How to Remove Algae from Pool Without a Vacuum

By Algal Web

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Most modern pools are automatically fitted with accessories like a filter, vacuum, and other gear when the pool is installed. but over time, these accessories can wear down and give out. Pool vacuums can make it very easy to keep a pool nice and clean but they can be very expensive. But don’t worry too much if you don’t have a pool vacuum on hand at the moment because in this guide we will show you how to remove green algae from pool without a vacuum.

What is a Pool Vacuum?

A pool vacuum is a device that can be installed on your pool hose to suck up dirt and other small deposits that might have fallen into or might be growing in your pool. These devices usually consist of a vacuum head, vacuum hose, and telescopic pole. Automatic pool vacuums are often called pool crepes or creepy crawlies and will automatically glide all over the pool. Some models are however manual and require you to manually direct the vacuum head inside your pool. You also get advanced smart cordless automatic pool vacuums to clear up your pool. These units are pricey and will need to dock to recharge or manually cleaned to remove algae that are collected. 

Pool vacuums can make it very easy to remove green algae from pools but they can be very expensive. Small pool owners often don’t want to invest in these accessories because they can clutter the pool and they might not be a worthy investment for the pool size. 

What Kills Algae in Pools Naturally?

Algae in your pool need to be killed whether you have a pool vacuum or not. Live algae will only keep returning and multiplying and can make your pool water look murky and green. Most people kill algae with the use of three simple chemicals:

Shock treatment

There are different types of shock treatment like oxidizers and chlorine-based treatments. These Pool shock treatments are designed to attack and kill algae plants. These treatments are usually pretty strong and are only used as a temporary but powerful method to clear up an infested pool.


Chlorine tablets or chlorine granules are the most common pool algae treatments. These products will increase your pool pH level to a basicity level that is unsuitable for algae organisms to live in. A pH level of 7 – 7.6 is recommended for keeping your water crisp and clean.


Alkaline products usually include a combination of dissolved carbonates, bicarbonates, hydroxides, and cyanurates. Your pool water’s alkaline levels can affect your chlorine levels. If the pH is low, the alkalinity is also likely to be low and vice versa. To create a good balance, the pool alkalinity level should be around 80 – 120 ppm. 

There are however other natural products that can also be used to control algae. These products are not as effective but can be useful for people with a chlorine allergy or who might want to repurpose the water for garden use. Here is a quick look at a few natural products to use for killing algae.

Baking soda

Bicarbonate, the active ingredient in baking soda, is a good spot treatment to kill and loosen algae from walls. This treatment can be used to remove black algae but you will need to scrub loose every particle or it will regrow.

Household borax

You can use borax to scrub away algae sticking to your pool walls. The borax, like baking soda, will kill and loosen the algae.

Dead algae particles will keep floating and sinking to your pool bottom no matter what product you use for killing them. These particles need to be filtered out and cleared from the pool water or they will start to compose which can make your pool water smell bad and look murky. 

Is it Safe to Swim in a Pool with Dead Algae?

After treating your pool, the algae will be killed and dead particles will remain floating in your pool. It is relatively safe to swim in pools with dead algae but most people find it unappealing since these waters can smell bad and the thought of smelling in green slimy waters isn’t very refreshing. 

Algae can be slippery. When the dead deposits sink to the bottom of the pool they can make your pool floor slippery which can make it hard to stay upright in your pool or can result in a bad fall. 

Dead algae particles can also lure other types of insects and bacterial growths to your pool. These insects or organisms could pose a threat to your health. 

Even though you are not very likely to get sick from swimming in dead algae water, it is best to clear up the pool. Clean pool water is much more inviting and will also make your garden look more appealing.

How to Remove Algae from Pool Without a Vacuum

Just because you don’t have a pool vacuum cleaner doesn’t mean you can enjoy clean pool water. Here is a quick look at the best steps to help you restore your pool water without these expensive accessories.

Clean The Pool Filter

Your pool filter is responsible for clearing most of the dead and loose algae from your pool. But this device cant help you if it is all clogged up. Sand pool filters should be properly back washed to clear them and other filter types like pool filter cartridges should be cleaned before you get to work on restoring your pool water. 

Follow the manufacturer’s recommendations carefully when you clean the filter so you won’t end up hurting yourself or damaging your filter unit.

Once cleaned, it will automatically filter out any algae that get sucked into the filtration system through the pump. 

Check the Pool Pump

The pool pump is responsible for circulating the water so it can run through the filter. Check your pool pump and make sure that it isn’t clogged up. A pool skimmer or pool strainer can be used to clean your pool pump. 

Proper pool circulation isn’t just important for getting rid of algae but it will also help keep your pool clean from dirt and other deposits in the future.

Brush Your Pool Floor and Walls

This is a very important step that shouldn’t be neglected. Most algae species secrete a layer of slime. This layer of slime protects the algae plant from pool chemicals and might affect the efficiency of your pool cleaning products. By scrubbing the slime layer off the algae, these aquatic plants become more vulnerable to chemical treatments. 

Get a hard bristle pool brush and scrub the entire pool’s wall and the floor surface. Pay attention to areas with plenty of growth of algae and dirt. 

Scrubbing the surface will loosen plenty of growth of algae so these particles can be sucked up by the pool pump. 

Apply a Shock Treatment

A proper shock treatment or multi-purpose algaecide like calcium hypochlorite pool shock can be extremely helpful for cleaning tough algae or excessive algae breakouts. 

These multipurpose algaecide products can burn your skin upon contact. Follow the instructions carefully when adding these products to your pool. Wear gloves and protective goggles when you handle the shock treatment and avoid swimming in your pool for a couple of days after adding the shock treatment or it could result in skin rashes.

You can also use a pool clarifier if the pool looks green or to clear up a cloudy pool.

Test and Restore Your Pool Water Levels

Your pool water levels should have a pH chlorine level of 7 – 7.6 and an alkaline level of 80 – 120 ppm to effectively kill and prevent algae from growing back in your swimming pool. 

Get a pool testing kit and test your pool level so you can include the right amount of chlorine tablets or alkaline granules to bring your pool water back up to standard.

Once the chemical levels of your swimming pool have been restored, the algae will start to die and might turn brown. Dead algae tend to sink to the bottom of the pool.

Scoop Out Large Debris

Get a pool net and scoop out any large green waste like large chunks of algae, leaves, twigs, and anything else that might be floating in your pool. This debris can clog up your filter pump.

How To Remove Algae From a Pool That Has a Filter 

Once all the algae have been loosened from the pool, you can turn on the pool pump so the water can wash through the filter. All algae particles will automatically be cleared from the water as you work. 

For particularly dirty pool water it might be good to flush or clean the filter system regularly because they can become more clogged up over time.

To boost the circulation in your pool or to lift algae pieces from the bottom of the pool, you can also insert a garden hose. The clean water will create circulation so the algae debris can be washed up. 

You can also use the pool net or a pedal to stir the water. Insert the pedal deep into the water and keep stirring so the dead algae particles can swarm upwards toward the filter pump drain.

How To Remove Algae From a Pool That Doesn’t Have a Filter

Clearing algae from a swimming pool without a filter is going to require extra effort because it will involve a lot of time, patience, and manual labor. 

Follow the first steps to loosen and kill all algae growth in the water.  Allow the pool water to sit so the dead algae can sink and collect at the bottom.  You can now use a strong brush to gently sweep all the algae gently so the pieces won’t scatter. Pile up as much debris as you can. Once you have a nice and big pile, you can grab a dustpan and gently climb into the pool. Scoop the piled-up algae from pool water with your dustpan for disposal. 

Final Thoughts

We do hope that this guide taught you how to remove algae from pool without a vacuum. If you want to learn more about pool algae species or other pool cleaning methods then you should have a look at some of the other guides we have on AlgalWeb. With our site, you can find the best advice to maintain any type of alga species in any water body.

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