Adding baking soda will not make your pool water clear. Cloudy or milky pool is caused by many issues, including reduced pH and alkalinity, high chlorine levels, excessive calcium hardness, early stages of algae, high ammonia, clogged pool filter and debris. Adding Baking soda will exacerbate most, if not all, of these problems, potentially making your pool water cloudier than before.
Want to know why?
Baking soda is a base and adding it to your pool will raise the water’s alkalinity, or pH levels, which, as stated above, may have caused your pool gray in the first place. Some laymen suggest using baking soda to treat high alkalinity, where in reality the opposite is true. If you want to clear your cloudy pool, you should opt for chlorine.
In this article, we’ll discuss various factors responsible for turning a pool cloudy. We’ll also talk about two methods using which you can clear cloudy pool water fast. All in all, if you’re dealing with cloudy or creamy swimming pool water, you’ve multiple incentives to read this article to the end.
Table of Contents
Why Does a Pool Go Cloudy?
Cloudy or milky pool water is primarily due to:
- Reduced pH and alkalinity. If you were paying attention in your high school chemistry class, you might remember that alkaline water has more active hydrogen bubbles than its active counterpart, which make it cloudy.
- High chlorine levels. When you add too much chlorine to your pool water, the calcium already present will convert (or, in scientific terms) solidify into calcium carbonate, which is a white insoluble solid. Calcium carbonate will thus cause pool water cloudy.
- Excessive calcium hardness. Your pool water contains calcium it absorbed while flowing over limestone in streams or lakes. Calcium ions in the rocks and soil are other sources of this mineral which, when it solidifies, turns the water cloudy.
- Early stages of algae. If your pool water is exposed to high carbon dioxide levels or light when it already contains too many nutrients, algae will start to bloom, giving the water a green tint. Even a small amount of algae will cause cloudy pool water.
- High ammonia levels. If your pool contains high levels of ammonia, the chlorine will react will ammonia to form chloramines. This will reduce the amount of free chlorine in your water and cause cloudiness as too little chlorine also gives water a milky appearance.
- Clogged pool filter. If your pool filter is clogged, it won’t do the job of cleaning the water, even if you run it for 8 to 10 hours per day. As a result, you’ll be left with stagnant water, which is always at an added risk of getting cloudy.
- Too much debris. This factor might or might not be related to the previous one. If your pool filter isn’t working correctly, the debris will remain in the water. The subsequent coming together of dust particles will thus taint your pool’s appearance.
How to Clear Cloudy Pool Water Quickly?
Want to help your pool reclaim its lost glory? One of the best ways is to use a pool clarifier, especially if you’ve ample free time on your hands. However, if you’re in a hurry, you might want to use a chemical called flocculant that will gather all the dirt particles for you to vacuum them out of the pool.
- BENEFITS: Takes dull and cloudy pool water and quickly turns it to a...
- USE: Apply flocculant directly to pool; follow package instructions for...
- COMPATIBILITY: Only for pools that can vacuum settled material directly to...
- FEATURES: Pool floc will not affect pH levels or damage filter equipment;...
- INCLUDES: One 1-qt container of drop out flocculant for your swimming pool...
Here are two ways to clear cloudy pool water:
1. Use Pool Clarifier
- Run your pool filter for 1 to 2 days.
- Add the recommended amount of the clarifier into your pool.
- Let the pool water sit unused with the filter system running constantly.
- After 12 hours have passed, use a vacuum to remove any particles the filter failed to get rid of. Don’t turn off the filter as it may help remove any particles you may have broken up while vacuuming.
- Test your pool’s chemical levels. If they’re within the normal range, you can use your pool for swimming.
2. Use Pool Flocculant
- Run your pool filter for 1 to 2 days
- Add the recommended amount of the flocculant into the pool. Allow the water sit unused for the night as the flocculant gathers the dust particles and settles at the bottom of the pool.
- Set the filter on the “backwash” or “waste” setting.
- Use your pool pump to manually vacuum the particles gathered at the bottom of the pool.
Note: Since you’ve set the pool filter to “waste” setting, you’re going to lose a lot of water. That’s why it’s crucial to have a fresh hose supplying running water to your pool during the entire process.
Should You Swim in a Cloudy Pool?
It isn’t safe to swim in a cloudy pool. Here’s why:
- If cloudiness has made the bottom of your pool hard to see, spotting struggling swimmers might become challenging, raising the risk of drowning.
- Cloudy pools contain pathogens and bacteria which, if ingested, can cause urinary tract infections and stomach problems. Even if you don’t ingest these substances, they might end up causing eye infections.
- Cloudy pools are downright dirty. The fact that your pool water is cloudy indicates it contains inordinate amounts of sunscreen, sweat, body oil, dirt, and even urine. So it’s an excellent suggestion to shock it.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long should it take to clear a cloudy pool?
Depending on how cloudy your pool water currently is, it might take you 48 to 72 hours to clear its cloudiness using the methods mentioned above. Make sure that the filter is running around the clock, the water’s chemistry isn’t skewed, and add the recommended amount of water clarifier once every 2 days until your pool water is crystal clear.
How do I fix a cloudy green pool water?
Follow these steps to fix a cloudy green pool water:
- Vacuum your pool to remove waste
- Scrub your pool’s walls and floors.
- Use a skimmer to remove large debris particles.
- Test the pool’s water to ensure its pH levels aren’t imbalanced
- Shock your pool with chlorine to eliminate algae (the culprit for green pool water)
- Give your pool water a day or two of rest.
- Run its filter of 24 to 48 hours
- Test it again and if pH levels are normal, start swimming!
I graduated with a degree in Chemical Engineering and have written for a number of nationally recognized publications in the home improvement space. My skills include fluid mechanics and process engineering and I have worked on numerous projects, including in waste water flow rate calculation and heat balance of steam rollers in the paper industry. My goal as a technical writer is to make complicated topics easy to understand for the average person.