How To Clear Cloudy Pool Water

Milky pools only work in fantasy films. In real life, a milky pool only works in customized spa services or a milk bath. When it comes to swimming pools, the sight of the cloudy pool water is such a turn-off. Nobody wants to swim in it.

So, what actually causes cloudy pool water?

Before we even go there, let’s be aware of the danger first. Not only it looks inviting, but cloudy pool water also makes you unable to see what is underneath. Who knows? There might be dangerous bacteria breeding in. Once that happens, your pool and its circulation system can be seriously damaged.

The last thing you need is losing a lot of money from fixing the expensive damages caused by bacteria. It is even worse if it causes serious illnesses. Before jumping in to try to fix things, find the cause first. Once you do, then you can go from there.

The Evil Five that Cause Cloudy Pool Water

One of the chemical to clean cloudy pool water

This may seem like an exaggeration to you, but these five (5) causes of the cloudy swimming pool water are indeed evil. No worries, each has its own fixing solutions:

1. A chlorine imbalance

There are plenty of causes for low free chlorine levels. That could be a heavy usage, the rain that dilutes the chlorine, or ultraviolet that oxidizes lots of free chlorine when the weather is hot. If it is an outdoor swimming pool, you might want to use cyanuric acid as the chlorine stabilizer.

Still, you need to be careful with cyanuric acid. If you use it too much, the water will become cloudy and unsafe for a swim. You can shock the water with liquid chlorine if this happens to be the case.

We have a detailed article explaining the best chlorine tablet that you might want to read. It will give you a clear guide to choose which chlorine tablet for your pool.

2. The problem with pH levels and total alkalinity

The pH concentration in the water plays a major role in affecting how the chemicals function. That includes the chlorine. If the pH level goes up, lower it with muriatic acid or sulfuric acid. If the pH level is lower than 7.0, the pool water turns cloudy. That means inviting harmful bacteria like algae to breed.

To make sure that the total alkalinity does not go beyond limits, make sure it stays between 80 and 120 ppm. This will avoid raising the pH levels, which will cause calcium scaling.

Muriatic acid and aerate are needed to lower the total alkalinity without any extra equipment. This will also restore the pH levels without increasing them way too high.

3. The trouble with pool circulation and filtration systems

The poor pool filtration and circulation systems need to be dealt with immediately. These are the steps:

  • The return fittings should be turned to point down. This helps the water at the pool’s bottom to circulate properly. The pool structure also determines how this step is done.
  • Use the right pump size to clean the water adequately.
  • Ensure that the filtration system is working well and long enough. A 24/7 run is the best to keep the water clean. Since home pools are not that busy, an eight to ten hours a day is also okay.
  • Remove any particles that might be blocking the filter. This is to avoid the water from becoming dirty, cloudy, and algae-infested.
  • Clean or replace the D.E and cartridge filter medium on a regular basis. Depending on the usage, the cartridge should be replaced at least once or twice a year.

4. The foreign particles

Removing foreign particles, scrubbing, and vacuuming the pool should be done. Foreign particles include sunscreen and other body oil from swimmers as they dive in. A pool clarifier helps to remove the excess in the pool water. Otherwise, the pool water will get cloudy, especially if many swimmers use the pool.

Scrubbing and cleaning the pool with a big leaf net and a vacuum help to remove algae. If some of it still remains, use a pool shock to further clean them.

A chlorine stabilizer is needed if your swimming pool is outdoor since the ultraviolet can cause chlorine depletion. Rain can also do that. A tarp to cover the pool when not being used is also an effective prevention.

5.The algae

Algae in swimming pool

As mentioned earlier, there are ways to remove algae from the swimming pool water. Algaecide is possible if the algae are still young and green, especially since even the smallest amount and cause cloudy water.

However, the best way to get rid of algae still involves scrubbing and vacuuming, before killing it with a chlorine shock. Plus, if the algae are full green, yellow, or black, using too much algaecide is no longer effective. Not only expensive, too much algaecide can cause foaming and the deposit copper metal in the water.

Compared to liquid chlorine, algaecide only works on minor amounts of algae, not an outbreak.

Other Things to Note Down

You beloved swimming pool water may appear cloudy or milky after shocking the pool, which is actually normal. Just simply wait it out for a day for the water to clear up it self.

Well now you know what causes your swimming pool water becomes so cloudy.

How to Fix a Cloudy Pool Quickly and Easily

For swimming pool owners, a cloudy pool is a common occurrence that can occur overnight. Because of this, it can be a time-consuming and difficult process to clear cloudy pool water.


We’re Going to Explain How To Fix a Cloudy Pool Easily and Quickly So You Can Get Back To Swimming Today. 


It’s not easy to fix this problem, especially if you don’t know what causes it. However, if you know the main causes you can easily fix it without adding any chemicals or sanitizer.

​You may also need to increase the production of chlorine in your generator or the amount of time your pool filter system will be running throughout the day or night. 

In regards to that​, here are some pointers on how to fix cloudy pool water if you think that the problem is related to filtration or chemistry. 

Test Your Pool Water

​Testing your pool water is actually the first thing you need to do. You can either use a pool test kit to test your water at home or take it to your local pool store. 

If your ​pool water is salty, it’s recommended to use an all-in-one test kit that includes a saline test.

The Taylor Troubleshooter DPD Pool and Spa Water Test Kit below is an excellent choice. 


Adjust The Pool Chemistry

After testing your pool water, use the results to adjust levels accordingly. 

​Make sure you’re within the recommended range for things, such as calcium, chlorine, alkalinity and pH.

​After balancing everything, it’s time to reassess the pool and then continue with any of these methods depending on the pool’s chemistry.

1. Use A Pool Clarifier
It’s a good idea to use a pool water clarifier to fix the problem because picking up tiny particles with a pool filter alone can be a daunting task.

Pool clarifiers are simply a coagulant because they work to clump tiny particles together to make it easier to filter them out.

When using a pool clarifier, make sure your filter system is clean and running at all times because it will be collecting a lot of debris.


2. Use A Pool Flocculant 
Also known as pool Floc, Flocculant is also a good idea if you want to clear up your swimming pool quickly.

You can use it to clear cloudy pool water quickly, but it will require some effort and time on your part.

This chemical doesn’t work like a water clarifier, instead it works to gather tiny particles that make the water cloudy and settle them at the bottom of your swimming pool.

Before adding the Floc, make sure your filter is running on recirculate and keep it running 24/7 until the pool is clear. 

After tiny particles have settled at the bottom of your swimming pool, you can then use a manual pump to vacuum up the cloud settled at the bottom.

It’s not recommended to use an automatic pool cleaner because it will blow up the already settled particles.


3. Shock the Pool
Lack of free-available chlorine can also be another cause of cloudy pool water.

For instance, if there is a difference of more than o.3ppm between free available chlorine and total available chlorine, then it means you’ve got higher chloramines and in this case, shock is the best option to fix the problem.

If you don’t know how to shock a pool, we have a great article on it here
The best pool shock will help free up chlorine and kill chloramines in the swimming pool.


Check Out This Short Video on How To Fix A Cloudy Pool:


Keep the Filter Clean

As you determine the best method to use to fix your cloudy swimming pool, it will be important to ensure that your pool filter system is clean and working properly throughout the process.

This is very important to continue keeping your swimming pool crystal clear.

Conclusively, don’t give up if you encounter cloudy pool water. You can try the above-discussed suggestions so you’ll have clean sparkling pool water.

You don’t need to spend a lot of money and time on this process as you can see.

We hope this information on how to fix a cloudy pool has been informative and helpful. 

For new pool owners who have just shocked their pool, they often ask that “why is my pool water cloudy after shocking?”. While time is also a priority, clearing a cloudy pool would require the expenditure of money.


Moreover, if you aren’t a fan of a clear pool, health reasons might also change your outlook. In addition to the usual ramifications, people have also reported eye discomfort, an eyesore and short filter cycles resulting from a cloudy pool.

Thus, if you’re going to a public pool, make sure that it is clean. Otherwise, if the pool is cloudy, don’t jump into it. This might cost you a bit of excitement, but your health will remain safe.


Why is My Pool Water Cloudy after Shocking?

There could be many reasons for a cloudy pool. However, when it comes to shocking, the main reasons are listed below. Moreover, in addition to giving you the reasons, we have also included remedies to solve your problem.

Pool Chemicals

pool chemicals


The first reason –the most common cause of a cloudy pool water, is the imbalanced concentration of pool chemicals. When added in an adequate amount, they will maintain the pH, alkalinity, and chlorine levels of the pool. However, if the concentration is imbalanced, they will give your pool a cloudy appearance.


Therefore, in order to prevent this from happening, properly maintain the chemistry of your swimming pool water.

Problems with the filter

Most people have a misconception that only shocking the pool would make it clear. While it is a step in clearing the water, pool shocking is not the whole process. In simple words, shocking the pool water won’t do the whole job for you.

You’ll have to filter the water as well. If the filter is not working properly, the pool water will turn cloudy. Hence, the proper functioning of the filter is crucial to maintaining a clean pool water.

dirty pool filters



For example, if you have a sand filter, the cloudy appearance won’t go away for a week. As a result, if you have a sand filter installed in your pool, all you can do is wait. Or, if you have the willpower, you could replace the sand in the filter as well. This should solve your problem.

In the case of a cartridge filter, pool water will turn cloudy if the cartridge is not in good working condition. In this case, you’ll have no choice but to replace the cartridge. However, the problem can also arise when you have just replaced the cartridge.

This usually happens when the filtering rate exceeds the upper limit of the filter. As you might guess, the cartridge filter has an upper working limit. Go above that limit and the filter will malfunction. Consequently, cloudy pool water will follow soon.

Lastly, for a DE filter, there could be a myriad of reasons for a cloudy pool water. The two most common ones are the absence of backwashing of the filter and the lack of washing of the DE.


However, if you think that your filter doesn’t have any of these two problems, you need to consult a specialist as it may be defective. In this case, your filter will need a repair to start working effectively once again.

High levels of Calcium

There was a time when chlorine was the universal leader in pool shocking chemicals. However, due to the dangers associated with its usage, that time is long gone now. Chlorine often decreases the pH level of the pool, thereby aggravating the formation of algae.

This algae, once fully formed, could turn your pool water green and/or cloudy. Hence, the use of chlorine as a shocking chemical was reduced.

Since most people use calcium hypochlorite now, the major reason for a cloudy pool water is high levels of calcium. With the high levels of calcium, your pool water will become hard.


This usually happens when the calcium levels of your pool exceed 220ppm. Thus, if you want to prevent this from happening, maintain the calcium levels in the optimum range of 180-220ppm.

High Level of Cyanuric Acid

Another reason for a cloudy pool after shocking is the high level of Cyanuric Acid. While it is added to water in dissolved form, the solubility of cyanuric acid in water isn’t very high. As a result, sometimes it can come out of solution. This usually happens when its levels go above 50ppm.

High Alkalinity

High alkalinity is yet another reason for a cloudy pool water. In case the chemicals have made water highly alkaline, it will start to throw off bicarbonates in powder form. These bicarbonates will then come on the surface of the water to make it cloudy.

In case you are searching for a remedy, I would recommend you to go for a pool clarifier. Most pools get cloudy due to the tiny particles of bicarbonates which appear on their surface. Since these particles have low density, they won’t easily settle down.


Consequently, it becomes nearly impossible for the filter to entrap these particles. A pool clarifier sorts out this problem by binding these particles. Once bonded, they will go down due to their own weight. As a result, the filter will entrap them easily.



It is not possible for anyone to assure that your pool water won’t turn cloudy. However, if you don’t live in an adverse weather area, make sure that your “efforts” don’t make the water cloudy. When mistakes happen, the above-mentioned tips should help you.

Hopefully, you were able to learn something from this “Why is My Pool Water Cloudy after Shocking?” article.


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