There are many phosphate removers on the market, and which one you choose is based on the level of phosphates in your pool, how many gallons of water are in your pool, and the price point. Before buying a phosphate remover, check your pool’s phosphate levels and get a product that will treat the issue in a single dose. Here are our top phosphate removers.
Our Top Phosphate Removers for Pools
- HTH Phosphate Remover (Our Top Pick)
- Natural Chemistry Phosfree (Best for Weekly Maintenance)
- Orenda PR-10000 (Best Budget)
- AquaDoc Phosphate Remover (Best Super Strength)
- Poolife Phosphate Remover (Quickest Acting)
Top Phosphate Removers for Pools Compared
Our Top Pick
Best for Weekly Maintenance
Best Super Strength
Do You Need to Lower or Remove Phosphates?
It’s nearly impossible to completely eliminate phosphates from a pool, but keeping the level below 500 ppb is important. High phosphate levels can alter your other chemical levels, especially chlorine. Phosphates are also a food source for algae, so it is important to maintain the levels.
How Do Phosphate Removers for Pools Work?
Phosphate removers are specialized chemicals that remove phosphates from pools by aluminum or lanthanum salts, which produce insoluble phosphates so that they can be filtered out.
What’s the Active Ingredient in Pool Phosphate Removers?
The active ingredient in phosphate removers is salt from aluminum or lanthanum.
Aluminum sulfate is not recommended for saltwater pools. This type of phosphate remover is effective. It’s cheap, but you’ll need quite a lot. About 4 lbs (1.8 kg) per 10K gallons (38K litres) of pool water.
When you add this product, the phosphates will sink to the pool floor, leaving sludge that needs to be vacuumed out. Unless you want a clogged filter, you must vacuum this sludge to waste.
Lanthanum Chloride is the basis of most phosphate removers in the pool industry. By weight, it is far more expensive than aluminum sulfate based phosphate removers. But you only need to use a fraction of the amount when compared with aluminum based products.
This product won’t leave sludge on the pool floor, but you will need to backwash or clean your filter multiple times after using it. This product is the easiest to find too.
Are Some Phosphate Removers Better than Others?
All phosphate removers are based on lanthanum or aluminum, but some are stronger than others. So, in terms of one phosphate remover being better than another one, it really is about how strong it is.
What Do You Look For In The Best Phosphate Removers?
Depending on the level of phosphates in your pool, choose a product suited to remove the level of phosphates you have. Some products are stronger and remove higher levels of phosphates than others.
There are different price points for phosphate removers. Generally, the stronger the treatment, the higher the price. If your phosphate levels are between 500 ppb and 1500 ppb, you don’t need a strong phosphate treatment, so you can go with a more economical option.
Don’t just look at the price per gallon, though; take into consideration how much of the product you need to use and how the cost compares for the dosage needed.
Best Phosphate Removers Reviewed
1. Our Top Pick: HTH Phosphate Remover
- Removes unwanted phosphates
- Easy DIY pool care
- Great for all pool types
HTH Phosphate Remover is my favorite brand for many chemicals. The phosphate remover is a great product that works overnight. I use it in my pool as a routine maintenance dose, and I also use it for my clients. It can be used on all pool types and poured directly into the pool.
- Fast acting
- Prevents algae growth
- Pricey but well worth the cost
2. Best for Weekly Maintenance: Natural Chemistry Phosfree
- Maintains near zero phosphate levels
- Cleans waterline and filter
- Reduces surface oils and other non-living organics
Natural Chemistry Phosfree is a great weekly maintenance phosphate remover. Not only does it control phosphate levels, but it also has a smart enzyme technology that scrubs scum lines and helps keep your pool filter clean. It’s two products in one: a pool cleaner and a phosphate reducer.
- Cleans the pool and reduces phosphates
- Helps keep the filter clean
- Not strong enough for high levels of phosphates
3. Best Budget: Orenda PR-10000
- Reacts with phosphates on contact and removes them
- NSF-Certified as nontoxic, nonhazardous
- Lowers chlorine demand and food for algae
Orenda PR-10000 is an affordable phosphate remover that does a decent job of lowering phosphates and, if used weekly, will prevent phosphate levels from getting too high. I wouldn’t use this if your levels are super high, but if the levels are manageable, this is an affordable maintenance option.
- Small dosage requirements
- Not for larger pools
4. Best Super Strength: AquaDoc Phosphate Remover
- Enhances water clarity
- Ultimate growth control of unwanted organisms
AquaDoc Phosphate Remover is a maximum-strength phosphate remover that provides unparalleled water clarity faster than any other product I know. A small dose goes a long way and lasts for a long time. It is suitable for salt and chlorine pools and safe for any pool finish.
- Commercial strength
- Has natural ingredients which is better for the environment
- Concentrated. This shouldn’t be an issue, but some reviewers found it “too strong” for normal usage
5. Quickest Acting: Poolife Phosphate Remover
- Reduces phosphate levels between 500-1,500 ppb
- Reduces algae according to reviews
Poolife Phosphate Remover works lightning fast. I have never used it myself, but I know people who have, and they say it works super fast. It does require a higher dose than most phosphate removers, but if you need to clear up phosphates quickly, this is the product to get. I would recommend this product if your phosphate levels are between 500-1,500 ppb. For anything higher, I would use HTH or Aqua Doc.
- Good price point
- Clouds the pool water, so you will also need a clarifier
Which Phosphate Remover is Best for Saltwater Pools?
The phosphate remover I like best for saltwater pools is HTH or Suncoast Super Strength. They get the job done quickly and are safe to use on all pool finishes.
Which Phosphate Remover is Best for Chlorine Pools?
Seachem PhosGuard is a good choice of phosphate remover for chlorine pools. It reacts in contact with phosphates and will not alter the chlorine level.
Can You Add Too Much Phosphate Remover?
As with all pool chemicals, you can add too much phosphate remover. If you do, you will see cloudiness in your pool water, which will dissipate after the phosphate remover is filtered out.
Are Phosphate Removers Safe for Your Pool?
No matter the brand, phosphate removers are 100% safe to use in your pool. In fact, you can add a routine dose either weekly or biweekly. I have to do this for my pool because I live in a heavily wooded area and get runoff when it rains. I add a couple of ounces weekly just to keep my numbers in range.
The biggest downside of phosphate removers is cleaning the filter or vacuuming of the pool floor that is needed after use.
FAQs About Phosphate Removers
Is There a Natural Way to Remove Phosphates from Pool Water?
Remove any organic material from your pool as soon as you can, and try to avoid runoff from fertilizers. Skimming the pool weekly is the best way to naturally remove phosphates from your pool.
Does Baking Soda Remove Phosphates?
Baking soda will not remove phosphates from a swimming pool. Baking soda has a pH of 8 and is generally used in pools to raise the pH and alkalinity levels.
Will Shocking a Pool Remove Phosphates?
Shocking a pool means adding a much higher amount of chlorine at one time and will keep your pool healthy and eliminate any green issues, but it will not remove phosphates from your pool. Phosphates are a food source for algae, and the algae, in return, will eliminate the chlorine from your pool.
Is Algaecide the Same as Phosphate Remover?
Algaecide kills algae but is not a phosphate remover. If you have an algae issue, it could be because your phosphate levels are too high. So, the two chemicals should be used in tandem to combat the issue.
Does Vinegar Remove Phosphates?
Vinegar dosing is a method some people use to manage nitrates in reef aquariums. Vinegar will slowly decrease your phosphate levels, but this isn’t recommended for a swimming pool. Adding significant amounts of vinegar to a pool will change the pH level and throw the water out of balance. It’s best to stick with a phosphate remove if your pool has more than 500 ppb (parts per billion) of phosphates.