How to Get Rid of Pool Foam in Swimming Pool

Being a pool owner is a lot of work. You have to maintain the pH levels, chlorine levels, and you have to clean it regularly. However, once you get into a routine, it’s not so bad. Sometimes, your routine won’t be enough and you’ll develop pool foam.

While it may not look appealing, there’s no need to be alarmed if your pool starts to develop foam. Just like you can use a net to scoop leaves out of your pool, there are also products available that help you quickly and easily remove foam from your pool. 

Swimming pool foam is not naturally occurring, but it can develop quickly if the conditions are right. If you want to prevent foam from forming in your pool, there are a few things you can do. First, make sure that your pH levels are balanced. 

You can test your pool water yourself or hire a professional to do it for you. Secondly, avoid using products that contain soap in or around your pool. Finally, make sure that you are properly shocking your pool on a regular basis.

What is Pool Foam?

Pool foam is often mistaken for being just air bubbles. However, it is actually made up of more than just air. Pool foam usually indicates a high organic load in the water, meaning there is more organic material than can be dissolved or eradicated by sanitizer. 

This causes the water to become thicker. Air bubbles are light and have little surface tension, so they pop easily when exposed to any force. Pool foam, on the other hand, is more resistant to force.

When the pool water is agitated, either by the return jets or a breeze, bubbles are created. These bubbles are filled with air, but the surface of the bubbles is made up of organic material buildup.

so they are not as easy to pop. Instead, they remain on the surface and become foam.

How is Pool Foam Different from Air Bubbles?

There are two types of froth that can form in your hot tub water- bubbles and foam. Bubbles are caused by the movement of water, either from the jets or from people getting in and out of the tub.

foam pool float

Foam forms when there is something in the water, like soap, that is causing the water to form into a thick layer.

Thickness is an important factor when distinguishing between bubbles and foam. Bubbles are light and airy, while pool foam mat is thick and dense. Additionally, foam is less likely to pop than bubbles because it is made of different organic materials instead of air.

What Causes Pool Foam?

No matter how clean you keep your pool or how balanced the water is, you may still end up with pool foam from time to time. This is because it can come from innocuous sources, or even from the chemicals you use to clean your pool. 

To get rid of pool foam, you’ll need to adjust the pH levels of the water and shock the pool foam cove.

There are a few different things that can cause pool foam, including:

  • Hair Care Products
  • Pool chemicals
  • Soap or Laundry Detergent
  • Algaecide

Hair Care Products

Even if you don’t use a lot of gel or hairspray, your hair can still introduce organic contaminants into your pool. Over time, the residue left behind by your shampoo and conditioner can build up and cause pool foam.

One way to clean your pool is to shock it with chlorine. This will kill any contaminants and help your pool water to become clear again. You can use chlorine free shock if you prefer, but you may not get the same results.

foam in pool
Dimensions9 x 4 x 1
Item Weight25 pounds
ManufacturerSwim Pool Supplies

Pool chemicals

There are a few things that could be going on here. First, it’s possible that the pool water isn’t balanced correctly. If things get too out of order—especially with your sanitizer—you could end up creating pool foam pad.

Alternately, you may have been trying to save money and bought cheaper chemicals. We’re not talking about the least expensive options from the pool store. We mean the chemicals you can buy in bulk from large stores that don’t specialize in pool chemicals.

If the chemicals in your pool don’t meet minimum safety standards, they could actually cause more harm than good. One way this will be apparent is if your pool starts to get foamy.

pool foam noodles
Dimensions4 x 1 x 6 inches
Item Weight4.8 ounces
ManufacturerRobelle Industries

Soap or Laundry Detergent

Yes, even the soap you use to wash yourself can leave residue on your skin. This is especially true for those soaps and shower gels that claim to moisturize your skin – they have to leave something behind in order to do that. 

The same goes for laundry detergent. How do your clothes still smell fresh after they’ve been rinsed and dried?

Because there’s detergent residue on them, not to mention the coating of tallow (rendered animal fat) deposited on your clothing by fabric softener and dryer sheets.

pool foam cove
Liquid Volume128 Fluid Ounces
Weight8.13 Pounds


Wait, how can a chemical made specifically to take care of your pool cause a problem like pool foam? That just doesn’t seem right.

Well, here’s the thing. Pool chemicals, if used incorrectly, in incorrect amounts, and at incorrect times, can cause problems such as pool foam floats. Algaecide falls into this category.

pool algae
Dimensions10 x 3 x 3 inches
Item Weight2.61 pounds

How to Get Rid of Foam in a Swimming Pool

Depending on the cause, clearing foam in your pool will require different solutions. However, below are four options that you can try to get rid of foam.

1- Remove the Foam Using a Hand Skimmer

The first thing you should do when you notice foam in your pool is to remove it using a hand skimmer. This one task can make a big difference in the overall quality of your pool. 

You likely will not be able to remove all of the bubbles using a pool skimmer – some will pass through the skimmer holes. But don’t worry about that just yet.

If you want to get rid of the small foam in your pool, make sure that all the chemicals are balanced and that the best pool pump is running. This should clear up the foam, especially if the cause is using algaecide.

The next time you’re looking for an algaecide, try to find one that is non-foaming, like Polyquat 60 or In the Swim Pool Algaecide 60 Plus. Copper-based and 10% polymer algaecides can cause metal stains and foaming, so it’s best to avoid them if possible.

2. Balance Your Pool Water Chemistry

The next step you should take to get rid of foam in your pool is to make sure that all the chemicals in your water are well balanced. You can do this by taking measurements for the pH, TA, calcium hardness, and total chlorine. 

Then, you can adjust each one as needed for a standard pool. Be sure to leave your pool pump running for at least 24 hours to give the chemicals time to work.

3. Shock Your Pool Using Chlorine

If your pool’s chemicals are balanced but you’re still seeing foam, you can try shocking the pool. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

1. Turn off the pump and add the recommended amount of shock to the pool.

2. Turn the pump back on and circulate the water for at least an hour.

3. Leave the pool to settle and see if the foam disappears.

4. Add Anti-Foam Chemicals

If the three options above don’t work to get rid of foam, it’s time to use an anti-foam reagent. I recommend Pool & Spa Anti Foam Defoamer Concentrate. This anti-foaming chemical is concentrated and will get rid of foam before your eyes. 

It also doesn’t affect other chemicals in a pool, which is a major consideration before adding any chemical to your pool.

FAQ For Foam in pool

1- Why am I getting foam in my pool?

Pool foam is not a serious issue but does make the pool look dirty. It can be caused by everything from air to shampoo, so you need to know the cause of this problem before fixing it. The solution depends on what’s causing the foam, and knowing which product causes foam will help you get rid of it fast.

2- What kind of foam goes under a pool?

Styrofoam is often used as the base for aboveground pools. The foam protects the liner from sharp rocks that may puncture it.

3- Can too much algaecide cause foam?

When there’s too much algaecide in the pool, the water can become foamy. You’ll see small bubbles being produced as the water is pushed through the return jet and back into the pool. Don’t confuse these bubbles and foam with another common problem, which is air in your pool lines.

4- Can I use carpet padding under pool?

Traditional carpet padding is not a popular pool padding material, but modern closed-cell foam carpet pads may work well, according to the Pool Homeschool blog.