Clarifier: This helps to clear out cloudy pool water within a short time. Pool water clarifier causes the tiny dirt particles in the water to coagulate (makes them stick to each other). This makes it easy to filter them out. (Do not use clarifier to hide problems with the pool chemistry and equipment.)
  • Flocculant: This binds to all the suspended debris in the pool and makes it sink to the bottom of the pool. The debris can then be filtered to waste to leave clean, clear water. Be sure to balance the water before using the pool though.

The best way to fix a cloudy pool is to prevent the water from becoming cloudy in the first place.

Clean your pool regularly and keep the water balanced. Being proactive can save you a whole lot of elbow grease.

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Jeff L. & The Team

Jeff L.

Jeff has been an avid swimmer as long as he can remember, with his first swim lessons in Kindergarten in the 1980s, and became obsessed with pools and swimming shortly thereafter.