Keeping your pool clean can be a daily struggle.
Seemingly overnight, algae can take hold and spread. And then you're dumping $50 worth of chemicals in to get it blue again. If you let it go, it could cost as much as $1000 to fix.
But by learning how to keep your pool pristine by pool cleaning the right way, you can work smarter, not harder. And you can save time, money and frustration on pool maintenance.
We'll share the secrets to keeping a pristine pool. Let's take a crystal clear look at them now.
Find Your Zen in the Daily Routine
For a pristine pool, pool cleaning should become as second nature to you as making the morning coffee.
Pools need at least a little attention every single day. But it doesn't have to be a chore. When you reframe your thinking and develop a routine, cleaning the pool can be a very relaxing experience.
Enjoy the back and forth movement of the brush. Find rapture in the sound of the filter. Watch the sunlight reflecting off the sheer blue water as it ripples with the wind.
You may even get an opportunity to save a floating insect from certain death. Now, that's good karma. And it's a great way to start or end your day.
Skim Like A Pro
Skimming should happen every day, especially if you have trees or bushes near the pool. Any debris that sinks to the bottom will tie up free chlorine when that should be protecting the pool as a whole.
Just because you have a skimmer on the pool doesn't mean that the pool is on auto-pilot. Debris can sink before the skimmer can grab it. So net it off each morning and after a storm.
Keep your summer patio swept so that excess leaves or other matter don't blow into the pool.
Skimmer baskets need to be emptied at least weekly, so that the organic matter doesn't tax your pool sanitation system.
When your chemicals are tied up trying to fight big leaves instead of algae, the algae is free to grow. And you'll be spending more money on chemicals than you should have to.
Scrub Like You Mean It
A daily scrub won't be unrewarded. But, as a must in pool cleaning, a couple times a week will suffice. It does take a couple days for algae to take hold to the point that it's noticeable.
But if you have a zero-tolerance algae policy, you may want to add this to your daily routine. You can also invest in a robot pool vacuum that can be run daily or constantly, giving algae and debris no chance to taint your pristine waters.
Scrubbing the sides and bottom isn't a haphazard affair. For best results, you'll try to scrub every inch of surface. But fortunately, fresh algae is very loose, so a light swipe will remove most of it.
The filter only needs to run 6-8 hours a day on a well-maintained pool. This can reduce your cost of running a pool by as much as 70%.
Running your filter full time may seem like the convenient thing to do. But if you can keep your pool pristine with less, either get a timer or make shutting it off and turning it on a daily routine.
Make an A in Chemistry
A major part of pool cleaning is keeping the water balanced.
Unbalanced water can:
- Damage pool components
- Allow algae to flourish
- Make it harder for chlorine to do its job
- Cost you more money to maintain
- Make your skin itch
- Bleach your clothes
- Damage your hair
The CDC warns about the dangers of an unbalanced pool to your health. Unbalanced pool water can make you sick. In worst case scenario, people have even contracted antibiotic resistant bacteria from dirty pool and spa water.
At the very least, to prevent health risk, your pH should be between 7.2- 7.8. And free chlorine should be at 1 ppm (parts per million).
But cyanuric acid, alkalinity, and calcium hardness should also be managed. Water should be tested and adjusted at least weekly.
Test strips are the most convenient. But to get more precise results, you'll want a testing kit.
Read the instructions and add chemicals slowly. Some have to be added before others and you may need a precise amount. Chemicals should never be pre-mixed.
Not following instructions can lead to a chemical roller coaster that will cost you extra time and money to re-balance.
So put on your lab coat and respect the chemicals that you're working with.
Learn to Love Baking Soda
Keeping the pH up in a pool can be a major struggle. Pool water constantly wants to return to its more naturally acidic state. As you likely remember from high school chemistry low pH = more acidic, while high pH = more alkaline.
For chlorine to be effective, pH should remain between 7.2 and 7.8.
Rain and hose water are more acidic than pool water. Any debris — including microscopic algae — in the pool make it more acidic.
Acid is the enemy of pool equipment. And algae loves it.
Pool chemicals can get expensive. But there are cheaper options...baking soda. And if you're a member of warehouse wholesale clubs like Costco or Sam's Club, you can buy a huge bag of baking soda for around $7. That's 50-75% less than pH increaser.
You can also buy baking soda at the grocery store and save.
Pound for pound, the same amount of baking soda as sodium bicarbonate (pH increaser) gets the job done.
Don't Be Afraid of Shock
Even if you're keeping your water perfectly balanced, pools need a shock sometimes to keep more stubborn algae from taking hold.
If several people use your pool regularly, or you have algae problems or cloudiness, shock at least one time a week as part of your pool cleaning. Once every two weeks will work for some.
Only shock at night and run your filter for the next 8 hours.
If your pool starts turning green, scrub it and then hit it hard and repetitively for several days in a row until it's blue again.
You can't over-shock a pool.
Play Tennis After a Party
No, we won't be playing the traditional way. Party-goers and sun-bathers can leave gunky oil in your pool. Even our skin has oil so there's no avoiding it.
This oil will clog your filter.
Throw tennis balls into the water periodically — but especially after a pool party — to absorb excess oil on the water surface.
Pool Cleaning Made Easy
Regular pool cleaning will save you time, money and frustration. It allows you to have an amazingly pristine pool as the centerpiece of your backyard.
For more tips and reviews to help you create your own beautiful backyard, check out our blog.