Here Is How You Can Protect Your Pool From Lotions Such As Sunscreen and Tanning Oils

It’s a sunny Sunday afternoon – the perfect time for a swim in the backyard fibreglass pool you just bought. So you change into your swimwear, hit the poolside, put on some of that suntan lotion, and dive right in. That’s more or less how it goes every sunny Sunday afternoon. Sometime later, you start to notice accumulated black gunk in the pool water, and you wonder what’s happening.

We’ll tell you what’s happening – all that grime and gunk is the result of all the sunscreen and tanning oils that you’ve been putting on before you enter your pool. Over time, the build-up of oils makes the water unsafe for swimming and poses a significant risk to your pool equipment as well. However, there are ways of preventing the oil build-up in the first place. So, let’s get into all the methods you can adopt to ensure that your sunscreen and tanning oils don’t do drastic damage to your swimming pool.

1. Regular pool filter maintenance is crucial

Your pool filter needs to be working at its very best to keep the pool water crystal clear. However, when it’s not at its best, it can fail to do its job, which may lead to a pool full of dirt and debris. Not really the safest scenario, right?

When there’s an oil build-up inside the pool, it clogs the filter’s components, which stops it from functioning. However, if you spare the time to clean your filter from time to time, you can ensure that the build-up doesn’t get to a point where it’s excessive.

The point of this exercise is to ensure that the oils don’t bond with the material inside your pool filter. Simply put, the longer you leave the filter uncleaned, the greater the chances are of the oils bonding with its components.

2. Be alert to changes in the pool water’s appearance

With more and more oils dissolving in the pool water, its appearance is bound to gradually go from clear to cloudy. If you want the damage from the dissolved oils to be contained, you’ve got to take action as soon as you detect the slightest hint of cloudiness.

The best thing to do in such a scenario is to use a chlorinating compound for ‘shocking’ the pool water. Chlorine is the most commonly used water disinfectant, and it can work wonders to return the pool water to its crystal clear appearance. Remember to have your pool filter on when you add the chlorinating compound.

We also advise exercising a fair degree of caution when adding chlorine to the pool water. Excess chlorine can render the water unsafe and can cause an imbalance in the pool water chemistry. So, if you aren’t sure of how much you need to use, reach out to pool maintenance professionals near you for guidance.

3. Maintain a 30-minute gap between suntan application and pool use

The best way to apply suntan lotions and oils is to rub them in as much as possible. While a slight oil residue will be left on the skin even after they’re rubbed in, it won’t do much harm to your pool if you keep it maintained regularly.

However, rubbing them in requires time – at least 30 minutes. So, when the next sunny Sunday afternoon comes along, let there be a 30-minute gap between suntan application and pool use. Also, remember to check for white residue. If there’s white residue, it means that the oil’s yet to be completely rubbed in.

Also, ensure that the rest of your family and the guests are following this rule too. Ultimately, everyone using the pool should have a sense of responsibility towards it, right?

4. Shower immediately before you hit the pool

If you’ve ever been to a public pool, you’d know that showering before hitting the pool is the norm. But have you ever wondered why that’s the case?

Well, a shower right before you enter the pool guarantees that the excess oils and dirt on your body get washed away. So, ideally, you should combine this tip with the previous one for the best results.

To make things convenient for yourself, your family and guests, it’s best to install an outdoor shower area. You could also put up a notice just to make sure that everyone’s taking a shower before taking a splash in the pool.

5. Use an enzymatic solution

Enzymatic solutions act as some of the best pool cleaners, and their ability isn’t just restricted to dealing with oils. They can eliminate other contaminants such as pollen, dirt, and detergent as well.

Enzymatic solutions work by ‘eating’ oil. However, how much you should use depends on the oil content in the pool water. So, once again, we recommend getting in touch with pool maintenance professionals to know how to keep the use of enzymatic solutions moderate.

Apart from ‘eating’ oil in the water, enzymatic solutions can also unclog pool filters. They’re also effective at prolonging the lifespans of all types of filter systems (DE, cartridge, and sand).

6. Skim the oil from the pool water’s surface

Another way to deal with the oil is to skim all the oil content from the surface of the pool water. However, to do this, you need to get the oil content up to the surface first.

Algaecide surfactants are ideal for the job. They force the accumulated oils, dirt, and grime to form clumps. These clumps make their way up to the surface, allowing you to skim them easily.

However, this process requires a bit more effort than the other methods mentioned in this post. If you have a big fibreglass pool, we recommend using one or more of the previously-mentioned methods.


So, there you have it – 6 of the most effective methods at keeping the oil content in your sunscreen and tanning products from wreaking havoc inside your pool water. For the best results, it’s best to combine all the methods. Sure, it will take some time and effort, but at the end of the day, you can apply that sunscreen and swim without any worries, which makes it all worth it! If you want to learn more about pool care tips and some fun design idea, feel free to visit the blog today!

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