Should I Brush My Pool Before Vacuuming?

We all know that swimming pools require regular maintenance.  They need to be netted, brushed, vacuumed, chemically balanced, have regular filter cleans, have regular salt cell cleans (if applicable), have a heater tune-up or clean out periodically.  Less often we need to repair or replace equipment.  We need mastic redone.  We need a pool to be resurfaced.  We need to completely drain our swimming pools every 5 years, or when certain levels, such as total dissolved solids (TDS) get too high.  

Why is Cleaning the Pool Important?

You may be thinking, “But I have sanitizer in my water, that should keep everything clean”.  And it does to a certain degree.  It helps prevent algae and to some degree, keeps the walls and bottom of your pool clean.  But not forever!  When you shower, you clean yourself, but does this keep the shower clean?  Nope.  You still get build up that needs to be scrubbed off.  

Also, chemicals do no not keep dirt, debris and even critters out of your swimming pool.  Removing these takes a few steps to accomplish.  What about the chemicals themselves?  Can we just throw in a gallon of chlorine and declare the pool “clean” or “safe”?  Absolutely not.  Water balance encompasses several fields that we as swimming pool owners are responsible for keeping in range.  This is to help our pool be clean, inviting and, most importantly, safe.  The more we slack on cleaning, the more arduous the task becomes.  Especially if you let it get to “swamp” level.  This can include expensive treatments, lots of hard work, and in some cases, the need to drain the swimming pool completely.  You have a swimming pool to enjoy, right?  Let’s help you do that.

Regular Brushing

Brushing your swimming pool walls and floor are key in removing dirt and debris and any algae spores trying to gain a foothold on your vessel’s walls.  It is the number one way to prevent algae.  A pool should be brushed 1-2 times a week.  If you are getting algae, you are not brushing often enough. It also helps the chemicals mix so they are more effective. Should you brush the swimming pool before vacuuming?  Yes.  But not at the same time or even on the same day.  Why?  Because when we thoroughly brush our pool or spa’s surface, we kick up all the dirt and debris and it becomes free-floating , or suspended in the swimming pool water.  If you vacuum immediately after, the dirt and debris we just removed has not had a chance to settle on the bottom of the pool.  So you will vacuum, then have a nice layer of dirt settle back on your swimming pool floor.  

Invest in a good pool brush.  Brushing can be hard work!  You’ll want a swimming pool brush that is appropriate for your pool’s surface.  There are several types of brushes available.  The easiest choice, in my opinion, is to get a Universal swimming pool brush.  These brushes utilize the new technology of a 360 degree design.  With rounded corners, you have two brushes built into one!  And they are safe for any surface.  They also come in different sizes, meaning length.  You may find you prefer one size for certain areas of the pool, like a smaller one for your steps and a wider one for your swimming pool walls.  I like the 3-pack of universal, 360 technology available here.  With this bundle, you get 3 different size quality brushes for the same price you would pay for a single, old technology brush, at your local swimming pool supply store.

If you're looking for a more comprehensive bundle, check out our Ultimate Maintenance Kit for Plaster & Gunite Pools and Vinyl & Fiberglass Pools.

Vacuuming and Netting

These tasks are done as needed.  Keep in mind the longer we wait to net out leaves and other organic material from our swimming pool, the more likely we are to develop phosphates, which will feed an algae bloom if one were to arise.  You’ll probably want to net your swimming pool as often as you can, depending on the amount of debris you get on a daily basis.

I suggest getting an automatic pool cleaner to vacuum the pool.  They make life so much easier.  There are suction cleaners available, which use your pump and filter to gather the dirt.  Keep in mind this adds extra strain to your equipment.  Most people choose these because they are affordable when compared to robotic cleaners.  A robotic cleaner is completely independent from your pump and filter and has self contained canisters inside of them which are easy to clean out.  Most people shy away from this better technology due to the price–they can cost thousands!  But they don’t have to.  You can get a great quality robotic cleaner for a fraction of what you would pay at a swimming pool supply store or even on most websites. 

Chemicals and Circulation

Making sure your filter is clean, that your are running your pool pump long enough and that your water is properly balanced are key components to a healthy and clean swimming pool.  Test your water often.  Balance as needed.  Unbalanced water can be dangerous for swimmers and can even destroy your swimming pool’s surface, your plumbing and even damage your expensive swimming pool equipment.

Keeping our swimming pools clean involves a lot of work.  I find that like most chores, the longer we put something off, the worse it gets and in the end costs us more time and more money.  Now, wouldn’t you rather spend that time enjoying your swimming pool?  I know I would! See you poolside!

This article provides instructions for effectively backwashing your pool filter. And if you're interested in learning how to clean your pool's bottom? Click here.