How to Get Rid of Algae in Pool

As the summer nears, pool maintenance is important to make the most of the warm days. When maintaining a pool, algae is the first thing to look out for and can be a big pain to clean if you don’t know how to take care of it. Don’t worry, this guide will teach you about different types of pool algae, how to remove it, and how to keep it away. After reading this, you’ll have all the knowledge and confidence to clean pool algae.

Types of Pool Algae

There are 3 types of pool algae, green algae, yellow algae, and black. Green is the “easiest” to clean and takes the least amount of work to get your pool clean and clear. Yellow is the second hardest to clean, while black alga is the most stubborn and takes the longest to remove.

Green Algae

Green algae is the most common type of pool algae. The first sign is when your pool becomes slimy. You can learn more about how to clean a green pool in this blog post. The slimy substance can be found on pool surfaces, and it begins in small clusters on the pool steps or floating in the water. The green slime usually starts in areas where circulation doesn’t occur. Once you notice it, you need to start removing it because it can grow in less than 24 hours. Out of the three types of algae, this is the least difficult to remove.

If you notice an increase in green algae growth, run the pump more frequently and make sure to balance your water with more frequent testing to prevent algae from growing. This will help keep your pool clean. We have more information on how to remove algae later on in this post.

Yellow Algae

Yellow algae are usually brownish or a muddy yellow in color. While it doesn’t spread as quickly as the green algae, it’s not as easy to destroy. Black alga grows similar to a green alga, in a mold-like pattern around the sides of the pool. Yellow algae often look like dirt or sand at the bottom or sides of the pool. It usually occurs when there’s stagnant pool water, heavy rain that washes organic material into the water, or an imbalance in the pool PH.

To prevent yellow algae, make sure your filter is running 8-12 hours a day, your swimsuits are clean, and you are shocking your swimming pool weekly. While yellow algae are harder to treat, it’s not impossible if you follow a step-by-step guide and have the patience to thoroughly clean your pool.

Black Algae

Black algae are the least common type of algae and the worst of the three. Unlike green algae, black algae may not affect the water clarity but it can stay on plaster pools or rough concrete surfaces. It tends to grow on bodies of water with a high PH, low chlorine, and/or bad filtration. If left untreated, black algae can cause structural harm to your pool because the algae will grow deep into concrete and other pool surfaces. It’s the hardest to clean but not impossible with the right tools. Once your pool is cleaned, it will be easy to maintain a pool maintenance schedule that will prevent algae from returning.

How to Get Rid of Algae in Pool

Now it’s time to learn how to remove algae from your pool. All three types of algae have a very similar cleaning method. However, green algae are the “easiest” to remove and black algae are the most difficult. With all three types, people assume that if they brush the algae away, it will be gone forever. However, just because you can’t visibly see algae does not mean that the algae are destroyed. Follow our step-by-step guide for the best results that will completely eradicate your algae.

  1. Remove and clean any floaties in your pool to prevent algae from re-entering your pool once you clean it
  2. Set your filter to “recirculate” or “recycle” to stop the water from flowing through the filter
  3. Remove floating debris, algae, and leaves with a net
  4. Brush all the pool surfaces to remove dead algae stains and dirt
  5. Vacuum all visible algae and dirt
  6. Clean your filters to remove dead algae
    Clean them out and rinse them off. Make sure to backwash sand filters as well.
  7. Test the chlorine levels in your pool and your pool chemistry
    Testing your pool will help you determine the PH levels to know how much shock you need to add.
  8. Once that’s complete, follow our step-by-step guide on how to shock a pool to balance out the pool and chemically remove the algae
    Depending on the number of green algae, it will most likely be eradicated with just one shock and you may be okay to stop here. However, we recommend following the rest of the steps regardless of what type of algae you have just to be sure you’ve eradicated the algae.
  9. Wait until the suggested time according to your pool shock packaging states before moving on to the next step
  10. Brush your pool thoroughly to remove any debris, algae, and/or dirt that may be lingering
  11. Flock your pool
    Floc is a treatment that can be used to clear cloudy water and further remove small spores that weren’t eradicated during shocking.
  12. Test the water levels again
  13. Vacuum the bottom and sides of the pool to remove any lingering dead algae that persist
  14. Clean your filters again
  15. Add algaecide to remove algae and prevent future outbreaks
    The algaecide that you use depends on the type of algae that you have. This should be done regardless of what type of algae you have.
  16. Test your pool chemistry
  17. If the algae persist, mostly for yellow or black algae, apply algaecide one more time after 2 – 4 days
    Continue brushing, vacuuming, and backwashing the algae as needed until it’s all removed.

How to Keep Pool Algae From Returning

Algae occurs for many reasons, such as low or inconsistent chlorine levels, faulty pool filtration, and poor water circulation. To prevent algae from coming back, follow these maintenance tips:

  1. Clean all toys and swimwear that have been in natural bodies of water
    This will prevent the transfer of algae to your clean pool.
  2. Add a preventative dose of algaecide to your pool every week after shocking it
    This doesn’t kill algae but it does prevent its growth. If you are looking for recommendations, here are 9 top algaecides with reviews
  3. Shock your pool weekly, remove contaminants, and clear up cloudy water
  4. Brush pool surfaces weekly to remove algae that might be building up
  5. Vacuum your pool regularly to remove access debris
  6. Make sure your filtration system is running properly by checking your system weekly
    We recommend having your filter run for 8-12 hours a day. You’ll also need to routinely clean the pool filter.
  7. Test, shock, and balance your pool weekly
  8. Invest in a cost-effective robotic pool cleaner that collects fine debris and scrubs algae
  9. Shop the best robotic pool cleaners for algae.

Bye-bye algae! Now you know how to identify the type of algae in your pool, how to remove it, and how to prevent algae from returning. You won’t be missing anymore pool parties because of an algae-filled pool.

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