Most pool owners are frustrated when their swimming pool isn’t looking its best – and sometimes, the problem with your pool can be very confusing when it first emerges. If your water is crystal clear but you have a layer of foam on top, it can be baffling.
While it is natural for your return jets to form some bubbles as they return water to your pool, these air bubbles should dissipate quickly. A layer of foam that sticks around in your swimming pool water means there is an issue with your water.
Luckily, removing foam from your swimming pool water is easy. The tricky part is figuring out what caused the foam before you treat your water.
Understanding the causes of swimming pool foam
Foam in your swimming pool water can be caused by many different issues, but they all break down into two categories: Either there are too many additional chemicals in your pool water, or your swimming pool chemistry is out of balance.
Additional chemicals in your pool water can come from your own maintenance, but can also be the result of other things being introduced to your pool water. Although there are many different causes of pool foaming, it is usually very easy to fix the problem once you have identified the cause.
Causes and solutions for swimming pool foaming:
The problem: shampoo, makeup and other beauty products
When your pool is in high demand, shampoo, makeup, lotions, conditioners and even sunscreen can rinse off and remain in the pool water. While all of these products are necessary, they can cause foaming if too many people or too many products have been in your pool water.
When lotions and sunscreen are building up in your pool water, foam will not be your only clue. If you notice a filmy, silky surface to your swimming pool water between the foam, chances are you simply have too much buildup of beauty products in your water.
The solution to swimming pool foaming caused by beauty products
Unfortunately, most of your pool chemicals will not be able to break down the oils in beauty products. This means that shocking your pool or increasing chlorine won’t solve this problem right away. The good news is that when you run your pool as normal, this problem will resolve itself over time.
If you notice that you have an excessive buildup of products in your pool, you may want to try cleaning your filter, and running your pump for longer than normal. Then, you can skim the surface of the pool with a fine mesh skimmer to speed the process along.
The problem: Soaps and detergents
Soaps and detergents can end up in your swimming pool water all kinds of ways. Swimsuits that aren’t rinsed, or ill-advised attempts at cleaning are both very common reasons. One of the frustrating parts about discovering soaps and detergents in your water is that they may be there as a result of an ill-fated cleaning attempt.
If your water chemistry is in balance but your water is forming a foam, chances are there are soaps or detergents that have built up (or been introduced) in the water.
The solution to swimming pool foaming caused by soaps and detergents
If you’ve discovered that soap or detergents are in your water, removing the foam is an easy fix. By simply treating your water by shocking it will remove any lingering foams or detergents.
To avoid soaps in water, you can encourage bathers to take a quick shower before hopping in the pool. In addition, you should always use quality pool chemicals and cleaners for your pool to avoid issues with foaming water.
The problem: low calcium levels
You’ve probably heard of “soft water” and “hard water” before – usually in reference to your home water supply. Water is described as hard or soft if the calcium levels are too high or low. Unbalanced calcium levels can cause many different problems in your swimming pool, but low calcium is also one of the main culprits for causing pool foam.
The solution to swimming pool foaming caused by low calcium levels
If your pool is foaming because of low calcium, the solution is simple. You’ll need to test your water and then treat it with a calcium hardness product like Regal Calcium Plus. It may take a couple of treatments, but once your calcium is back in balance, your foaming issue should be resolved.
If you note low calcium levels in your swimming pool, the problem may be chronic if you use your home water supply. Be sure to regularly test and treat for low calcium to prevent problems in the future.
The problem: too much algaecide
Fighting algae can be tough, especially if you’ve had a severe invasion or the weather conditions are right for algae bloom. In the battle against algae, you may have to use quite a bit of algaecide to clear up an infestation in your pool. When algaecide levels in the water are high, it can cause your swimming pool water to foam up temporarily.
The solution for swimming pool foaming caused by algaecide
Conveniently, foaming caused by algaecide is a problem that will resolve itself. You simply need to wait. Though it may be frustrating to look at, algaecide foaming is a necessary side effect of defeating algae in your pool once and for all. Plus, if you’ve recently had algae, foam will seem minor in comparison.
If you have a lot of foaming in your pool water after an algae treatment, finish up with one more shock and run your pump and filter. This should take care of any lingering foam (and any lingering algae).
Keeping your swimming pool foam free
Keeping the swimming pool crystal-clear and inviting is always a challenge. But, keeping your water clean and in balance at all times is the first step in avoiding foam, and other complications for your pool. Once you’ve gotten your pool cleaned up and foam-free, make sure that you regularly test and balance your water going forward. With balanced water, you will have foam-free water, and you’ll also be able to avoid other issues with your swimming pool and equipment.