How to take steps to be clean and green

Everyone loves to stay in a clean and green environment, we always dream of a clean and pollution free environment. Very few people make an effort to take any action to maintain a clean environment. Even though civic agencies are charged with the responsibility to ensure that the environment is clean, it is also important to support them to maintain a clean and a green environment. It is our responsibility to keep our surroundings neat because this will help us live healthily.

There are many we can do to keep our surroundings clean since every household generates wastes, we should avoid throwing the waste everywhere. Garbage pollutes our environment, especially the plastic bags. We need to be eco-friendly by using bags that can be recycled like paper or jute bags instead of plastic bags. We can only maintain a green environment by planting trees and plants to make our environment beautiful. Plants can help in cleaning the air, having them in the house will reduce indoor pollution by more than half. Since we live in the society and we are part of the environment, we have the moral responsibility to contribute to a clean environment.

To make our environment clean and green, we need to take action and be the change that we want to see in others; everyone keeps on complaining about how other people are polluting the environment without taking any corrective measure. Most of the time we also pollute the environment by engaging in several activities like littering. As change agents, we need to set a good example by using dustbins and burning waste to keep our environment clean.

Reuse products whenever you can, manufacturers use a lot of materials when packaging hence we end up with many waste products, instead of throwing some of the items used for packaging we can try reusing them. For instance, boxes used for packaging can be used for storage. If only we can be creative, you will be surprised to know many ways of reusing items that you thought were trash. To maintain a clean environment, it is important to buy items made of non-toxic and recycled materials to help conserve valuable resources. Instead of buying disposable plates, cups invest good quality items that can be washed and be reused.

One of the simplest ways of maintaining a good environment is to take care of our trees because tree helps in purifying the air and controlling air pollution. Having allotted of trees within our neighborhood will enable us to stay healthy. Proper use of water is equally important since water is the most important resources proper use and storage of water will help have enough to use. Excess or deficit of water is harmful, water logging around the houses can result to disease because mosquitoes will breed causing malaria and other deadly diseases. There are several ways we can get involved to save the environment.

Many charity events in our community are devoted toward saving the environment. You can choose to participate in these events at the local level to make a difference in the society. You will feel great by helping in a worthwhile course and set a good example for others. We do not need allot of resources to save the environment, sometimes the best thing to do is to make small changes in our everyday activities. The small things will add up to make a significant difference in our environment. You need to review everything you do and see what you can do differently to maintain a clean and green environment.

How to take steps to be clean and green

April 18, 2017 — Here at the NOAA Marine Debris Program, Earth Day is every day and we are always encouraging others to get involved and support efforts working toward a clean environment and healthy planet.

Our oceans are filled with items that do not belong there. Huge amounts of consumer plastics, metals, rubber, paper, textiles, derelict fishing gear, vessels, and other lost or discarded items enter the marine environment every day, making marine debris one of the most widespread pollution problems facing the world’s ocean and waterways.The ultimate solution to the problem lies with every single one of us—preventing marine debris in the first place.

First, consider how you might personally contribute to marine debris and follow the “4Rs” whenever possible. Refuse unnecessary single-use items, like plastic straws or cutlery when possible. Reduce the amount of waste you produce by choosing products with less packaging. Reuse items when you can and choose reusable items over disposable ones. And, Recycle as much as possible — bottles, cell phones, ink cartridges, and many other items can be recycled.

Next, spread the word to others! Tell your family, friends, community, and more about this important issue and what they can do to help.

Here are a few easy and effective ways you can choose to reduce your daily impact and make a world of difference:

  1. Bring a bag. Remember to bring reusable bags to the grocery store or for any other shopping activities to reduce consumption of disposable bags.
  2. Invest in a reusable water bottle. Acquiring a reusable water bottle would not only greatly reduce the amount of single-use plastic you use, but it would also save you money in the long run! If you’re concerned about the quality of your tap water, consider using a water filter.
  3. Bring your own reusable cup. Think about how many disposable cups are used every day in just your local coffee shop. Bringing a mug for your morning coffee can reduce the amount of waste you produce annually. Imagine how much waste we could reduce if we all made this simple daily change!
  4. Refuse single-use items. Take note on how often you rely on single-use items and choose to replace them with more sustainable versions. Refusing plastic straws and disposable cutlery when you go out and bringing your own containers for leftovers are a few ways you can start today.
  5. Avoid products with microbeads. Facial scrubs and beauty products containing plastic microbeads were banned in the United States in 2015, but won’t be fully phased out until 2019. Read the labels when purchasing products and opt for ones that contain natural scrubbing ingredients like salt or sugar.
  6. Shop in bulk. Consider the product-to-packaging ratio when purchasing items and choose larger containers instead of multiple smaller ones. When you have the option, also consider purchasing package-free foods and household goods.
  7. Make sure your waste goes to the right place. Do your best to ensure that the waste you dispose of ends up where it should. Recycle the materials that are recyclable in your area and make sure to reduce the likelihood of your garbage ending up in the environment by keeping a lid on your trash can when it’s outside.
  8. Compost. Composting at home reduces the volume of garbage sent to landfills and reduces the chance of some products becoming marine debris.

These are just a few ways that we can incorporate taking care of our ocean and Great lakes into our everyday lives. By doing our part to work toward a sustainable and debris-free planet, we’ll also be providing others with inspiration and a good example to follow. As individuals we have the potential to make a big difference and together we can change the world.

Learn more about NOAA’s Marine Debris Program and its mission to investigate and prevent the adverse impacts of marine debris.

Perhaps your area was very humid last year, or maybe it’s always humid where you live. Humidity creates a cozy environment for mold or mildew to grow. Last summer was very humid in Brooklyn. Green mold or mildew started growing on practically every surface, from concrete to stone, to benches and trees! I needed to learn how to clean mold or mildew from concrete and stone.

How to take steps to be clean and green

I watched a few of my neighbors use a solution of diluted bleach which is effective. Then I learned about another method from a Facebook group I am part of, DIY Home Improvement Projects – Wet and Forget (Wet and Forget Moss Mold Mildew and Algae Stain Remover). As bleach can sometimes alter surfaces, I thought I’d give this product a try first.

How to take steps to be clean and green

Mainly, I was looking to get the green off my property as it’s unsightly and makes my house and front area look poorly maintained. Who wants green all over their façade?

The directions for Wet and Forget say to dilute the product with 5 parts water to one part Wet and Forget, and to use a spray bottle (I used an emptied and clean Windex bottle) and spray it on a dry surface.

How to take steps to be clean and green

The mold around my home was on a few surfaces – the front stairs, stone on the home, and the wall around the front of the property.

It took an exceptionally long time to cover a surface with my spray bottle, as I had so many affected surfaces. I am wondering if it would be more efficient to dip a cloth in the solution and coat the surfaces this way instead? Next time.

With about half the surfaces covered, I waited.

Here’s a before picture of stone on the side of my staircase before it was treated:

How to take steps to be clean and green

And here is the same stone about 24 hours after it was treated:

How to take steps to be clean and green

While the bottle doesn’t give any indication of how long it will take, I thought that 24 hours was fairly fast, considering there was absolutely no scrubbing involved.

This product does have its limits, however. On a concrete surface where the mold or mildew was exceptionally bad and the concrete was a light color, even though the green was out, there remained a brown stain. You can see on the next picture that I’ve treated the left side while the right side remains untreated (where it is green), and the treated side turned brown:

How to take steps to be clean and green

On the dark concrete floor, you can’t necessarily see any stain but on the light concrete wall, you see the brown streaks. Still, pretty effective, and quite a difference!

I’m going to give the wall a good scrub next, and maybe use a little bleach or detergent solution. What I really think I’m going to get though, is a power washer, as I’ve been watching videos and, man, they look like fun. 🙂

But all in all, the product did what it said, it removed or rather killed the mold and mildew and removed the unsightly green cast, without any elbow grease and just a few hand cramps from repetitive spraying!

How to take steps to be clean and green

You probably already think you should be a more environmentally friendly business. but it sounds expensive, right?

It’s a sound investment for a number of reasons. According to the EPA there is little doubt that environmental issues are going to alter the regulatory and market landscape in the near future. Energy-efficient companies will be better able to navigate these regulatory changes and be better positioned to weather negative events like energy price spikes.

Also, consumers are flocking to safe, non-toxic, green products. People are becoming more conscious of their choices and are willing to invest more in a product to participate in this movement and to protect their family.

That alone should be enough motivation. But consider also that many of the world’s top organizations are investing billions of dollars into environmental sustainability programs–a good indication that small business owners should follow suit.

The Sands Las Vegas Corporation touts some of the most beautiful and popular vacation properties and convention centers around the world. In 2010 it implemented The Sands ECO360 Global Sustainability program. Today this values-driven program is considered an integral part of the company’s overall business strategy. A behind-the-scenes tour of a Sands property will reveal an enormous on-site recycling center where employees hand sort every ounce of garbage to separate recyclables. They also recycle and filter millions of gallons of water for use in decorative water features and new low-flow urinals. And, electricity consumption has already been reduced by 5 percent; not bad considering a 27 percent growth in net revenue which has increased the demand for energy.

The good news is that a green program doesn’t have to cost a fortune for a small business. Try these simple steps to kick off your sustainability program.

Make green thinking a part of your company culture.

Engage your employees in your new vision. Create efficiency goals and make it fun and inclusive by celebrating your success. How can you measure your savings? How can your green mission enhance your community or better serve your customers? Get ideas and input from your employees and they will embrace your new goals.

Change light bulbs.

You won’t save 10 million kWh of electricity each year like the Sands Las Vegas Corporation does, but swapping to LED lighting is definitely worth the investment. LEDs use far less energy and do not contain mercury and other toxic gases contained by incandescent and fluorescent lights. They are pricey upfront but will last about five times longer than other bulbs.

Eliminate plastic bottles.

In 2011, 32 million tons of plastic waste was generated in the U.S. alone. Sure, some of this plastic is recycled but why add to the environmental burden? Install a water filtration system in the office. Not only will the water be fresh and clean but you will save time and money by avoiding the packaged water habit.

Do business with green vendors.

The Sands Las Vegas Corporation chooses vendors like Hewlett Packard and General Electric because they too follow aggressive sustainability guidelines. Interview your vendors to find out about their sustainability efforts. If you use a printer, ask if they use recycled paper. Look for companies that use energy efficient vehicles and manufacturing plants that have practices in place to reduce their carbon footprint.

Conserve human energy.

Consider that healthy, energetic employees will be more creative and productive. Help to keep your team healthy by creating a safe, non-toxic environment. Serve sustainable brain food at meetings: nuts, organic fruits and vegetables, and even dark chocolate all play a role in maintaining mental acuity.

Host a fundraising event.

Cause-driven programs are excellent for your image and public relations; and it feels good to support something that is meaningful and far reaching. Adopt a green cause and do an annual fundraising event. There are all sorts of conservation campaigns you can participate in, from planting trees to raising funds for environmental studies scholarships. Find one that’s close to your heart and involve your online and local communities.

Recycle and reuse.

How often do you toss old papers and used glass and plastics into the trash bin? Come on, admit it! Look into your community’s recycling program and enlist the support of your team to meet recycling goals. Also, purchase recycled paper products and ink cartridges. Even certain furniture and other big ticket items contain recycled goods.

Use green cleaning products.

Do you love the smell of a nice, clean office? Guess what: Many of those familiar scents are toxic to your body and to the environment. Replace window cleaners, dish and hand soaps, and bathroom cleaners with green brands. Some of them may seem pricey but many are concentrated and will save money in the end. The benefits include improved health, increased clarity, a reduction in allergic reactions, and a healthier planet. A small price to pay.

Sustainable development cannot be achieved by a single individual or enterprise. Everyone must participate. You will demonstrate your leadership and commitment to a healthy, safe future by joining the ranks of business leaders who make sustainable choices.

Cleaning products are everywhere in our homes and offices: on dishes, countertops, furniture, clothes, floors, windows, and floating through the air. In our war on dirt and germs we may often actually be making things worse.

Most of the conventional cleaning products we all grew up with are petroleum-based and have dubious health and environmental implications. Instead of opting for cleaning products that annihilate everything in their path, there are plenty of natural products and methods that keep a house clean and fresh-smelling without the toxic side effects.

Top Green Cleaning Strategies

The following are 10 easy ways you can keep green while cleaning until your home sparkles.

1. Use Green Cleaning Products

As the health and environmental impacts of conventional cleaning products become more thoroughly understood, more and more brands of healthy, green, and effective cleaning products have started hitting the market and competing for that coveted place of honor under your sink. Many of these products are non-toxic, biodegradable, and made from renewable resources (not petroleum). But if designer labels aren’t for you, home-mixed cleaners can get the job done and then some. Vinegar and baking soda can be used to clean almost anything. Mix in a little warm water with either of these and you’ve got yourself an all-purpose cleaner.

2. Protect Indoor Air Quality

It is not uncommon for the air inside a home or office to be more toxic than the air outside. This is because of the presence of toxic materials and substances and the fact that homes and buildings are better insulated than ever before (which is a good thing from an energy standpoint). Keeping windows open as often as possible allows fresh air in and keeps toxins flowing out. This is especially important when cleaning your home.

3. Ditch Antibacterial Cleansers

The antibacterial and antimicrobial 'cleaners' that many people think are necessary, especially during cold season, don't clean hands better than soap and water, and also add to the risk of breeding "super germs," bacteria that survive the chemical onslaught and have resistant offspring. The FDA has found that antibacterial soaps and hand cleansers do not work better than regular soap and water, and should be avoided.

4. Take Advantage of Baking Soda

Baking soda not only removes those strange smells coming from your fridge, it's also a great odor-eliminator for your carpet. Just sprinkle on a little baking soda to soak up some of those odors and then vacuum it up.

5. Refresh Your Indoor Air Naturally

Skip the store-bought air fresheners and instead try boiling cinnamon, cloves, or any other herbs you have a fondness for. Fresh chocolate chip cookies also have been known to create a friendly aroma. Also, plants may not make your house smell different but are good for filtering interior air–pretty much any broad green leaf plant will do. Peace Lilies are a favorite choice.

6. Discard Toxic Cleaners Safely

When replacing your cleaning products, don’t just throw the old ones in the trash. If they’re too toxic for your home, they won’t be good for the drain or the landfill either. Many communities hold toxics & electronics recycling days and will take all of these off your hands. Throwing chemicals in the trash or down the drain means they might end up back in your water supply and come back to haunt you (see How to Go Green: Water for more).

7. Avoid Conventional Dry Cleaners

Conventional dry cleaners are the largest users of the industrial solvent called Perchloroethylene, or perc, which is toxic to humans and also creates smog. The two most common green drycleaning methods are carbon dioxide cleaning and Green Earth. Seek out cleaners that use green methods. If you do take clothes to conventional cleaners, be sure to air them outside before wearing them or putting them in the closet.

8. Employ a Green House-Cleaning Service

For people don't have the time to clean their own homes, fortunately there are an increasing number of green cleaning services out there to help get things spic and span. If you can't find one in your area (or their rates are outlandish), call around until you find a service willing to use the products and methods you specify.

9. Leave Your Shoes at the Door

Imagine what’s on your shoes at the end of the day. Bringing that oil, antifreeze, animal waste, particulate pollution, pollen, and who knows what else into the house is not good news, especially for kids and other critters that spend time on floor level. Keep the sidewalk out of your home with a good doormat or a shoeless house policy. Many green buildings now include entryway track-off systems as a means of maintaining a healthy interior environment. Less dirt also means less sweeping, mopping, and vacuuming, which means less work, water, energy, and fewer chemicals.

10. Design Your Home With Cleanliness in Mind

Designing houses and other building with cleanability in mind can create spaces that are cleaner, healthier, and require fewer substances to maintain. In larger buildings, good cleanability can also be a big money-saver as cleaning costs can often add up to as much as half of a building's total energy costs.

How to take steps to be clean and green

Step 1

Run the pump and filter for 24 hours – Running your filter will help filter out tiny particles that are also to blame for your green swimming pool. Due to the fact that your pool will be running 24 hour, your filter will become clogged quickly. You will need to backwash your sand or d.e. filter whenever the pressure increases 8-10 psi above the normal reading. For example, if my pool normally reads 12 psi (when it’s clean), I would backwash when the gauge reaches 20-22 psi.

How to take steps to be clean and green

How to take steps to be clean and green

Step 2

How to take steps to be clean and green

Step 3

Balance your chemical levels- A balanced water chemistry is essential if you want to get the pool clear.

How to take steps to be clean and green

Step 4

Brush down the surface of the pool- Have you ever touched algae? Algae usually has a slimy coat. That slimy coat protects it. Brushing helps remove that protective coat and expose it to the chemicals in the water. Brushing down the walls will help remove some of the algae that is growing on its surface. Any algae that remains will be killed when the pool is shocked.

How to take steps to be clean and green

Step 5

Shock the swimming pool – Using pool shock will kill off bacteria and algae that is still in your green swimming pool. Most likely if your pool is a deep green you will need to add several bags of pool shock over a period of days. This step should start to clear up your swimming pool.

How to take steps to be clean and green

How to take steps to be clean and green

Step 6

Algaecide – An algaecide will help treat and prevent the return of algae. An algaecide should be part of the weekly maintenance. This step is optional, but highly recommended.

How to take steps to be clean and green

Step 7

How to take steps to be clean and green

Step 8

Your swimming pool should be crystal clear once again. A little weekly maintenance (water testing, adjusting chemicals) will help prevent the swimming pool from turning green again in the future.

Comments

Brad Snapp Posted: 5/10/2019

I’ve seen some videos where the filter is set to recirculate for the 1st 24 hours after brushing and shocking. Seems like a good idea to me because after stirring up the algae and then killing it with chlorine much of it falls to the bottom where it can then be vacuumed to waist.
Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R. Posted: 6/26/2017

memaw – Bleach is the same as chlorine only weaker. The internet has instructions on how much bleach to add instead of liquid chlorine.
Reply

memaw Posted: 6/24/2017

I am confused on when to use shock or when to use bleach
Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R. Posted: 5/18/2016

Lainey – Actually, these steps are out of sequence. I would pull out as much of the large debris before you run the filtering system to keep it from clogging the filter.
Reply

Lainey Posted: 5/17/2016

Can step 2 be done while you’re running the filter for 24 hrs (Step 1), or are you supposed to wait until after the 24 hrs so the larger debris doesn’t get stirred up?
Reply

linda Posted: 10/12/2015

very easy to follow, very helpful and useful, very organize, Thank
Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R. Posted: 6/12/2015

gpage – See our guide on “How To Break Chlorine Lock”. It has information on what chlorine lock is and how to break it.
Reply

gpage Posted: 6/11/2015

I have been struggling with my green pool for over a week. 24 ft above ground. My chlorine level has been high this week but the green is still there. A local pool place thought it was chlorine block and 24hrs ago I put in 6 backs of shock and later in the day 6 gallons of bleach. When I backwash it comes out green/brown so it is filtering, but I am at a loss.
Reply

Tony Posted: 6/10/2015

Great article with detail information was very helpful.

InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R. Posted: 6/18/2014

SKJ – Make sure all of your pool chemicals are balanced before you shock you pool, especially the pH. After shocking, use an Algaecide.
Reply

SKJ Posted: 6/17/2014

I opened my pool after the winter is over and found it dark green. For the past one week I have been shocking the pool with little clarity. What do I do to clear it up.
Reply

InyoPools Product Specialist Dennis R. Posted: 7/15/2013

leaking light – If you have a line across the lens, it sounds like you may have had water in the light fixture at one time. Maybe the previous owner corrected the problem and just didn’t clean the lens. I would take the light fixture out of the niche and look at it just to be sure there is no water in the fixture now. See our guide on “How to Replace a Pool Light Bulb” for more information. As long as you have it out, I would replace the gasket to avoid future problems.
Reply

Anonymous Posted: 7/12/2013

I followed these steps, pool looks amazing but I noticed algae on the inside of the glass lens in the top 1/3, visible at night when the light is turned on. Does it sound like there is there a leakage problem in the light fixture? No one has swam in the in-ground pool at night since we recently moved in and I am concerned about electric/water danger issues – please advise.
Reply

How to take steps to be clean and green

Sustainable living has certainly become a buzz phrase. More and more people are looking at ways to reduce their ecological footprint: driving less, eating less meat, wearing sustainable fashions. As individuals, we are increasingly aware of the impact we have on the planet and our fellow humans. But is greening our own lifestyle enough?

By taking the concept of sustainable living beyond the narrow, individualistic approach, we can learn to see our interconnectedness to our environment and its inhabitants. By getting involved in our communities, by talking to our neighbors, by supporting local groups, and by re-imagining where we live, we can green not only our own lifestyles, but our streets, neighborhoods, towns, cities and, ultimately, our societies. Who knows, we may even make friends doing it.

Start by Connecting to the Community

To help green your community, you first need to be part of it. Start talking to your neighbors, find out what's going on around you, and get involved. It sounds obvious, but busy days often don't include time for keeping in touch with the community.

Buy Local

Not only does shopping locally reduce food miles, it also keeps resources circulating in the community. Plus, it’s a great way to get to know your neighbors. When did you last chat with the person who grew your tomatoes? Sites like Local Harvest in the US or Big Barn in the UK can help you locate suppliers, and farmers markets are increasing in number all the time. There may even be a city farm or community garden in your neighborhood. If there isn’t, you might consider sparking one.

Rethink Your Travel Methods

Limiting car use can be a great way of reducing your individual carbon footprint, but it doesn’t end there. When we walk, cycle, or take the train or bus, we also help make it easier for others to do the same, and it can be a great way of meeting people. It’s much easier to catch a stranger’s eye and say “hey” when you are not surrounded by a ton of metal and moving at 70 mph. More tips on redefining travel can be found here. You can even help others by setting up projects that support alternatives — could you set up a car club or a walking bus to get the kids to school?

Spread the Word About Eco-Friendly Living

People are increasingly curious about living 'green.' If you bike to work, compost, or buy organic, tell people why. If people are interested in trying it themselves, show them how. You could even take it a step further and organize educational evenings such as film screenings, workshops, or discussion groups. Or start asking questions in your town — if you can get people thinking about their impact, they're more likely to start looking for answers. Remember though, there's a fine line between talking and preaching, so know when it's time to drop it and get back to talking about baseball.

Join Nearby Environmental Groups

It can be lonely going it alone. Why not find out about environmental groups in your area? Many national conservation groups have local chapters — the Sierra Club's website offers a local 'zoomer' for US residents to find out what's going on in their area. Increasingly, there are specialist local groups dedicating themselves to specific aspects of sustainability. But you shouldn't just think in terms of green clubs. As sustainability goes mainstream, more and more local organizations are including environmentalism as part of their focus. The Evangelical Climate Initiative is a prime example. So if you're a member of a faith group, a parent-teacher committee, or even a sports club, why not look at steps that you can take together. From energy efficiency measures to local community action, there are countless ways to get your fellow club or congregation members involved.

Plan for What Your New Community Could Look Like

We are never going to achieve our goals if we don’t know what they are. If you can create an alternative vision or plan for your community it becomes much easier to inspire action. Check out these UK villagers’ 25-year plan to reforest their valley to protect against future flooding and the North Carolina project offering collaborative planning for walkable communities.

Get Political

National and international politics can be frustrating. How can you influence the massive institutions that wield the power? Local politics can be much less intimidating. It’s a whole lot easier to make connections, exert pressure, and get involved when you live among the people you are trying to influence. Whether you’re campaigning against unwelcome development, like these LA residents campaigning to save their city farm, or seeking to influence local policy in a more positive direction, like these Portland citizens helping their city government plan for an oil-free future, it is vital that you make your voice heard. And don’t forget that environmental ills often fall disproportionately on the poor and marginalized. Check out environmental justice organizations like Environmental Community Action for ways to make your community better, greener, and fairer.

Donate and Share Unwanted Goods

So you don't want that item of clothing, record, book, or printer anymore? The chances are good that someone else does. Obviously there is the usual route of donating items to your local thrift store or charity shop, but there are also resources like the trusty Freecycle, Craigslist, or Really, Really Free Markets that help match demand with the supply. If there isn't such a group in your community, there should be.

Engage in Healthy Competition

Cooperation is great, but it's not the only way. A little friendly rivalry can get a lot done to spark community action. Sites like 18Seconds.org are playing a key role in pitting town against town in the battle to get greener. If you can't get your neighbors to change in order to save the polar bears, maybe they'll change to "beat those losers from down the road!" Keep it legal though, please.

Take Advantage of the Media

Just as local politics can be easier to influence than national, so can the local media. Regional newspapers, radio, and TV are always looking for interesting community-related stories, and as we noted here, it can be relatively easy to put a green spin on things. If local media outlets are unresponsive, it's no holds barred on the internet, so get cracking.

Maybe it’s been a while since you took a dip in the pool, but as soon as you decide to go swimming, you notice that the water in your pool is looking greener than your lawn. It’s not healthy or safe to swim around in green water, but clearing the water might also seem too overwhelming. The longer you wait, the problem will only get worse.

Cleaning up debris and keeping the water clear is an essential part of being a pool owner, but tackling a pool full of green water might seem like a task that’s out of your expertise. If your water has turned an ugly shade of green, don’t worry, it can happen to everyone. The best way to prevent green pool water is to know how and why it happens.

Why Did My Swimming Pool Turn Green?

How to take steps to be clean and greenCredit

The color green in your pool means you have one enemy: Algae.

Algae is a simple plant, one that thrives in water that offers them food, and a hospitable (welcoming) environment. It doesn’t take much for algae to enter your pool. Algae can become airborne, or ride into your pool on debris, a swimsuit, or pool toy. When it finds water with nitrogen and phosphorus, that isn’t protected, algae start eating, and the bloom can seemingly appear overnight.

Interestingly, how deep the color is, ranging from “light green sheen” to “swamp murk greeny-brown,” gives you some of the information you need to fight it. We’ll get to that in just a minute, but more importantly, how did it happen?

A Few Reasons Why Algae Invades Pools

How to take steps to be clean and green

The simple, but annoying, reason for a green pool is usually due to the lack of sufficient water testing and sanitizer. When your pool’s sanitizer and chlorine levels fall below optimal levels, or the chlorine becomes entangled with other chemicals in your pool, you open the door to your tiny green nemesis.

The sanitizer makes your pool inhospitable to algae and kills it.

If you’re not testing often enough and not adding enough bromine or chlorine (or whatever type of sanitizer you use), you’re at a high risk of getting algae in your pool.

But you test regularly, all the time, you say? Well, that’s not always enough.

Mother Nature rarely keeps to our schedules, and your testing regimen is another one she’ll ignore. Many things make your pool more likely to need extra testing, as they make algae blooms more likely.

  • Extreme Heat/Weather Changes
  • High Winds
  • A Dirty Pool (debris makes for algae food!)
  • Incorrect pH Levels
  • Clogged Pool Filter

If any of these things are occurring in your area or your pool, you are more likely to face an algae bloom, and you want to test more often. Daily or every other day isn’t going to be too much.

Step-by-Step Guide: How to Clear Green Pool Water

Here are some essential steps to clearing your pool water.

1. Assess the Situation: Do You Need to Drain It?

Nobody wants to drain their pool if they can help it. To know whether or not you have to drain, start with this question:

On a scale from “a greenish haze” to “I think a swamp thing lives here?”: How green is green?

I’ve found, if you can see more than about the depth of a grown man’s spread hand (about 8 inches) into the water, chances are it’s not a lost cause. That means that you probably won’t have to drain your pool. If, however, you can’t see that far into the water, you may need to drain, and acid wash it.

You can, however, try to clear the green pool water first, before choosing the nuclear option. You can check your filters here too, and clean them up for the next step if you wish.

2. Test the Ph Levels

You can test the sanitizer level, too, but facing facts we already know that’s too low, which is why you have green water in the first place. You need to test your pH levels, and they make kits that make this as simple as possible and then get them on track.

If you don’t balance the pH levels, shocking your pool will leave you with very cloudy water. While cloudy water is expected in the short-term, as the shock does its job, balanced water won’t stay cloudy after the filtering process.

You can get pH adjustment chemicals to handle this task, up or down, but you’re going to want it at or below 7.2.

3. Time for Shock ‘n Awe

It’s time to shock your pool, and by shock we mean super chlorinate. You’re going to be adding a lot of chlorine. Even if you normally use a different sanitizer to wipe out algae, you need to fight dirty.

How dirty? We’re talking 30 ppm (parts per million) of liquid chlorine. Even though it might seem like a lot, it’s just enough to break through and disrupt the algae’s nucleus, preventing it from reproducing as you’ve killed it.

Use your test kit, and get it to that number. This can take 5 pounds of granular shock or 10 gallons of liquid. (If you have a diatomaceous earth filter, use granular shock.)

4. Let the Filter Do the Work

Shocking your pool removes exactly zero algae. What it does is kill it, so you can then let the filter clean it out. No matter what type of filter you use, be it a cartridge, sand, or diatomaceous earth (DE) you’ll need to clean it out several times while it clears the water.

If you have a DE filter, you need to backwash it before you start the process, and add fresh DE.

Allow the filter to run for at least 24 hours, after the treatment. Then, you can scrub the pool when you clean the filter, and then let it run again. You are going to repeat that process until the pool is clear.

5. Proactive Final Step: Kill and Flocc

You may also want to consider adding a few things here to help the process. An algaecide, which also kills algae, and a flocculant (causes the dead algae to bunch up for easier filtering) added after a couple of hours of the chlorine circulating. You can also wait until you are pretty sure you got all of them, to be sure.

At this point, the extra steps may not seem worth it. However, if you still have any algae that you missed, it could bloom again fairly quickly. You don’t want that.