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Pool foam is usually caused by either too many chemicals or excess contaminants. In most circumstances, pool foam isn’t harmful to you or your pool but can cause damage if left untreated.

Calcium hardness in the water can develop in the pool filter and pump, causing damage to pool parts. It can also cause erosion to your metal parts and can clog pipes. If you notice your pool is foamy, it’s time to get rid of the excess algaecide and other treatment chemicals.

If you want to know how to balance your pool, keep reading.

Why Does Pool Foam Develop in Pools? 

A high organic load usually causes pool foam. However, the cause can also be too much algaecide or an unacceptable calcium hardness level. Low calcium hardness refers to the amount of mineral deposits in the pool water on parts per million bases.

If the water’s hardness is either too hard or too soft, it can cause the pool to foam. Soft water occurs when the calcium hardness falls below 150 parts per million. Hard water can occur when calcium and mineral deposits develop on the pool filter or walls.

Regularly cleaning your filtration system can help keep your pool chemistry balanced.

Too many chemicals can also make your pool water foamy. This is especially true if you add too much algaecide. If you see the bubbles coming from your pool pump system, there’s a good chance you used too much algaecide.

Finally, another common cause is a high organic load. Organic materials build up from pool use. People leave behind skin cells, oils, and other contaminants that can accumulate over time. This is why proper pool maintenance is so essential.

If these contaminants get too high, they can cause bubbles and foam in the pool.

Why Would Your Swimming Pool Have White Foam? 

White foam indicates a chemical imbalance in your pool. This means you used too many anti-algae chemicals. Or it can mean your chlorine and pH are off balance.

However, white foam and bubbles can also indicate that your chlorine isn’t working as it should. Keeping your pool clean will help prevent pool foam from occurring. Large quantities of dead skin cells and beauty products like hair spray can make the pool water foam.

Chlorine should break down these compounds and eliminate the high volume of contaminants. However, if your chlorine and pH are not correctly balanced, it can mean these contaminants won’t break down as they should.

Why Would Your Swimming Pool Have Green Foam? 

Green foam has the same fundamental cause as a white foam. However, if you notice your pool foaming green, you have algae growth in your water. 

This foam is typically formed from an over-accumulation of bodily fluids and oils. Since there’s algae growth in the water, it also means there are not enough sanitizing chemicals in the pool water.

When combined, these imbalances lead to an unpleasant green foam.

Is it Dangerous to Have Foam in Your Pool Water? 

A foamy pool isn’t necessarily dangerous to swim in. However, it does depend on the cause of the foam.

The foam is harmless if the cause is a mineral imbalance in your swimming pool. However, if the swimming pool needs more water sanitizer, it can mean you have high amounts of bacteria.

If your pool has a lot of bacteria and parasites, it can harm your body. Drinking contaminated water or getting it inside a wound can cause an infection. 

Swimming pool foam can indicate your pool has dangerous contaminants or high volumes of bodily fluids. This can be very dangerous if the pool chemicals aren’t doing their job and purifying the water.

Generally speaking, swimming in your pool is okay if you have pool foam. However, chemical imbalances can indicate high levels of bacteria and parasites that can be dangerous.

Can Too Much Algaecide Cause a Foamy Pool?

Too many pool chemicals sometimes cause pool foam in the water. This is especially true if you notice white foam by the filter and undissolved chemicals on the pool floor.

Too much algaecide in your pool can cause a lot of bubbles on the pool surface. Pool foam can develop because algaecide thickens your water, making it unsuitable for algae to grow.

Whenever you use the pool filter or people swim in the water, disturbing the surface and creating pool foam. This foam happens because the water is thicker than usual due to the excess algaecide.

The best way to get rid of the excess swimming pool foam is to perform regular chlorine treatments. The more you run your pump, the more fresh water is pushed through the pool system. This causes the algaecide to dissipate and dissolve.

What Pool Chemicals Are Best to Get Rid of Pool Foam?

Anti-foam chemicals are the best option for limiting the level of pool foam. However, these chemicals only work to prevent air bubbles in your pool. You’ll have to wait a few hours before the next pool use because the chemicals aren’t safe for swimming.

The best solution is to reduce the chemical levels by backwashing your pool or adding chlorine treatments. Adding enough pool chemicals for your pool size is the best way to prevent foam.

Algaecide and other chemicals aren’t necessarily dangerous as long as they are balanced. Once the pool’s water displaces the chemicals, the pool foam will disappear.

Can Regular Maintenance Prevent Swimming Pool Foam?

Regular maintenance can prevent foam by cleaning out bodily fluids and debris. If your pool has cloudy water, it’s indicative that you need to do more regular maintenance. Alage in your pool indicates that you aren’t maintaining your pool the way you should.

Pools need to be tested and balanced regularly to prevent foaming. If a pool is used regularly, it can mean your pool water has many contaminants and you’re not performing enough chlorine treatments.

Use test strips to determine if the pool chemicals are properly balanced. Pools need the right amount of chemicals to stay clean and prevent foaming. Regularly maintaining your pool will eliminate debris and contaminants, keeping the pool water flowing properly.


Home pools don’t have as much of an issue with debris and contaminants as public pools. But proper pool care can help eliminate the excess contaminants and keep your pool clean.

Often, pool foam is caused by improper use of a pool chemical. This makes the pool water foam and bubble whenever the pool’s surface is disturbed.

Always follow the pool chemical directions. Backwash and run your pool filter regularly when you have pool foam to remove the excess chemical from the water.


Can Laundry Detergent Cause Bubbles on a Pool’s Surface?

You might be wondering why you would add laundry detergent to your pool. Of course, you wouldn’t, but laundry detergent can get in your pool from contaminated sources.

The most common cause is clothing and bathing suits with lingering detergent. When people use the swimming pool, it can cross-contaminate with the water. Pool foam could just mean there’s too much detergent in your washing machine, or you’re swimming in your clothes rather than a swimsuit.

Does Debris Build-Up cause Foaming?

Skin cells, hair care products, and oils from the human body can cause a foamy pool. Hair care products like straightening or curling iron oils can contaminate your pool and thicken the water.

Hair gel and spray can contaminate pools and make pool foam. The best way to avoid this pool foam is to rinse your hair before entering the pool. Similar to how detergent can cause pool foam through cross-contamination, hair spray and products can also contaminate your pool.

What Type of Anti foam chemicals Should a Pool Owner Use?

Brands like Green Gobbler are some of the best options. These natural-based anti-foam chemicals are usually better since they don’t interfere with your pool’s chemistry. This can make them a good choice if you’re hoping to host a pool party and don’t want to offset the balance of your pool.

However, the best way to get rid of pool foam is to flush out some of the water by backwashing. It helps remove old water, which must be replaced with untreated water. This will help remove the pool foam permanently, whereas anti-foam treatments only temporarily treat the problem.