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How to Treat Milky or Cloudy Pool Water

By J. Johnson ; Updated September 21, 2017
Clear pool water is more enjoyable to swim in.

Milky or cloudy swimming pool water can be a challenging problem to deal with. This is generally because it is difficult to know what is causing this unattractive discoloration of the water. One of the best tactics you can use is to try multiple possible solutions, starting with the most manageable or the most likely. Eventually, one of these solutions should be effective at treating the milky or cloudy water that has formed inside your swimming pool.

Remove debris from your pool water using a pool skimmer. Surface debris can be responsible for cloudy water.

Vacuum the floor of your pool using a pool vacuum cleaner. Built-up debris on the pool floor can be causing the milky or cloudy water.

Uncover your pool. The pool cover might be blocking UV rays, which are a natural way to kill bacteria that can cause cloudy water.

Jump in the water and swim around. It might seem unappealing to jump into milky or cloudy water, but lack of water movement may be causing the problem.

Remove any pool toys that have been floating in the water for several days or weeks. These toys could have a buildup of bacteria that are causing the cloudy water.

Balance the chemicals and pH content of the pool. Different areas and types of pools will require different pool chemicals. Check with your local pool supplier to obtain the proper kits for balancing your pool water.


Things You Will Need

  • Pool skimmer
  • Pool vacuum cleaner
  • Chemical kit


  • If your pool water is still cloudy, check your pool filter and pump. Make sure they're running and working properly. If you have doubts, contact a professional pool repair person.

About the Author


J. Johnson has been completing freelance writing work since September 2009. Her work includes writing website content and small client projects. Johnson holds a degree in English from North Carolina State University.