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How to Get Rid of Pool Foam in 2020

How to deal with Pool Foam

Swimming pool bubbles are pretty normal however, after some time they should just disappear. When bubbles accumulate and remain on the surface of the pool, this is often referred to as pool foam. It is not a major problem although slightly annoying, getting rid of it is quite straightforward. There are also preventative measures that you can take to reduce the amount of pool foam that turns up in your swimming pool.

In this article, we are going to provide you with a comprehensive guide on how to get rid of pool foam once and for all. Also, we will provide you with some tips on how to prevent it as well.  Often people think that there is a one size fits all way of getting rid of pool foam however, this is most definitely not the case. You need to establish the cause of the pool foam before you can actually figure out a way of getting rid of it. Sometimes it is caused by unbalanced chemicals in the water, water contamination or sometimes it can be caused by a reduction in calcium in the water. Sometimes the easiest way of getting rid of pool foam is to shock the pool but this does not work in all cases.

Sometimes you simply have to work on balancing the chemicals in the water or you might need to evaluate the particular pool chemical brands that you are using.

Firstly, let’s talk about what pool foam actually is:

What is Swimming Pool Foam?   

Generally, people think that pool foam is just lots of air bubbles in the water. However, this is not the case, pool bubbles are not just made up of air. When you find foam in your swimming pool, it normally indicates that there is a chemical imbalance in your swimming pool. For example, there is excess organic material in the pool that needs to be removed. However, these contaminants are too much to be removed by sanitizing chemicals, this causes thickening of the water.

When it comes to pool foam, the bubbles are thick and heavy therefore, they don’t disappear as easily as normal air bubbles do. When the pool water is disturbed by the jets, or sometimes just the wind, bubbles are formed as a result of this. They then fill up with air, but because of the organic material, they stay on the surface of the water and turn into pool foam.

The Main Causes of Swimming Pool Foam

Even if you clean your swimming pool on a regular basis and monitor the chemical levels in your pool, you still might end up with pool foam in your water once in a while. There are a few key causes of swimming pool foam, here they are:

Hair Cosmetics

One of the primary causes of pool foam is hair cosmetics.  When you get into the swimming pool with hair products such as hair gel, shampoo, hair spray, and other products, they can cause organic material buildup in the swimming pool.  After a period of time, this build-up will cause swimming pool foam.

The Best Way to Deal With it:

The best way of dealing with swimming pool foam that is caused by hair products is to shock the swimming pool. The most effective chemical for shocking the pool for this particular type of pool foam is chlorine. This will eliminate the foam and return your swimming pool to normality. Some pool owners do not like using chlorine products therefore, it is possible to use a chemical that does not have chlorine in it to shock the pool but it will certainly not be as effective.

Prevention is better than cure

Prevention is much better than cure therefore, the best thing to do is find ways of preventing the build-up of organic materials in the first place.  The best way of preventing organic material build-up is to rinse yourself before you enter the swimming pool. Also make sure you rinse out any shampoo or conditioner, as well as hair spray or gel.  For added prevention, wear a fitted swimming cap.

Soap and Laundry Detergent

Shower gels and bar soaps can also cause pool foam if not rinsed off properly. Even if you do rinse off well, mostly these soaps leave some kind of coating on your skin to make your skin feel and smell fresh.  Laundry detergent is another culprit because in order for your clothes to have that fresh scent, the laundry detergent has to leave some kind of coating on your clothes which can cause build-up if you use detergent to wash your swimming costume.  Fabric softeners are also a major problem because they contain fats or oils. These oils keep your clothes feeling soft and in good condition but they leave the organic matter in the swimming pool water which could eventually lead to pool foam.

How to Deal with The Problem

The best way of dealing with the problem is just to shock the pool, this is really the most effective way of fixing pool foam when it is caused by organic materials that foam as a result of build-up from soaps, detergents, and cosmetics.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

You can help to reduce the problem by showering before you enter the pool. You could also evaluate the products that you are using and try and replace toxic products for non-toxic alternatives.

There is also another way of softening your clothes that does not require using chemically based fabric softeners. You can actually use white vinegar to soften them.

How to Deal with The Problem

The best thing is to shock the pool, just like you would do with the hair products build up problem. Once again, chlorine is best.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

Preventing the build-up of organic material is far better than trying to cure the problem of pool foam. Therefore, if you want to stop pool foam from turning up in the first place, take the time to rinse off before you enter the swimming pool.

Too Many Swimmers

For public pools, this will certainly be the major cause of pool foam. If you think about the amount of people swimming that have used lotion, hair conditioner, perfume, and body sprays. Public swimming pools normally have a general rule that all swimmers must rinse off before they enter the pool. With home swimming pools, the number of swimmers entering the pool will be significantly less, however, if you have pool parties and guests come to swim in the pool often, you would certainly need to make it a rule that everyone rinses off before they enter the pool. Swimming caps should also be a must.

How to Deal with The Problem

Once again, shock the pool and shock it well.

Prevention is Better Than Cure

As stated above, make it very clear to anyone who wants to swim in the pool that they must take a shower before they get into the pool. Taking a shower with non-toxic soap and rinse thoroughly before entering the pool is the best thing to do to prevent pool foam.

Pool Chemical Problems

Aside from organic material issues, pool chemical problems can also cause pool foam if not dealt with appropriately. Sometimes there is a chemical imbalance problem it can cause pool foam. When there is an issue with a sanitizer, this could eventually lead to pool foam problems.

Sometimes buying large bottles of pool chemicals in bulk can be an issue. This is not always the case but often when you purchase pool chemicals from bulk-buy stores, the quality of the chemicals can be greatly compromised. If the quality of the chemicals is low, it can actually be detrimental to the chemical balance of the water, this could eventually lead to a pool foam problem.

The Cure

The cure for this problem is to focus on balancing the chemicals in your pool water.  This is what you will need to do:

  1. Use testing strips to measure the chemicals in the water
  2. If the alkalinity is out of whack, you should deal with this problem before you deal with any other issues.  Alkalinity should really be around 100 parts per million, 125 parts per million is the ultimate goal.
  3. Next check the calcium hardness, if this is also out of whack you need to get it to about 220 parts per million, this is for vinyl and fiberglass swimming pools – for concrete and natural material pools, you should be aiming for measurement of 250 parts per million,
  4. Next focus on balancing out the sanitizer levels.  Use the directions on the packaging to figure out the ideal measurements.

When you have fixed the pool chemistry issue, wait for a while, three to four hours is ideal. Then check to see if the foam disappears, if you see no improvement at all, then you will need to shock the swimming pool.

Prevention is better than cure

The best way to prevent pool foam when it is caused by a chemical imbalance is to check your pool chemistry on a regular basis. Be sure that the pool chemistry is correct, and when you notice that it is out of whack, balance it appropriately before the situation escalates.

To conclude

As you can see, preventing and curing pool foam is relatively easy.  Focus on avoidance rather than curing the problem when it arises. It is necessary for you to be fully aware of how to cope with a pool foam issue. However, it is far better to just prevent it in the first place.  Rinse off before you get into the swimming pool, make sure you rinse your hair properly when you use shampoo and conditioner, also wear a swimming cap when you are swimming,

When pool chemistry is the cause of pool foam, cure it by balancing the chemicals and shocking the pool if necessary. 

Posted in pool maintenance

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