pool with algae staining the interior green

Best Pool Cleaner For Algae 2023 Reviews

Algae is the last thing you want in your pool. Once it’s there, it can be tough to remove. Some backyards and climates are prone to algae. Luckily, there are several ways to remove and prevent it from growing in your pool. One of the most important is having a great pool cleaner. In fact, most pool cleaners will help prevent algae, but not all types will help remove algae once it’s grown. In this article, we explain why algae grows in pools, how pool cleaners help and we’ll recommend the best pool cleaner for algae.

4 Best Pool Cleaner For Algae 2023 Reviews

What Is Algae And Why Does It Grow In Pools?

Algae is a type of simple plant-like organism that manifests in a green color. Algae form when sunlight and nutrients combine in an aquatic environment, either in fresh or saltwater. This makes pools the perfect breeding ground for algae. It thrives in water with high levels of nutrients, such as phosphates and nitrogen. Algae also forms through the process of photosynthesis. Essentially, wherever there’s sunlight and water, there can be algae.

algae growing in backyard pool

How Pool Cleaners Prevent And Remove Algae

Pool cleaners help get rid of algae in two key ways. First, certain types of pool cleaners can actually help by physically removing and vacuuming up algae that has settled on the bottom and sides of the pool. Both suction and pressure side pool cleaners do not possess enough strength to climb and brush pool walls. For the removal portion of algae, you will need a robotic pool cleaner.

However, all pool cleaners help in a preventative manner. In general, pool cleaners help to circulate the pool water. In turn, they can help to prevent algae from settling in the first place. Algae is far more common in stagnant water than movement. By keeping the pool clean and circulating, pool cleaners also help to lower the levels of nutrients in the water that may feed the growth of algae. Therefore, it’s imperative to get the best pool cleaner for algae and use it regularly.

Best Pool Cleaner For Algae: Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus

The best pool cleaner for algae on the market is the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus. This is a robotic pool cleaner that has the ability to climb pool walls. Most pool cleaners will not help scrub algae away, they only help prevent it by improving water circulation. However, the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus will actually scrub both the floor and walls of a pool, removing algae in the process. Occasionally, you will probably still need to brush the walls of your pool but the Dolphin will help immensely.

Dolphin Nautilus Best Pool Cleaner For Algae

How To Find the Best Pool Cleaner For Algae

We’ve spent 30+ combined years in the pool industry, so we know the common pool cleaners very well. However, if you’re evaluating your first pool cleaner purchase and want a checklist to follow, we recommend the following steps.

Research And Measurement

Start by researching the different types of pool cleaners available. This includes robotic, suction, pressure, and manual cleaners. Consider the size and shape of your pool, as well as the type of debris and dirt that needs to be removed. If you are experiencing algae and want a pool cleaner to remove and prevent it from coming back, a robotic pool cleaner is your best bet.

Next, measure the dimensions of your pool and determine the pool’s capacity. This information will help you determine the size of pool cleaner you will need. The Dolphin pool cleaner that we’ve highlighted is suitable for pools up to 50 feet long. Most residential pools do not exceed that length.

Compare And Contrast

After you understand what type of pool cleaner you need, it’s time to compare and contrast. Read reviews from other pool owners and find out what they think of each of the different types of pool cleaners. Make sure to read reviews from multiple sources to get a better understanding of the pros and cons of each cleaner.

To save you time, there are only 4 established brands that we trust. These include Pentair, Dolphin, Zodiac and Hayward. There are lots of cheap, nameless pool cleaners on Amazon and elsewhere. These 4 brands have been in the pool industry for decades and we personally have used them each many times.

best pool cleaner for algae needed in shallow end of an inground pool

Once, you’ve found a few models to consider, it’s time to investigate the bells and whistles. Consider the features and functions offered by each pool cleaner. Look for things like self-programming, automated cleaning patterns, and adjustable cleaning heads.

Compare the prices of the different pool cleaners. These machines are expensive, so make sure you’re getting the best value for your money. A good pool cleaner can cost anywhere from $350 – 1,000.

Check With Professionals

If you have a routine pool maintenance company, consult them before purchasing a pool cleaner. Make sure that they are familiar with the cleaner you’ve chosen and that they agree it’s a good fit for your pool.

Algae Pool Chemical vs. Algae Pool Cleaner

We know that the term best pool cleaner for algae can mean two different things. If you are continually seeing algae in your pool and are seeking an automatic pool vacuum to combat it, the recommended cleaners are for you. If you are seeking a pool chemical to help rid your pool of algae, you will instead need to buy some algaecide. We’ve linked our preferred chemical below, but you could also visit our how to get rid of algae guide for more options.

How To Clean Algae From Pool

Chlorine, chlorine, chlorine.  I know those out there with chlorine allergies and dry skin are cringing at the idea, but when it comes to algae, chlorine really is your friend.  Do your best to maintain your residual chlorine level, and consider some alternatives disinfection methods to keep your chlorine in its free and available state.

If you have a gunite pool, you may want to consider a ‘combo’ brush.  This is a nylon and stainless steel bristled brush which should only be used on the plaster surface, never on the tile.  DO NOT BUY THIS BRUSH IF YOU HAVE AN ABOVE GROUND POOL OR VINYL POOL IT WILL DAMAGE THE VINYL.  Depending on your interior finish type, you should test the brush somewhere inconspicuous before using it on the steps for example.  However, this combo brush can make manually brushing the algae much easier.  This is especially true when you have an exposed aggregate interior finish like Wet Edge Signature Matrix, or Pebble-Technology finishes.  

Additionally, you should consider some algaecides which specifically target the algae once it has grown.  Chlorine is imperative to keeping your algae growth to a minimum, but once it has grown, you often need some different tools at your disposal.  Read more about algaecide here.

How To Clean An Empty Pool With Algae

When you’re faced with an empty pool with years of caked on algae, it can be an overwhelming and disgusting task to clean.  A gunite pool with dirty plaster will usually respond best to a three step process for bringing it back to life.  

  1. With a nylon broom, hose off and brush any crud that’s easy to get off the surface.  This would include the big stuff like leaves and sticks and anything easy to clean up stuck to the pool.  You’ll want to set up a sump pump in the deepest part of the pool, and have that pump to a place where you can send some gross water.  This should be a low spot in the yard or a storm drain (Assuming you have permission).  Brushing off the debris and using a plastic snow shovel or scoop to get it out of the pool is a good way to see what you’re actually working with.  Now you likely have a green stained algae plaster to deal with.  
  2. Next, we’d recommend using a pressure washer to remove the majority of the green staining.  This will do the lion’s share of the work.  However you will still need to take the final step if you want it to look it’s best.  
  3. The last step requires proper safety equipment and possibly a respirator, so it’s best left to the pros.  You want to do a bleach and brush.  Use a 4 parts water and 1 part bleach solution mixed up in a hand pump sprayer.  This is a very strong solution, so you’ll need to wear proper protective gloves, boots, head covering, and full uniform.  Additionally proper breathing apparatus to protect you from the chlorine gas is necessary.  Brush the surface as you spray on the solution using the hand pump sprayer.

This process may seem like overkill, but it really does do an excellent job of treating the plaster, and preventing the algae from coming back once you fill the pool. If you aren’t seeing the results you’d like,, you could hire a pool company to perform an acid wash on the plaster surface.

This is similar to the chlorine wash, but uses muriatic acid instead.  This actually burns off the top layer of the plaster to expose the better looking plaster beneath.  This roughs up the surface, but can also make the pool look like new.  It’s something to consider if the chlorine wash doesn’t quite bring the pool back to its former glory and you need it looking its best.  

Pro tip: Acid washes are often performed prior to the sale of a house with a pool.  Acid washes are an inexpensive alternative to re-plastering a pool.  

Best Pool Cleaner For Algae Summary

A robotic pool cleaner will help remove and prevent algae in your pool. Our recommendation is the Dolphin Nautilus CC Plus. Depending on how much algae is in your pool, you may need to try more ways to get rid of algae than just a pool cleaner. Algae loves to live in sunny environments around stagnant water. If you’re looking for the quickest way to remove algae from your pool, consider algaecide.