Sun screen in swimming pool

I searched our forum for this question but couldn’t find a response. I’m assuming it has come up in the past.

Our pool is a pebblecrete inground pool.

After our last guests left there is an oily sheen over the top of the pool water which we are assuming is sun cream residue. We don’t have any policy in place for our guests in this respect.

Just wondering if there are any recommendations on the best way to manage this. We are in the Australian tropics so the sun is very fierce year round and we appreciate that the guests need some sort of sun protection. Also we like to keep the pool clean and clear.

Any suggestions on this please?

I am Casper the friendly ghost fair complected with blue eyes. I become a crispy critter without sunscreen in about 15 minutes. My neighborhood pool postred signsabout showering before entering AND using Sports-style sunscreens. I don’t know if it helped but sports sunscreens do not wash off easily.

Perhaps explain to guests that tanning oils and sunscreens that are not water resistant ruin the pool conditions for the next guest so either use sports sunscreens or shower before using the pool.

I’m guessing about 1/2 of your guests will care & comply.

1 Like

Try providing non-oily sunscreen and post a large sign that says “Use only the provided sunscreen during your visit.” or something to that effect.

Does your pool not have a skimmer and filter that will remove the offending scum? Ours certainly does.


If the weather is warm enough to use a pool, then every skin type will need some sort of sunscreen. It sounds as though the pool needs some sort of attention - maybe what Ken suggests?

1 Like

We only had a real problem with this a couple of years ago when we had a group of 4 very blonde, very fair-skinned young women staying!

Since then we have suggested the use of non-oily sun protection and have an outdoor shower fed from a garden tap. We suggest guests use it before they swim, but realistically when it’s very hot and people are constantly dipping in and out, that’s not going to happen very often …

We have more of a problem on the pool sides at the waterline than on the surface itself. It’s VERY difficult to remove as you can’t use a cleaner with high surfactant content unless you want a foam party! Also it’s damn hard on the knees trying to scrub the waterline regularly …

I would just suggest keeping it in check by increasing the amount of time you filter and using more algicide and flocculant than you might normally - this seems to keep it in check for us.


Thanks KenH - seems like the way to go. Yes we do have a skimmer and filter however our pool is shaded by trees … and leaves … so we always have one of those pool cleaners plugged in crawling around the bottom of the pool.

Yesterday I removed it and the filter is starting to get on top of the oil on the surface of the pool.

1 Like

Thank you - more or less the same scenario - 2 girls from Austria who had a wonderful time in the pool ALL DAY. Also note other advice

You need a screened in “pool cage” that is really helpful with all the leaf litter. Last year after Hurricane Irma, we only had a couple dozen pine needles that made it into the pool! A cage costs a couple thousand (about $1500 for a re-screen every 10 or 15 years) but is well worth the expense. We have one of those ‘bottom crawlers’ but only use it perhaps one day a month; the rest of the time it’s in a deck box.

You can see some of our pool cage in our listing photos:

We can’t do the “pool cage” thing.

  1. We are in a Cyclone Category 5 zone in the Australian tropics and building to that spec is VERY expensive.
  2. We would have to cool inside via air conditioning.
  3. We have 6 mature Cuban Royal palms hanging over the pool and the fronds are very heavy when they fall.
    Thank you for your suggestions though Ken.

I’m looking at your “pool cage” with some envy, Ken, as we also, like @JohnnyAir, have trees and shade over the pool. We absolutely dread waking up in the morning to the merest hint of a breeze! Worst of all are the “terral” winds, hot, dry winds that come from the Northwest and bring down enough pine needles in pool and garden to fill about a dozen garden sacks.

We don’t have a “crawler” as I thought they won’t eat pine needles - am I wrong?

There are, here at least, several different kinds of crawler. Some look like a Hoover – a box with wheels with a long hose; the one we have is the Kreepy Krawly brand, which has a suction disk about 18" (40-50 cm) in diameter, with a ‘wand’ coming out of the center and the hose attached to the end of that. Ours does a decent job of sucking up even 8" long needles.

Thanks, KenH, definitely going to investigate that!