Outdoor pools are best kept clean and debris free if they are covered after use. Not only can a swimming pool cover help keep your pool clean, an added bonus is that they also serve to lock in any heat the pool gets from sunlight during the day.
Pool cleaning is just part and parcel of owning a swimming pool: if you want to be able to use it, you need to make sure it’s kept nice and clean. Dirty water can lead to all kinds of health issues – some of which can very serious indeed. Many swimming pool owners outsource the job of cleaning their pool to professionals, but you really don’t need to if you learn how to clean a pool yourself. Below, we’ve put together a guide to keeping your pool healthy for swimmers – just follow the instructions below.
Establishing a Clean Swimming Pool Routine
The secret to keeping your swimming pool clean is to perform maintenance tasks on a regular basis. You should:
- Use a leaf net to remove debris that has fallen into the water.
- Empty skimmer baskets.
- Clean around the outside of the pool before use.
- Clean the walls and the bottom of the pool to remove dirt and debris.
- Empty pump baskets.
- Use a hand brush to free the tiles at the waterline from calcium build-up.
- Check and adjust chemical/PH balance of water.
- Clean the pool filter
How to Clean Swimming Pool Walls and Floors
The easiest way to clean the inner surfaces of a swimming pool is to buy a pool vacuum. This can be ‘hands-free’ or you attach the vacuum to a long pole and guide it along inner surfaces of the pool, sucking up any debris and dirt.
Alternatively, you should use a long handled pool brush, and with sweeping gestures, brush debris down to the bottom and the shallow end of the pool. Be sure to choose a brush with gentle bristles that won’t cause damage to your tiles or grout.
To be extra sure you’ve removed all dirt and algae from your pool, brush it clean first and then do a follow-up clean with the vacuum. The chemical sanitisers you add will kill anything that remains in the pool.
How to Clean a Pool Filter
Every pool has a filter, but not all filters are the same. Here’s how to clean two of the most popular types of filter. Always be sure to consult the manufacturer’s instruction manual before attempting to clean a filter yourself, wear protective clothing, and be sure to turn the pump off, before you start. Then:
- Open the valve on the waste water pipe and make sure the end of the hose put in the desired place for the dirty water to flow out.
- Set the pump to ‘backwash’ and turn it back on.
- When the water from the hose runs clear, turn off the pump and restore the filter setting.
- Run the pump for 10-15 seconds, turn it off, and repeat the process above.
- Finally, restore the pump to its original settings (close the waste water valve and put away the hose).
- Check that the pool water level is high enough – add clean water if necessary.
- According to the manufacturer’s instructions, remove the filter from its housing.
- Using a garden hose, thoroughly wash the filter free of debris.
- Soak the filter in a solution of commercial filter cleaner and water (according to the instructions on the label).
- Rinse with clean water.
- If the filter is still clogged with residue, soak it in hydrochloric acid solution (according to the instructions on the label). Remember: Wear protective clothing and keep away from children.
- Rinse the cartridge and replace it in its housing.
How to Clean a Green Pool
If your pool has been neglected for a length of time and the water has turned green and swampy, you’re likely to have an overload of algae and debris growing inside. You may need to consult a pool cleaning professional for advice, but here’s what you should do if you want to try to resolve the problem yourself. Be sure to handle chemicals with care and always wear protective clothing and follow the safety instructions on the packaging:
- Scoop out whatever debris you can see with a leaf scoop and then wait until any remaining dirt settles on the bottom of the pool.
- Adjust the PH of your pool to the correct levels to help clear the water.
- Add large amounts of chlorine to ‘shock’ clean the pool. Chlorine will kill all bacteria and algae present in the pool.
- Next, run the pump for at least 24 hours, making sure to clean the filter several times to prevent it from clogging up.
- Once the water starts clearing, vacuum up any debris left on the bottom of the pool.
- Your pool should now be clean and ready to use.
- Make sure you have all the equipment you need.
- Establish a regular pool cleaning routine.
- Remove debris from the pool, and clean the walls and floor on a regular basis.
- Empty skimmer baskets and filters to maintain a clean flow of water.
- Make sure the chemical balance in your pool is correct and maintained.