Last Updated: February 28, 2021

How to Remove Pollen from Pool

Written By: Pool Care Guide

It is easy to remove pollen from your pool. If you want to keep pollen out of your pool, you will likely need to perform some daily maintenance. As you can see from the short list above, most pool owners will already be familiar with most if not all of the steps. If you aren’t familiar, we hope that you will find the guide below useful.

Step 1
Identify

What Does Pollen Look Like in the Pool?

There are a few ways that a pool might turn yellow. Two of those ways are from algae, yellow and mustard, and the other is from pollen. Thankfully, it’s not difficult to tell algae and pollen apart. Algae can cover the walls and floor of the pool, but pollen will only float at the surface of the pool. Check the walls and floor of the pool. If you don’t see anything there, you should be good to go.

Pollen Identifiers

  • Pollen sticks to the walls at the waterline
  • Pollen sticks to the skimmer
  • Wind can blow pollen into the corners of the pool
  • Floats on the surface (Key identifier)
  • You Can Vacuum Pollen, but you can’t vacuum algae (Key Identifier)
  • Pollen can dissolve and make the water cloudy
  • Pollen can discolor the pool floors.

Step 2
Turn on the Filtration System

Some types of filtration systems will have difficulty with the smaller pollen particles. Pollen particles, on average, will be between 20 and 35 microns. However, they can be as small as 10 microns. 

Cartridge filters can commonly filter microns as small as 10 microns and diatomaceous earth as small as 5 microns. Sand filters will have trouble with the smaller particles since they typically filter 20 microns and larger. The sand filter’s filtration capability can vary depending on the brand and type of sand that you are using

If you have a sand cartridge filter or you just want to make the pollen easier to filter, Step 4 will tell you how to make the pollen easier to remove

Step 3
Skim the Water

When spring comes around and the pollen is out, you might need to skim the pollen a couple of times a day to keep the water clean. Make sure to use a fine mesh head because the small bit of pollen will go through the larger.

Step 4
Add Aluminum Sulfate (Optional, but Recommended)

What to Put in the Pool for Pollen?

If those smaller particles are too small for your pool filter, you will need a flocculant. A flocculant is a chemical compound that promotes the clumping or coagulating of a substance. In this case, that substance is the pollen in your pool. When the pollen clumps, it becomes large enough for the less effective filters to strain out the pollen.

As a side benefit, aluminum sulfate will also help to remove other harmful pool contaminants such as pathogens and phosphates.

Warning - While aluminum sulfates will definitely help to remove pollen from your pool, you should know that it has the potential to damage cartridge filters and diatomaceous earth filters. Since these two types of filters can already filter out pollen, we recommend only using aluminum sulfates on sand filters. 

There are other products that can help cartridge or diatomaceous earth filtration systems to filter out pollen. We’ll talk about those in just a bit.

Step 5
Vacuum the Rest

If the first four steps haven’t removed a sufficient amount of pollen from your pool, you should vacuum out the rest. When a sufficient amount has been removed, make sure to replace the water. You need enough water to be level with the middle of the skimmer’s entrance.

Helpful Products That Can Remove Pollen from Your Pool

If you don’t mind spending a bit of extra money, there are a few products that are very effective at removing pollen from the pool.

Product 1
Pool Skimmer Socks (Recommended)

Pool skimmer socks don’t last very long. They are cheap, disposable, but also quite effective. The before and after results can be quite dramatic and they can supercharge the filtration capabilities of the less effective sand filters. Keep in mind that your water pressure will rise during its use. 

Product 2
Skim Bag

Skim bags are less popular and typically less effective based on the reviews online. We haven’t used these ourselves, so we can’t give our own input. From our research, the gaps in the fabric are generally too large to filter out the small particles of pollen.

On the plus side, the fabric is heavier and more durable than pool skimmer socks.

Product 3: Natural Chemistry First Aid

Many consumers of Natural Chemistry First Aid have reported a lot of success in clearing out their pool of pollen. It’s a highly rated and heavily used remedy. The downside is that it is going to be fairly expensive if you plan on using it regularly.

At the moment (using Amazon), the price is $18.82 and the regular price is listed at $25.20. That will treat just under 34,000 gallons. A 20-pack or 30-pack of skimmer socks will cost you about $13, and each one will last roughly 1 - 3 days. That’s a pretty decent price difference. Of course, skimmer socks also raise the PSI and electricity costs, but they will still be much cheaper than Natural Chemistry First Aid.

Additional Tips for Removing Pollen from Your Pool

Run Pool Pump for Longer

Most likely, pollen is going to pester you for months. To counter it, you may want to let your pool pump run for a longer duration each day. If it is functioning correctly, it should have an impact on the pollen. If it doesn’t, adding a pool skimmer sock should change that.

Pool Shock for Pollen Side Effects

Shocking the pool will likely have very little effect on the pollen itself. However, it will help to eliminate the microorganisms that have been feasting on the decaying pollen. Bacteria can thrive in pollen-rich pool water, so chlorine can prevent a host of secondary problems.

Clean out the Skimmer Baskets

During the warmer months, the skimmer baskets get filled up quickly. Clean them out often to keep the water flowing and the filter filtering, so that the constant onslaught of pollen doesn’t overwhelm the pool. 

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