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Home Remedies for Cleaning Swimming Pools

By Contributor ; Updated September 21, 2017

Cleaning your swimming pool is something that should be part of a weekly maintenance routine. Pollen, leaves, dust, insects, algae and slime are just a few of the things that can adversely affect your pool. Improper sanitizing, old filter media, hot weather and a heavy bather load can all contribute to the problem. Brushing the walls and pool bottom followed by vacuuming should work, however, other methods used by pool owners may help as well.

Aluminum Sulfate

When your pool encounters minute particles that cloud your water and are too small for any filter to trap, try using aluminum sulfate. This chemical compound when added to water causes particles to coagulate and group together. Pool chemical manufacturers use the same ingredient when they produce flocculent, which is exactly what their product does. Use 8-ounces per 10,000-gallons of pool water, keep the pump and filter running during the addition. If the pool is not clearer within an hour, turn the pump and filter off and allow the now larger particles to settle on the pool floor. Carefully vacuum the particles and repeat the full process until clarity returns.


Sometimes particles can be so fine that it seems as though nothing can help to clear the pool. Try placing a pair of pantyhose around your skimmer basket or across the face of the return outlet. This fine material, which is known to trap small particles that seem to elude normal filtering methods, is an inexpensive way to keep this material from returning into the pool.


As part of a regular weekly maintenance schedule, try turning a chore into a game for kids and adults alike. Provide each bather with two pairs of clean white socks and have each person place a sock on each of their feet and one on each hand. Next, let everyone rub the pool walls with their sock hands and drag their socked feet across the entire bottom of the pool. This will remove the beginnings of algae growth and help to clean your pool at the same time. After socking the entire pool, collect the socks and see what has been collected.

The Return

Many people overlook this simple common sense way to keep their pool clean. The return eyeball fitting that puts the freshly filtered water back into your pool can help. If your pool water is clear near the surface, but gets progressively cloudier toward the bottom, this tip may solve the problem. If your return flow is shooting directly across the surface of the pool, then it is doing a surface loop. The same water is making a round trip to the filter repeatedly. Make sure that the eyeball fitting points downward and away from the direction of the skimmer. The outer locking ring that holds the eyeball in place loosens and the eyeball fitting is moveable. Once in the correct location, retighten the locking ring. This causes the stream of returning water to include all of the water near the bottom in the circulation loop. Eventually all of the water will be swirled and end up in the skimmer and then to the filter for cleaning.

Pink Slime

Sometimes when using a biguanide, pink slime can take over a pool. It uses up a whole month's worth of the system's hydrogen peroxide shock in just a few days. This leaves the pool vulnerable. Cleaning the visible surfaces is not enough. This substance gets into the filter, inside stairs and even lights. Clean all the surfaces you can using an algaecide product designed to eliminate this pink slime. If your pool has a bottom drain, remove the rubber end of your pool extension pole so it is just a long hollow tube. Hold one end and position the other end over the main drain. With the pump turned off, pour several bottles of the biguanide pool shock into the pole so that it flows directly down into the drain without dilution from the surrounding water. This procedure overwhelms the pink slime with concentrated amounts of the shock. Repeat the procedure until the pool is clear of dead pink slime.


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