How to Properly Clean Your Pool—The Easy Way

Great day for a dip, right? Well, not if your pool is covered in leaves, twigs, and other gunk that you can’t quite identify anymore. Everyone has their own maintenance style—you might have a pool expert come by every few weeks or only call one in as a last resort when things go awry. But no matter what, you’re going to need to know how to clean your pool. It just doesn’t make sense to call in a pool maintenance person as often as you need your pool cleaned—which for one step is every single day.

I know, it’s a bummer. But the good news is that with the right gear and a little bit of know how, you can cut down the amount of energy required to keep your pool sparkling clean. I’ll show you how to clean your pool in the easiest, most efficient way possible by explaining what it means to clean your pool, why it needs to get done, how to get the gear, how to actually clean your pool, and how often to repeat each step. This might seem like a return to the basics, but your daily life is actually about to get a lot easier. Sound good? Let’s go.

What Does Pool Cleaning Mean, Exactly?

As you probably already know, an open swimming pool is basically a blank slate for falling debris like leaves, twigs, and even an unlucky critter. But that doesn’t mean that we should focus on accepting all that gunk and resign ourselves to swimming in a murky swamp. Our approach here is on a few different levels—literally—of your pool, and focuses on your pool surfaces. When any pool expert is talking about cleaning pool surfaces, they’re usually referring to two areas: the surface of your pool’s water, and the surfaces of the pool itself, including your pool walls and floors. 

Here, we’ll examine how to keep the surface of your pool’s water and the surfaces of the pool itself clean of debris and grime. Of course, this isn’t a lasting approach. That just doesn’t exist. There will always be more debris falling into your pool, and always a need to eradicate it—at least during the swim season. But if you nail the easiest way to rid your pool of that build up, you’re going to save a lot of elbow grease every time.

Thorough circulation is key to maintaining a clean pool—and that’s all the easier with a powerful pump. If a larger horsepower will turn over your water volume at a sufficient rate—and won’t overwhelm your filtration system—then a unit like this Blue Torrent 2 HP Variable-Speed Pump is the one to try. As customer Dave Schmidt says, “My pool has never looked cleaner. I am pleased with my new pump!”

how to properly clean your pool

Why Do You Need to Clean Your Pool in the First Place? 

We’re not just here to keep your pool looking pretty—though cleaning your pool will do that, too. The answer for why you need to clean your pool’s surfaces goes even deeper than avoiding the discomfort of stepping on a leaf or inhaling a twig during your swim. Yowch.

In order to understand why it’s so important to clean your pool of debris, we have to revisit a few basics about pool chemical balance. All the chemicals you add to your pool, especially your sanitizer, whether that be chlorine, a saltwater generator, or another type, work on a microscopic level to keep your pool water safe for swimming, and noncorrosive to your pool surfaces and equipment. 

Knowing that every chemical in your pool is working at a microscopic level, now imagine that a leaf falls into your pool. It doesn’t even have to be a particularly large leaf—to all those molecules working hard to keep your pool safe, it’s huge. When solid debris falls into your pool, your sanitizer rushes to break it down, much like it does with the tiny bacteria it’s known to neutralize. But in this case, chlorine is just no match for a leaf, and your chlorine uses all of its energy trying in vain to dissolve it. The leaf stays, and your sanitizer is depleted—meaning all that bacteria it was supposed to work on continue to live on unchecked. If this continues for longer than a short time, your pool might become a disgusting, murky mess.

That’s where you come in. As long as you are consistently cleaning your pool’s surfaces, your sanitizer and other chemicals aren’t wasting their limited energy on fighting debris. This way, you can be sure that the bacteria that exists in your pool, some of which might have the ability to make swimmers sick, will continue to be taken care of by your sanitizer. And just like that, you’re maintaining a clean, safe pool.

Want to Make It Easy? It’s All in the Gear

I know, I know. At the end of the day, cleaning pool surfaces doesn’t have a magic solution. Either way, someone’s got to do the scrubbing. But as any seasoned pool owner knows, it’s important to take any reasonable shortcut available. When it comes to cleaning your pool, that shortcut is all in the gear. Remember, we’re working on the surface of your pool water, your pool walls, and your pool floors.

For the Surface of Your Pool Water

For the surface of your pool water, you’ll want to have a skimmer net on a telescopic pole. This one’s a pretty basic tool, and if there have been any genius designs on the market, I’m not aware of them. If someone seriously redesigns this one, I’ll be the first to tell you. In the meantime, make sure you get a sturdy telescopic pole and a skimmer net wide enough to catch debris without you having to cut through the same pool water too many times.

For Your Pool Walls and Floor

For your pool walls and floors, the pool brush you know and... uh, tolerate... has gotten a major upgrade with the patented and professional-endorsed BLACK + DECKER 360-Degree Bristles Blue Torrent Pool Brush. It was designed by longtime pool servicers to get those tough-to-reach areas, like pool stairs and ladders, without putting any extra strain on your arms, back, and neck. Trust me, once you use it you’ll see why servicers who had spent years straining themselves with conventional brushes finally decided to put an end to it.

Of course, the pool brush never works alone—it merely dislodges the junk that is clinging to your pool surfaces, including microscopic algae just waiting to bloom. You’ll also need a powerful and reliable pool cleaner, like the Blue Torrent MyBot Robotic Cleaner for inground pools and the Blue Torrent Stinger Automatic Cleaner for above-ground pools. These work independently of your greater circulation system to keep your pool surfaces clean of debris—fast. Since this is all about cleaning in the easiest way possible, I absolutely cannot endorse a manual vacuum. It might be cheaper at the outset, but it is a ton of work to hook up every time, includes hoses that are prone to breaking, and are guaranteed to strain your body and zap your energy with a single use. No, thank you. 

Want to know how to clean the bottom of your pool? Read more here.

how to properly clean your pool

How to Properly Clean Your Pool’s Surfaces—In Four Steps

You got the gear, which is the most game-changing part. Now let’s do a refresh on just how to clean your pool’s surfaces. We’re going to do this the right way, and trust me—with your new tools, it’s going to be a breeze. Seriously. 

1.     Assess the Action

Just how much fun did your trees get up to this time? Before you start eradicating the debris that’s built up, it’s a good time to check up on the main sources of all this gunk. Is there a particular plant that could use some trimming? Does the deck around the pool need a bit of a clean up? Take note of what’s happening on an ongoing basis, and you’ll be better prepared to prevent the worst of it.

2.     Get Skimming 

Now grab that tried and true skimmer net. It’s likely that you have hot spots of debris, where junk has congregated in one little floating procession. Take care of those first, and then aim for the lone rangers. This is a fairly straightforward process, but you’d better check your posture. The last thing you want to do while reaching for a far twig is curve your back, and put all the strain where it doesn’t belong. 

3.     Brush It Up

Your 360-degree brush is up and ready for the task. Go ahead and switch our your skimmer net for this brush head on your telescopic pole. Then, brush the entirety of your pool walls and floors, paying special attention to the crevices around your pool steps and pool ladders. Remember, a lot of the bacteria that you’re removing from the pool walls and floors are actually invisible to the naked eye. It’s better to be as thorough as possible—but with this brush, you should be done in under half the time.

Looking for a brush that’s long enough to keep the job quick? Try the patented 360-Degree Bristles Blue Torrent Pool Brush. At eighteen inches long, it was developed by long-term pool professionals to help you get tight corners without hurting yourself in the process. As customer Scott Hinds notes, “Definitely the best pool brush I have ever owned. Far superior to other brushes.” 

4.     Let the Robot Do the Rest 

Whether you have a robotic cleaner or an automatic cleaner, it’s their job now. Turn it on and drop it into your pool—until you have to power it down, you’re off the clock. Meanwhile, your cleaner is picking up all the gunk, microscopic or not, that you just brushed from your pool’s surfaces. All you had to do was skim and brush your pool first. Couldn’t be more easy, right?

Repeat, Repeat, Repeat—The Smart Way

The steps that I’ve outlined above don’t all have to be done at the same time—in fact, I recommend that you follow a more specific frequency. This is all about making pool cleaning as easy as it can possibly be. While some tasks need to be carried out on the daily, others do not.

Skimming Your Surfaces

In order to keep debris from settling on the pool floor, you’ll want to skim your pool every single day. No big deal—it takes about five minutes.

Brandishing that Brush

As for brushing your pool, you want to whip out that 360-degree brush head at least twice a week. Again, that’s pretty easy—and your pool will look all the better for the few minutes you spend on this task.

Powering On Your Favorite Cleaner

Your automatic cleaner or robotic vacuum should be set up for the task every other day or so. Some pool experts recommend as infrequently as weekly cleans, so ultimately the choice is yours—but since it’s already so easy to turn on your cleaner and let it do the work, every other day is optimal for a clean, safe pool.

Have you been using a manual vacuum all this time? You’d better give your pool a much-needed upgrade by switching to the Blue Torrent MyBot Inground Robotic Cleaner, which works powerfully on its own to keep your walls and floor sparkling clean. As customer David Lain says, “Very pleased. My wife loves it.” 

how to properly clean your pool

Now for a Squeaky-Clean Swim!

Cleaning was a cinch, right? Since you’ve got the right gear, it’s going to stay that way for the long haul. So much of owning and maintaining a pool is about repetition. Now that you know how to skim your water, brush your walls, and vacuum your floors the easiest way possible, that repetition is going to go a lot quicker. Enjoy.


For additional information on how to get rid of mustard algae, check out this article. Having problems getting rid of white water mold in your pool? Read more here.

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