Having a pool can be a great blessing, especially in the summer months but not everyone can afford it! This isn’t just because of the initial cost of building a pool, but the maintenance expenditure that comes after it!

Pool maintenance costs, on average, range anywhere between $84 and $278 a week, and that is if you are doing much of the cleaning chores yourself. The reason behind this is all the money that goes into buying the pool chemicals and supplies that are required to clean your pool.

I am Joel Peters and I will be telling you about some everyday household products that you can use to clean your pool, avoiding that trip to the local pool supplies store! Most of these products can be found at a price that is much cheaper than the supplies from the pool store!

There is a little bit of a warning before we get into the products. Keep in mind that the products listed here only work for traditional chlorine-based swimming pools and may not work the same way with other pool maintenance systems like salt pool water systems or oxidizers.

Keeping this in mind, let’s get on with the list!

Baking Soda

The first option that can be found in most average homes is baking soda. Sodium bicarbonate or sodium hydrogen carbonate can be used to raise the alkalinity of the water in your pool. The process is very simple. Just add 1.5 pounds of baking soda to 10,000 gallons of water to increase the total alkalinity by approximately 10 ppm.

Baking soda can also be used to get rid of the yellow and black algae that form in the pool water, especially if your pool is an above ground pool. This is because baking soda is gentler on its vinyl walls.

A very important thing to note here is that while you can use household baking soda to clean your pool, never try to use your pool baking soda for cooking or baking.


Another great product to clean your pool is regular household bleach, or sodium hypochlorite. It is a cheaper alternative for the pool shock that you pick up at your local pool store and does a similar job.

In case you are facing problems because of hard water, bleach also helps reduce the calcium precipitation in the water. This means that you can save more money by getting the benefits of two separate pool chemicals in just one regular household product. You must ensure, however, that you are using the unscented type of bleach.

Half a gallon of bleach, when added to a 10,000-gallon pool, can raise its chlorine level by 5 ppm.

Muriatic Acid

Muriatic acid is a chemical that can be used to lower your pool water’s alkalinity while protecting the water from bacterial blooms and mineral buildup. It is highly effective and can lower the alkalinity of water by as much as 10 ppm in a typical 10,000-gallon pool.

While it is a great alternative because it’s cheaper than most alkalinity decreasers that are specifically made for pools, it is a very strong chemical and has to be handled with great care. Muriatic acid is toxic to humans and can cause injury on contact, so make sure you have protective gear on when you use it!

White Vinegar

Calcium buildup can be noticed around the pool’s water line pretty often and while it won’t cause any particular harm to your pool, it is bad to look at.

Vinegar is a great tool to get rid of this calcium buildup. Just use a half water, half vinegar solution to remove all those annoying white streaks that you may find inside your pool and hot tub and it will look as good as new. Vinegar can also be used to restore shine to metal surfaces. However, if you don’t have vinegar handy, just use some rubbing alcohol, which works almost as well.


Found in the laundry aisle of almost every story in the country, Borax is a great product to use when you’re trying to raise the pH levels in your pool. It is actually made up of a natural mineral called sodium tetraborate pentahydrate

The process, again, is very simple. You have to add one half of a cup per 10,000 gallons of water to increase the pH. The quantity required, however, will depend on how big your pool is and how much the pH levels in your pool need to be raised.

Vitamin C Tablets

Pool cleaning solutions that you find at specialty stores are usually pretty expensive. Here is an alternative for you! Go to your medicine cabinet and pull out the bottle of vitamin C tablets. This may come as a surprise for you but vitamin C isn’t just good for your body, it can also help in removing those stubborn stains that can form on your pool’s walls.

Just crush some tablets and rub the powder on the stains to remove them. Gel tablets or capsules will not work here so you have to ensure that you are using sugar-coated tablets.

Plastic Broom

You may not always need to straightaway use a vacuum to clean up the entire pool. If you see some dirt and leaves lying around, it is very easy to just pick up a plastic broom that may be in the house and use it to get to the bigger debris.

Once that is cleared, the process of vacuuming also becomes relatively easier. Just make sure that the broom you use has plastic bristles, or it won’t work well under water!

It is now time for you to cut down on those skyrocketing pool maintenance costs by using products that may already be in your cupboard. However, you must keep in mind that some pool chemicals and cleaning supplies are simply irreplaceable and it is very important to check all your labels and be careful while using any type of chemicals. Stay safe and have a great pool season!

Additional Resources:

  • https://poolsidenews.org/10-household-items-you-can-use-to-clean-your-pool-and-save-money-on-pool-care-costs/
  • https://www.medallionenergy.com/blog/11-household-products-for-cleaning-a-pool/
  • https://www.realtor.com/advice/home-improvement/how-to-clean-a-swimming-pool/
  • https://www.thriftyfun.com/Household-Chemicals-for-Pool-Maintenance-1.html
  • https://www.homeadvisor.com/cost/swimming-pools-hot-tubs-and-saunas/maintain-a-swimming-pool/