Picture this: it’s the start of summer, and your family wants to kick things off with a good old fashioned cook out. You buy the burgers, tidy the yard, and uncover the pool – only to find that your water is a green, swampy mess. Yes, you’ve got algae, my friend. So what can you do to eliminate algae?

Ask the Experts

 

If you ask the pool experts at PoolXperts, they’ll tell you the answer is simple: shock the water, use an algaecide, vacuum up what’s left behind. True, this method will work, but it’s not the only way. What if you’re out of algaecide? What if you want a more natural solution to eliminate algae – one you can put together with what’s in your closet right now? We’ve got a few solutions that are bound to help you eliminate any algae you may find in your pool, right here, right now:

 

For Black Algae

 

If you ask the folks at Pool Center, they’ll tell you that black algae is one of the most aggravating strains around – and that’s saying something since all algae is pretty aggravating.  You often find this menacing algae setting down roots in your pool walls, leaving unseemly black dots that can ruin anyone’s pool day.

 

If you encounter black algae, you’d better roll up your sleeves, because you’ll have some scrubbing to do, but before you grab the brush and work up some elbow grease, head to the kitchen and grab some baking soda!

 

Bicarbonate, the active ingredient in the baking soda, is an effective spot treatment to help to kill the algae and loosen it from the wall. Then, it’s time to start scrubbing! Make sure you really get every last particle free; black algae has particularly long and stubborn roots, which is why is such a persistent strand of algae. But with enough scrubbing, you can banish the black algae for good.

 

For Mustard Algae

 

If you notice a brown or yellow algae settling on your pool walls or floor, it’s once again time to reach for the scrub brush. As Simple Pool Tips points out, regular cleansers often have a hard time reaching mustard algae because it tends to collect at low water levels. Fortunately, this strain of algae is far less stubborn than black algae, and good scrubbing, vacuuming, and water balancing should clear it up.

 

However, it is important to note that re-infection is very common with mustard algae. This is because the algae may survive on pool toys like floaties or noodles, and it can even escape treatment by hiding in the pool filter. It can even hide out in your trusty scrub brush, undoing all your hard work! Be sure to inspect and clean all your pool supplies and accessories when you notice mustard algae – after all, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

 

For Blue/Green Algae

 

Blue or green algae is the most common strain of pool algae, but that doesn’t mean it’s any less difficult to clean. Green algae clings to the walls of your pool, but it can also be free floating – which creates that murky, swamp-like film over the water that no one wants to swim in. When you’re faced with this algae in your pool, there are two things you’ll need: your old scrub brush (you guessed it) and some borax.

 

In the same way that baking soda can be a spot treatment for black algae, household borax does the same for blue and green algae. Simply use the borax to scrub away algae that’s sticking to your pool walls, then use the brush to dislodge it. You’ll need to follow up by either vacuuming up or scooping out the free-floating algae, but you’ll have a much easier time once the borax has stopped the algae from blooming.

 

Eliminate Algae of All Types

Of course, the best way to deal with algae is to never have it in the first place. Test your water regularly, keep your filter clean and in good working order, and be sure to treat your water after big pool parties. Using a robotic pool skimmer and chemical dispenser like the Solar-Breeze NX will remove debris from the surface of your pool before it has a chance to sink, decay, and turn into food for algae.  With careful pool maintenance, algae can be one thing you don’t have to worry about.

Keith Salvador
Keith SalvadorAuthor
Keith Salvador has been installing swimming pools up and down the California coast for over 15 years. As a freelance writer and consultant, Keith has worked with a number of leading online swimming pool supply shops and publications. When he isn’t taking a dip in his own pool in Santa Rosa, he’s coaching his daughter’s water polo team and enjoying weekends at the beach.