How to Clean a Pool Full of Leaves

If you are a new pool owner, you might be wondering how to clean a pool that is full of fallen leaves. This is a very common problem that many homeowners face in the fall and winter months, especially those who live in areas with a lot of trees.

Cleaning a pool full of leaves is a pain, there’s no doubt about it. But with the right tools and a bit of patience, you can get your pool back to its normal, sparkling self in no time.

Cleaning a Swimming Pool Full of Leaves

The easiest way to clean a pool full of leaves is to get the leaves out of the water. This is done by using a leaf rake or leaf scoop to pull the leaves out of the water.

1) Skim the Surface

If you have a swimming pool leaf rake, you can use it for the first step of cleaning your pool. Simply skim the top of the water with a leaf rake, removing all of the floating debris. Try to get as much off of the top as possible so that it will not sink down to the bottom of your swimming pool when you are vacuuming.

2) Skim the Bottom

Use your leaf rake again to skim the bottom of the pool for leaves (and any other debris)

If you don’t have a pool rake, the Protuff Pool Leaf Rake is a good choice.

For Cleaning a Pool with Large Amount of Leaves

If you have a lot of leaves in your pool, consider using a pool leaf vacuum. It can be called a “leaf bagger” or “leaf eater.”

Poolmaster 28300 Pool Leaf Vacuum

Powerful Suction

When the vacuum is connected to a garden hose, water nozzles located on the underside of the vacuum convert into mini jets that create suction and lift debris into the vacuum bag.

Easy To Maneuver

Four wheels on the vacuum allow you to easily maneuver it along the pool floor.

Reusable Leaf Bag

The reusable all-purpose mesh bag with push-lock closure can be placed easily around the neck of the vacuum.

See a pool leaf vacuum in action at the video below.


In this video, InyoPools guides you through installing and operating a pool leaf vacuum.

The Pool Blaster Leaf Vac

The Leaf Vac is battery-operated, so you don’t need to hook it up to a garden hose.

The Leaf Vac provides an easy and convenient method for cleaning debris from the pool bottom or surface skimming. You can operate the Leaf Vac for up to 3 hours on a set of 8(8) AA batteries.

For Cleaning a Pool With Moderate Amount of Leaves

If you have a moderate amount of leaves you can use your automatic pool cleaner.

Every two to three days, use an automatic pool cleaner to clean the bottom of your pool. The cleaner will pick up most of the debris and leaves, making it easier to skim off what remains on the surface.

For Cleaning a Pool With Few Amount of Leaves

If you have very few leaves, your manual vacuum and suction side cleaner with leaf canister attachment may be all you will ever need.

The Hayward W560 Standard Leaf Canister

This leaf canister attaches directly to your cleaner’s hose, so it works with most suction-side cleaners

The Hayward W530 Large Capacity Leaf Canister 

The large capacity canister features a mesh bag that collects large and small debris while allowing water to flow through freely.

How to Protect Your Pool From Leaves

The best way to keep leaves out of your pool is to prevent them from landing in it. You can either remove the leaves before they get wet or after they’ve fallen into your pool.

Keep Your Trees Trimmed

If you have an overgrown tree, you may want to trim back some branches so that fewer leaves fall into your pool. Since the leaves won’t fall as far from the tree, they’ll have less of a chance of ending up in your pool

Solar Floating Skimmer

The Solar powered pool skimmer uses the sun’s energy to paddle around the pool gobbling up debris on the surface before it can sink. The debris goes into a tray with a fine mesh filter, which allows it to capture micro particles such as pollen, dust, hair and suntan oil.

Consider a Pool Cover

A pool cover is designed to keep debris out of your pool and it’s ideal if you want to make sure that no leaves or other items end up in your water.

Solar covers will help heat up the water temperature by trapping sunlight and also prevent debris from getting into your pool.

Taking measures to keep your pool free of debris will reduce the number of times you need to clean it and address water clarity issues.

Final Thoughts

Cleaning a pool that is full of fallen leaves is not a fun job, but if you don’t get the leaves out of the pool fast, they will clog up your filter and make it hard to keep the pool clean. They’ll make the water dirty and the remaining leaves will continue to decompose in the pool, which can lead to staining and other problems.

Pool cleaning is hard work, but it doesn’t have to be. There are many ways to use leaf skimmers, rakes and other pool cleaning tools to minimize the time and effort you put into maintaining your pool.

The pool leaf rake is an excellent pool vacuum for cleaning debris and leaves from the surface of a swimming pool. In my opinion, this is the most effective leaf rake to buy. However, it can be hard work and requires many passes of the pool to get all the leaves.