Many pool owners think that when you shock your pool, it means that you have an issue. Of course, shock can be used to fix a problem in your pool, but its not the only reason that you would need pool shock.
Shocking your pool as a part of general maintenance on the pool is a good idea. You can keep your water algae and bacteria-free and the water crystal clear. Some pool shocks are better than others. It’s important to choose a great pool shock to keep your pool looking great. Here are the top ten best pool shocks on the market and the information you need to select the right one.
10 Best Pool Shock Reviews
1. In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock
- Powerful chlorine shock treatment that is great for regular maintenance.
- Quickly eliminates algae, bacteria, and other harmful contaminants from your pool water.
- Main active ingredient is 68% Calcium Hypochlorite (Cal-Hypo) for quick sanitizing.
- Dosage: 1 Pound per 10,000 gallons
In the Swim makes some of the best Chlorine Pool Shock options on the market. This particular product comes with six one point bags of chlorine pool shock. If you have a large pool, you may want to look for a larger package of chlorine.
With this pool shock, you will get an option that is 68% Cal-Hypo, so it works quite fast. You need one pound or one bag of the In the Swim for every 10,000 gallons of pool water.
- Quickly gets rid of algae and other bacteria
- 68 percent Cal Hyp
- Need larger bags for a large swimming pool
2. HTH Super Shock Treatment Swimming Pool Chlorine Cleaner
- BENEFITS: Increases the chlorine level in swimming pools to kill bacteria and algae to keep your pool water clear and ready for fun all season long
- USE: Apply directly to pool water as needed; Test pool water and shock weekly to keep free available chlorine levels between 1 and 4ppm
- COMPATIBILITY: Effective for all swimming pool types including pools with liners and Gunite pools, and saltwater pool systems
- FEATURES: Increases chlorine levels; Kills and prevents bacteria and algae; Keeps water clear; See results in 24 hours; 1 bag treats 13, 500 gallons; Won’t fade vinyl pool liners
The HTH is a super shock treatment system that will work regardless of the type of swimming pool you have. The great thing about the HTH is that one bag will treat 13,500 gallons of your water. If you are a pool owner with a very large pool, you may find this to be a better option.
You can apply the HTH directly to the pool, and it claims to be safe for your pool liner as well. You will find that you can purchase a bit less of the HTH,, which will last quite a bit longer for you. Remember, it is not smart to store bags of pool shock that have been partially used. If you can’t use the entire bag of the HTH, don’t purchase this one.
- Will kill bacteria and algae
- Treats 13,500 gallons
- Good for all swimming pool types
- A little stronger than standard may be left with extra shock
3. Zappit 73% Cal Hypo Pool Shock – Calcium Hypochlorite Super Shock
- Pool Shock and Super Chlorinator
- 70% available chlorine, Pool Shock and Super Chlorinator
- Fast dissolving granular formula
- 1 lb will provide 2ppm of available chlorine in 40,000 gallon pool
The Zappit is the best pool shock when you have some major issues going on in your pool. When they say they are going to Zap the bacteria out of your water, they certainly mean it! This is considered to be both a pool shock and a super chlorinator.
The granular formula is easy to apply to your pool. With one pound of the Zappit, you can raise your chlorine level in a 40,000 gallon pool 2ppm. In other words, this is one of the strongest pool shocks on the market.
- Dissolves fast
- Quickly cleans the water
- Great option for larger pools
- Too powerful for small pools
4. Champion Pool Shock Liquid Chlorine
- Product Does Not Cloud Pool
- Ready To Use, No Mixing Required - Great Choice for Pool Closings
- Perfect For Pressure Washing, Sanitation & Other Related Uses
- 12.5% Commercial Grade Strength Liquid Chlorine - USA Made - EPA Registration No. 55852-2
As you will come to find out, there are several different types of pool shock available on the market. The Sodium Hypochlorite is not the fastest pool shock option, but it is a good choice for some pool owners.
This Liquid Chlorine Pool Shock will be very similar to bleach, and can be applied directly to your water. The Liquid Chlorine Pool Shock kills bacteria and algae in the water, but it may not be the best choice depending on the type of pool you own. Sometimes above ground pools will require quite a bit less shock, and the liquid is usually a good choice.
- Will keep your pool water clear
- An alternative type of pool shock
- Easy to use
- Keep away from vinyl liner when pouring in
5. Clorox Pool & Spa Pool Shock XtraBlue
- Multifunctional pool shock with algae-fighting crystals
- Creates crystal clear water
- Kills and prevents green, black and mustard pool algae
- Kills bacteria
- Improves filter performance
The Clorox Pool Spa Shock Extra Blue is a top-rated product among pool owners. With the Clorox Shock Xtra Blue, you can be swimming in your pool fifteen minutes after treating it. As we have mentioned several times, depending on the type of shock you use, you may find some danger. Making sure that you stay safe when taking care of your pool is essential.
The Clorox Pool Spa shock choices make things more manageable for pool owners. Overall this is an excellent product, but some will find it slightly less effective than other market choices.
- Easy to use pool shock products
- Won’t mess with your pH level
- Can swim after use
- Not the pool shock best suited for an algae breakout
6. DryTec Calcium Hypochlorite Chlorinating Shock Treatment for Swimming Pools
- 24 bags (1-pound each)
- Fast-Acting Quick-Dissolving Swimming Pool Sanitizer
- Kills bacteria, controls algae, and destroys organic contaminants in pools
- 68% calcium hypochlorite
The DryTec Cal Hypo Pool Shock is a great choice if you need something that will act fast. This particular product comes with 24 bags of fast-acting and quick-dissolving treatment. The DryTec comes with 68% Cal Hypo; this is quite strong.
You will add one of these one-pound bags for every 10,000 gallons of water in your pool. If you have no other issues going on with your water and need something that you can add each week after a large group of swimmers, the DryTec is a great choice.
- Easy calculation with 1lb for every 10,000 gallons
- Dissolves quickly
- Not the best choice for those irritated by chlorine
7. In The Swim Chlorine-Free Oxidizing Pool Shock
- Our chlorine free pool shock-oxidizer comes in convenient 1 pound bags
- Other applications and weekly maintenance will not affect other chemical levels.
- Safe enough to swim right after application!
- Use chlorine free pool shock-oxidizer on a weekly basis to shock non-living swimmer waste.
Chlorine free pool shock is a great option for those with vinyl lingers. To ensure that your liner does not get stained or eaten away, you should think about using the non-chlorine pool shock. This is something that you can use a bit more often.
When you use the non-chlorine shock, you can swim in your pool about fifteen minutes after using it. Another great thing about this is that it should not affect your pH levels either. The downside is that this In The Swim Chlorine-Free Pool Shock is not as strong as Calcium Hypochlorite.
- Easy to use
- Safe to swim soon after
- Great for weekly maintenance
- Not the best pool shock for algae and bacteria breakouts
8. Rx Clear Mega Shock
- MULTI-PURPOSE - This pool shock sanitizes, clarifies, and controls algae giving your swimming pool crystal clear water.
- INCREDIBLY STRONG - Due to its high percentage of chlorine, Mega Shock is very effective and efficient for a quick chlorine boost.
- MIX BEFORE YOU FIX - Add this powder to a bucket of water before you add it to your pool. Add a 1 lb bag per 10,000 gallons of pool water.
- BEAT THE GREEN: - Kill the algae in your swimming pool by adding 2 bags of shock per 14,000 gallons of pool water.
- WORKS BEST AT NIGHT - Maximize performance by adding this shock to your pool at night. Wait to swim 8 to 10 hours after application.
If you have an algae breakout in your pool, the RX Clear is going to be a great choice. You can combine a few of these bags, and they will help get rid of all algae and bacteria. As most of the market’s best options are 68% cal hypo, the RX Clear is 73%.
Be careful with a vinyl liner and using too much of a product like this. However, if you have some green algae, this could be a top choice.
- Helps to get the water crystal clear
- Strong and fast-acting product
- May impact cyanuric acid levels
- Could be too strong for some pool types
9. Aqua Clear Pool Shock
- Kills bacteria
- Safe for all pool types
- 6 pk
The Aqua Clear is one of the best pool shocks for the money. You will notice that this six-pack is priced quite a bit lower than other pool shocks on the market. It is important to look at the ingredients that you purchase these types of products.
Although the Aqua clear is less expensive, it is not quite as strong and won’t raise free chlorine quite as fast as other choices. For a smaller above-ground pool or something that needs weekly maintenance, this is a good affordable choice.
- Low price
- Good for a smaller pool
- Has about 40% free chlorine
10. Aqua Chem Shock Plus Water Clarifier for Swimming Pools
- Creates Sparkling Water, For All Pool Surfaces, Reduces Chlorine Odor And Eye Irritation, Does Not Increase Ph
- All-In-One Shock That Produces Clear, Sparkling Water In Your Pool When Added On A Weekly Basis
- There'S No Need To Pre-Dissolve Shock Plus And You Can Resume Swimming In As Soon As 15 Minutes After Adding
The Aqua Chem pool shock also acts as a water clarifier as well. One of the things that pool owners like best about this shock is that it will help reduce eye irritation, and keep pH levels in check. If you are looking for the best pool shock treatment for weekly use, this is one that you should consider.
Another great thing about Aqua-Chem is that it is one of the safer pool shocks. You can swim in the pool for about fifteen minutes after adding it to the water. Indeed, these are all impressive and important benefits to consider.
- Safe to swim after 15 minutes
- Won’t irritate eyes
- Helps with cloudy water
- Not the fastest working or strongest pool shocks on the market
What Is Pool Shock?
Pool shock is a chemical added to your pool when you need to raise the free chlorine level. When the free chlorine levels are high, they can reduce the amount of bacteria and algae in the water. Some pool shock will have chlorine, and some will be chlorine-free. The shock will raise the chlorine level in your pool much faster than a traditional sanitizer type chlorine can.
What Does Pool Shock Do?
Pool shock will reduce the number of bacteria in your pool to help you get the water looking clean and clear again. Shock does a great job of cleaning up algae and getting your water to be clear. The shock is a large dose of chlorine, and sometimes, merely adding chlorine to your pool is not going to clear up the issue.
Pool Shock Types
There are three main types of pool shocks. They are Calcium Hypochlorite, Sodium Di-Chlor, and Potassium monopersulfate. Although they will all complete the same general goals, they have some differences to them.
Calcium Hypochlorite is very powerful and fast-acting. Since this is such a powerful method, you should redissolve it before putting it into a vinyl pool. Always use the Hypochlorite at night to make sure that the sun does not diminish its effects. Calcium Hypochlorite is a very popular swimming pool shock treatment.
As we mentioned, the Calcium Hypochlorite is very fast-acting; the Sodium Di-Chlor is much slower. The issue with the Sodium Di-Chlor is that it has a high cyanuric acid content. This may end up throwing off some of your other pool chemical levels.
The Potassium Monopersulfate is a non-chlorine shock. For those that are sensitive to chlorine, this could be a good option to consider. The Potassium Monopersulfate is the pool shock best suited for those that need to swim directly after shocking. Most of the time, it is safe to swim about 15-30 minutes after using this method. However, it is the least popular of the pool shock treatment options.
Shocking a Pool: Which to Use
You can use any type of shock in a vinyl pool, but you must remember that the shock treatment can stain the liner. When using the Cal Hypo shock, just make sure to dissolve it first before putting it into your pool water. In general, you will find that non-chlorine shock will be the option you use the most.
Any of the chock options we described will work for your fiberglass pools. When using the Cal Hypo shock, we do always recommend dissolving it first before putting it in. Make sure that you check your cyanuric acid level as well in case your shock has raised it.
Concrete pools are the most durable when it comes to shock treatments. You will not have to worry quite as much about the discoloration or other issues like that. As always, keep your filter running after adding shock so that things don’t settle in the wrong places and cause any spots.
3 Considerations for Buying Shock for Pools
Now that you have a better idea of the best pool shocks on the market, it is good to keep a few things in mind as you search for the best product.
1. Amount Needed vs. Price
The pool shock pricing will vary quite a bit, but you will need to pay attention to the amount required and the strength of each of the options. Some pool shock will treat 10,000 gallons per pound, and others will treat more. If you have a large pool and are purchasing shock in bulk, consider the amount needed.
2. Shelf Life/Storage
When you buy pool shock in bulk, you will pay considerably less money than purchasing just a does or two at a time. Make sure you look at how long the pool shock will be good. Typically buying enough for one season at the beginning of the year is not a bad idea. Most of the time, as long as you keep your shock in a temperature-controlled environment, things will be fine. However, if you need to leave it for several years, it could lose some of its effectiveness.
The most important consideration is going to be the type of pool shock that you buy. Not all shock will work the same, and some will impact the pool water you need to be aware of. Keeping an eye on your pH levels and your cyanuric acid is going to be necessary. Some pool shocks allow you to swim soon after using them, and others make you wait a day. YOu may have to keep a few different pool shocks on hand to suit your needs.
Features to Look for in the Best Pool Shock
The most important feature to look for in a pool shock product is the free chlorine level. Something that has up to 80% chlorine will be a much more powerful option than something with 40 or 50% free chlorine. Keep this chlorine level in mind.
Another feature is the way that the shock is stored. Some shock will come in a bag, and others will come in a large tub. Think about your specific pool chemical storage areas and make sure you get something that is is a safe product for your home and situation.
How to Shock a Pool (Step-by-Step)
Knowing the best pool shock to buy is essential, but it certainly is only part of the battle. You will need to know how to use pool shock. Shocking your pool is not difficult, but you will have to get comfortable doing it. As a pool owner, shocking your swimming pool is a general part of maintenance. Here are the steps to adding pool shock to your pool water the proper way.
Step 1: Check Levels
Before adding one of the best pool shot treatment options, you will have to know where your current pool stands. The pH level is critical to have in balance before you shock the pool water. Adjust the level to ensure that it is between 7.1 and 7.3 before moving further along in the process.
Step 2: Clean the Pool
Once you have the pH in balance, you should clean the pool. Take out the pool cleaner and remove all leaves and debris as well. You will try and get your water back to perfect; having debris that could change chemical levels will be a problem for the water.
Step 3: Calculate the Amount
Swimming pools come in a variety of shapes and sizes. You will have to calculate how much pool shock you need for your specific pool. Depending on the issue you have going on in your pool, you may need double or triple shock treatment.
Step 4: Add Shock
You have finally reached the step of adding the shock to your pool. You will want to do this at the end of the day to ensure that the sun will not break down the chlorine. Depending on the type of shock, you have to be very careful how you put it in the pool.
Make sure you don’t splash or inhale any of the shocks as you put it in. If you have a vinyl swimming pool, ensure that the pool shock is pre-dissolved. You won’t want the shock to stain your pool liner.
Step 5: Filter and Checking
After you have shocked the pool, make sure that you keep the filter running for a good 24 hours. This will help to make sure that the shock is evenly distributed through the water. You should also make sure that you check the pool chemicals in the water after the 12-hour mark. Make sure that things are headed in the right direction, and your water is starting to clear.
When to Shock a Pool
There are a few things that you should know about when to shock your pool. You should always shock your pool at the end of the day, but the real question a smart pool owner should have is, why would I shock my pool. Here are a few reasons that will help you determine when it is a good time to add some pool shock.
- To destroy bacteria in the water
- To clean up a green pool
- When opening the pool for the season
- To kill algae blooms, treat cloudy pool water
- To remove chloramines
How Often to Shock Pool
Shocking a pool only take a few minutes of your time and some extra hours of running the filter. It’s a good thing the process is quite simple because you should be shocking your swimming pool quite often.
It is a good idea to shock your pool after you have had many people swimming in the pool. It is also smart to shock it at least every other week during the prime swimming season. You will find that getting on a fairly regular schedule for shocking your swimming pool will help keep the overall maintenance down.
Tips for Using Pool Shock Treatment
There are a few things worth keeping in mind when you are doing a swimming pool shock. After all, pool shock is not going to be all that cheap, and if you want to save a bit of money, it makes sense to use the pool shock properly. Here are some of the tips to make sure that you use pool shock safely and effectively.
- Ensure the pH is balanced before you shock the pool; this will ensure that the pool shock works to the best of its ability.
- Store your pool shock in a temperature-controlled environment and never leave a bag of pool shock that was half used; always use an entire bag.
- Always shock your pool at the end of the day, not when the sun is at it’s strongest
- Protect yourself when putting pool shock in the pool, be aware of wind direction, and do not breathe in the harsh chemicals.
- Keep the filter running for at least 8 hours after shocking the pool for the best results.
- Keep checking the chlorine levels in your pool; if the chlorine is still not high, it is ok to add more shock.
- If you have stains in your pool, you may be able to use pool shock to lessen them or remove them altogether.
- If algae are growing in the corners of your pool, you may be able to apply pool shock directly to these areas to get the best results.
Best Pool Shock FAQ
What Is the Best Shock to Use in My Pool?
When you choose a pool shock, you have to consider the type of liner you have and your pool’s location. If you are in the sun, you may need to purchase a higher-end shock that will not burn off as quickly as a cheaper shock would.
Which Is Better, Liquid or Powder Pool Shock?
Powder shock is generally a bit easier to work with than liquid shock. Liquid shock can be a bit more dangerous to work with than powder shock. When you are putting it in the pool, it can splash and cause you some harm. You may find that the powder shock works a bit better than the liquid shock depending on your type of pool.
Are Chlorine and Shock the Same Thing?
Chlorine and shock are the same things, but they are administered in different amounts. Shock is a large dose of chlorine. Chlorine is used for daily and weekly maintenance, and shock is used more sparingly.
How Long After Shocking Pool Can I Swim?
The swimming pool shock is quite strong. If you jump into your swimming pool right after shocking it, the level of chlorine is going to be irritating to your skin and eyes as well. The best thing to do is to wait 24 hours after shocking the pool to swim. We recommend shocking the swimming pool at night; therefore, if you wait about 36 hours, that is even better to ensure the pool water is safe for swimming.
How Much Shock to Open Pool?
If a regular pool shock would require one pound for every 10,000 gallons, you should use two pounds for every 10,000 gallons when you shock to open a pool. If you close the pool properly and use the right chemicals when you do, opening the pool will be much easier, and the pool water will be quite clear.
Can You Shock a Saltwater Pool?
You can shock a saltwater pool. If you use the super chlorinate features on your saltwater filter, it can do a great job. However, there are times that only shocking is going to work. Shock treatment is more common in traditional pools than saltwater pools.
Can You Over Shock a Pool?
You can add too much pool shock to a pool. It is essential to know your pool’s size and the chemicals in the water before you start adding shock. When you over shock the pool, you will have to wait considerably longer for it to be safe to swim again.
How Much Liquid Chlorine to Shock a Pool With Algae?
Shocking a pool with algae will take a bit more pool shock. Swimming pools with bacteria and algae need super shock treatment. When you super shock a pool, you will need to use three times the pool’s amount of shock takes typically. Try using three pounds for every 10,000 gallons. You need to clean the pool but also kill the algae and bacteria as well.
For over 15 years, Sean Moore has been sharing his love and enthusiasm for swimming pools and hot tubs with everyone he knows. His goal is to help everyday people DIY their maintenance to save money by teaching how to properly take care of your equipment, safely and correctly balance chemicals, and extend the life of your water oasis.
Pricing on this page was last updated on 2023-12-04