How to clear and fix a cloudy salt water pool fast

How To Clear Up A Cloudy Saltwater Pool? Don’t worry. I feel your pain having been there myself. But, I also know what it feels like to return your pool to its original beauty.

And more importantly, I know how to return your pool to its original beauty. It’s not going to be easy, but trust me when I say it’s going to be worth it.

Not only are they a vicious eyesore, but cloudy swimming pools are also highly irritating – both physically (in terms of causing swelling around the eyes of swimmers due to the dirt and bacteria) and also mentally (if you are the owner of said cloudy pool – this is especially relevant when the time comes to clean the pool).

Cloudy Saltwater Pool


There are many causes as to why your pool is cloudy. Whether it be due to the environment – things around that pollute your pool: birds, trees, rain, pollen, sun etc. or because of a faulty filter/misused filter or even because of chemical imbalances in your pools water, the cause of your pools cloudiness may not be so obvious.

But one thing is for certain:

Your pool is cloudy. And as I’m sure you’re already aware, it can be incredibly difficult to return your pool back to its gleamingly clean state that it once maintained. Almost impossible even. That is, until now.

In this article, I will be providing you with a step-by-step, easy-to-follow walkthrough of how to un-cloud your pool, giving you a number of various strategies to try out.

Are you ready to see your pool gleam under the sunlight again? Are you? Then follow me!

A List Of Useful Things

How To Clear Up A Cloudy Saltwater Pool? First of all, let me share with you a list of items that you may or may not need when following this tutorial. I’m going to be covering two different strategies in this walkthrough.

One of which is using a pool clarifier and the other is using a pool flocculant or flocking your swimming pool. Here is the list of things you’ll need. I have included brackets after the item showing which method it is needed for.

  • Pool clarifier (yep, you guessed it! This one’s for using a pool clarifier)
  • Skimmer net (needed for using a pool clarifier)
  • Flocculant or pool floc (needed for flocking your pool)
  • A pool vacuum (also needed for flocking your pool, but could also come in handy when using a pool clarifier when adding the finishing touches)

The Walkthrough

Let’s get down to business! Follow the steps to either one of these tutorials and watch your pool go from cloudy mess to glimmering perfection overnight!

Let’s start things off with the more simple of the two, shall we?

Using A Pool Clarifier

Using A Pool Clarifier

Using a pool clarifier is a crucial part of maintaining the beautiful appearance of your precious pool.

It works by gathering up the tiny particles (which are too small to be extracted by your filter) that are making your pool cloudy and then binds them together so that they become larger in size.

This means that now, your filter can pick them up, leaving you with an incredibly un-cloudy pool. And here’s how to do it:

Step #1: Check water chemistry in your pool
Chemicals in pool

(This applies to both methods) Before you do anything, your first concern should be making sure that your water chemistry is in check. Chemical imbalances in your pool’s water could result in cloudiness and if this is the cause of your problem, then using a pool clarifier isn’t the solution.

Was the chemistry of your water tested before you go any further? Furthermore, if you find that your water’s chemistry is perfectly good, then it will also pay you to check your filtration system – to ensure that everything is in working order. A fault with your filter could most definitely be the cause of your cloudy pool water.

Step #2: Prepare a bottle of swimming pool clarifier

After clarifying that the problem doesn’t lie in your pool’s filter or in a chemical imbalance, visit your local swimming pool chemical retailer and pick up a bottle of swimming pool clarifier.

Make sure to confirm with the seller that the particular clarifier you are buying is what is known as a coagulant (if it isn’t a coagulant, then it won’t clump the particles together making them retrievable to your filtration system).

You can find a lot of reviews on certain clarifiers on YouTube and on blogs, if you’re struggling to choose one or if you are worried about whether it will work or not.

Step #3: Add water clarifier to your pool and observe
Add Water Clarifier To Your Pool

Return to your pool and add the water clarifier to the water in amounts according to the instructions. Make sure to read the instructions extremely carefully as adding too much clarifier could be counter-effective.

The amount that you add can vary based on the size of your pool, so, quite obviously, the larger the pool, the more water it holds. And the more water it holds, the more clarifier you will need to put in. You might want to consider this when making your purchase.

Step #4: Run your pool pump

Run your pump so that the clarifier can spread throughout the water gathering up all of the tiny particles as it does so.

It often helps to leave the pump on overnight – or for as long as you possibly can – to allow for proper spreading of the clarifier. Check back in the morning to see if the cloudiness is becoming better.

Step #5: Remove any excess particles

That may now actually be too big for your filter, depending on how cloudy your pool was – using either the skimmer net or the pool vacuum, give your pool a thorough sweep using whichever tool you chose, making sure not to miss any.

And hey presto! Now your pool is back to its usually glimmering self! Go enjoy a dip, you’ve earned it!

Flocking your pool

How To Clear Up A Cloudy Saltwater Pool?  Pool flocculant works in a similar way to pool clarifier. It binds the small particles together, but instead of letting your filter pick them up, (your filter remains switched off during a pool flock), you have to manually vacuum the particles out yourself.

Which can be very tiring, but oh so satisfying, all at once. The particles will bind and then sink to the bottom of the pool, forming the cloud down there instead, ready to be vacuumed out by you.

A pool flock is considerably quicker than using a pool clarifier and can be more useful for those looking for faster results – so long as you’re willing to put the work in. Watch the following video for details.

As I addressed in step 1 of using a clarifier, always make sure to check your filter and the chemistry of your water before moving on.

Step #1: Prepare your flocculant

Buy your flocculant, again from your local chemical retailer and before you do anything with it, make sure to properly clean out your pool. Clean out as much debris as possible.

Vacuum it; brush the walls and backwash the filter. The cleaner the pool is before starting the process, the more effective the chemicals will be. Here is a list of the best pool flocculants on

Step #2: Add the flocculent to your pool

Add the flock again according to the label. It usually ends up being about one bottle of flock per 10,000 gallons of pool water. Make sure to pour the flock all around the pool, trying to cover as much of the water as possible.

Once you’ve added your flock, make sure to allow the pool to run on the recirculate setting for a couple of hours. In this time, the flock will be allowed to circulate around your pool, beginning to gather up the particles as it does so.

Step #3: Wait and observe

Switch off your pump and allow the pool water to settle for around twelve hours. This allows the flocculant to gather up all of the small particles, binding them together and then dropping them down to the bottom of your pool, resulting in a cloud on the bottom of your pool as opposed to your entire pool looking cloudy.

Step #4: Filter your pool

Connect your manual vacuum and make sure to turn off your pump. Set your filter to its waste setting and then turn your pump back on, making sure your vacuum is still connected (warning: make sure not to stir the water up too much while connecting your vacuum as this will disperse the cloud.)

You can now begin vacuuming. Slowly vacuum the bottom of your pool, taking extra care not to stir the water too much. It is a good idea to have a water input whilst vacuuming, as water is lost during the process. An off-set garden hose, over at the side of the pool will be fine. If you don’t have a pool vacuum yet, read our best pool vacuum reviews to get a suitable one.

And voila! Your pool is now cloud-free!

I’ve done it! I mean… You’ve done it! I mean, we’ve done it! Your pool has gone from cloudy mess to transparent beauty. We’ve managed to make the seemingly impossible, possible again! It feels good to help others using the knowledge that I have gained during my own endeavors, that is all part of the reason why I wrote this How To Clear Up A Cloudy Saltwater Pool article.

Did you find this article on how to clear up a cloudy saltwater pool helpful? Let me know in the comments section.

And, happy pool maintenance folks!