Can you Dye Your Pool Safely for a Holiday?

Ask anyone that owns a backyard pool what their biggest challenge is. More than likely, the answer will be that keeping the pool water crystal clear and free of debris is the most complex task. With the holidays nearing, especially Valentine's day and then St. Patrick's day, you might be wondering if it's possible to dye your pool water for those days.
You may also be wondering, is it safe to dye your pool for a holiday? You may be familiar with the tradition of turning the Chicago River green for St. Patrick's day. You might also be considering turning your backyard pool the same color, or perhaps turning the water pink or red for Valentine's day and so on. 
The answer, unfortunately, isn't as simple as a yes or no. Many different factors can influence whether or not dying your pool is safe to do or not.

What kinds of Pool Dye Are there?
Surprisingly, there are many pool dyes varieties, and not all of them are just for holiday occasions. There are also several misinformed pieces of advice about what kinds of pool dye you can use in your pool.

What Dye to Avoid
Pond Dye
Pond dyes are generally used to shade and protect ponds while enhancing the natural color and beauty of the water. It is usually a 4x concentrated formula and commonly comes in three shades—for example, Nature's Blue, Twilight Blue, and Black DyeMond. The reason why we mention pond dyes for pools is that it is because some pool owners mistakenly purchase this, thinking it will work fine in their pool. A quick search reveals that this is a horrible idea. Pond dyes will react with the chlorine in your pool and quickly go from clear to blue, then sometimes black and end up in a muddy rusty color.
Food Coloring
You could choose to try using food coloring to dye the water of your pool, but we don't recommend it. The food coloring will stain the surfaces and tiles of your pool. Furthermore, some food dyes are acidic, meaning they can slowly erode the surfaces of your pool too.
The primary types of food coloring commonly have water-based and oil-based additives. Not all water-based additives will dissolve properly in water, and oil-based won't break down in the water at all. The oil-based food coloring will sit in a glob when used in water. Food coloring should be avoided for use in the pool as it can clog your filtration system, not to mention the sheer amount of food coloring you would have to buy to turn the pool a specific shade.

What Dye Should Be Used?
If you have your heart set on dying or changing the color of your pool, then your best bet is to ensure you choose a dye that has been specifically formulated for use in chlorinated pools. There are several types and brands that you can use that can change the color of your pool water to something besides blue, pool dyes to make it easier to track and find leaks, and pool dyes that also clarify water.
The Party Pool brand has three colors:
• Blue Lagoon
• Green Lagoon
• Rockin' Red
Party Pool dye is a color additive water enhancer and clarifier for water features such as fountains, pools, and ponds. It's relatively inexpensive, adds color to your pool water for up to three days, and is formulated to prevent staining clothing or the pool surface.

How To Dye A Pool
You'll need to gather a five-gallon bucket, rubber gloves, and the Party Pool dye of your choice. Then, to add the dye, you'll need to follow these steps:
• Make sure the five-gallon bucket is rinsed out and clean
• Add two gallons of pool water to the bucket
• Calculate the amount of water your pool has
• Apply rubber gloves to prevent concentrated dye from staining
• Shake dye bottle to mix it thoroughly
• Use one ounce of dye per 5,000 gallons of water
• Add the required amount to the bucket
• Gently stir to combine thoroughly
• Slowly distribute the mixture around the perimeter of your pool. The best places are near pool returns for optimal dilution
• Wait thirty to sixty minutes for the dye to fully cover the pool
• Once the dye is fully diluted, and at the shade of your preference, it is safe for swimming
• Avoid wearing all-white
• Run the pool as you usually would to filter out the color

Is It Safe to Dye Your Pool For a Holiday?
The bottom line from most experts is that while it is mostly safe to use pool-specific dye to change the color of your pool for a holiday—they don't recommend it as a professional due to what could happen afterward.
When using a dye in your pool, there is a risk that the substances or chemicals within them could negatively affect your pool's chlorine and pH levels. As many pool owners undoubtedly already know, keeping these things balanced without dyes can be challenging.
There is also the risk that the water in your pool does not change color but turns murky green, pink, or cloudy blue. While the pool dye itself is relatively inexpensive when it comes time to filter out the color, you may find expenses rising. Depending on your pool how quickly the dye stains the filter, you will probably have to replace and use several new filters in a row to clarify the water. 

Are There Any Other Options That Aren't Dye?
The safest and most cost-effective way to save yourself the trouble of any dye mishaps for coloring your pool for a holiday is by using LED lights. Bright LED lights can create almost any color inside the pool and have the added benefits of coming with many features such as color transitions and patterns. For example, a floating LED pool light might be able to transition between red and green or twinkle with both colors for a Christmas Pool party or be set to red or pink for Valentine's Day or Halloween or green for St. Patrick's day.
When it comes to safely changing your pool's color, try using non-damaging items such as LED lights and add party décor, pool floats, and other elements to create the right ambiance and save yourself the hassle of dealing with the fall out from chemicals this year.