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Pool Cleaning 101: How to Clean a Pool

Pool cleaning is a dirty job, but someone has to do it. If you’re not interested in hiring a pool cleaning service because you’re a proud do-it-yourselfer, we have some tips on how to clean a pool as part of your spring cleaning. Dirt, grime and potentially algae can build up in your pool over the winter, and knowing how to clean a pool properly will make maintaining your pool easy.

How to Clean a Pool Basics

As with any job, you have to have the right equipment. The tips we are giving here are with the assumption that you don’t have an electric pool cleaner, and you plan to use handheld tools and elbow grease to get the job done.

Get the Right Pool Cleaning Supplies

Here are some essential pool cleaning supplies you will need to purchase:

  • Telescopic Pole
  • Skimmer Net
  • Pool Brush
  • Pool Vacuum Head
  • Vacuum Hose
  • Tile Band Cleaner

Get Rid of Big Debris

The first thing you will want to do is sweep the floor of your inground pool to get rid of big debris such as branches, twigs, leaves and anything else that has made its way into the pool. You should be able to use your net to do much of this. Gather up as much as you can, and dispose of it in a compost heap or in your regular trash.

Brush the Pool Walls

The next step is to brush the walls of your pool, using the telescopic pole and pool brush. Pay special attention to hard to get to areas behind a pool ladder or pool steps. You’ll know you’re doing a good job brushing if the water starts to get cloudy, and you can see the difference between where you’ve brushed and where you haven’t don’t be afraid to use a little elbow grease!

Vacuum the Pool

So brushing the walls is sort of like dusting the furniture. You do it before you vacuum. Follow the directions that came with your pool vacuum equipment. Once everything is in place, you’re ready to start vacuuming your pool. Start at the shallow end and work slowly toward the deep end, making sure to overlap the vacuum path. A note of caution: manually vacuuming your pool can take several hours, so make sure you block out a good portion of time. Listening to music or a podcast can help the time go more quickly.

Scrub the Tile Line

Follow the directions on the tile band cleaner for how much to use, and what sort of cloth or brush to use. Consider using a pool float to lay on if you’re cleaning from outside the pool. If the weather is nice, you can do this part from inside the pool. Scrub away all of the scum to leave the tiles shining!

How to Clean a Pool Pump Basket and Filter

Now that the actual pool is clean, it’s time to clean the filter basket. Turn off the pump and remove the basket. Rinse it thoroughly, and consider using an old toothbrush to get out any small bits of debris. Replace the basket.

Next, backwash the filter following the directions in your pool manual. (Could add a video on this page showing some of these steps.)

Now you know how to clean a pool. If it gets to be too much work, consider hiring a pool cleaning service or purchasing an automatic pool cleaner to cut down on the time it takes to clean your pool.


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