The idea of having a swimming pool in your backyard is a dream come true for many.
You do not have to travel on a weekend just to have a swim.
Besides, you get to hold parties and enjoy your swim alone or with family and friends.
However, owning a pool is not the end of it all and many people tend to forget about pool cleaning and maintenance.
Cleaning and maintaining the pool is where the real battle is but it is also not that difficult.
On the other hand, it is not as fun as swimming.
Look at it this way, would you love to dive in a pool which is full of leaves and other waste?
I bet not.
Even though cleaning it is not as entertaining, it will be worth it when you get into a clean pool with clear blue water.
Furthermore, it is a lovely sight to look at.
Why Must You Clean Your Pool?
Do you regularly wash your sinks and your bathtub?
Then you have the answer already.
Just as you clean other parts of your house is the same reason why pool cleaning should be done regularly.
You do not want dirt on the walls of your bathtub since it will be a nauseating experience every time you take a bath.
This is what can happen if your pool becomes too dirty.
Due to filth including bugs, the pool water can become too slimy and who would want to dive into such a pool?
There are so many reasons why you have to make sure that you clean your pool.
Dirty water can make you sick and even cause skin diseases.
Some bacteria you may be exposed to include E.coli and giardia.
Additionally, you may experience diarrhea, ear and eye infections, and respiratory failure.
The pool may also be home to algae and moss, which are known to be slippery.
If they appear in your swimming pool, then you might slip and hurt yourself.
If you want to know how to wash and maintain your swimming pool, then read on.
Pool maintenance – Basics
Before heading out and draining all the water it is important to understand the basics. Maintaining a pool is not brain surgery, and with the right equipment, anyone can do it.
Chlorine and other chemicals can leave your pool spotless but you also need other tools like a brush to scrub off any debris on the walls.
A vacuum for this task is also necessary to clean the bottom and leave it spick and span.
Note there are several ways you can clean a pool and different tools to do so.
Here are the basics of pool cleaning.
1. Pool cleaning – Skimming and Scrubbing
It is a no-brainer you need to skim leaves and debris from the surface of the water.
This is the easiest task if you have the right supplies like a silver spring pool brush.
Skimming ensures that you have removed any foliage on top of the water, which can contaminate it.
Thus, this process has to be done regularly.
Additionally, after skimming you need to scrub the sides of the pool and the ladder.
Pay more attention to areas with poor water circulation.
Scrubbing can be done by weekly brushing.
2. How to maintain a pool – Vacuuming
The bottom of the pool needs as much attention as the surface.
This is where all the algae and germs will be hiding, if not cleaned properly.
For this next task, you need a pool vacuum and no, it is not your household vacuum, but one designed only for swimming pools.
There are two types of pool vacuums: automatic and manual.
There are three types of automatic cleaners: a pressure-side cleaner, a suction-side cleaner, and a pool cleaning robot.
The latter is the most effective but costly tool.
A pool robot cleaner goes around the bottom collecting all debris. Manual vacuums are the least expensive.
Set up the tools before vacuuming.
It is not a difficult process and it can be done the same way you vacuum a carpet.
Pay more attention to the dirtier areas.
Vacuuming with a pool cleaner needs to be done at least once a week to keep any germs away and to make the pool safe to use.
3. Swimming pool maintenance – Test Water Chemical Levels
The chemical levels of the pool are the most crucial part of pool maintenance.
Imbalanced levels of chemicals can lead to irritation of the eyes and the skin and even create a breeding ground for germs.
To avoid this, you need to test the pool chemicals at least once a week.
Consider these six chemical levels:
- Alkalinity or acidity: This is also known as the pH level.
Keep this between 7.2 and 7.8.
- Cyanuric acid: This is a stabilizer that helps reduce chlorine loss in the pool due to sunlight exposure.
- Total Alkalinity (TA): This is a measurement of the alkalinity in the water.
This test should keep the pH levels steady.
- Free Chlorine: This keeps the water free from germs and bacteria
- Calcium Hardness: Make sure the calcium hardness is not too high as it can damage your bathing suits and clog the filter system.
You can purchase these testing kits to assess the above chemicals as part of regular pool maintenance.
If they are balanced appropriately, then your water will be pure and will leave little to no residue after a dip.
4. Check the Pool Filter System
The pool filters are an essential part and you need to take good care of them.
They remove all the impurities from the water including leaves, dirt, and even the tiniest toys.
It is wise to remove anything that may be clogging the pool filter.
Just turn them off and remove the cap on the pool deck. You can do this once a week.
Additionally, clean the pipes from the filter system at least once a month.
Let the water run through the pipes until it runs clear.
A good idea is to let the filter run about six hours a day by setting a timer.
This is to avoid the filters from becoming damaged due to occasional turning on and off.
5. Pool care – Shocking
This can seem like a scary task, but it will all be worth it.
Shocking the pool involves adding free chlorine into the water to disinfect it as part of pool maintenance.
Do not use too much or it will irritate your eyes and body.
Furthermore, shocking should be done frequently.
You can do it at night to avoid the sun’s rays from eating it up before it does its work.
Swimming pool maintenance – Techniques/Tips
Even when you have left your pool sparkling, there are still some important steps to improve. Here are some of the things you have never thought about.
1. How to clean a pool – Use Tennis Balls in the Pool
Imagine all the conditioners, natural oils, hair products, suntan lotions, and sunscreen from your skin.
These might leave the water greasy and leave stains on the waterline, not forgetting clogging up the filters.
To avoid this, you can toss one or two tennis balls in the water for a while.
The fibers on the balls can absorb oils and make your pool clean.
Do not forget to replace the balls frequently.
2. How to take care of a pool – Winterize
Before the winter season, prepare your pool by doing the following:
- Balance the chemical levels: pH (7.2 to 7.4) Alkalinity (80-220 ppm)
- Remember to shock the pool
- Remove ladders, skimmer buckets, cleaners, and any other equipment or toys
- Skim, scrub and vacuum the pool
- Lower the level of water using the filter pump
- Oil the O-Rings
- Use a safety cover to close the pool and prevent it from freezing.
The cover should not have any holes or gaps.
3. Pools maintenance for dummies – Clean the Pool Deck
It is easy to spend all the time thinking about the inside of the pool and forget about the deck.
You will track the dirt and leaves into the pool if the deck is not clean, which will mean you have done zero work.
Sweep the deck a couple of times a week, sanitize it, and give it a good scrub with a pool brush.
4. How to clean swimming pool – Let it be Serviced by a Professional
Even though you might want to do everything yourself, nothing will ever beat professional help.
That is why it is a clever idea to let your pool be serviced at least once a year by a professional.
These experts know more about the pool type you have than you do.
Plus, they understand even complicated stuff.
They are great at checking if the equipment is functioning correctly like the filters and the heating systems.
And they also offer customer service.
How to keep a pool clean – Common Problems
You may encounter a few problems when cleaning a pool or carrying out pool maintenance.
However, this should not prevent you from keeping it gleaming.
One of the most common problems is the following:
Cleaning an Exceedingly Dirty Swimming Pool
Some pools can be dirty to the extent of the water becoming green due to lack of pool maintenance.
This will take you some time and elbow grease to make it clear blue and free from any impurities.
To start cleaning a dirty pool, first, skim the surface of the water.
However, do not use a skimmer as this can make the situation even worse by stirring scum into the water.
Instead use a leaf net.
Adjust the chemicals by testing the pH level.
You can then lower it to 7.2 and use a pH reducer and increaser to balance the levels.
Shock the pool.
This will need more gallons of pool shock than a cleaner one.
Start by adding a few gallons and see if it changes to clear or light green.
If not, add a few more and wait for about 24 hours to repeat the process.
Be careful not to overdo it.
Additionally, you need to backwash your filter at least three times a day and let it run for 24 hours for a few days.
This is to clear any debris or bacteria that might have built up.
Finally, clean the floor with a pool vacuum.
This will need more time and attention.
If you find it difficult, call a professional to help you.
How to maintain a swimming pool – Tools You Can Use
To make your swimming pool cleaning fun and easier, you need some essential tools as follows:
- Telescoping pole: For skimming and brushing
- Vacuum hose and head
- Leaf traps
- Skimmer vac plate
- Skimmer nets
- Leaf bagger
- Pool brushes
Pool maintenance for dummies – FAQs
How often should a pool be cleaned?
This depends on several factors like how close your pool is to trees and the pool type.
However, cleaning your pool should consist of weekly maintenance including checking on pH levels and skimming for insects or leaves.
Moreover, you should close your pool for 2-3 days every 2 months.
How do I clean my inground pool?
For thorough cleaning, skim debris, and leaves with an empty skimmer basket at least once per week.
Remove any objects from the pool before cleaning.
If there is any debris at the bottom, use a vacuum cleaner made for pool use, then skim the surface.
Drain all the water from the pump, heater, filter, and any other tubing.
Do this when the pool is off-season.
Follow the instructions for your specific pool type.
Using a pool surface cleaner, apply it using a brush on the waterline at the pool walls and scrub.
This cleaner will help remove any stains.
How long does it take to clean a pool?
It depends on the size and pool type and how dirty it is.
It can take around 20 minutes for a small and not so dirty pool.
For a larger and dirty pool, it can take 45 minutes when using a vacuum.
How to clean a swimming pool
Cleaning a pool is a simple process as long as you have the right tools.
First, start by skimming debris from the surface.
Second, scrub the waterline to remove any stains.
Lastly, clean the bottom part with a vacuum.
How to keep a pool clean?
Understand the water chemicals, add algaecide to the water, skim regularly, and maintain the filters.
Cover the pool when not in use or during winter.
How to clean the bottom of the pool
If you wish to clean the bottom of the pool, then invest in a good vacuum.
It should be able to clear all dirt from the bottom.
However, make sure the surface is clean so you can view the bottom easily.
What is the best pool cleaner?
A robotic pool cleaner is the best to remove both small and large debris.
How to maintain a swimming pool?
Keep the levels of chemicals balanced, remove any debris on the surface, and add free chlorine to kill off any germs or bacteria.
How to clean swimming pool water
Remove any leaves or dirt using a leaf net.
If the water is green, then use the appropriate chemicals.
Also, run the filters to clear any waste.
What chemicals do I need for my pool?
You need sanitizers to keep the water disinfected, oxidizers like calcium hypochlorite to kill bacteria and algae, water balancers like pH increaser and reducer, alkalinity increaser, calcium hardness increaser and specialty chemicals like algaecides and filter cleaners.
How to clean a dirty pool?
It is the same process but will need more time.
First, remove leaves and other unwanted components. Vacuum the floor then add several gallons of pool shock, then leave the filters running for 24 hours.
How often should I brush my pool?
At least once a week you should brush the pool.
Are robotic pool cleaners worth it?
Yes, they are expensive but are better at cleaning even the tiniest areas.
Besides, they can circulate the water while cleaning the walls leaving them spotless.
How to clean the bottom of the pool with a vacuum?
It will depend if you are using manual or automatic vacuuming.
If it’s manual, assemble your tools, a telescoping pole, vacuum head, vacuum hose, and skim vac.
Robotic pool cleaners are the easiest to use since they are independent and require no babysitting.
Just plug in the cord to a power source and place the unit in the pool.
How to treat pool water for the first time?
First, make sure the pool is clear.
Adjust the pH and total alkalinity, and then use chlorine to sanitize it.
Add cyanuric acid to stabilize the chlorine.
Adjust the hardness using calcium and then add algaecide.
How hard is it to maintain a pool?
It is not hard to maintain a pool.
You just need the right skills, tools, and chemicals to do so.
Additionally, you can do simpler cleaning once a week and general cleaning after 1-2 months.