Maintaining and cleaning your in-ground swimming pool may sound like a lot of work but with a bit of planning, you’ll soon find that cleaning your pool is not as time consuming as you expected. At Hawaiian Pool Builders, we have nine tips for cleaning your pool.
Maintaining your pool pays dividends. Keeping your pool properly maintained can help cut down on costly repairs. In-ground swimming pools that aren’t properly maintained will last only about half as long as pools that are serviced regularly.
It only takes one to two weeks of neglect for your pool to discolor. When it rains, it can happen even faster – as little as 24 – 48 hours.
Skimming and scrubbing
Make skimming and scrubbing a part of your life. After a storm, you want to ensure you’ve skimmed all the leaves and debris from your pool; while we realize that’s logic, it bears repeating. You should skim your pool daily to obtain a truly pristine pool.
In addition to skimming, you should scrub the sides of the pool to prevent algae build-up. Thankfully, you don’t need to do that very often. Once a week or so should be enough. Look for any growth and when you see it, go after it with a good scrub brush. This will keep your sides looking fresh and clean.
For those particularly stubborn spots that won’t go away with any amount of elbow grease, repurpose an old sock. Fill it with chlorine and let it sit on top of the spot for a few hours before scrubbing once more. The chlorine will eat away at the algae and you’ll finally have a use for those socks without pairs. It’s a win-win.
Invest in a vacuum cleaner for your pool. We recently discussed the differences of models that are available.
Keep the filter pure
You can relate the job your pool filter does to how your kidney works. They are constantly working to remove impurities from your body; and likewise, that is the job of your pool filter. Everything from dirt, leaves and even small toys. Here’s a great hack to help maintain your filter. Take an old pair of panty hose and wrap them around your skimmer baskets. This trick will help collect the finer debris than just the skimmer basket itself.
Sand can have a hard time filtering out fine particles in your water. You can add a cup of diatomaceous earth powder with your sand filter to boost the effectiveness of your filter.
Removing oils from the water
A tennis ball will absorb oils left behind from your pool guests, including natural body oil, suntan lotions, makeup and hair products.
Just place a couple of tennis balls in you pool and let them float around. You can also put them into your skimmers as long as the basket is in place.
This trick works well in your hot tub also.
Cleaning pool tile
Mix together baking soda and little bit of water to form a paste. You can use either a sponge or a brush with a little bit of the paste to scrub the tiles around your pool. The baking soda does not have a negative effect on your pool’s chemistry.
Speaking of baking soda, you can use it, or soda ash to increase the alkalinity of your pool, which will in turn increase the pH.
Keep bugs away
That may not be about maintaining your pool, but it does help maintain your pool space. Avoiding bugs, bees and other insects can seem like something that can’t be accomplished. However, by placing dryer sheets around your pool – for instance as basket liners, you will ward off the little pests. Planting lemongrass is another way to keep the creatures at bay.
Power wash your deck
Your pool decking is as important to maintain as the physical structure of the pool. Power washing, also known as pressure washing, will help get rid of any rust or weather stains that occur over time.
As you spray, be sure to overlap the areas you’ve cleaned in order to help prevent streaks. You’ll want the nozzle of the power washer several feet off the surface of the pool deck and maintain this height to prevent gouging.
You can rent a power washer at most home improvement stores.
Keep an eye on the water levels
As we’ve mentioned before, the chemical composition of the water is very important. However, so is the physical water level.
You want to maintain a level that is halfway up the opening of your skimmer. If the water is too low, simply use a garden hose to add the necessary amount of water back in. If the water level is too high, rent a submergible pump from a home improvement store to drain the excess. However, if you’re pool’s liner is a vinyl or fiberglass material that could be easily damaged by the weight of the pump, we recommend having one of our service teams come out to remove the excess water.
When you’ve reached the appropriate water level, remember to recheck the chemicals. The water level fluctuations will have thrown them off balance.
The pump on your pool can use up to half of your home’s energy output. If you notice a spike in your utility bills when you open your pool, it may be time to consider a more energy-efficient pump.
Sunny days always seem like the best day to use your pool; but did you know that direct sunlight actually dissipates the chlorine that helps keep your pool clear and clean? Slow-dissolving chlorine tablets can help. They help diffuse the sun’s UV rays and make chlorine last longer.
Also, algae reproduce much more quickly in warmer temperatures. When the weather is hot, it’s important to test your pool water more frequently.
As we mentioned, it takes a bit of pre-planning and scheduling to maintain and keep your pool clean. At Hawaiian Pool Builders, we have the experience, knowledge and training to keep your pool in tip top shape. You can stop by our office, or call to make an appointment to learn more about our services and what fits best for you.