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Cleaning Algae From a Pool

Keeping your pool crystal clear requires that you remove existing algae and prevent its regrowth. This is a guide about cleaning algae from a pool.


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

0 found this helpful
September 16, 2010

I have an above ground pool. Can I use household bleach to kill algae? My pool is overrun with green algae. Thanks.

By leveman3 from Lebanon, TN

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September 18, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

No on chlorine bleach! It's not healthy for humans or the environment! Go to your local pool supply company and ask them what products you need to get rid of the algae and what products for maintenance thereafter. They also carry long poles with special pads on them that you run along the bottom and side pool surfaces that help loosen the algae and should also be used for regular maintenance.

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September 18, 20100 found this helpful
Best Answer

Never mess around with chemicals, unless your pool dealer has them in stock. The first step is to bring a sample of your water to determine the right course to clean up the algae, or other problem you may have. Otherwise you are making a possible toxic soup which may harm humans, or destroy the pool. Trying to save a few dollars may cost bigger bucks in the end. I have a friend whose well meaning, but clueless husband "dumped" every product they had bough for the pool, all at once! He figured this would keep the pool clean while they went on vacation. Upon returning home the pool was like a bubble bath, and not usable for several weeks after. Then an algae problem developed and that was the end of the pool season. I check my water every other day, and if something needs to be added I do it then. Always read the instructions as to the amount and how to use it etc. Good luck to you!

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September 19, 20101 found this helpful

I use regular laundry bleach for shocking the pool and the chlorine it needs. For the algae I use baking soda. About 8 boxes for the size 12' x 36". Works wonder.Might need a couple of more if it is real bad. Also keep a good rag mop on hand for the pool alone. I had this size pool up for 9 years. Come winter, I let out 1/3 of the water. Put beach balls in it and covered with a tarp tied to gallon milk jugs filled with water to corners of the tarp and it was good till next spring. You do not have to buy the expensive chlorine pills and algaecide. Unless you are a millionaire and just have money to burn.

Oh by the way the pool I had was the old fashion medal sided one with the liner and the little plastic rods that clipped on to keep the liner in place. They don't make any more. But I had it for 9 years till kids grew and flew.

Good Luck.


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0 found this helpful
July 13, 2015

What do I need to do to clear up my pool? It has algae sitting at the bottom of my pool and I don't know how to clear out?

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0 found this helpful
September 10, 2009

I am looking for home remedies for removing algae from swimming pools. Also, what is blue stone?

By rose bud from Findlay, OH

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September 11, 20090 found this helpful

On The Fine Living Channel there's a show called "I want That!" & they showed a solar pool cleaner... it floats around in your pool & uses the solar radiation to run a battery that does something to clean the algae, etc. You're supposed to need far less chlorine. Go to the Fine Living Channel & research the show's info or Google "Solar Pool Cleaners" The one I saw sold for around $75 bucks. Not bad if you use less chemicals!

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September 14, 20090 found this helpful

It is hard to clean, use plain old household bleach, try added a pint of bleach to pool water everyday to keep it from happen a gain. To get rid of the algae what there now, drain the pool, and spray with pure bleach. let it dry then repeat, if you scrub the put do so, you can add a little comet to the spot also. I had this in my pool last year, and it really took me along time to get that stuff out. This year i just put a pint of bleach in the pool, and I did not have any algae this year.

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July 7, 20110 found this helpful

Green Algae, amongst the other forms of algae is mostly stimulated by the acid water state of your swimming pool. However, there are solutions which do not require you putting chemicals in the water, hence also reducing the impact those have on your health. you can do this by changing the constitution of the water, from acidic to alkaline, using a water ionizer such as the one at: for example. This will result in less costs, less maintenance, and a healthier swimming environment you can actually enjoy!

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0 found this helpful
August 24, 2008

How do you get green algae out of a above ground pool without using a chlorine system? Please help.

Navi from Long Island, NY

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August 24, 20080 found this helpful

Cover the pool with an opaque cover when not in use. Algae can not grow in the absence of light. Salt will also discourage algae growth.

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September 16, 20100 found this helpful

We have a very large above ground swimming pool. Does anyone know how to get them clean after algae has gotten in? We have used Shock It and chlorine and clarifier. Still green. Thanks.



Algae in Above Ground Swimming Pools

We have a smaller blow-up style pool that is about 3 1/2 ft deep and when we first got it we never had a problem. It was in our yard on some sand. The kids kept getting sand in the pool so we moved it to a grassy area and now it gets algae.

Last week I added about 1-2 c. bleach and have not had any trouble since. (07/13/2004)

By Tawnda

Algae in Above Ground Swimming Pools

There is something that is used to control algae in ponds called "Blue Stone". We have used this in our pool for years. We buy it at our local feed and seed store. It is very cheap and is sold by the pound. (07/13/2004)

By Cynthia

Algae in Above Ground Swimming Pools

We had green algae in our pool this summer. It is real easy to treat. Use your pool brush to brush off any visible algae. Then double shock your pool. Treat with super algaecide. We have not had this problem since treating it. (07/20/2004)

Algae in Above Ground Swimming Pools

Try pool algaecide. You can get it at Bi-Mart or Fred Meyers. (05/29/2005)

By Clayton

Algae in Above Ground Swimming Pools

We used a Bioguard product called Erase. It worked wonders when all else failed. Take a water sample to be tested and see if you can find a Bioguard dealer. (07/28/2005)

By Lynne

pool algecide

I didn't find this product to be very effective at all in the dosage that is recommended. I have had same problems with green algae in above ground pool. Had water tested and was told to use *buffer* then add extra chlorine to what is recommended. Then to add extra chlorine on a regular basis. Problem has been somewhat fixed. Hope this helps a little. It was a pool dealer place in Qld that recommended this to me. (02/22/2006)

By Suz

Algae in Above Ground Swimming Pools

Types of algae

Algae in swimming pools is referred to by it color.

  • green algae - by far the most common and relatively easy to treat
  • yellow/ mustard algae - troublesome to treat, but also relatively susceptible to treatment
  • black algae - can be a nightmare to get rid of, especially in plastered pools
  • pink algae - not an algae at all, but is a fungus called Paecilomyces lilacinus that causes slimy white, pink, or grey colonies

Preventing pool algae:

Maintaining proper water balance and minimum sanitizer levels will ensure that any algae spores entering the pool water cannot take hold. Most pools use chlorine, which should be kept at a minimum level of 1.0ppm. Using the Pool Wizard or any similar mineral system may allow you to keep the free chlorine level at 0.5ppm without the risk of developing an algae problem.

Destroying pool algae:
Once algae has been allowed to bloom, it is quite tiresome to destroy. The common steps to get rid of an algae problem are:

  1. Shock treat the pool. If you are using chlorine, aim for at least 10ppm free chlorine (10 times the recommended minimum level).
  2. Circulate the water round the clock if possible.
  3. Brush the pool and vacuum.
  4. Add a commercial algaecide prepared for the algae you have (green, mustard or black) according to the instructions.
  5. Repeat brushing and vacuuming daily if possible. Add more chlorine if the level falls below 5ppm.
  6. Clean or backwash your filter regularly.

The Pool Wizard and pool algae problems:

The Pool Wizard was developed to destroy algae and bacteria, and prevent their reoccurrence in swimming pool water. The 24/7 protection the minerals claim to provide may help prevent algae and bacteria from multiplying in pool water even when chlorine levels hit zero for a couple of days. With the Pool Wizard, algae may become something you find in that health supplement you take every morning, not something you see in your pool. (08/26/2006)

By Alex xD

Algae in Above Ground Swimming Pools

Green in pools that refuses to go away:

  1. Have the water tested at your pool shop, especially for the stabilizer count/% in the water.
    If stabilizer level is high you can super shock it 3Xs the normal shock amount with nonstabilized chlorine or the best way is to add new water to the pool. Sometimes the water is just plain stale.

  2. Be sure you are shocking the pool with the proper amount of chlorine for your pool of nonstabilzed chlorine. Most pool shop people don't understand the stabilizer level and how to reach the break point.
  3. Shock the pool after a party or heavy swim use, or accidents happen.
  4. Keep testing the water, balanced pool water is less likely to have problems.
    POINT: Key is that the balancing of the water is kept up.

Pink Algae - It is the worst, it forms a shell over itself. You have to brush it each time with a hard bristle brush and hit it with PH Minus to kill it after brushing.


By SnowyFilly

Algae in Above Ground Swimming Pools

Every year when I open I have this problem. Usually I put in four times the maintenance dose of Algaecide and three times the shock amount. After three of these treatments on successive days I usually get control back of the water. Back flush frequently and vacuum the dead algae. I have a Polaris robot and it puts the dead algae back in suspension where the filter can remove it. I use a clarifier which helps to clump the algae so that the filter can take it out.

I have not done it since copper sulphate is a poison, but the most effective algaecide is nothing but a very dilute copper sulphate solution. You buy this at a tractor supply or a farm co-op, usually in 25 lb bags. Landscapers also carry it to keep algae out of ponds and fountains. You could put a small amount in a sock and suspend it in the pool. I would check the mixture concentration in the algaecide and mix my own as well. (09/07/2008)

By Daddio

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September 10, 20090 found this helpful

I have a pool, and it doesn't matter how much chlorine I dump in it, or how much I scrub it, the bottom is stained in places with a greenish algae-looking growth. Even a wire brush won't remove it. It's driving me nuts, and despite being clean, no one wants to go swimming. Any ideas?

Cathy from Townsville, Australia


Algae In My Pool

Buy generic bleach. Not ultra or scented. Just plain old bleach. Pour in 3 gallons/5000 gal of pool water with the filter on overnight. The next morning you will be amazed how clear the water is. Cheap and effective. (03/14/2006)

By jack flash

Algae In My Pool

If you pool has a liner, be careful with the bleach, if it is cement, bleach, bleach, bleach and stay out of the pool for several days. (03/14/2006)

By Streatch

Algae In My Pool

Buy some algaecide, whatever kind is recommended for your type of pool. Bleach won't work, chlorine won't work. you have to buy something specifically for killing algae. (03/14/2006)

By twintoni

Algae In My Pool

Have your water tested by a pool company. Most of them will do this for free if you will be buying chemicals from them, otherwise there may be a fee of around $10. If the chemical balance is not correct you can dump in as much chlorine as you want and it will have absolutely no effect. (03/15/2006)

By Dawn

Algae In My Pool

The algacide will help, but, also, add a couple of boxes of baking soda to the circulator. This seemed to help me with mine. Good luck. Patsy (03/15/2006)

By Patsy

Algae In My Pool

If the algae has stained the pool, you will need to have it acid washed to remove the stain. (03/16/2006)

By Loretta

Algae In My Pool

I used to work for a pool store. Go to a reputable pool company and bring a current water sample from about 12 inches from the surface. Have them test this for pH and acidity, chlorine levels, etc. Use the algaecide they recommend and kill this stuff. Adjusting your pH and acidity without doing this first is a waste of time and money as the algae causes these to go out of whack. Keep circulating your pool and keep brushing the spots. This can take a lot of time. Once it is clear, maintain your pool. This is what caused this problem to begin with. Don't be afraid to ask questions. These people know what to do to help your pool. (04/07/2006)

By brizaksmommy

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