How to Smooth Out Wrinkles from Your Pool Liner—The Right Way

It takes one visit to the dermatologist-recommended aisle of the drugstore to know that our culture is anything but pro-wrinkle. But just like wrinkles are inevitable as we age, wrinkles appearing on your pool liner are part of the deal. Dare you to find a pool owner with a liner who has never experienced them.

But just because they’re common doesn’t mean you should ever just let liner wrinkles sit. I’ll explain why you should work to remove the wrinkles from your pool liner, how to find the cause of the wrinkles, and how to get them out of your pool for good—all without dishing out the cash to replace your liner entirely.

Pool Liner Wrinkles are Annoying. But Are They Harmful?

Nobody likes stepping on a wrinkle, or looking down at their gorgeous pool and seeing massive, lined flaws. But pool wrinkles can actually be harmful, too.

It all goes back to why there are pool liner wrinkles in the first place. Pool wrinkles can be a symptom of a larger problem, such as leaks, corrosive landscaping, or a low water line. I’ll go into more details about this in the next section, but these other possibilities are important to keep in mind before you solve the wrinkle problem. Otherwise, getting wrinkles out of your pool liner is like putting a band-aid on a broken bone.

Plus, dark crevices are a bad idea in any pool—especially if you have a history of algae infestations. Pool liner wrinkles provide the environment of any algae’s dreams. But just because algae can grow out of sight doesn’t mean it should be out of mind. Algae is sure to deplete your sanitizer, throw off your chemical balance, and allow bacteria to grow in your pool water unhindered—fast. Thanks to the increased possibility of algae, pool liner wrinkles can actually disrupt the safety of your swim.

Everything that happens in your pool relies on your pump. Stay in top shape with the ultra-powerful Black & Decker 3 HP Variable-Speed Pump. It includes a warranty, qualifies for utility rebates, and pays itself off in up to 80% energy costs saved in all stages of operation. 

Why Pool Liner Wrinkles Happen

Sometimes, pool liner wrinkles just happen. Other times, they’re the sign of a bigger problem. Now that you know it’s important to trace the cause of yours, look out for these possibilities.

Baby, It’s Cold Inside

How’s the temperature of water? If your water has been excessively cold these days, it has probably caused your pool liner to harden, which can result in wrinkles. If this is the case, lucky you—the cause wasn’t so serious after all.

Before getting those wrinkles out, you’ll want to power on a powerful pool heat pump to warm up your water. This will make the process much easier for you, and prevent wrinkles in the future.

Low Water, More Problems

Pool water below the acceptable water line or that has been sitting stagnant for a while can cause liner wrinkles fast. If this is the case for your pool, it’s important to fill it with fresh water as soon as possible. Remember, it’s absolutely essential to run your pump every day!

So fill up with fresh water, get your pump running, and rebalance the chemical levels in your pool. Only then do I recommend trying to smooth out those wrinkles—though you can also try as your pool is filling up.

How’s that Landscaping?

Do you have trees with roots growing against your pool’s foundation? Does the soil below any of your vegetation swell with water near or under your pool? If the ground around your pool is starting to feel or look uneven, you might have a larger problem on your hands.

Ease up any pressure on your pool’s floor and walls by moving large plants that might be disrupting your pool’s even level—and do this before you work to get those wrinkles out.

Check for Leaks!

This is what you don’t want to be causing your liner wrinkles: leaks. If you have a leak in your pool walls or floor, water has seeped into the ground surrounding your pool and is pushing your liner up.

If you do find any leaks, make sure to patch them up before you attempt to smooth out your liner’s unsightly wrinkles. This might mean draining your pool entirely—and if you have an inground pool, you’ll want to do this especially carefully to avoid the dreaded inground pool pop-up.

To drain your pool, you want a powerful, reliable, and heavy-duty submersible pump like the BLACK+DECKER 1500 GPH Automatic Submersible Pump. It works on its own to detect water up to 1/8 inch and comes with a whopping 30 ft discharge hose and 25 ft power cord. 

How to Get Rid of Wrinkles—In Escalating Steps

Now that you’ve already considered why you have liner wrinkles and solved the cause of the problem, let’s smooth them out properly—and keep them gone!

All you’ll need for this process is a soft-soled pair of shoes, a soft-bristle pool brush, a toilet plunger, a submersible pump, and a Shop-Vac. But chances are you won’t need all of this stuff—once one method is working to remove your pool liner wrinkles, you can keep with that method until you’re done.

That’s why this list is in order from easy to hard. Softball step coming up next!

1. These Soft-Soled Shoes Were Made for Walking

Get out your most comfortable pair of soft-soled shoes for this step—which basically means the sole is flat, flexible, and will provide sturdy balance without damaging your pool liner.

Once you’ve got your shoes on, hop into your pool. Genty walk along the liner wrinkles, gently stretching them on either side as you go. This is the easiest and often a perfectly effective way to remove pool liner wrinkles. Just take care to go gently, so you don’t cause damage.

2. Grab a Soft Pool Brush

Walking not doing the job—or you’d rather not get into your pool if you don’t have to? Try a soft pool brush on a telescopic pole. Using the brush, gently smooth the wrinkles out by pulling the liner on either side. Just make sure that the bristles of the brush aren’t causing harm to your liner. And don’t push too hard, or you might just tumble in!

3. Plunge Them Out!

Bet you weren’t expecting this one. If your liner wrinkles aren’t budging, it’s time to get out a (clean!) toilet plunger. Place the plunger centered on top of your pool liner wrinkle, so that its circumference touches down on either side, and plunge it out. This will pull the liner each way and hopefully smooth out the wrinkle. If this level of force still isn’t helping, it’s time to move on to the next step.

4. Still No Dice? Time for a Drain

Say it isn’t so! Well, that’s life sometimes. If your wrinkles are being especially stubborn and walking, brushing, and plunging hasn’t worked, it’s time to get serious.

Drain your pool, but make sure to drain it properly. If your pool experiences the dreaded pool pop-up, wrinkles on your pool liner will be the least of your worries.

Now that your pool is getting drained, are you noticing that it’s a lot filthier than you thought? It’s time to give your automatic cleaner a much-needed upgrade by switching to the Blue Torrent MyBot Inground Robotic Cleaner, which works powerfully on its own to keep your walls and floor sparkling clean. As customer David Lain says, “Very pleased. My wife loves it.”

5. Blow Out the Liner!

Once your pool has been drained, get out your ShopVac. Keeping the liner wet to protect it from damage, put the ShopVac’s hose between the liner and the frame. Put the ShopVac in reverse to blow out the space between the liner and the frame first, and then reverse it again to suck the air out. Draining for this step is a bit of a hassle, but this should take care of your wrinkles—once and for all.

How’d You Do?

If you’re still struggling to get out those pesky wrinkles, you’ve got yourself two options: either hire a professional, or replace your liner. I know you probably don’t want to hear it, but we’ve done all we can on the DIY front. The choice is yours.

Smooth Swimming!

That marks the end of your pool wrinkles—hopefully for good. Now you’re up for smooth days ahead, for your feet, your chemical balance, and the structure of your pool’s foundation. Enjoy.


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