How to Manage The Chemicals For Your Swimming Pool

Three scenarios. Imagine you’re starting to notice that a nasty build-up called scaling is climbing up your pool walls at the waterline, or adding strain to your equipment.

Now imagine that your water is turning a different color other than clear blue, from green to cloudy white to mustard yellow to an eerie black.

Now imagine your household swimmers, including your kids, are starting to get suspiciously sick after they swim in the pool, and you’re considering closing it for good.

These three scenarios range pretty widely, but each are likely have the same culprit: chemical imbalance in your swimming pool. In fact, chemical imbalance causes up to 90% of the problems found in a well-equipped pool, including those that affect your pool itself, your equipment, and your health.

Despite what fellow frustrated pool owners might tell you, maintaining chemical balance isn’t a mystery. It’s a science. And to understand it, you don’t need a white lab coat or a college degree in organic chemistry.

In this article, I’ll tell you everything you need to know about determining and maintaining the perfect chemical levels for your pool. You’ll be ready to easily achieve and keep balance for your pool (and your stress levels) in just a few minutes—so stick around.

Understanding Your Pool's Current Chemicals

In order to understand how to balance your pool’s chemicals in the future, it’s important to check in with its chemical state right now. Why? Well, it’s a requirement to know just what chemicals you’re dealing with before you can bring them to the right levels.

Not sure what to look for? It’s recommended that your pool water contains chlorine, a calcium hardness increaser, cyanuric acid, and a pH decreaser or increaser. That being said, some other possible chemicals in your pool include cyanuric acid, bromine, biguanide, minerals, pool shock, algaecide, water clarifier, water flocculant, and metal sequestrant.

Now that’s a pretty long list! Since you don’t have a crystal ball, let’s get right to it. Soon, you’ll have a crystal clear pool.

How to Identify the Chemicals Your Pool Has Been Using

Ready to identify the chemicals in your pool? You’ve got options—three options, specifically. You can either check with your previous (or current) pool technician, check your pool’s maintenance records, or conduct a simple water test using a comprehensive pool water test strip.

Checking with a pool technician: This option is going to give you the most information about the current state of your pool, from the chemicals that have been administered, to past incidents (think: algae blooms), to the condition of its equipment, which affects how well chemicals are circulated across your water. But here’s the drawback: you’d need to be in contact with a current or past pool technician for your specific pool in the first place. If you’ve recently bought a new house or have always taken the DIY approach, this just isn’t an option.

Reviewing your pool’s maintenance records: This option is going to feel a bit familiar, because it shares the same pros and cons of checking with a pool technician. If your pool expert has kept records in the past, that’s great—they’ll tell you everything you need to know about the condition of your pool’s chemistry and more. But if you don’t have this luxury, it’s time to consider the third option.

Conduct a water test: Okay, so you don’t have a pool maintenance or any record of the chemicals used in your pool. That’s no problem. Conducting a water test is a solid way to get a sense of what’s going on in your pool. All you have to do is get your hands on some comprehensive water test strips, especially the ones designed for pools. Once you test your water, you’ll see the chemical levels that are currently in your pool.

In fact, no matter what option you take, you’ll soon need to do a water test. You might know what’s been in your pool, but getting the chemical balance right means adjusting its current levels, which means checking what those levels are!

Calculating Your Pool Size

So now you have a sense of the current chemical makeup that exists in your pool. In order to eventually adjust those levels, you’re going to need to determine the size of your pool. Don’t be intimidated by the math—with our pool size calculator, this step is a cinch!

Determining the Pool's Volume

If only I could crash your backyard with a measuring tape. What I can do is tell you what measurements you’ll need to calculate pool size. It all depends on pool shape.

For a rectangular pool, you need to know how long, wide, and deep your pool is. Remember to measure both the shallow and the deep ends, unless it’s got a flat bottom!

For a circular pool, obtaining the right measurements gets even easier. All you need to do is measure across the middle of the pool, as well as how deep it is.

Got it? Now head to the PoolPartsToGo pool size calculator and plug those numbers in. We’ll do the rest of the work.

Importance of Accurate Pool Size Calculation

I get it. You weren’t expecting to do any measuring, or worse, math (thankfully, we’ve got that last bit covered).

So why is it so important to determine the actual volume of your pool’s water? Because the volume of your pool water—how much water there actually is in your pool—will help you add the right amount of chemicals to nail the right levels.

But the benefits knowing the size of your pool goes beyond chemical balance. It will also help you find the perfectly-sized equipment for your pool, such as a pool pump and filter, as well as help you know how long to run your circulation system every day. All of these foundational aspects of everyday pool operation depends on how much water your equipment needs to circulate and your chemicals need to treat.

With the right-sized equipment, the right amount of chemicals, and the right run-time for your circulation system, your pool will be at its cleanest—while also at its most cost-effective to run. And since operating a pool is a monthly cost (thanks to your favorite mail, water and energy bills!), that money saved adds up quick.

The Impact of Variable Speed Pool Pumps on Chemistry Balance

We’re about to get even more efficient. This is the best piece of advice I (or anyone) can give you: get a variable speed pump!

Innovated beyond the traditional single speed and dual speed pumps that used to the be only options on the market, a variable speed pump blows all the models that came before it out of the water. Here’s the difference: whereas single speed pumps run at one speed and dual speed pumps run at two, variable speed pumps can run at a whole range of speeds. This allows you to control how fast your motor turns over water according to your pools specific needs (and yes, your pool’s specific measurements, too!). It’s the secret to a sparkling pool and a full wallet.

And I mean that. Any pool owner who doesn’t have a variable speed pump already installed is letting hundreds of dollars flow right on out of their bank account. There isn’t a single con to making the change from a single speed or even dual speed pump to a variable speed unit. And one of the many pros? It’ll do wonders for your pool’s chemical balance.

Efficient Filtration

Lower pump speeds takes your filtration up a notch. You might be wondering how that works. Well, first you need to understand a basic rule of pool maintenance: debris will suck up the power of your chemicals before you can say “free chlorine.”

Think about it. Your sanitizer, for example, is designed to attack harmful microbes that would otherwise live in your water, mess up your chemical balance, and potentially even make swimmers sick. If it comes into contact with a piece of debris, such as a leaf, it’ll exhaust itself trying to neutralize it—and without luck, too!

The slower your water is moving through your filtration system, the more successfully your pump can take out all of the big, highly-visible debris, and the better your filter can take out small but very real contaminants. By letting your equipment take care of these, your chemicals are sure to last leaps and bounds longer. You following? Because that means on top of the money you’ll be saving on your energy bill, you’ll also be saving some cash on chemicals. Cha-ching!

Enhanced Circulation

What’s the number one function of your circulation system? That would be circulation, of course! Yeah, a variable speed pump improves that, too.

A pump that can only hit one or two speeds can also only hit one or two circulation patterns—and for your pool, that results in some pockets of water that are saturated with chemicals, and other pockets of water that have no chemicals at all.

Either one of these is dangerous! Too high chemical levels can irritate the skin, eyes, and lungs of swimmers, and too low chemical levels can provide a breeding ground for harmful bacteria, including the kind that can make you sick. 

The adjustable speed settings of a variable speed pump allow for slower, more thorough circulation. That means that your chemicals get evenly distributed across your pool water—all of it.

Reduced Chemical Consumption

Seeing a theme here? Installing a variable speed pump won’t just save you on your monthly energy bill. It’ll save you on another ongoing cost: keeping up your inventory of pool chemicals. And like all ongoing costs, that means exponential savings!

How much and how often you add chemicals to your pool depends on your pool’s conditions. That’s why no pool maintenance expert can tell you to add a specific amount of chemicals every week. It’s just not that easy. Because your chemicals will always be in flux based on the environment your pool water creates, you have to test the water every time you’re ready to rebalance. And optimized filtration and circulation both contribute to healthier and more efficient pool water—and creates an environment for those chemicals to last.

Some of your fellow pool owners have come to know the importance of good filtration and circulation the hard way: by constantly adding chemicals to their pool, and still dropping levels after just a few days of every application. This quickly gets costly—much more than the cost of buying a variable-speed pool pump!

Essential Pool Chemicals Overview

We’re about to take a deep dive into the whole arsenal of chemicals your pool needs. It’s the education those neighbors of yours are missing—you know, the ones scratching their heads, dumping chemicals into their pools, and blowing through their box of water test strips. Once you know the names of these chemicals and how they function, keeping them in harmony is going to be as easy as doing a cannonball.

Testing Kit

Okay, I lied. This one isn’t a chemical, but none of your chemicals will be applied correctly without it. Remember how I said that you can’t just add a predetermined amount of a chemical and call it good, because every pool has its own specific conditions? That’s where a testing kit comes in.

A testing kit is the only way for you to know the chemical levels in your pool. Just like many other aspects of owning a pool, when it comes to testing your chemical levels in the water, you’ve got options. Specifically, three options: liquid test strips, taking a sample to the pool store, and paper test strips.

Liquid Test Kits

If you’re looking for accuracy (and you should be), look no further than liquid test kits. These are more comprehensive and accurate than their test strip counterparts—as long as you use them right. They’re more expensive, and more complicated to use, but are ultimately worth it for a dependable reading. Especially if you’re just getting started with chemical balance, these are the best to use.  

Taking a Sample to Local Pool Store

This is a super comprehensive test method, but it has some drawbacks for continuous use. It might sound easy to take a sample of your pool water to a pool store near you, but it’s just not the right approach for weekly check-ups. It’s too much of a hassle, and over time, that cost is going to add up.

I recommend this method when you’re experiencing an issue, such as persistent algae in your pool, or when you need to understand where your pool is right now. If you’ve recently acquired the thing, it’s a good time to collect a sample and get a sense of next steps.

Test Strips

Inexpensive, easy, and quick. Pool water test strips come in bulk, so you’ll rarely run out. And they couldn’t be simpler to do at home. They aren’t as accurate as liquid test kits, but if you’re not totally comfortable with precision, they’re a fine backup. Of course, you’ll want strips that check for all the chemical levels I’m about to cover in this section.

Here's how to use paper test strips. First, dip one anywhere in your pool water and immediately pull it out. Next, hold the test still. By now, the strip should be looking pretty colorful. Compare it to the colors on the packaging it came in to gauge your levels. Next, adjust your chemicals, and test with test strips again. That’s all it takes!

No matter what water testing method you opt for, it’s essential that you test your water every single week. This is the frequency widely recommended by pool experts, because it allows you to consistently and reasonably maintain chemical balance.


All the chemical categories I’ll be covering here are important, but sanitizer is the star of the show. In fact, many of the other chemicals function to aid and support sanitizer, so that it stays in working order.

When added to your pool properly, your sanitizer inactivates (or, ahem, kills) the bacteria in your water. Without sanitizer, your pool water will quickly turn into a cloudy and slimy feeding ground for these bad guys. By killing this bacteria on a microscopic and continuous level, sanitizer ensures that your water is free of dirt, grime, and harmful pathogens.

Keep in mind, sanitizer doesn’t actually removes the bacteria, just makes it no longer alive. You’ll need the right pool filter and the help of pool shock to get them gone for good. 


Ideal level: 3 ppm (parts per million)

Chlorine has two types: stabilized and unstabilized. What does it all come down to? One chemical that might otherwise easily be overlooked: cyanuric acid.

Stabilized chlorine, in addition to its own sanitizing compound, also contains cyanuric acid. This chemical allows chlorine to work at slightly higher temperatures, and ensures that this type of chlorine can work in sunlight. Without cyanuric acid, the sun’s rays would stop chlorine from doing its job.

Unstabilized chlorine is great and all, but it lacks cyanuric acid. And since it doesn’t have that chemical protecting it from the sun, it’s usually just chosen for indoor pools, where direct sunlight isn’t an issue. Or, pool owners add their own cyanuric acid manually.

Stabilized Chlorine

You own the pool, you call the shots. You have the ability to choose between a stabilized or unstabilized chlorine type. But here’s the bottom line: in any case, chlorine needs to be stabilized. Otherwise, it would break down in the sunlight, and just wouldn’t work to neutralize anything. And we all know that a good pool needs a lot of sunlight!

If you choose stabilized chlorine, which often comes in the form of chlorine tablets called trichlor or powder called dichlor, it’s not just chlorine you’re adding to your pool—you’re also adding cyanuric acid, which stabilizes the chlorine. The benefit here is that you don’t have to add cyanuric acid, which is a serious convenience. That’s a whole step you’re skipping! Plus, chlorine tablets are (in my opinion) the easiest to use, since you can just put them in the your pool’s skimmer and let your pump do the rest of the work.

The drawback to using stabilized chlorine is that you have less control over how much cyanuric acid you’re putting in your pool. And since there’s no chemical you can add to your water that lowers your cyanuric acid levels, you’re going to need to drain part of your pool water to lower it, which can be a bit of a hassle.

Unstabilized Chlorine

Do you have an indoor pool, or would you just rather add cyanuric acid yourself? In that case, unstabilized chlorine, which comes in liquid form, is for you. And if you do opt for this type of chlorine, you’ve got some options.

There’s sodium hypochlorite, also known as “liquid bleach,” which is the most inexpensive of all chlorine sanitizer and common among pool professionals, since it can be added in bulk to larger pools. The drawback to this type is that it can blow your pH levels—it has a super alkaline pH of 13, when you should be aiming for a 7 in your pool.

Another option is lithium hypochlorite, which is only really recommended if you have a vinyl pool. That’s because it’s the most expensive of all unstabilized chlorine types. But if you do have a vinyl pool, this type is less likely to bleach your lining.

This last unstabilized chlorine type is calcium hypochlorite, and it’s the most popular for residential pools, for a simple reason: other than liquid bleach, this powder chlorine is the most cost-effective sanitizer on the market.

However, I don’t recommend using this unstabilized chlorine in tablet form, because it can wreak havoc on pools that have a heat pump installed. Plus, cal-hypo will raise the calcium hardness levels of your water, which you’ll need to lower if you don’t want corrosion on your pool’s surfaces. Plus, it’s pretty alkaline, since its pH is 12.

Oh, and if you put calcium hypochlorite near other chemicals, it can combust. I’m not kidding. So when you store it, make sure it’s fairly isolated. 

Cyanuric Acid: The Chlorine Supporter

If you do use an unstabilized chlorine, and your pool gets any amount of sunlight, you’ll need to add the stabilizer, or cyanuric acid, yourself.

Think of it this way: chlorine is the C.E.O., and cyanuric acid is the executive assistant. Without cyanuric acid to do the scheduling, chlorine won’t show up to work. Which also means that you’ll be adding all of that unstabilized chlorine for nothing! Now that’s kind of like dumping money into your pool and down the drain, isn’t it?

Check your cyanuric acid levels every week. If its concentration gets too high, your chlorine won’t work at all. Tough, but true!

Bromine (Alternative to Chlorine)

Someone’s fancy! Bromine is an alternative to chlorine, and part of the same chemical family. Because it’s nearly odorless and super stable in warmer temperatures, bromine is more popular in indoor swimming pools and hot tubs. So why don’t people use bromine more than chlorine? Well, that one’s easy: it’s just more expensive. Plus, it’s harder to wash off after a swim or a soak.

PHMB (Biguanide)

Not a fan of chlorine, or have an allergy? Polyhexamethylene biguanide (say that five times fast) has the only EPA approval as the non-chlorine sanitizer for pools and spas. It’s also peroxide based—in the same chemical family of the liquid you’d use for an ear infection. Sounds great? It mostly is, but fair warning: this one will take some time and money to keep maintained.

Biguanide is the only—yes, only—sanitizer that can be used without the help of chlorine or bromine. If you have a serious chlorine allergy, this one is the way to go—and one that is actually chloramine-free, odorless, and fairly stable. Plus, biguanides are often combined with algaecides, so that’s a major plus if you’re constantly fighting infestations.

Here are the cons: first of all, it’s tough to test for accurate biguanide levels, and sanitizer is something you want to get right. Plus, it only works with a sand filter and could potentially cloud up your water. And it doesn’t do anything for organic contaminants, such as sweat, body oil, hair products, and so on, so you’ll need to add an oxidizer to your chemical treatment regimen.


Not afraid of making things a little complicated? Another option you have for sanitizing your pool is a mineral system, which uses silver (which is antibacterial) and copper (which is often used as an algaecide) to prevent bacteria and algae from setting up shop in your pool.

In addition to silver and copper, mineral systems can also include zinc for its antibacterial properties, and limestone to absorb chlorine acid and maintain your water’s pH. Plus, they keep your water softer, keep chloramines low, and reduce wear on your greater circulation system.

But here’s the big caveat: mineral systems need to be supplemented with some chlorine or bromine. Plus, you might have to deal with some serious oxidized metal stains, which aren’t as easy as you’d think to remove.


Chloramines aren’t something that you add to your water—they’re something that you want to get right out of there.

Every time your chlorine deactivates bacteria, it leaves behind chloramines, inactivated contaminants that no longer have the ability to make you sick, but are ridiculously irritating to eyes, noses, and throats—even for people without sensitivities.

On top of being a pain, chloramines take up space in your pool and prevent your chlorine from working. So if Cyanuric Acid is the executive assistant to the chlorine C.E.O., chloramines are all the things that distract the boss and slow down work. The best way to kick them out of the office is to use pool shock.

Pool Shock

Pool shock is an all-in-one reset for your pool. Technically a high dose of liquid chlorine, it’ll blast away the noxious (and obnoxious) chloramines that chlorine leaves behind. It’s also a quick remedy for pool algae and the products of bodily functions that I won’t go into. But this superpowered dose isn’t a replacement for chlorine. This should be applied to your pool once a week, after chlorine.

pH Increaser and Decreaser

Your pool water also has pH, a measurement of how acidic or basic a substance is. The scale covers 0-14, and anything below 7 is acidic, while anything above 7 is basic. 

Keeping pH at the ideal level helps chlorine work at its full capacity. But that’s not all: keep in mind that human eyes and mucus membranes have a pH of 7.4. So not only does your pH keep your pool water clean, but it also keeps it as comfortable as possible, too. And there’s nothing basic about that.

Some of the essential chemicals you’ll need in your toolbox are pH increasers and decreasers. To raise your levels, you’ll want an increaser such as sodium bicarbonate, or soda ash. To lower your levels, you’ll want muriatic acid or sodium bisulfate. 

Water Alkalinity Level

You can adjust your water’s alkalinity and save a ton of money in the process by using a household cleaner that you probably already have on hand (or, ahem, on arm… thinking of a hammer here): baking soda!

For many brands, alkalinity increasers include just one active ingredient: sodium bicarbonate. Sodium bicarbonate is just... baking soda, the household ingredient that costs next to nothing and you probably have unopened in a cupboard somewhere.

Of course, alkalinity is different than sanitizer, so you’ll only be able to use baking soda to increase alkalinity, not replace chlorine.

As for decreasing alkalinity, it doesn’t exist. In fact, it doesn’t have to. When you use a pH decreaser, your alkalinity levels will also drop. Expecting a vicious cycle ahead? Don’t worry—a pH increaser won’t increase alkalinity in the same way.

Calcium Hardness

Calcium hardness is the measurement of how hard or soft your water is, which depends on where you live and where your water comes from. If the calcium is too low, you’ll want to add a calcium hardness increaser to prevent scaling and corrosion of your pool walls, pump, pool filter, and other equipment. If it’s too high, which can happen when your pH is too high, you can end up with cloudy water.

Just like your glass dishes, your pool is likely to show if your calcium hardness is too high. That’s why it’s important to know how to clean tile in a pool—as well as consistently check your levels.


This one is optional, and I don’t really recommend it unless you have a recurring algae problem. Algaecide is a supporting chemical that keeps nasty blooms in check—though proper sanitation should do the job.

Pool Weekly Clarifier

This weekly step will de-cloud your pool. But wait! Why is it cloudy in the first place? A cloudy pool is an indicator that something in your circulation system is seriously wrong, so I’d advise getting to the bottom of that instead.

Fast Floc for Pools

This chemical does the same job that the pool weekly clarifier does—just more quickly. Again, get to the bottom of the problem instead of spending cash on this band-aid solution!

Pool Metal Removal

Metal sequestrant will get rid of rust-colored or green pool stains, which often occur when you use algae (since copper is often its main ingredient!). Again, this one isn’t totally necessary—cleaning your pool often should prevent these stains from forming.

Understanding Chemical Labels and Safety Precautions

All the advice I give you here should come secondary to the first source: the label!

Any chemical you use should come with instructions. And although I’m mentioning main ingredients here, there are a whole slew of supporting ingredients that change from product to product, which change how it should be handled.

Some labels will tell you certain measurements based on pool size, or caution you to use goggles and gloves when handling the corresponding chemical. My advice? Follow theirs.

Choosing Pool Chemicals for Specific Issues

Dealing with a pesky problem in your pool? That’s to be expected from time to time. Here are the most common issues and their straightforward solutions.

Raising Pool Water pH Level

The culprit: high pH. The answer: baking soda or soda ash. To get your pH level back in balance, here’s how to add one of these increasers to your water.

Cleaning Your Cloudy Pool Water

Cloudy water is usually caused by an increase of contaminants or a too-high pH. Here’s how to solve it, and spoiler: it involves proper circulation and sanitization.

Getting Rid of Green Algae

Green algae is the most common, and the easiest to remove. This slimy algae will float in your water, cast a greenish hue, and attach to your pool walls, steps, and floor.

This type of algae might occur if your chemical balance is off, but it can also be introduced to your pool thanks to microscopic pieces on swimsuits and water toys. Here’s how to remove it from your water fast.

Getting Rid of Mustard Algae

Mustard algae is not as slimy as pool algae, and can even pass as pollen or sand in a shaded, hidden part of your pool. This type is rare, which is great because it’s also chlorine resistant. This one won’t be easy—but here’s how to get it gone.

Getting Rid of Pink Slime

Pink slime formally goes by Serratia Marcescens, and it’s actually an airbourne bacteria that loves moist, warm environments (like your shower). No surprise, then, that it can sometimes crop up in the swimming pool and wreak havoc on your chemical balance. Here’s how to get rid of this nasty slime.

Getting Rid of White Water Mold

White water mold is a naturally-occurring fungus that sometimes forms in swimming pools. It looks like snotty mucus or like a big torn up tissue floating along in your water. Ick…

While the mold itself isn’t harmful to humans, it looks nasty, can clog up your equipment, and indicates that your water probably isn’t safe for swimming. Here’s how to get white water mold out of your pool.

What Should Be the Ideal Chemistry Levels for My Pool?

We’re almost to the finish line. Here are the ideal levels to shoot for every time you add chemicals to your pool.

  • Chlorine: 3 parts per million
  • Cyanuric Acid: 30–50 ppm
  • Bromine (Chlorine Alternative): 2–4 ppm for pools, 4–6 ppm for spas
  • PHMB (Biguanide): 30–50 ppm
  • pH Increaser and Decreaser: 7.4 to 7.6
  • Water Alkalinity Level: 100–150 ppm
  • Calcium Hardness: 175–225 ppm, but 200–275 ppm for concrete and plaster pools

What Order to Add Swimming Pool Chemicals

Now it’s time to actually add put all that we’ve talked about into action. I’ll walk you through the order to add swimming pool chemicals, but as far as how to actually administer them to your pool… follow the manufacturer’s instructions!

What I will say is this: safety comes first. And be sure to always have your pump running when adding chemicals, and for a few hours afterward, too.

#1 Chelating or Sequestering Agent

First, add your metal sequesterer, or any removal product for stains or scaling. These are called chelating or sequestering agents, and they clump ions together to keep them from dropping out.

#2 Alkalinity Adjusters

You already know that alkalinity works hand in hand with your pH. But it’s best to start with alkalinity, because it tends to affect pH more than the other way around.

If your alkalinity it too high, add some muriatic acid. If it’s too low, use some sodium bicarbonate (or baking soda!). And if your cyanuric acid level is over 60 ppm, you can go ahead and deduct 30 ppm from your alkalinity reading.

#3 pH Adjusters

Now that alkalinity’s balanced and you’ve got an accurate pH reading, it’s time to make some adjustments. If your pH is too high, use dry or liquid acid to lower it. If it’s too low, use soda ash to raise it.

#4 Calcium Hardness Increasers

Next comes calcium hardness—no hard water spots here! If your levels are low, you’ll need to add an increaser, which is often calcium hypochlorite. But keep in mind, you might need to wait overnight if you’ve just adjusted pH and alkalinity, since these chemicals don’t get along. And if your levels are high, you’ll need to drain some of your water. Womp womp.

#5 Chlorine Compounds

It’s time for the star of the show. You’ve now perfectly balanced your pool to create the ideal environment for adding your sanitizer. Whether you have calcium hypochlorite, trichlor, or dichlor, go ahead and add it to your pool.

#6 Water Clarifiers

Let’s get one thing clear: these are totally optional chemicals, designed to de-cloud your water. But if you want to use a water clarifier to attack the smaller particles in your pool (such as after an algae bloom), now is the time to add them.

#7 Algaecides

If algae is a consistent problem in your pool and you’re not afraid of any extra metal stains, it’s time to add an algaecide. This preventative chemical will do wonders to keep nasty blooms at bay.

#8 Cyanuric Acid (AKA Conditioner, Stabilizer)

Cyanuric acid comes next, and should be applied to your pool’s skimmer. This step is only if you don’t use a stabilized chlorine, but if that’s the case, it’s absolutely essential to keeping your sanitizer in working order. Don’t skip it!

#9 Phosphate Removers

This optional chemical is designed to keep phosphates low. So what are phosphates? Any of the organic matter that can be found in your pool, including leaves, pollen, and dust. Phosphates feed algae, so if you struggle with blooms, this is the finisher for you.

How Much Does it Cost to Clean a Pool?

Now that you’re all sorted out on chemicals, let’s talk about the number one way to deplete all of your hard work: not cleaning your pool! Take the time to read up on how much it costs to clean a pool here. You’ll be glad you did.


You may not have understood these concepts a few minutes ago, but now you’re really in the know. You can now identify the chemicals your pool has been using, calculate your pool size, explain why variable-speed pumps are essential to chemical balance, break down each of the chemicals your pool needs, understand chemical labels, choose chemicals for specific issues, and add chemicals in the right order—and hit the ideal levels, every time.

In other words, you know how to keep your pool sparkling clean, safe for swimmers, and economical for your wallet. After this deep dive, you deserve a relaxing float. Enjoy.