10 Pool Cleaning and Maintenance Tips to Save You Money Long-Term
Keep your pool glistening with these simple hacks.
Few things are more disappointing than mentally prepping for a relaxing day at the pool—only to be met with murky water, metal stains, and calcium scale. Those are just a few of the problems you could encounter if you skip pool-cleaning day, which might mean some pricey replacements and repairs could be in your near future if you want to squeeze in some pool time this summer.
Fortunately, there are tons of ways to avoid clogged filters, cracked pool tiles, warped liners, and other pool complications. The best part? These tips and tricks make cleaning the pool feel a million times easier. Plus, these solutions might not even involve a trip to the store. If you have an old toothbrush, some baking soda, old tennis balls, lemon slices, and an old window screen, you're already ahead of the game. Start taking notes, because you're about to be saving your future self hundreds (or thousands) of dollars in repairs.
An old toothbrush and some baking soda can work wonders on your pool’s tiles. Finn Cardiff, the founder of Beachgoer, suggests scrubbing your tiles (and other miscellaneous spots, like lights and ladder fittings) one to two times a week to avoid algae growth.
Old tennis balls can be repurposed into tons of things–—they can even double as dryer balls—so it comes as no surprise that they’re great for your pool, too. The wool and nylon on the balls work to absorb any oils in the pool, which means all of that sunscreen and sebum from our skin won’t be as much of a problem, Cardiff explains.
Every pool owner knows that metal stains are the worst. Fortunately, there’s an easy solution—and it might even be in your kitchen. If you happen to have vitamin C tablets, Cardiff suggests wrapping them in cloth and using them to scrub those pesky stains off the corners of your pool. No tablets? No problem. Lemon slices work, too!
If you’ve been in the market for some new window screens, use this opportunity to your advantage. Yes, an old window screen can double as a pool skimmer. Plus, if you have a broomstick and a wire, you’ll have an easy DIY skimmer with a handle, Cardiff says. After saving yourself money with your newly repurposed skimmer, reward yourself by shopping for one of these adorable pool accessories.
According to Lindsey Maxwell, co-founder of Where You Make It, investing in a robotic pool cleaner will save you time, energy, and money when it comes to maintaining your pool. Most robotic cleaners can climb the pool walls and clean the tiles themselves, which means you’ll be spending less time scrubbing the pool and more time enjoying it.
We know it sounds tedious, but trust us on this. With more people working from home than ever, those of us who have pools might feel more tempted than usual to jump in for a quick swim more often, which is why Cardiff recommends running the pump twice a day to keep your pool in tip-top shape.
Pool skimmers do a great job of collecting leaves and bugs, but what about finer debris, like hair and dirt? According to Cardiff, attaching an old pair of pantyhose (yes, really) to your skimmer is the way to go to make sure your pool stays crystal clear. Plus, if you keep up with the little things now, here’s exactly how much value your pool will add to your house.
If you don’t have a decalcifying chemical handy, a sponge and vinegar solution will get the job done, according to Cardiff. Neglecting to keep up with the scales now means you’ll be spending more money on replacing parts of your filter, pump, and heater in the long run, says Anna McCabe at All Safe Pool.
Investing in an automatic pool cover is “the easiest way to prolong the quality of your pool by far,” says Maxwell. Not only will you never have to worry about struggling to get the pool cover on again, but you’ll be doing your wallet a favor at the same time. If the pool is covered when it’s not being used, it’ll accumulate less debris, keep sunlight out (so the chlorine doesn’t become less effective), maintain a fairly consistent temperature, and help prevent algae growth. The best part? You’ll be saving your future self money with the push of a button each time.
As much as we’d like to think that our pools can thrive off filters and chlorine tablets forever, that’s really not the case. Neglecting to replace your pool water every two to three years can result in algae and bacteria buildup and can even chip off some years of your pool’s life, says Maxwell.