First off, let’s differentiate pool foam from pool bubbles. Pool bubbles are caused by your return jets or from movement in the water and even the slightest movement or air can cause them to pop and dissipate. Pool foam on the other hand is caused by contaminants and they tend to stick around, causing unsightly and grimy looking foam floating around your pool. Don’t worry too much though, pool foam is very easy to deal with one easy step which we'll cover later.
What is Swimming Pool Foam?
The most common cause for swimming pool foam is a high organic load that causes the water to thicken. With “thick” water, this means that the surface tension is stronger and bubbles caused by your return jets tend to hang around longer, causing foam.
What causes Swimming Pool Foam?
Aside from high organic load, pool foam can be caused by a lot of things, even pool chemicals themselves!
Toiletries and Hair Care Products
Everything that you put on your body and your hair gets deposited into the pool when you jump to it. Extra-moisturising lotion? Into the pool! Hair gel and conditioners? Into the pool! Shampoo residue? Into the pool! Make up? Deodorant? Perfume? Everything into the pool! Do you see the pattern here?
Prevention is simple. Are you ready for it? Take a shower before jumping into the pool! You know, before owning a pool, I never really understood the whole thought of having to shower before getting into the pool. All the while I was thinking that it was to get rid of visible dirt and I was thinking to myself, “I’m relatively clean, why do I need to shower before getting into the pool?”
It was only when I had a pool built that I understood the importance of taking a shower before jumping into the pool. It wasn’t just for visible dirt, but it was more for the invisible dirt like everything that we put on our bodies.
Soap and Laundry Detergent
Before you say, who would put soap and laundry detergent in their pool? Well, we’re not talking about directly putting soap and laundry detergent into your pool, but rather the residues on your bathing suits, clothes, and skin! Again, this can be prevented by taking a shower before jumping into the pool!
Heavy Bather Load
When there are a lot of pool users, take the first two causes, and multiply it by the number of swimmers and you’ll have a lot of contaminants entering your pool that can cause foam! Add to that the organic load from dead skin cells, sweat, and pee (YES! EVERYONE PEES ON THE POOL! NO MATTER WHAT THEY SAY) will overwhelm even the most properly balanced pool water.
How to Get Rid of Swimming Pool Foam
Thankfully removing pool foam isn't like skimming scum from soup! The answer to pool foam? Shock your pool. Yes, it’s that simple. Follow our guide on how to shock your pool here and that should take care of your swimming pool foam problem. And if you have a salt water chlorinator, crank it all the way up to boost chlorination to maximum to help with getting rid of the high organic loads.
Use clarifiers to clear up your pool
Clarifiers can also help remove and prevent swimming pool foam by binding with the particles in the pool water and allowing your pool filter to filter them out and stopping pool foam dead in its tracks!
SEE ALSO: How To Fix Cloudy Pool Water
Other causes of swimming pool foam
Aside from high organic loads, there are things that can cause pool foam that you may not be aware of and one of them is your pool chemicals. That’s right, pool chemicals can cause pool foam.
Pool Chemical Purity
The quality and purity of your pool chemicals can cause pool foam as well. This is the reason why high quality chemicals that are designed specifically for pools like the ones from Zodiac that Mr Pool Man carries on its online shop are a bit more expensive than those unbranded and cheap big-bag chemicals that you can get from warehouses whose quality isn’t guaranteed. And as a caveat, when getting adulterated chemicals, pool foam is the least of your worries! Adulterated chemicals that don’t reach purity standards for pool use can also cause damage to your equipment and may cause irritation to bathers.
Low Calcium Levels
Aside from damaging your pool surfaces, a low calcium level for your pool can also cause pool foam. To fix this, simply raise the calcium levels of your pool with some good quality calcium increaser from Water TechniX and you shouldn’t have a problem with pool foam from soft water.
Too much Algaecide
Another cause for pool foam is putting too much algaecide in your pool. Algaecide can cause your pool water to thicken and can cause pool foam. There’s really no way to fix this aside from waiting for the algaecide to naturally dissipate. So when applying algaecide, make sure to put the recommended dosage. Another downside to putting too much algaecide is that this will affect its effectivity. It’s one of those times where more is definitely not better. And of course, since Algaecide can cause pool foam, it's even more essential that you get a good quality Algaecide to minimize the possibility of pool foam!
And there will also be the problem of low-quality algaecide that leaves cloudy and scummy residues, giving you a whole different set of problems! When it comes to algaecide, be sure to apply only quality ones with a zero-residue guarantee like the Water TechniX algaecide!
Pool foam isn’t a big problem. It’s easy to treat and even easier to prevent! Simply shower before jumping into the pool and if foam starts to present itself, simply shock your pool. As for you chemicals, always get good quality pool chemicals from a reputable dealer like from Mr Pool Man’s online pool shop then pool foam shouldn’t be a problem. As for algaecide, try to follow the recommended dosage as much as possible, if you get foaming from applying it, note down the amount you used and try to reduce the dosage the next time around.
That’s it! Keep the foam in your beer and out of your pool! Cheers!
After dealing with swimming pool foam, make sure to treat your pool with the Water TechniX Ultimate green pool bundle to keep your pool crystal clear and sparkling!
Reading this in Winter? Don't forget to check out our winter money saving tips for pool chemicals page.
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Happy swimming :)