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How To Clean A Swimming Pool

If you want to enjoy your pool all summer long, you have to do a little work to keep it clean. Yes, it can take some time. On the other hand, it’s not bad as long as you keep on top of it. 

Spending a little time each week on swimming pool maintenance pays off. It allows you and your family to get the most out of it. Not only will it look better, but it will also smell and feel better. And most importantly, it’s healthier for you!

How Often Should You Clean Your Pool

Like most types of cleaning, there are different levels of pool care. Some things are weekly tasks while others are only necessary once or twice a year. 

Skimming and vacuuming should be done at least weekly. So should wiping down the pool sides and ladder as well as the deck.

You should also check the pool’s water chemistry weekly. This helps make sure your water not only looks clean but also really is in good condition.

When you clean, also check the pool’s filters and the entryways to the filter system. Normally, these don’t need to be cleaned or replaced too often. However, they will clog up over time. That can limit their ability to function well. In turn, this will hurt the filter’s ability to do its job.

Steps To Regular Pool Cleaning 

There are just a few things you need to clean your pool:

Swab The Deck

We recommend starting by cleaning your pool’s deck. This way, any debris that falls into your pool from the deck will get cleaned up in the following steps. 

clean your pool deck with special cleaners, a mop or broom

Usually, you just have to sweep or mop the surface. However, every few weeks you may want to use a pool deck cleaner. This will help get rid of grime, bacteria, and other materials that can accumulate. Yes, your pool chemicals splash here and help a bit. But those chemicals – especially chlorine – quickly lose their effectiveness. Deck cleaner is safe for your water but will also help get rid of dirt and more.

Skim The Pool

First, you’ll want to use your skimmer to remove any leaves, bugs, or other debris from the surface. Simply pass the net through the surface of the water and catch the junk in the net. Then swing it over to the deck or lawn to empty it. Even better, have a trash can handy to get rid of the waste right away!

Clean The Sides, Ladder, And Other Accessories

Over time, your pool can become both slimy and grimy. So you need to wash down the interior and keep the surfaces in good shape.

Use your pool brush to wipe down the sides of the pool. You can take a swim to do this, but you could just as easily attach the brush to your telescoping pole and do it all from the deck.

The ladder and other fixtures might be harder to do from the edge. Sure, you can do a quick job using the brush on a pole, but you also want to clean under the steps and around all sides of the pole. This part you might want to save for when you’re going for a swim. 

Vacuum the Floor

A pool vacuum will pick up any material that doesn’t float. Down there, it’s unlikely to get moved toward the filtration system. There are various types of vacuum available. 

Manual pool vacuums are the least expensive but call for more work on your part. It works similar to a regular vacuum cleaner, but you’ll be using a telescoping pole (again!) to manipulate it. It also has a hose that connects to your filter. 

a pool vacuum helps get debris off the bottom of the pool

Suction-side cleaners draw water through your skimmers. However, there’s a danger that they can draw in harder or larger debris that could damage your filter, so they aren’t recommended. 

Pressure-side pool cleaners are better. They catch debris coming out of your return jet. They aren’t sucking anything extra into the filter system, so they’re safer than suction-side filters.

However, the best option is to go the Jetsons’ route. Robotic pool cleaners will move on their own across the bottom of your pool to clean and remove debris. It does all the work – you just have to hook it up and let it do its things. The biggest drawback is the cost, but it saves a ton of time and energy.

Check The Intakes And Filter

As you go around the pool, be sure to make sure that the intake skimmers are clean, too. Be sure to pool out anything that may clog them.

Also, take a look at your filter itself on a regular basis. Fine debris will clog up any filtration system over time. It doesn’t matter if you have sand, D.E., or a cartridge filter. They will all need to be cleaned or replaced at times.

always check your pool pump filters to make sure they're not clogged

Check the hair trap, too. Be sure to clean it out as needed. We recommend checking it weekly as you clean, although it probably won’t fill up that fast.

Test The Water

It’s also important to test your water’s pH and other levels each week. There are many invisible factors that affect the pool’s health. These tests will show you what treatments you may need to give the water to keep it optimally conditioned.

Keep An Eye Out For More Serious Issues

As you do other pool maintenance, be sure to look for any possible problems. Cracked tiles in the pool or decks, loose screws on the ladder, even deck furniture that’s not in tip-top shape can all lead to problems – or disasters – later on.

Attend problems as soon as possible after you notice them. This keeps them from expanding and ruining your whole summer swimming experience. 

Other Pool Cleaning Steps

The steps above are important on a regular basis. Most should be done – or at least checked on – weekly. However, there are other things to keep in mind as well.

You’ll occasionally have to shock your pool. This is important after heavy rains or heavy use. It’s also good to do when opening or closing the pool for the season.

You can do a more in-depth cleaning at the beginning of summer to get the pool ready for the season. When it’s time to close it down for the fall, it’s again good to do a thorough cleaning before final closure.


A clean swimming pool is a joy to dive into. It looks and feels healthier – because it really is. It takes a good bit of work to keep it that way. But by taking care of basic chores every week, you’ll be able to optimize everyone’s enjoyment!

About Us

Tom and Sarah Greenwood are the dynamic duo behind “Yards Improved,” dedicated to the joys and challenges of gardening, pool maintenance, and lawn and patio care. With Tom’s passion for landscape design and Sarah’s enthusiastic approach to gardening, they share their journey of transforming their backyard into a thriving retreat. We strive to offer practical advice aimed at helping you enhance your outdoor space.