How To Clean A Swimming Pool Floor In Simple Steps

Do you enjoy swimming and having a good time around your pool? Maybe having a fine cocktail with your friends while staring at the deep clear blue water? Do you love it when your children play water games and run up and down all day until they’re completely exhausted? You certainly do. What you don’t love is seeing that beautiful pool turning green because of the algae that started growing on the floor. You know what to do, but you’re avoiding it as much as you can. 

Swimming pool full af algae and mould

Well, swimming pool cleaning is not the most exciting job in the world, but with little research and a bit of hassle, you’ll be able to enjoy again all those things we described above. No matter the type of pool you have, whether it’s an inground pool or an above ground pool, if you follow the simple steps we provide below, you’ll say goodbye to dirt once and for all. 

Is cleaning your pool really important?

You’re probably thinking, why do I have to bother cleaning the pool or, worst, scrubbing it when I add chemicals to the water like chlorine, bromine and other sanitisers? Of course, there is an answer.

It’s just like when showering; you use shampoo to clean your body, which is going through the tub. Someone could argue that the shampoo and soap clean the tubs; Afterall, they’re cleaning agents, aren’t they? Completely wrong. The shampoo is meant to clean the skin, not tubs, tiles, fibreglass or any other material for that matter. Soon enough, you’ll start seeing icky soap scum and buildup around your shower. What is worst, if you leave it there, mould will begin growing, taking advantage of the wet conditions of your tub. Unless you enjoy bathing in a swamp, you should clean it regularly.

The same applies to your pool. Chlorine and the other pool chemicals will do their job, but they’re not the sole solution. They can’t, for instance, clean the leaves and bugs from the surface of the pool and sand from the floor. No excuses then! A regular, thorough pool cleaning is an absolute necessity.

Abandoned swimming pool full of algae

What can you find on your pool floor?

If you are reading this, you’re probably wondering what in the world is that brown thing that covers the bottom of your pool. It could be many things, and none of them is pleasant to touch or to see. Let’s take a closer look at that dirt. 

1. Sand

Sand appears quite often at the bottom of the pool. It may be carried by the wind or enter through the filtration system. Either way, it’s an unpleasant sight but rather cleanable. 

2. Algae

Algae is probably the most common sign of a dirty pool. It’s an aquatic living plant that grows in wet and warm environments. You can’t really avoid algae, but it would be enough if you regularly clean your pool and remove the spores.

3. Leaves and other large debris

Trees and bushes are excellent pool landscaping ideas, and they add a close to nature vibe, which is desirable in today’s urban environment. In that case, leaves, flower petals and branches will most definitely appear in the pool water. Leaves are not dirt, but the problem is that they might clog the filter system. So you have to remove them before it’s too late. 

Debris in a swimming pool

How to clean your swimming pool step-by-step

Now that we have clarified how important it is to maintain a clean pool, it’s time to go through all the steps you have to follow to enjoy a well-deserved refreshing dip. There are a couple of ways to clean your pool; it all depends on what kind of pool owner you are and if you have the necessary time to clean. To be clear, hiring a pool boy will be the last resort for you!

1. Manual vacuum

The best way to clean dirt from the floor of a pool is to use a pool vac. Since you’re going to use your vacuum quite often, you should have all the right equipment:

  • Vacuum head: This piece of equipment comes in different sizes and shapes, so make sure it fits your needs. 
  • Vacuum hose: The hose connects the head to the pool pump through the skimmer inlet. This provides the necessary sucking power.
  • Attachments: These can vary depending on your needs. A telescoping pole is a must so that you can reach the deep ends and hard to reach areas of your pool. Additionally, consider purchasing skimmer nets and skimmer baskets as well as brushes to cover a variety of debris. 
  • Vacuum plate: This connects the hose with the skimmer inlet. 

Man cleaning a pool with a manual vacuum cleaner

Now let’s go through the steps of vacuum cleaning your pool.

Step 1: Scrub the pool walls

Use a pool brush and scrub the sides of the pool so that the dirt will fall to the bottom. It’s a vital step since dirt will be on the walls or other pool accessories like slides and ladders, most of the time without you noticing it. 

Step 2: Skim off the large debris

Now it’s time for you to pick up as much of the dirt as you can, using a pool net. Look for large debris like branches, leaves and stones that may clog up the pool filter. Try not to mess with the tiny particles of dirt because they’ll come up to the waterline, and you’ll have to wait for them to settle down. 

Step 3: Choose the proper vacuum cleaner setting

Depending on the amount of dirt you have to clean, you have to choose between filter or waste. If you’re vacuuming quite regularly, go for the filter option since there will be not much dirt. Go for the waste option if you see large amounts of debris. Keep in mind that while on the waste setting (much higher cleaning intensity), the water and debris are flushed down the drain and not passed through the filter. 

Step 4: Start vacuuming 

Now that you have set up your pool vacuum, you can start the process. Think of it just like vacuuming the carpets. Make small, gentle, linear movements. Expect to pause occasionally to empty the pump strainer so that you can avoid clogging as much as you can.

A man cleans a swimming pool using a manual vacuum cleaner

Step 5: Finish up

Once you removed all the dirt, turn off the pump, take off the hose and lift the vac. If your pool has a sand filter system, you should backwash it by putting the valve in backwash mode and let the pump run for a few minutes. If there is a cartridge filter, you should remove it and clean it manually before using the pump again. 

Disclaimer: These steps can be followed by everyone, even if you are a beginner. No need for particular knowledge in cleaning to become a master at pool maintenance!

2. Automatic pool cleaner

Not all people have the time and energy to clean their pool by themselves. As we mentioned, manual vacuuming has a few steps to follow that might seem a bit frustrating. If you’re the type of person who enjoys lounging at the pool without breaking a sweat, then you should certainly consider investing in a quality automatic cleaner. Robotic pool cleaners are an automated solution that clean and scrub your pool sides and floor. They are not 100% effective like manual, but they’ll get the job done hands-free and effortlessly

A robotic vacuum cleaner inside a pool

There are 3 things to consider before buying such a device:

1. Type of pool

There are robotic cleaners both for inground and above-ground pools. Also, it depends on the type of water, whether it is salt or spa water. Know your pool to find the ideal robotic cleaner for you.

2. Type of material

Another factor to consider is the type of surface. From fibreglass and concrete pools to vinyl and pebble tec, even tiles, there are many different surfaces that you should be aware of. Find what type is yours and proceed to purchase the right automatic cleaner.

3. Pool Size

A small pool (or even a hot tub) certainly does not need a heavy, robust cleaner, while a large pool will remain unclean with a smaller robot. If you want to see results, you should match the model with the pool size. 

How often should you clean your pool?

There is no straight answer to this question. It depends on where do you live, the weather, the environment, etc. For instance, if it rains constantly, you should expect to clean the pool at least once every other day, since with rain and winds often come lots of debris, which will end up in your pool. In that case, note that manual vacuuming might not be ideal for you since it’s pretty labour-intensive. If the weather conditions are better with no thunderstorms and heavy rains, schedule to clean the pool once per week.

Additionally, if there are many trees and bushes around the pool, expect yours to be filled with leaves and branches every other day, especially in Fall. In that case, you’ll probably have to do some skimming 2-3 times per week.

swimming pool and decking in garden of luxury home

Tips for better maintenance

Apart from all those methods we mentioned above, there are a few things to do to prevent dust and debris from coming to your pool. 

  • Pool filter 

No matter how much you scrub, skim or vacuum, if your filter is dirty, your water is dirty. Clean your filter regularly and call an expert to do some maintenance at least once per year.

  • The area around the pool

You should always try to maintain the area around your pool relatively clean by sweeping all dust and debris away.

  • Greenery

Keep pot plants, small trees and bushes away from the pool edges. Also, cut back vegetation around the pool.  

  • Pool cover

If you don’t plan to use your pool anytime soon, you should consider buying a pool cover. It will protect your pool from getting dirty, and you won’t have to worry about cleaning it. 

  • Pool chemicals

They do precisely what they promise. They keep your ph level and the alkalinity level stabilised. They sanitise the water and kill all the nasty bacteria. Invest in quality chlorine tablets and a ph increaser

Chemical cleaning products for pool water

You and your kids deserve the absolute best. Spending your time around your pool, swimming and playing will make your family happier than ever. That’s why keeping your pool clean should be of utmost importance. Not just for a pleasant experience but also for hygiene and wellbeing purposes. To do that, your pool needs either scrubbing and vacuuming by yourself or a proper robotic cleaner. Both will get the job done and leave you satisfied. 

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