How to Fix Cloudy Water

How to Fix Cloudy Water

Imagine having a cloudy, murky, almost-green tinted pool. Don’t fret, the Creature from the Black Lagoon hasn’t taken residence in your place of leisure. What has happened, however, is that something (or things) has caused your pool water to look not as picturesque as you’d like. There are many factors that can contribute to cloudy water, but some more common issues include a lack of chlorine, filtration problems, weather, and increased swimmer usage. Before you can fix this problem, you’ll need to do some detective work and figure out what the root of the problem is and how to remedy it. Cloudy water also can be the result of any of several different causes. There are a number of reasons that could cause your pool to be cloudy, which is why it can be difficult to pin point the cause and fix it.

Get Your Water Tested

We advise you to test your pool water using a home test kit. Many chemical factors can contribute toward cloudy water and it is important to address these. Follow all recommendations from your water test to balance your water first. If you have chlorine issues, wait to treat those until completing the steps below. Once you have completed adding the needed chemicals, wait for at least 4 hours and then use the following steps to help treat your cloudy water.


Low Chlorine Levels

If there is a difference between your Total Available Chlorine and your Free Available Chlorine, this problem should be addressed with a product such as Leslie’s Fresh ‘N Clear. Make sure to follow all product directions. Fresh ‘N Clear is an oxidizer that breaks up organic contaminants that trap the chlorine and prevent it from doing its job.

After using this product, your total chlorine will remain the same, but the available chlorine that helps sanitizes and clears the pool will now increase. Fresh ‘N Clear also has built-in clarifier that will assist with the cleanup.


If there is no difference between the total and available chlorine in your pool, you will want to use a clarifying product such as Leslie’s Ultra Bright. What’s a clarifier? You might be asking yourself right now. A clarifier traps tiny particles together to allow your filter to efficiently remove them.

Make sure to follow product descriptions and do not over treat with Ultra Bright. Often, this will make the problem worse.

Zero Chlorine Levels

If zero chlorine is present in the water to begin with, you will want to shock your pool with a product like Leslie’s Power Powder Plus. This will drastically increase the chlorine levels to help sanitize the water and the contaminants in it. 

Dirty Filter Cartridges

If the problem does not exist within the chlorine levels of your pool, then it might be time to check the pressure on the filter pressure gauge of your pool filter. If the PSI is 8-10 PSI higher than its starting pressure, this is a definite sign that your filter needs to be cleaned or replaced. In fact, we have a great Pro Tips article and video that can help you with this.

Go to Your Local Leslie's Store

If you continue having problems, get your water tested at a local Leslie’s store and a pool professional will recommend what steps will be needed.


One thing is for sure—a cloudy pool is not just an appearance issue. Any pool owner knows that a properly maintained and treated pool should look pristine and crystal clear. So if, in fact, you happen to have cloudy water in your pool, chances are there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed and fixed immediately. Cloudy water may expose swimmers to a variety of pathogens, so just hold off on the cannon balls until your pool is back to its immaculate appearance.