Swimming pools are an invaluable addition to any home. They provide relief during the scorching summer months and create a space to spend time with friends and family. However, like any other piece of equipment, a swimming pool requires regular maintenance to keep it functioning properly.
Regular pool maintenance is key to keeping your pool water sparkling clean and inviting for a swim. To ensure your pool remains in optimal and pristine condition, you must use the right pool cleaning supplies.
Pool brushes, skimmer nets, telescopic poles, and vacuums will keep leaves and debris at bay, while pool chemicals like chlorine and algaecides will kill bacteria in the pool water and prevent algae growth. This guide will give you a rundown of the top pool cleaning supplies you need this season.
What to Consider When Choosing the Best Pool Supplies
To get the best pool supplies, you should consider several factors. These include:
Pool Type and Size
What type of swimming pool do you have? Is it an in-ground or above-ground pool? How big or small is it? Above-ground pools require different chemicals, vacuums, and filters than inground pools. Larger swimming pools require long tools to ensure they reach the middle and bottom of the pool while you stand comfortably on the poolside.
Additionally, the size of your pool determines how much supplies you will need. Sanitization tablets, test kits, chlorine granules, and other pool chemicals are sold in various quantities depending on the size of your pool. To save time and money, buy pool chemicals in larger quantities for larger pools.
Types of Pool Supplies
What type of pool supplies do you need? Generally, pool supplies fall under two major categories: manual tools and chemical cleaners. Manual pool supply purchases include pool brushes, vacuums, and pool cleaning skimmers that require you to move around the pool and physically remove debris. These pool supplies are usually attached to a telescoping pole for easy maneuverability.
Chemical pool cleaners, such as chlorine and algaecides, are added to the pool water to kill bacteria and prevent algae growth. As a result, the pool does not require as much manual cleaning. However, chemical cleaners must be added to the pool water at specific intervals and in the correct quantities to be effective and to prevent corrosion of the pool’s surface and equipment. Water quality test kits are a great addition to your pool cleaning arsenal to test the chlorine and pH levels.
Ease of Use
When choosing pool supplies, it is also important to consider how easy they are to use. For example, pool cleaning supplies such as vacuums, brushes, skimmers, and telescoping poles should have ergonomic designs that make less strenuous pool maintenance.
Pool poles should be light and easy to maneuver, while the attachments should easily attach and detach from the pole. After reducing the pool maintenance workload, higher-end tools like robotic vacuums will automatically clean your pool.
Water Testing Supplies
Regular pool water testing is an absolute necessity for proper pool maintenance. By testing your pool water’s chlorine and pH levels, you can ensure balanced water chemistry. This will help avoid over and undertreating your pool water, keeping bacteria and algae at bay. It’s recommended to test your water at least once per week.
Pool Test Strips
Pool test strips are the most affordable and easiest way to test your pool’s chlorine, hardness, alkalinity, and pH levels. You dip the strip in the water sample for a few seconds and wait for the colors on the strip to change. Then compare the strip with the color scale on the bottle. You can use pool test strips to measure the following
- Total chlorine
- Free chlorine
- Total alkalinity
- Total hardness
- Cyanuric acid
Digital Pool Water Tester
A digital pool water tester is another excellent way to measure your pool water chemistry. It calculates and displays the pH, total alkalinity, free chlorine, total chlorine, and calcium hardness levels in your pool water. Digital pool water testers are more accurate than test strips and feature continuous water testing to monitor your swimming pool water chemistry.
Pool Cleaning Equipment
Pool cleaning equipment and pool tools are essential for sparkling, crystal clear pool water. You will need various manual tools and machines for a thorough pool cleaning. Here are some of the most common pool cleaning equipment and pool cleaning accessories:
A telescopic pole is a versatile pool cleaning tool and can be compared to a Swiss Army Knife due to its versatility. It comes with an adjustable handle and interchangeable brush heads for vacuuming, brushing, and skimming. It can instantly be turned into a manual vacuum, skimmer, or brush. And depending on your pool size, you can easily extend it to reach every inch of your pool surface.
Manual Pool Vacuum
A manual pool vacuum is an excellent tool for removing stubborn debris from the bottom of your pool. It attaches to the telescoping pole and has a wide cleaning head to suck up debris, dirt, leaves, and other items from the pool floor and walls. You can easily scrub algae off the walls with a manual brush attachment.
Robotic Pool Cleaner
Robotic pool cleaners are the most efficient way to clean your pool. They automatically vacuum and scrub the floors and walls of your pool, removing all the dirt, debris, and algae as you lounge on the poolside.
A robotic pool cleaner significantly reduces the amount of time you spend on pool cleaning and maintenance. Some robotic pool cleaners come with smart technology features such as customized cleaning modes and schedules to fit your needs. Simply power it on and let the magic unfold.
Pool Vacuum Hose
A pool vacuum hose is compatible with your manual vacuum to suck up the water and debris. It attaches to the vacuum and pool pole and has a weighted hose to help keep it submerged in the water. The hose length determines how deep the water will be sucked up.
If you have a large pool, you will need a longer hose to lower the vacuum head into the water. Pool vacuum hoses have different interior diameters with varying suction power. The smaller the internal diameter, the more the suction power and vice versa.
Floating leaves, dirt, and debris are a headache for every pool owner. And they are most likely to settle on the water’s surface in and around your pool. A skimmer net is the quickest and easiest way to remove these floating nuisances.
To catch floating debris, you use a mesh net with a long handle to skim the surface of the pool. The net is submerged in the water, and the debris is scooped up and collected in the net. You can then easily remove the net from the pool and dump out the leaves.
Pool Skimmer Basket
Nothing is as troublesome to a pool owner as a clogged pool filter. Clogged pool filters can be caused by leaves, dirt, algae, and hair. A pool skimmer basket is a must-have accessory to keep your pool filter from clogging.
It acts as a filter to prevent leaves, dirt, and debris from entering the filter. The basket attaches to the skimmer and filters out all the large trash before it has a chance to enter the filter. It is an essential tool for keeping your pool clean and filter functioning properly.
Floating Chlorine Dispenser
A floating chlorine dispenser ensures your swimming pool is chlorinated correctly at all times. It automatically dispenses chlorine into the pool water to keep the levels consistent and prevent algae growth. Chlorine tablets are inserted into the dispenser, and as the tablets dissolve, chlorine is released into the water.
The dispenser floats on the water’s surface and releases a consistent amount of chlorine into the pool. You should, however, remove the dispenser from the pool before taking a dip to avoid chlorine burns.
Sanitizing Your Pool
Clean pool water is essential for a safe and fun swimming experience. Sanitizing your pool ensures you maintain a healthy pool and keep your swimmers safe from germs and diseases. There are several different sanitizing products you can use to sanitize your pool:
Chlorine is the most popular and effective pool sanitizing chemical. It kills bacteria, viruses, and algae in the pool and helps prevent the growth of new bacteria. However, when added to your pool water, chlorine slowly evaporates into a gas that disperses throughout the pool. Therefore, it is crucial to maintain the correct chlorine levels in your pool or risk algae growth and other pool contamination.
Pools are sanitized using bromine, an alternative to chlorine. It is less irritating to the skin and eyes than chlorine and can be used in pools with vinyl liners. In addition, bromine works better in warm pools, making it a great sanitizing agent for spas.
Unlike chlorine, you don’t have to use much of it as it stays active for longer in indoor pools. Unfortunately, bromine loses its effectiveness more quickly than chlorine in an outdoor swimming pool.
Shocking your pool is the best way to clear contaminated and cloudy water. Pool shock is a high-concentrated dose of chlorine that quickly kills bacteria, algae, and other contaminants in the pool. It’s recommended to shock your pool weekly to maintain clean and healthy water.
Regular pool maintenance will help prevent and eliminate algae from your pool water. If left unattended, algae can grow quickly and take over your swimming pool. This poses a serious health risk to you and your family as the water becomes a breeding ground for germs and bacteria. There are several ways to eliminate algae from your pool:
Algaecide is a chemical that kills algae and prevents it from growing. It is applied to the water through a spray or pour-on and works quickly to get rid of algae. You can apply an algaecide after every shock treatment to curb algae growth. Make sure to closely follow the instructions when using algaecide to ensure your safety.
Algae grow when too much phosphate is in the pool water. A phosphate remover works by removing phosphate from your pool water, preventing algae growth. It usually comes in a tablet form that you add to the skimmer basket.
For a manual way to remove algae from your pool, an algae brush is the best tool for the job. It’s a long-handled brush with bristles that are tough enough to pull algae off pool surfaces. It is best used for concrete or gunite pools that aren’t too dirty and gently clean the pool’s surface. If you have a vinyl liner pool, ensure you use an algae brush with nylon bristles, as stainless steel bristles can damage the vinyl coating.
Pool Chemicals to Adjust the pH and Alkalinity
Maintaining your swimming pool’s pH and alkalinity within the right levels is essential for eliminating bacteria and preventing corrosion of pool surfaces. The pH level indicates whether your pool water is acidic or alkaline, while the alkalinity helps stabilize the water pH. You can use the following chemicals to adjust your pool’s pH and alkalinity:
The recommended alkalinity level for a swimming pool is 80-120 ppm. High alkalinity reduces chlorine’s effectiveness, causes cloudy water, skin rashes, and scaling on your pool equipment. You can use muriatic acid to lower the alkalinity level of your pool. Be careful when using this type of acid to avoid burns to your skin and eyes. Never add acid directly to the pool. Never put it into your skimmer directly, but rather always pour it into a bucket while running the pump.
Low alkalinity levels can stain and etch your pool finish, corrode metals, cause a burning sensation to your eyes, and can make the pool water turn green. This can significantly affect your swimming experience. To raise the alkalinity level of your pool, you can use soda ash. Put 1.6 ounces of soda ash per 1,000 gallons of pool water for the best results.
Water pH levels are critical for the effectiveness of pool chemicals. For example, the pH level should be between 7.0 and 7.6 for chlorine to be effective. Besides, low pH causes deterioration of concrete, plaster, and grout. It also makes vinyl surfaces brittle, increasing the risk of cracking and tearing. You can raise your pool’s pH level by adding 1.25 pounds of baking soda for every 10,000 gallons of pool water.
Like low pH levels, high pH levels also have several disadvantages. High pH levels cause damage to pool equipment resulting in scaling, corrosion, and etching of the finish. They also cause cloudy water and severely reduce the effectiveness of chlorine, meaning you’ll have to add more chlorine than usual to maintain the same levels of cleanliness and sanitation. You can lower your pool’s pH level by adding sodium bisulfate. Follow the manufacturer’s recommended dosage to achieve the desired results.
Calcium and Mineral Deposits
Calcium and mineral deposits are other common problems that occur in swimming pools. These deposits are usually white or brownish and form on pool surfaces, equipment, and plumbing. Over time, they will reduce the efficiency of your pool equipment and can cause plumbing problems.
Calcium hardness measures the concentration of calcium ions in your pool water. Too much calcium ion concentration makes the pool water hard and can cause scale formation on pool surfaces, equipment, and plumbing. You can use a calcium hardness test kit to measure the calcium ion concentration in your pool water. You can also use a water softener to reduce calcium hardness. Additionally, regularly adjusting your pool’s alkalinity and pH levels will keep the calcium harness at bay.
Additional Pool Chemicals You May Need & Their Uses
Besides the above pool cleaning supplies, there are other additional pool chemicals that you may need to maintain your pool water. Some of these chemicals include:
Pool perfect is a water conditioning product that brings minerals and electrolytes to your pool water. This reduces water pH fluctuations, prevents mineral deposits, eliminates unpleasant odors, and ensures cleaner equipment. It also significantly reduces and removes scum lines from your pool, providing a spotless pool all the time.
A pool sanitizer is another important chemical that you use to keep your pool’s water clean. It kills bacteria and viruses and inhibits algae growth, resulting in clean and healthy water. Chlorine is the most common pool sanitizer, but other types are available, including bromine.
Pool salt is regular sodium chloride but specifically formulated for swimming pools. It comes in larger cuts and is used with salt chlorine generators. Pool salt produces chlorine from salt, which then sanitizes the pool. This significantly reduces the number of other pool chemicals needed to maintain your pool’s water.
The Best Pool Cleaning Supplies FAQ
Having understood the different types of pool cleaning supplies and their uses, it’s also important to look at some frequently asked questions about these supplies.
How Do I Store Pool Cleaning Supplies?
Constant exposure of pool cleaning supplies to elements can cause accelerated degradation. Therefore, you should store these supplies in a cool and dry place like a shed or garage away from children and pets.
How Much Do Pool Cleaning Supplies Cost?
Pool cleaning supplies have varying costs. For example, manual vacuums, skimmers, and pool brushes are cheaper than robotic pool cleaners. To reduce the cost of pool chemicals, consider buying in bulk as you are likely to need them frequently.
Where Can I Find Used Pool Cleaning Supplies?
You can easily find used pool cleaning supplies in local pool supplier stores and online through e-commerce sites such as eBay and Amazon. Just make sure that you check the item’s condition before purchasing to avoid any disappointment.
What Tools Do Pool Cleaners Use?
Pool cleaners use various tools to clean different parts of the pool. These include manual and automatic vacuums, brushes, skimmers, and leaf nets. Some cleaners also use a pool pole to reach tight spaces and clean the pool’s walls and floor.
What Chemicals Do I Need to Clean My Pool?
To effectively clean your pool, you will need several pool chemicals, including chlorine, bromine, cyanuric acid, alkalinity adjusters, pH stabilizers, and algaecides. Chlorine kills bacteria, viruses, and algae, while bromine is a safer alternative to chlorine. Alkalinity adjusters maintain your pool’s alkaline level, and pH stabilizers keep your pool’s pH level in check.
So there you have it – the top pool cleaning supplies you need this season! To keep your pool clean and healthy, you need to use the right pool cleaning supplies along with the right pool chemicals. Also, make sure you regularly test your water to know how to keep it clean and balanced.
By following the guidelines above, you can keep your pool looking great all season long. So make sure to stock up on these supplies and use them regularly to keep your pool looking and feeling great. Happy swimming!
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.