Swimming pools provide hours of fun and relaxation for the entire family. A pool requires regular cleaning to avoid algae and mineral buildups.
Keeping up with these maintenance tasks can be tricky. Using a few simple hacks can save you a lot of time and money. Read on for six cool new tips to keep your pool cleaner and safer.
1. Melamine Sponge
Keeping up with pool cleaning duties can be a tedious and time-consuming task. There are a number of things that you already have in your home that can help make the job easier and quicker, though. These everyday household products are used for a multitude of jobs, including helping to remove stubborn stains and grime from your pool’s surface.
A woman named Lisa Pack recently posted a tip on Facebook that went viral. In her post, she suggested that you can clean your dirty pool by simply adding a Magic Eraser to the skimmer basket overnight. This summer hack is said to help remove any circulating algae in your pool, leaving you with sparkling clear water without having to scrub at it.
Pool technician Andrea Nannini decided to replicate this trick for her own use. She filled a large jar with green fountain water and placed a Magic Eraser inside. After allowing the jar to sit for 24 hours, she was surprised to find that while the sponge did absorb some of the algae in her pool, it did not completely get rid of it.
Vinegar is an all-around cleaner that works well in a variety of areas, including removing stubborn stains. It is also a great way to shine up metal surfaces such as pool ladder handles. If you don’t have any vinegar on hand, lemon juice can be just as effective for cleaning your pool. Just be sure to mix it with salt, and apply it to the surfaces of your pool that need a bit of extra scrubbing.
You can also keep vitamin C tablets, which are made of ascorbic acid, on hand for another type of cleaning. By crushing these handy little items and applying them to your stained pool surfaces, you can remove a wide variety of stains, including those that are caused by a build-up of sunscreen or even from rust.
Keeping your pool clean is essential for safe swimming, and that task can be difficult. There are a lot of ways to keep up with pool maintenance, from using the right cleaners to following a routine schedule.
Aside from skimming and brushing regularly, you can use a mixture of water and vinegar to create a non-abrasive cleaner that will not damage your pool tile or vinyl liner. Vinegar will also help remove calcium buildup from the surface of your pool. This is an easy and inexpensive way to maintain your pool.
You can also use rubbing alcohol, which is available in most households, to wipe away stubborn spots on your pool deck. Just make sure to dilute it with water, as too much rubbing alcohol can cause burns and other damage. You should also keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol in the house to treat cuts and scrapes on kids who swim or play around your pool. This helps kill bacteria and keeps the wounds clean so that they heal quickly and without infection, preventing them from spreading to the water.
It’s a good idea to empty the skimmer basket on your pool several times a week to prevent it from becoming overflowing with debris. Debris will clog your filters and throw off the balance of chemicals, creating an environment where algae thrives. You should also backwash your filter monthly to partially clean it between full cleanings.
You can also try dropping a tennis ball into your pool to absorb any oils that find their way into the water, such as sunscreen, hair products, and natural body oils. If you have children who use the pool, you should make sure that they wear proper swimsuits and not street clothes. This helps keep the chemicals and fibers of street clothes from absorbing into the pool and damaging your water quality.
3. Lemon Juice
Even if your pool is regularly cleaned by a robot, there’s no substitute for a good scrub. If you’re finding stains are sticking to the walls, consider using vitamin C tablets and lemon juice as natural cleaning products that won’t hurt your water. They can help remove algae and brighten the pool without the need for harsh chemicals or caustic cleaners.
Chances are you have rubbing alcohol in your medicine cabinet, which is also useful as a natural swimming pool cleaner. Rubbing alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol, kills germs and works great at removing gunk from shiny surfaces like metal ladder handles. It’s important to always dilute rubbing alcohol before use as a cleaning product so that it doesn’t damage your pool.
Another natural pool cleaner is simple green, a household cleaner that can do away with grease, mineral deposits, and other gunk on tiled surfaces as well as metal frames. This is a great alternative to caustic chemicals, but always be sure to follow manufacturer instructions for diluting and applying this chemical as it can eat away at certain types of materials, especially fiberglass.
Baking soda is a staple ingredient for many household cleaners and can be used in the pool as well. This non-toxic ingredient can help dissolve phosphates and sanitize the water. It can also neutralize excessive copper levels, which often occur when there’s a chemical imbalance.
Planting lemon balm around your pool is a natural bug deterrent that can keep bees from pestering you while you’re enjoying a swim. These plants also produce delicious lemons that you can eat or make into homemade cocktails.
4. Citric Acid
Whether your pool is in-ground or above ground, it needs a lot of attention. Debris can clog filters, throw off chemicals and provide food for algae, making your pool cloudy and uninviting. Plus, the constant influx of dirt and debris can lead to premature wear and tear on your pool’s equipment. So it’s important to keep up with regular cleaning hacks, says Ryan Smith, a home cleaning expert with Ant & Garden Pest Control.
Vacuuming, skimming, scrubbing tiles and maintaining water and pH levels can save you from a ton of headaches later on. And these helpful tips don’t require a trip to the pool store or expensive special cleaners.
An old toothbrush and baking soda can get rid of grimy stains from your pool tiles. Just scrub them with a soft brush, then rinse the area with clean water. And don’t forget to scrub the pool deck, too. Finn Cardiff, founder of the summer sports gear company Beachgoer, suggests scrubbing tiles and miscellaneous areas like light and ladder fittings one to two times a week to avoid algae growth.
If you’re looking to lower the alkalinity in your pool, consider using muriatic acid (sodium hypochlorite), a household chemical that also doubles as a strong cleaner. But be aware that this acid can burn skin, eyes and lungs, so always use acid-resistant gloves and safety goggles when handling it. Add half a cup per 10,000 gallons of pool water to lower the alkalinity. But be sure to test the water again afterward to ensure it’s within the recommended range. A low alkalinity level can help your sanitizer work more effectively. Also, be sure to vacuum the pool daily to reduce staining and chemical usage.
5. Baking Soda
Known by the chemical name of sodium bicarbonate, baking soda is a handy ally when it comes to tackling a number of pool concerns. The DIY household staple can clean metal, prevent clogged filters, keep algae away from the walls of your pool, and even raise your pool’s alkalinity or pH level. It’s safe, effective, and best of all, it costs you nothing.
When your swimming pool’s water has a low alkalinity or pH level, it can cause erratic and unpredictable swings in the levels of acidity, causing corrosive and scaling conditions. Adding baking soda to your pool can help restore these levels back to their ideal range, ensuring prime water quality for a healthy, sparkling pool.
Simply sprinkle a few pounds of baking soda into your pool’s water, or pour it directly into your skimmer basket. Spread the baking soda across the pool in wide arcs to avoid dumping it all in one spot, and then turn on your pool’s circulation system. Wait at least six hours to ensure the baking soda is completely dissolved and then test your pool’s pH and alkalinity levels.
You can also scrub slimy tiles with an old toothbrush and some baking soda to remove the stains and grime that can cause your tiles to feel slippery and give the pool water a green tint. To prevent algae from growing in the first place, you should use an algicide and then superchlorinate your pool before beginning maintenance with baking soda.