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Ways to Remove Swimming Pool Foam

Foamy water is no fun to swim in. It doesn’t look right, and you worry if it’s unhealthy. Pool foam normally isn’t unhealthy, but it definitely isn’t right or ideal. Pool Works Pools & Spas of Auburndale, FL, would like to share a little about what pool foam is, why it’s there and what you can do about it.

Pool Skimming and Cleaning in Lakeland FLWhat is pool foam?

Pool foam is often caused by excess organic compounds or contaminants in the pool water. The water becomes thicker, and foam is the result.

Common reasons for organic thickening include:

  • Suntan lotion
  • Skin lotion
  • Natural oils in skin and hair
  • Detergent residue in swimsuits
  • Shampoo, conditioner, gel
  • Makeup
  • Perfume
  • Deodorant

This is why public pools request that you shower before entering. It’s not just to remove the visible, obvious dirt that may be on you, but also to remove foam-causing contaminants that can’t be seen so easily.

Imbalanced chemicals

When pool chemicals are out of balance and introduce a high amount of phosphates into the water, foam is likely to form. In addition, too little calcium chloride can cause foaming, particularly if your water is very “soft” to begin with.
If you suspect your pool water is imbalanced, perform the following measuring tests in this order:

  • pH
  • Calcium hardness
  • Total chlorine

Once everything is adjusted, give your pool pump about 24 hours to clear out the foam.

What TDS means

You may have heard the abbreviation “TDS.” It’s common in the pool care industry, and it means “total dissolved solids.” The more dissolved solids in a pool, the more foamy and unhealthy the water will be, and the more difficult it will be to maintain. A TDS meter will allow you to check the levels of dissolved solids periodically.


Algaecide is commonly used to treat swimming pools, but it can lead to foaming. It’s best to buy a formula without metals, which are responsible for the foam problem. With any algaecide, make sure to follow usage directions exactly.

How to quickly remove pool foam

The information above will help you create a pool climate that normally doesn’t cause a lot of foam. But sometimes, you might want to take matters into your own hands and just get rid of the foam fast. A hand skimmer is the simplest way to remove foam. What you’re not able to pick up with the skimmer will soon disappear, assuming you’ve taken the other steps outlined here. Adding chlorine to the pool will also remove the foam. Pool companies call this a “chlorine shock,” and it effectively removes contaminants and bacteria.

Finally, you can add anti-foam chemicals, which are bottled and ready to use. These agents are designed to remove pool foam without interfering with any other chemicals in the water. Note that with all three of these foam-removal methods, the foam will return if you don’t make the necessary overall adjustments to your pool environment.

Chlorine pool shock and pool chemical care in Winter Haven FLA beautiful pool year-round

If you’re still having trouble preventing foam in your pool, Pool Works is here to help. Our experienced pool technicians will perform the necessary tests and find out exactly what’s causing foam in your pool water. We’ll also get to the bottom of any other pool problems that might exist.

We provide complete pool cleaning and maintenance services, designed to keep your Auburndale-area pool beautiful and healthy all year long. Speak with a pool expert today at (863) 967-2863. You can also reach us with our handy contact form.

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