Share Crafts

Cleaning an Above Ground Pool

A blue above ground swimming pool.

Above ground pools do not always have all of the filters that in-ground pools do, so they can get quite dirty. It is important to clean your pool properly so that you don't damage the liner. This is a guide about cleaning an above ground pool.


Solutions: Cleaning an Above Ground Pool

Read and rate the best solutions below by giving them a "thumbs up".

Tip: Quicker Pool Cleaning

To clean an above the ground swimming pool or blowup type, take a plastic broom ($1.00 at a discount store) and "sweep" the debris on the bottom toward the skimmer. Then unhook the hose from the skimmer and suck up the trash from the bottom with the hose. It is much quicker and effective way to clean your pool than the vacuum.

By Michelle from Steele, MO

Give a "thumbs up" to the solution that worked the best! Do you have a better solution? Click here to share it!


Here are questions related to Cleaning an Above Ground Pool.

Question: Algae in Above Ground Swimming Pools

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


Question: Cleaning an Above Ground Pool

My husband saw this pool at the store and bought it. It is 26 feet x 52 inches. It is now green. All I have done to it is use the big chlorine tabs. I told him we need more, but now we need help. I don't want to call someone. I want to try to do it first. It holds approximately 14,810 gallons. The max.water depth is 45.5 inches. The filter system is a SFS2000. Pump type F2000C. It has a GPH flow of 2000. The min. run time is 7.41H. Please help me get my pool nice and clean again. Thank you. I really need direction on what to use and how much to use. Thank you again

By Isabel C. from Detroit, MI


Most Recent Answer

By Lynzie Amber M.07/19/2015

Buy "Green to Blue" Algae remover at walmart and follow the directions on box. It will first kill it all and the second step will put all of the dead algae on the bottom of your pool. Unhook your hose that puts the water back into your pool and vacuum the algae out.

Question: Cleaning an Above Ground Pool

I cleaned my above ground pool 2 days ago. I refilled it and put a chlorine tablet in the dispenser. I also added a little algaecide now after filtering for 3 days I got in the pool and it felt like a greasy substance was on the bottom. Then I noticed where I stepped it turned black as did my feet and knees. I had to take a bath and use a brush and soap to remove it. What happened to the pool?

By daneed


Most Recent Answer

By gbk [45]08/30/2011

U killed the algae but you have to vacuum it out of the bottom or put a particulate stuff that makes it rise to the top and filter it out. The particulate stuff I don't like but I use a vacuum that to the water hose and remove the dead algae.

You may think about using an algaecide that last for 3 months and put it in in 21/2 months. I live in south GA and that is what I do. I keep my pool with baking soda, 3month algaecide and chlorine 3inch tabs. It is above ground 12 foot x 4 foot.

Question: Cleaning an Above Ground Swimming Pool

My husband drained our above ground swimming pool for the winter. Now I'm trying to clean it. There is like dry mud and I have been brushing the bottom and it is coming off, but taking forever. Yes I know now that he should not have done that. It is very bad. This is the first pool I have owned. Can anyone tell me if I can get it clean an easier way? I know nothing about pools or is my pool ruined? Please help.

By Amanda

Most Recent Answer

By Saturngirl200306/13/2015

I am having the same problem with our above ground swimming pool. Normally I have to pay someone to clean it but can't afford it this time. How long did it take for you to clean your pool and what did you use to clean it?

Question: Emptying an Above Ground Pool

There's some really dirty water in the pool because we haven't cleaned it in months, how do I take the water out? The lady who owned it said that there's a door somewhere to release the water, I can't find it.

By Sarah

Most Recent Answer

By TracieAnne07/23/2013

Oh and I am not sure what she means by a door unless she means the flapper door to the filter box. If you have a manual pool cleaning hose, in that box is where the hose gets attached. And she may mean the backwash valve on your filter, you can release water through there but careful, it comes out fast.

Question: Cleaning Algae in Above Ground Pool

My 17 x 48 foot above ground pool is still a lite green. What do I need to do next? What products are best and how much do I use?

By John

Most Recent Answer

By Kathy S.07/22/2013

We use our chlorine tablets along with baking soda about 1/2 lb and phosphate remover about 2oz per 5000 gallons you can purchase this at home depot our pool stays crystal clear.

Question: Cleaning an Above Ground Pool

I have an above ground pool, 12'x4' round. I've been unable to get rid of the cloudy white particles that keep settling on the bottom and middle of the pool. I've used many different chemicals and replaced the filter numerous times and nothing seems to work. Also, there seems to constantly be little flies at the bottom in the cloudy area. The flies are always the same kind, small with black and yellow striped bodies about the size of a small mosquito. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you.

    By Marcr [1]

    Most Recent Answer

    By mary becerra08/08/2015

    Hi, you might want to just change the water & start fresh. Drain the pool and clean the liner with bleach and a pool liner cleaner. If your filters are a few years old replace them or use a filter cleaner on them. Re-fill the pool and keep it chlorinated and balanced. A lot of stores that sell pool supplies will do free water testing and let you know what to add & advise you. Consider getting a pool cover as well.

    Question: Pool Has Green Water

    My pool is really green and I would like to know what household cleaning supplies I can use to scrub it to get it clean.

    By Denise B from Blakeslee, PA

    Most Recent Answer

    By Gwennie08/09/2013

    The best thing to do is too go to a local store and buy a cheap algae eating pool solution called shock it's very cheap and it gets the job done and I would say if the pool gets green you need to clean the filter and make sure it doesn't get peed in :) Hope that helps.

    Question: Chlorine Tab Left Stain on Above Ground Pool

    I put a chlorine pill in a 12 foot x 4 foot pool and it made a huge stain on the bottom side. Now I'm worried it will tear. How much should I have put? And will it tear?

    By Alma from Corpus Christi, TX

    Most Recent Answer

    By Lori Boley H.08/26/2015

    Yes! It will eventually ruin your liner. We have an 18 foot above ground pool that my husband dropped a chlorine tab in and didn't remove for a couple days. It removed the blue coloring from the liner and the next year when we went to clean the liner, the discolored part disintegrated and the whole liner was ruined. It may survive for awhile but get ready to replace the liner. Use a floating chlorine tab dispenser if you don't have a skimmer basket that holds the tabs.

    Question: Pool Water Cloudy

    The filter broke, it was 3 days before I installed a new sand filter. The pool water was a disgusting green, I could not see the 2nd step on the ladder. After running the new filter, and adding shock treatment, and running 2 cycles of boost on the Krystal Clear salt chlorinator, the water is cloudy, milky. How can I get it to clear up?

    By Betsy

    Most Recent Answer

    By Judy M.05/26/2015

    My water was so cloudy I couldn't see the bottom of my pool, I called a pool store the Lady told me to go buy 2 case of chlorine and pore 6 gallons in and save the other 2 for the next day, the next day I surely could see the bottom, you have to chlorinate the heck out of it, my pool is 28 round. Hope this helps it helped for me

    Question: Black Ring Inside a Swimming Pool

    I have a black ring around the inside of 24 round swimming pool. I have tried to scrub it off with everything, even magic eraser. What is this ring and how can I get if off?

    Dana from Newkensington, PA

    Most Recent Answer

    By Jim (Guest Post)08/06/2007

    If it is on the CERAMIC ring of your pool, then use SHAWS PADS. It will not Scratch and it is a green product. Available at your local hardware or at

    Question: Pool Products?

    I have an inground pool with cloudy water. What can I use other than a commercial pool product that will work like a "Floc" and drop floating debri to the bottom of the pool so that it can be vacuumed?

    By dfrannino

    Most Recent Answer

    By Laura J. Orr (Guest Post)11/06/2004

    The best solution to keeping the pool clear is to test often and stay on top of the situation. The more you get out of whack, the more expensive and longer it takes to come back. The PH is the all powerful count to keep track of. If you can keep it at 7, then you should be problem free, but things change with a rainfall, or adding water to the pool. Shocking it is the only way to kill the algae, and only then will it sink to the bottom of the pool for vacuuming. You can get shock at Canadian Tire cheaper than at the pool place and then I found an even better price at the local garden store. Always shock at night and keep the kids out for 24 hours afterwards. The sun kills the shocking power. I was also told that foregoing buying those big containers of shock, you can religeously put 1 cup of Javex in the pool everyday instead, but then the next time I saw him, he was raving about getting a tank and buying shock in bulk at a really cheap price. The best plan is to take a water sample to the pool store and get them to run it thru the computer. This way, you'll know exactly what you have to do and knowing that can save you money in itself. We finally got a manta, sooooo glad! What a time and back saver! But the best advise that I can give you is to get your water sample into the pool store regularily to have a proper plan of action and stay on top of things. There are several reasons why water may be cloudy and sometimes you have to put in a teaspoon of muric acid when all else fails. Get some prof. advise on this one though, good luck!

    Question: Cleaning Pool Water

    We just took the cover off our above ground pool to get it ready for the summer. The pool water looks black. How do we clear it up to use it?

      By Ramona H. [1]

      Question: Removing Algae from Above Ground Pool

      We have an above ground 15ft round and 4 ft deep above ground pool. After swimming at lake my kids came home and got in the pool without washing their swimsuits so algae quickly began to grow in it. We have drained it now for winter, but the bottom is covered in green and brown slime. I'm wondering what household items I could use to clean it and what type brush to use so I don't tear bottom. Please someone tell me what my best options are?

      By Brandy

      Question: Cleaning Algae on Above Ground Pool

      I have already drained the pool to take it down for the year, but there is algae all over in it. What's the easiest way to get this out?

      By Trinity from UT

      Question: Cleaning a Pool Before Winter

      I'm putting the pool away for the winter. What can I use to clean the algae and dirt off the bottom?

      By LCP

      Question: Removing Grass Stains from an Above Ground Pool

      When my husband cut the grass it sprayed all in my son's 12 by 30 foot pool. Now the bottom is green. We have emptied, scrubbed, rinsed, and refilled, but the stains are still there. All my chemical level tests are good though. What do I need to do?c

      By Melissa G.

      Question: Above Ground Pool Clean Up

      How do you get rid of all the algae in a 15 ft x 43 inch; above ground pool? The water is completely green and slimy.

      By Mari

      Question: Cleaning an Above Ground Pool

      After draining out our above the ground pool we found that it has slimy dirty stuff build up inside. We got a new filter after the first filter had gotten broken. What do we use to clean all that off of the inside of the pool.

      By Linda

      Question: Best Sand to Use in Pool Filter

      What kind of sand do you have to use in the filter? Can you use play sand in your filter?

      By Brenda

      Question: Cleaning an Above Ground Vinyl Pool

      Our above ground vinyl pool sat uncovered and empty through the winter months. It is coated in green algae. What is the best way to begin to clean the pool and get it ready for summer?

      By Delona from south FL

      Question: Cleaning an Uncovered Above Ground Pool

      I have one of those pools that you can get from Kmart or Walmart and it was uncovered for the rest of the year after summer was over. Now it is very green in spots with dried leaves in it. I was wanting to know the best way to get it cleaned and ready for summer again. Can someone please help me?

      By Terra from KY

      Question: Cleaning Above Ground Pool

      I'm wondering how to successively clean my 16' by 32' above ground swimming pool? It's filled with algae and the water is completely green! Is there some simple way I can clean it without vacuuming it, as our vacuum for some reason isn't working?

      By Gail B

      Question: Cleaning an Above Ground Pool

      I moved into a new house about two months ago and was told the Intex above-ground pool was a saltwater pool. And also that it was clean. There was a cover on it so I just trusted that it was clean. It's now hot outside, and yesterday I took the cover off. There is a layer of green on the bottom of the pool and it looks disgusting. I don't know what to do with it or how to clean it because I've never had a pool before. What chemicals do I need to buy? What all is needed to get it clean and running?

      By Stacy N.

      Question: Cleaning an Above Ground Pool

      What is your pump suppose to be on when you are vacuuming out your above ground pool?

      By Dale from Hephzibah, GA


      Thrifty Fun has been around so long that many of our pages have been reset several times. Archives are older versions of the page and the feedback that was provided then.

      Archive: Cleaning An Above Ground Pool

      I have an above ground pool that has a terrible brownish ring/stain just about the water line. I've tried scrubbing it and using pool recommended cleaners, which haven't worked. Monsoon storms left a fine layer of dirt on the bottom that the vacuum is not picking up. It's a mess! Any ideas?


      RE: Cleaning An Above Ground Pool

      I don't know if it is recommended by the pool companies but I used Clorox clean up spray on mine and it came out really nice. My pool is about 16 years old and I'm only on second liner. Friends tell me that is really good. (07/22/2005)

      By Carol

      RE: Cleaning An Above Ground Pool

      My mother in law had the same problem. Use Soft Scrub with bleach and scrub, this works well. (07/23/2005)

      By brandi

      RE: Cleaning An Above Ground Pool

      Your stain is probably iron, but there is a chance it could also be bacterial. There are many products for pools, but an above ground pool has its own parameters. I suggest you contact the company that installed your pool and ask them. Most likely, they have products that they will be happy to sell you that will not harm the liner. Good luck. : ) (07/24/2005)

      By Guest

      RE: Cleaning An Above Ground Pool

      Try baking soda, that worked for a friend of mine. (07/25/2005)

      By TC in MO

      Archive: Cleaning an Above Ground Pool

      I have an Intex pool holding 3700 gallons. All the green algae collects on the bottom in clumps when I treat it. Then, I cannot get it up without it spreading into the water again. The pool came with one of those hose attachment vacs. What can I do to finally get all the junk off the bottom? I have tried everything, shocking it, etc., including letting the filter run continuously.

      By suze-e from Lake City, FL

      RE: Cleaning an Above Ground Pool

      I had the same problem. Get one of those pool vacuums that attaches to your garden hose. The bag that comes with it has too loose a weave to catch the small particles so you'll need to make one yourself out of different material. I cut up a filter cartridge to make my own bag and discovered it was very similar to interfacing fabric (used when sewing collars, etc.) and ended up using that instead. Making the bag is easy, use the one that came with it as your example. I actually made mine much bigger and it seemed to work better. When vacuuming, don't have the hose on full pressure and go very slowly. It's the only thing that got my Intex clean (it went from gross to gorgeous). Couldn't have survived without it. Good luck. (06/23/2009)

      By brenz64

      RE: Cleaning an Above Ground Pool

      I found a great solution for my algae clean up problem. It's simple and easy to have an above ground pool clean and clear in hours. I had an algae bloom while I was away for a weekend and my guard was down. I came home and the pool looked terrible. I shocked, used an algaecide, and vacuumed.

      The trouble was that the sand filter would not pull the fine particles and it was just going back into the water to cloud it up and settle again. I vacuumed for two days and back washed, but it still came through the filter and back into the pool. This is what I did and then kicked myself for not thinking of it before.

      First make sure your chlorine is at the proper levels as well as the PH. If you have had an algae problem and have shocked the pool an also been using an algaecide, but can't seem to get rid of the fine particles that settle to the bottom, this will work for you. If you have followed directions the algae should be dead. This is assuming that you have a vacuum hose that attaches to your skimmer or filter system for cleaning the bottom of your pool. If you do this works great.

      Go to Lowes, Home Depot, or any place where you can pick up a cheap spa filter. The one I have is eight inches long and about 4 inches wide with a threaded bottom and closed or sealed top. It's designed to screw into a spa filter housing. It has a regular corrugated paper filter around it.

      I then vacuumed the pool again and scrubbed the bottom as best I could since I could hardly see it as the water clouded. Then for good measure I added to the pool a clarifier, in my case I use 1 ounce for 6,000 gallons. My pool is 5,600 gallons.

      After I was done stirring it up and getting it lose from the bottom I took the spa filter and attached it to my vacuum hose (pump off at that point) with some electrical tape to hold it in place. I intend on making a better fitting later, but I was desperate to give it a try and the tape was just to hold it in place.

      Then I sunk the filter to the bottom and tried to get it in the center as best I could. Then turned on the pump as if I was going to vacuum and let the filter do it's job. I also pointed my return to the side and slightly downward to allow the water to circulate around the pool in a circle. With the filter in the middle it acts like a center drain and helps draw everything towards it. After the first few minutes the filter was green.

      After one hour it was dark green and the pool was noticeably cleaner. I then shut off the pump and carefully lifted the filter to the surface and while still submerged used a bucket to slip the filter in and pull it out of the pool so as not to lose anything I had collected. After hosing it clean I did it again for two hours. By then the pool had become clear and looked great. I also used my brush while it was gathering to keep the bottom clear of the settling particles and brushed toward the filter every once in a while.

      Finally I left the filter on over night for good measure and in the morning removed it. My pool was spotless. I'm getting in now. So a cheap filter on the end of a vacuum hose did the trick in just a few hours. I hope this helps. (07/15/2009)

      By indoorable