The Right Way to Clean a Swimming Pool

Everyone loves a clean swimming pool. But not everyone loves cleaning a swimming pool. Keeping your pool sparkling clean can be labor intensive. But the longer you put it off, the worse it will get. If you follow these basic steps, you can be confident that your pool will always be ready for a casual swim or a neighborhood pool party.

Tips to Keep Your Pool Clean

Keeping a swimming pool clean can take some work, but when you see the results you will see that it’s worth the effort. And we’re not just talking about keeping your pool water clean, although that is important. Proper pool cleaning involves cleaning your actual pool, the walls, the steps, all of it.

Of course, if you prefer to the let the professionals take care of it, you can contact The Pool Butler through our website or by calling us at (770) 439-2644. But if you are determined to clean your pool yourself, here are some guidelines to make your efforts as successful as possible.

The Right Way to Clean a Swimming Pool [infographic]

Get a Telescopic Pole

Before you start cleaning your pool, you will want to make sure you have all the right tools for the job. Once you have the tools, knowing how and when to use them will help keep your pool sparkling clean.

The first think you will need is a telescopic pole. This is the most useful, vital, and versatile piece of equipment in your pool cleaning arsenal. A telescopic pole is exactly what it sounds like, a pole that extends to reach all over your pool. Your best bet is to buy an 8 foot pole that extends to 16 feet. That will give you maximum coverage so you don’t have to keep moving all over the place as you clean your pool.

Pool Skimmer Net

The next thing you will need is a pool skimmer. Don’t skimp on this tool, because you will be using it almost daily. You will use your pool skimmer to collect all sorts of debris, both debris floating on the surface of your pool and what has fallen to the bottom. Your two main options are to get a flat skimmer or a bag skimmer. A flat skimmer is easier to empty because you can brush the debris right off. A bag skimmer is harder to empty, but it holds a lot more. So the choice is up to you about where you want to spend your effort, continually emptying a flat skimmer or taking the extra effort to empty out a bag.

You should be using your skimmer daily. Daily skimming for floating debris will mean you spend less time trying to scoop up junk that has fallen to the bottom of your pool.

Pool Vacuum

A pool vacuum is actually several pieces of equipment. You will need a vacuum head, a skim vac (the plate that goes on your vacuum head), and a hose long enough to reach your whole pool. Your pool vacuum attaches to your telescopic pole. You use it just like you would use a regular vacuum to clean your house. Run the vacuum over the bottom of your pool to suck up any debris, such as leaves, sticks, hair, or any other garbage that gets stuck down there. If you are skimming your pool daily, you should only need to vacuum every other day. Of course, after an event that dumps a lot of debris, like a storm that drops a bunch of leaves into your pool, you may need to go out and do some extra skimming and vacuuming to clean up.

Pool Brush

You may not think that you need to brush your pool, but you would be wrong. The chemicals you put in your pool water will keep the water clean, but they will not keep the walls of your pool completely clean. If you really want a clean pool, brushing your pool is a step you can’t ignore. What type of pool brush you need depends on what type of pool you have. An unpainted concrete pool requires a brush with both stainless steel and nylon bristles. If you have a gunite pool, you will need a brush with all stainless steel bristles. And if you have a pool made of fiberglass, vinyl, or painted cement, you will need to be a little more gentle and use a brush with only nylon bristles.

You should be brushing your pool at least twice a week. Make sure to get the whole pool, including the walls and in the corners, but also the ladders, rails, or anything else that is underwater. This will knock off any algae that is beginning to form. The algae will float of into the pool water where your pool chemicals can take care of it. Of course, this only works if your pool water and the chemicals in it are doing their job. For more information on keeping your pool water balanced, check out this blog post on “Why pH Balance is Important for Your Pool”.

Brushing is only meant to keep algae from taking hold. But if you have been avoiding brushing and start to develop a serious algae problem you will need to do a lot more than brush. You can learn more about pool algae on our blog.

Keep Your Pool Deck Clean

If you are putting in the effort to keep your pool clean, you should be taking the extra time to keep your pool deck clean, too. First of all, if your pool deck is covered in branches, fallen leaves, and other debris, where do you think all the debris will go? That’s right. The debris will wind up right back in your pool, making all of your cleaning useless. So of course you will want to sweep your pool deck daily to keep more debris from getting in your pool.

Besides sweeping the debris away from your pool and keeping your pool deck clear, you will also need to do a little bit of deeper cleaning. No matter how clean your pool water is, once it gets onto your deck it is not going to stay clean enough to prevent mold and algae growth. Once mold and algae start to take root, they are not only unsightly, but dangerous. A slippery film of algae on your pool deck is a recipe for slips and falls.

To clean your pool deck you can use specialized outdoor and deck cleaning detergents, or just get some trisodium phosphate powder that you mix with water. Whatever you use to clean your pool deck, follow the directions that come with it, because how much you use and how you apply it will vary depending on the material of your pool deck.

Once you have applied the detergent to your pool deck, you can simply scrub down the deck with a hard bristle, long handled brush. Of course, if you don’t want to scrub by hand or if your deck is particularly large, you could always invest in a power washer. It’s more expensive than a brush, but will definitely speed up the cleaning process. If you’re not ready to drop that kind of money, there are cheaper options. Consider trying a high pressure hose nozzle with your regular backyard hose to see if that is sufficient for your needs.

How to Save Time and Trouble

If the steps above sound like a lot of work, you’re right. Keeping your pool clean can be a chore. Of course, you could hire the professionals at The Pool Butler to take care of it for you. Of course we can keep your pool clean. But we are trained to spot any issues with your pool that may require further attention or repair. That can save you from large costly repairs down the line. You can contact The Pool Butler through our website or by calling us at (770) 439-2644 to set up a regular pool cleaning and maintenance schedule.

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