Flocculant vs. Clarifier

If you notice that your pool water is cloudy after overcoming an algae bloom, most likely you need a coagulant agent. (make sure to rule out any chemical imbalances first)  Clarifier and Flocculant are types of coagulant agents, and their job is to clump these tiny particles into larger clumps so that your filter can collect them or be flushed to waste.

What’s the difference?

Clarifier works with your filter and boosts your filters cleaning ability by binding small particles into larger particles that your filter media can trap. It’s safe to use with sand, DE, and a cartridge filter system. Clarifier requires constant circulation, and it’s important that your pump and filter run continuously for at least the first 24 hours for optimal results. It’s a mild coagulating agent compared to flocculant making for a slower work rate but is an ideal choice for light cloudiness. We also recommend you work it into your regular cleaning regimen to give your water that extra sparkle.


  • Least amount of work

  • Great for light cloudiness and superfine silt


  • Could take several days to get the desired result

Again as a coagulating agent, a flocculant will attract suspended particles to itself. However, these particles are bound into marble sized clumps so large that they no longer float but that sink to the bottom of the pool. With this treatment, the filter should remain OFF. Within 8-12 hours vacuum this carpet of debris TO WASTE. Floc should never come into contact with your filter media and is only suggested to use with filters with bypass options. It is not recommended to use a flocculant with a cartridge system unless you have plumbed a bypass for the filter.


  • Shows results within a few hours

  • Super effective  


  • Requires vacuuming

  • Water waste, you can lose a good bit of water while cleaning the pool

  • Can’t be used on systems with cartridge filters (unless there is a bypass)

A clarifier is an excellent option for light cloudiness, and we highly recommended it for routine maintenance. Flocculant on the other hand, although more labor intensive is just right for your more dense cloudiness and heavier cleaning jobs such as at opening after dealing with an algae bloom. Whichever one you choose make sure to read all of the instructions on the bottle carefully. Happy Swimming! 😎