top of page

Cleaning the Swimming Pool: A Practical Guide

Keeping your swimming pool clean is essential for a safe and enjoyable swimming experience. Neglecting pool maintenance can lead to murky water, algae growth, and even health hazards.

In this practical guide, you'll discover effective tips and techniques to ensure your swimming pool stays crystal clear and inviting all year round.

The rooftop pool at the Berkeley Hotel in London

The rooftop pool at the Berkeley Hotel in London

Vacuum the Pool

Use a pool vacuum to clean the bottom of your pool, especially in hard-to-reach areas where debris may accumulate.

When you vacuum the pool, the pool cleaner is your reliable ally in efficiently removing dirt, debris, and unwanted particles from the pool's floor and hard-to-reach corners, ensuring a pristine and inviting swimming environment. This helps prevent the buildup of sediment and ensures that your pool remains clear and inviting.

We spoke with Pool Rescuers and they shared their expertise:

"A pool vacuum plays a crucial role in removing debris and dirt from the bottom and those hard-to-reach areas, preventing sediment buildup that can cloud the water and interfere with the pool's filtration system. Regular vacuuming not only keeps the water crystal clear but also contributes to the longevity of the pool by preventing algae growth and ensuring the chemical treatments are more effective," they told us.

Skim the Surface

Skimming the surface of your pool regularly will keep it clean of anything floating on the surface. Use a leaf skimmer or net to remove leaves, debris, and insects. This simple yet crucial step prevents these contaminants from sinking to the bottom and affecting water quality. The same step can be followed for spa pools and hot tubs.

Invest in a Quality Skimmer Basket

Upgrade to a high-quality skimmer basket to trap larger debris before it reaches the pool's filter. This not only reduces strain on the filtration system but also minimizes the need for frequent filter cleaning.

Establish a Skimming Routine

Set a regular schedule for skimming, especially during seasons with increased foliage. A proactive approach to skimming prevents the accumulation of debris, making your pool maintenance efforts more manageable.

Address Windward Areas

Pay special attention to the windward sides of your pool. Wind can carry leaves and debris, concentrating them on one side. By focusing on these areas during skimming, you can prevent the buildup of materials that could compromise water clarity.

Empty the Skimmer Basket Frequently

Don't wait until the skimmer basket is overflowing. Empty it regularly to maintain optimal skimming efficiency. This simple practice ensures that the skimmer can effectively capture debris, keeping your pool surface clean and inviting.

Brush the Walls and Floor

Brushing the walls and floor of your pool is not just about aesthetics - it's a proactive measure against stubborn algae and debris buildup.

Over time, algae can attach itself to pool surfaces, creating a breeding ground for bacteria and affecting water circulation. By using a pool brush regularly, you break down this potential haven for contaminants, making it easier for your pool's filtration system to capture and remove them. 

Yurbban Passage Hotel - the rooftop pool, in Barcelona

Yurbban Passage Hotel - the rooftop pool, in Barcelona

Check and Maintain Water Chemistry

Regularly test your pool water for pH, chlorine levels, and alkalinity. Balanced water chemistry is crucial for preventing bacterial growth and ensuring the effectiveness of your pool chemicals. Adjust these levels as needed to keep the water balanced and safe for swimming.

Regular Testing

Invest in a reliable pool water testing kit to check pH, chlorine levels, alkalinity, and calcium hardness regularly. Aim for a pH level between 7.2 and 7.6, chlorine levels between 1.0 and 3.0 parts per million (ppm), and alkalinity between 80 and 120 ppm.

Balancing pH

Adjust the pH levels as needed using pH increases or decreases. Maintaining the correct pH ensures the effectiveness of chlorine and other sanitizing agents, preventing the growth of harmful bacteria and algae.


Chlorine is a key component in keeping your pool water sanitized. Regularly add chlorine to your pool, either in liquid, tablet, or granular form. Use a chlorine stabilizer to protect the chlorine from sunlight degradation, especially in outdoor pools.

Shock Treatment

Periodically, shock your pool by adding a concentrated dose of chlorine. This helps break down organic contaminants, eliminate chloramines, and restore water clarity. Follow the manufacturer's guidelines on when and how to perform this shock treatment based on your pool size and usage.

Clean the Filters

Regularly cleaning your pool filters is a vital aspect of pool maintenance. Over time, filters can become clogged with debris, hindering their efficiency.

Neglecting this crucial step can lead to poor water circulation and compromised filtration, allowing impurities to linger.

To clean the filters, turn off the pool pump and release the pressure using the air relief valve. Remove the filter cap and take out the filter basket, emptying it of any debris.

The iconic rooftop pool at the artotel London Battersea Power Station

The iconic rooftop pool at the artotel London Battersea Power Station

Shock Your Pool

Occasionally, your pool may require a shock treatment to eliminate contaminants and bacteria. Follow the instructions on your pool shock product, and remember to perform this maintenance task during periods of low pool usage to allow the chemicals to dissipate.

  • Regular Schedule: Establish a routine for shocking your pool, especially during high-usage periods or after heavy rainfall. A consistent schedule helps prevent the buildup of contaminants and maintains water clarity.

  • Proper Dosage: When shocking your pool, ensure you use the correct amount of shock treatment based on the size of your pool. Refer to the product instructions for guidance, and avoid over- or under-dosing to maintain the effectiveness of the treatment.

  • Sunset Shocking: The optimal timing for shock treatments is during the evening or at sunset. Sunlight can diminish the effectiveness of certain chemicals, so shocking your pool when the sun is less intense allows the treatment to work more efficiently.

  • Monitor Chlorine Levels: After shocking your pool, regularly monitor chlorine levels to ensure they return to a safe and comfortable range for swimming. This step is crucial for the overall health of your pool and the well-being of those who enjoy it.

Pay Attention to Surrounding Landscape

Be mindful of the vegetation surrounding your pool, as it can significantly impact its cleanliness. Trim trees and bushes regularly to minimize the amount of leaves, pollen, and other debris that can find their way into the water.

Consider investing in a pool-friendly landscaping design that minimizes the shedding of leaves and flowers. While the lush greenery may add aesthetic appeal, strategically placing plants away from the pool can reduce the maintenance effort required. 

Regular Professional Maintenance

Enlisting the services of a professional pool maintenance technician is an investment in the longevity and optimal performance of your swimming pool.

These experts bring specialized knowledge and equipment to thoroughly inspect and service your pool's components, including the pump, filter, and heating system. Professional maintenance goes beyond routine cleaning; it involves identifying potential issues before they escalate into costly repairs.

By following these practical tips, you can ensure that your swimming pool remains a sparkling oasis for relaxation and enjoyment. Consistent maintenance not only enhances the longevity of your pool but also contributes to a healthier and safer swimming environment for you and your loved ones. 


Jenny Kakoudakis

Jenny Kakoudakis likes to blog about travel. She launched the award-winning Seasons in Colour in 2014. When she is not chasing criminals out of the financial system (her day job), she loves traveling around the world.

Read about her travel recommendations here.



bottom of page