How to Get Baby Oil Out of Your Pool


Things You’ll Need

  • Cloth pads, either commercial or cloth baby diapers

  • Pool skimmer

  • Filter degreaser

Man cleaning hotel outdoor pool with net A pool skimmer makes oil clean-up easier. Image Credit: Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images

Even with a new filter and the right combination of chemicals, suntan lotion and oil can build up in pools to create a greasy, hazy cloud on the water. Baby oil, a perfumed mineral oil that is often used to gain a deeper tan, can accumulate on the surface and resemble a small oil spill. While adding additional chemicals may eventually break up the cloud, using simple cotton cloths such as baby diapers or cleaning cloths from marine or auto shops can get a fast handle on the job.

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Step 1

Turn the pool pump off to keep the oil from being moved around or pulled into the filter as you are working.

Step 2

Place the absorbent pad directly on the baby oil in the pool. Allow it to float on top of the oil until the cloth is saturated; it may begin to sink.

Step 3

Remove the saturated cloth and place another cloth on the spill. Continue this process until the majority of the baby oil has been removed.

Step 4

Wrap an absorbent cloth around the edges of a pool skimmer. Move the cloth slowly over the surface of the water where any remaining pools of baby oil appear until it has been absorbed by the cloth. Repeat this step as necessary with clean cloths.

Step 5

Clean the pool's filter with a degreaser to remove any baby oil that may clog the filter, following the pool manufacturer's directions on properly removing and washing the type of filter — sand, cartridge or DE (Diamataceous earth) — used in your pool.

Step 6

Reattach the cleaned filter and turn the pump back on in the pool.


A cloth can be moved by hand across the water surface if you have no pool skimmer.


Baby oil may alter the chemicals added to pool water to keep it clean. An additional treatment of chlorine or other pool substances may be needed to shock pool water back into the proper chemical combination once the filter is washed.

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