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How to color the water in your pool

Updated February 21, 2017

Keeping pool water crystal clear is a goal of most homeowners with a backyard swimming pool, but dyed pool water is a simple way to safely change the colour of your pool water. Pool dyes are a stain-free additive that transform your normally clear pool water into bright shades of red, green or blue. The dyes last up to five days. They take about 20 minutes to circulate through your whole pool, so add the dye about an hour prior to your party or event for the most even and distinctive colouring.

Calculate the number of gallons of water in your pool if you do not already know. Add the shallow- and deep-end depths of your pool and divide by 2. Multiply the number by the length and then the width of your pool. If your pool is square or rectangular, multiply by 7.5. If your pool is round, multiply by 5.9. The end result is the number of gallons of water in your pool.

Fill your 5-gallon bucket half way with pool water. Set the bucket on the ground beside your pool.

Add the appropriate amount of pool dye to the bucket. The standard ratio for pool dyes is 29.6ml. of dye for every 5,000 gallons of water. For example, if your pool is 20,000 gallons, you need to add 113gr. of dye to the bucket. Stir the dye into the water-filled bucket with a wooden dowel.

Distribute the mixture around the interior edge of your pool. Activate the pool filters so that the dye is circulated through the system and throughout the pool. The water should be coloured evenly within 20 minutes, and the dye will last up to five days.

Tip

Though the diluted dye will not stain clothes or skin, the concentrated dye may stain skin or clothes. Use caution when pouring the mixture into your mixing bucket.

Warning

Follow the manufacturer instructions for mixing the coloured solution. If you opt to add more dye, you run the risk of creating a mixture that is too concentrated and may stain skin and clothes.

Things You'll Need

  • Calculator
  • Pool-safe water additive or dye
  • 5-gallon bucket
  • Wooden rod or dowel
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About the Author

Hannah Wahlig began writing and editing professionally in 2001. Her experience includes copy for newspapers, journals and magazines, as well as book editing. She is also a certified lactation counselor. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in English from Mount Holyoke College, and Master's degrees in education and community psychology from the University of Massachusetts.