Summer means flip flops, lazy days, and of course, the swimming pool. Now that the kids are out of school, that pool is going to be seeing a lot more action and it’s important to keep it clean.
A dirty pool not only looks unappealing, but can result in unwanted illnesses as well. You need the right equipment and procedures to maintain your pool properly. But that doesn’t mean you have to spend hundreds of dollars in maintenance bills each month.
You can make use of what is readily available to you and still achieve amazing results with these 15 DIY pool maintenance hacks.
1. Vacuum it out
That’s right, using a vacuum is a great way to keep your pool clean. While most inground pools have this type of system built in to the filtration mechanism, many above-ground pools do not. You can just use your household vacuum or shop vac to get rid of the cloudiness in the pool. You can find several tutorials online for exact instructions on how to do this.
2. Baking Soda
This is an old trick of the pool trade to keep your pool tile clean. The tile around the perimeter of the pool is an important part of pool maintenance. Keeping your tile clean keeps the entire pool clean. All you need to do is make a paste of baking soda and water and brush it onto the tile with a sponge or scrubber to clean the surface. The baking soda is safe for both you and the pool and the tiles are sparkling clean.
This is a great way to clean debris out of the pool. Just wrap an old pair of pantyhose around your skimmer basket or net. This makes sure you eliminate debris before it reaches the filter and helps your filters work more efficiently. A skimmer basket is good, but a skimmer basket with pantyhose is even better.
4. Tennis Balls
After a long day of swimming, there’s likely to be some oils, hair products, lotions, and residue left in the pool. Eventually, these natural oils collect around the pool walls and create an unsightly and unsanitary situation. To avoid this, toss a few tennis balls in the pool after you’re done swimming. Allow the to float around freely, and they’ll absorb the oil in the water.
5. Dryer Sheets
Being outside is great. Sharing the outdoors with insects is not so great. Dryer sheets act as a natural repellant from bees, wasps, and other insets. Hanging up dryers sheets around the pool area repels unwanted insects so they don’t bother your summer days.
6. Leaf Blower
When you first remove your pool cover to get ready for summer, cleaning it off can be a hassle. Using a leaf blower makes this easy. Just blow off all the winter debris and make sure the cover is clean. Then pick it up off the side of the pool.
7. Tube Socks
Stabilizer is often added to pools, but if you add too much, or add it too fast, it can turn the water a milky color. Instead, you can put the stabilizer in a tube sock, then tie it up and put the whole thing in the skimmer. This allows the stabilizer to slowly disperse into the pool and avoid that milky appearance.
8. D.E. Powder
D.E. Powder is Diatomaceous Earth Powder. It’s inexpensive and fairly easy to find, and can make a big difference in your pool filtration system. If your pool has a sand filter, adding a cup of D.E. powder will boost its filtering power. Cloudy water will clear more quickly as the D.E. aids your sand filter in straining fine particles.
9. Water Testing
Before you start dumping chemicals into a pool that your children are swimming in, learn how to use a water testing kit. The basics are pretty easy. You’re looking for a pH around 7.4-7.6, a Alkaline level between 100-150 and proper sanitizer levels. Properly using a water testing kit will tell you exactly what you need to add to your pool.
10. Use a Solar Cover
You need to use a pool cover to protect the pool, and others, but using a solar cover can actually help you save money. By improving your pool’s heating retention and heating efficiency you can experience up to 75% less water evaporation (the main reason for heat loss) compared to pool owners with uncovered pools.
11. Turn On Your Filter
Circulation is the key to clear water. IT can make or break your pool, so keep your filter running even when you’re not swimming. Run the filter at least 8 hours a day to keep the water circulating.
12. Run the Pump at Night
Electric companies charge less for electricity at night, so running your pump at night gives you all the benefits of pool circulation without the high electric bills.
13. Add a Fountain
This doesn’t require a pool remodel. A simple fountain can be purchased online and set up in a few minutes. It create a beautiful upgrade for your pool, but also helps to circulate the water. The kids will love it too.
14. Plant Some Lemongrass
Lemongrass naturally contained cirtonella, which can repel mosquitos and other bugs. Use pretty pots and plant the lemongrass around the pool to keep bugs from ruining your pool party. It’s also a beautiful plant that adds character and ambience to the poolside.
15. Create a Schedule
Taking care of your pool is just like taking care of your home. Creating a schedule keeps things organized and ensures you stay on top of important tasks. Kids can help with these tasks as well. A good pool schedule should include the whole family and will include the following tasks:
· Everyday before swimming:
o Check the pH and Chlorine levels
o Check and empty the pump basket
o Shock the system to kill unwanted bacteria
o Treat for algae
o Vacuum and Brush
o Clean the filter
o Full water test
I hope these 15 pool maintenance hacks will help you enjoy your summer this year, with a little extra cash in your pocket and a beautiful backyard polo!