How to Remove Pool Liner Wrinkles in 10 Different Ways

Published Categorized as Pool Design, Pool Maintenance, Pool Troubleshooting
How to Remove Pool Liner Wrinkles in 10 Different Ways
A worker welds plastic cover for water pool. Water pool cover replacement. Plastic Welding Machine. Swimming pool care concept.

Have you noticed wrinkles appearing in your vinyl liner pool? You’ll need to act sharply once you spot any wrinkly pool liners.

These unsightly wrinkles aren’t just an eyesore and feel unpleasant to walk on; They can also cause real damage to your swimming pool.

Keep reading to learn how to avoid wrinkles and keep your vinyl pool liner smooth!

10 Ways on How to Properly Remove Pool Liner Wrinkles

Fix wrinkles in your in-ground pool with these tips!

1) Keep your pool liner warm

Vinyl liners in an inground pool are prone to wrinkles in colder temperatures. Pool liners that suffer through winters will harden, causing wrinkles.

Try picking up a pool heater to get your liner to the right temperature. Warm up the water until it’s 92°F (33.3 C) to ensure the liner softens.

For homeowners without a pool heater, you’ll have to wait until the weather warms up, so your pool isn’t filled with cold water.

Once the season’s warm enough, grab a pool brush or a plunger and work on the rest of your pool liner’s wrinkles.

2) Get some new pool liner

If your stubborn wrinkles refuse your best efforts to smooth them out, it’s time to replace the liner completely. You’ll probably guess this, but this is the most expensive trick here, so save it as a last resort!

This is a fairly drastic method and should not be attempted by amateurs. Hire professionals to replace the liner for you.

Pay attention while having the new liner installed for any wrinkles that may crop up.

3) Use a toilet plunger

Yes, we’re talking about that plunger. But don’t rush off to the nearest toilet; You’ll need a clean toilet plunger for this trick.

Drain the pool about halfway, then wade inside with your toilet plunger. Head to any wrinkles you spot and plunge them on both sides.

Pull the liner towards the walls as you plunge to remove the wrinkles.

4) Take a hike!

And by hike, we mean “across your vinyl pool liner.” If you notice wrinkles around the pool early on, you can treat them quickly and easily.

Pick a pair of soft-soled shoes and tread on any pool liner wrinkles your spot. As you step on them, stretch them towards a specific side to get them out.

Once you’ve finished walking around your pool, treat any remaining pool liner wrinkles with a pool brush to get rid of them.

Ensure that the soft-soled shoes are flat but balanced, and take care not to damage your liner.

5) Check the exterior of your pool area

Assess the ground surrounding your swimming pool. There may be landscape features that are directing water towards your swimming pool.

Check your property for nearby trees whose roots may grow too close to the pool. If you find any trees or shrubbery that are pushing against the liner, remove them promptly.

The next step is to check the soil itself. Keep an eye out for any uneven patches around your pool by walking around the area.

Once you’ve confirmed that the landscape is causing your liner problems, adjust the grading around your property so it slopes away from any structures.

You can tackle those liner wrinkles when you’ve relieved some of the pressure around your pool’s foundation.

6) Time for some fresh water

Your pool liner can develop small wrinkles if your pool hasn’t been drained for an extended period. Maintain a consistent water level to avoid this issue!

These won’t be a big problem, but you’ll need to partially drain the pool to deal with tougher wrinkles, then refill it afterward with new water.

Keep your liner wet throughout this process to avoid damaging it further.

7) Get some professional help

Sometimes draining, brushing, and walking won’t cut it, and you’ll need to call on some professionals to assess your pool. This is another last-resort measure, but don’t be afraid to get help.

Homeowners who don’t have enough time for regular maintenance are more likely to encounter liner wrinkles.

If your repair attempts so far aren’t working out, get in touch with a professional pool company to smooth out your pool’s wrinkles.

8) Pick up a shop vac

You can use a shop vac to remove wrinkles if you have the necessary equipment. Note that you’ll need to drain your pool first before you can get at the liner wrinkles.

Be careful with where you put your shop vac with this method. Keep it firmly between the liner and pool wall, not on the liner itself.

Once you’ve got the shop vac positioned over the pool liner wrinkles, flip it in reverse. You’re doing this to push air through the pool liner wrinkles and smooth them out.

After you’ve gotten the pool liner wrinkles out, flip the shop vac back to normal and get that excess air out of your pool liner.

9) Look for leaks

Your liner may have wrinkles because of a leak. Water leaks are a big issue because they can cause major damage to the rest of your pool.

If you suspect a leak is causing your liner’s wrinkles, find and patch it before smoothing out the wrinkles.

Depending on the severity of the leak, this may require partially or even fully draining your pool.

10) Balance your pool water’s chemistry

Good water chemistry is vital to keep your pool liner from wrinkling. Ensure that you test the pH level in your pool regularly as part of your maintenance routine.

You can chlorine shock your pool to keep it at the correct pH levels. Keep in mind that water chemistry must be balanced properly.

Too much chlorine will also cause the liner to harden and develop wrinkles. If you believe the chlorine in your pool is causing liner wrinkles, look closely at the affected areas.

The liner in question should be bleached or faded. Excess chlorine is basic, while a low pH level will cause your pool to become acidic.

Be careful with the pH level of your pool to avoid these problems.

Wall skimmer equipment filtration swimming pool system with reflection on blue water pool. Normally it is really tough to get wrinkles out of the way from around the filter.

What Causes Wrinkles in Your Pool?

Vinyl liner pools will be prone to wrinkles after enough time, but some issues will cause more damage to your pool liner than others. Here are a few common culprits.

Excessive Water

Unexplained issues with your pool liner may result from the water table changing around your pool. Too much water outside and within your pool will push your liner upwards like a pillow.

Once the water recedes, you’ll end up with a floating pool liner. Check the area around the pool for any changes in the water level.

In extreme cases, homeowners experience liner wrinkles due to “hydrostatic pressure.” It’s a mouthful, but it refers to the pressure within your pool.

Any water flowing toward your pool will collect underneath it and compete with the pressure from the rest of your pool’s water. This will result in your pool liner “ballooning” and leaving wrinkles.

Imbalanced Pool Water

Poor water chemistry can manifest in pool liner wrinkles if your pool has poor water chemistry. The damage to the pool may also shorten the lifespan of your pool toys and other gear.

A low pool water pH level will cause the liner to absorb excess water and stretch out.

While a low pH level can cause wrinkles, an excessively high pH level may cause people to develop rashes and damage your pool’s circulation system.

If this happens, pick up some powerful pH reducers to balance your pool’s pH level. These chemicals are dangerous, so remember to wear protective gear!

New Pool Liner Blues

It’s common to see wrinkles after a new liner has been installed, but reputable builders should ensure this doesn’t happen.

Homeowners getting a refresh for their liner should pay attention to the process. Don’t be afraid to point out any wrinkles around your liner during installation.

It’s better to solve any potential issues now rather than wait for them to become an issue later. A new vinyl liner will typically need to be installed with the help of a shop vac.

This will ensure that the liner is taut against your pool’s frame before you fill it with water.

Check for Any Installation Issues

Poor installation will lead to a host of issues with your in-ground pool. Ensure that your pool has been fitted properly.

Incorrect liner size will result in excess material prone to wrinkling and cracking.

How Can You Prevent Wrinkles From Appearing in Your Pool?

Keep your liner wrinkle-free with these tips!

1) Use fresh water

You can prevent wrinkles from appearing in your pool with the help of fresh water. Letting your pool water become stagnant can cause your liner to wrinkle and harden.

Take note that this doesn’t mean “drain the pool constantly.” Rather, keep wrinkles from cropping up on your liner by checking its water level occasionally.

Homeowners should drain their pools once every few years to keep the liner from cracking or wrinkling and to keep their water bills low. Well-maintained water can sit for around 5 to 7 years!

2) Regular maintenance

Homeowners who spot minor wrinkles in their pool liner can quickly treat them using a pool brush and some time.

While the brush is important for keeping your pool walls clean, it’s not just for removing dirt and algae; It can also be used to stretch out the liner!

Keep your pool clean and maintain a normal water level. This should keep you safe from liner wrinkles.

3) Install a dewatering system

You might know this better as a “Sump pump.” It’s best to install a sump pump alongside your pool, but you can have it added afterward at a fairly high cost.

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In most cases, the pump will be enough, but extreme cases may require you to install a hydrostatic valve within your pool.

This valve is vital for helping the water pressure within and outside your pool equalize and reduce the chances of your liner moving.

If your area has experienced a large change in water levels over the past few years, you might have to take more drastic measures.

Add a few French drains and gravel for adequate drainage around your property.

How Do I Drain My Pool Safely?

A few of the above mentioned methods involve draining your pool, but how do you begin? You can’t simply pull a plug and get rid of all that water.

Contact your local water authority before you begin, and ensure your pool’s pH level is acceptable before draining. Next is the timing!

You’ll want to wait for a nice sunny day, but don’t drain during a heatwave. Aim for a temperature of 85 F.

Open any hydrostatic valves in your pool and direct that water downwards, away from your property. Once you’ve drained the pool, refill it quickly to avoid damaging your liner!


Now you know how to tackle those unsightly wrinkles in your pool liner!

When you notice wrinkles in your pool liner, don’t wait for them to harden and become an even bigger problem. They’re not just eyesores but can be symptoms of a bigger issue.

If your pool’s wrinkles are too tough to handle, hire a professional to speed up the job. Remember to refill your pool after the repair jobs are done, and run your pump regularly!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about removing pool wrinkles

Learn more about pool wrinkles here!

Why should I remove pool wrinkles?

Besides being fairly unsightly, pool wrinkles can cause the liner to crack or develop holes. They can also make cleaning the pool more difficult since dirt will clump near the wrinkles. Liner wrinkles are both an aesthetic issue and a danger to the longevity of your pool, so act quickly and remove any wrinkles you see.

Is it ok if my pool liner has wrinkles?

Swimming pools will naturally develop wrinkles, but pool owners should take the necessary steps to fix any vinyl liner wrinkles they see.

How can I avoid liner wrinkles from appearing in my pool?

The two main things to be aware of is to 1) use fresh water and 2) do regular maintenance. These are the two main reasons (or lack of) for wrinkles appearing. Take care of your pool and everything will be fine!

By Christine Newton

Hi, I’m Christine. I’m a swimmer and the Lead Editor of YourPool. I’ve been working with content for as long as I can remember, and I really enjoy finding inspiration for our readers. Right now, I’m living in a small pool (literally), but my dream is to have a complete oasis one day. Stay tuned—I’ll make it happen!


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