6 of the Best Pool Cleaning Products

pool cleaning products

Owning a pool can be a great joy. It's the perfect place to throw a party, a great way to get friends and loved ones to come to your house—it's even a great way to stay in shape. But if your pool isn't clean, it isn't enjoyable.

If the color of the water is just a little off or there's debris floating around, that wonderful setting becomes a place you don't want to be instead. Use the best pool cleaning products to make it easy to maintain your pool and keep the water, walls, and floor clean and fresh for every single swim.

Chlorine Tablets

gloved hand holding pool cleaning tablets

Sometimes, a classic is a classic for a reason. Chlorine tablets are an effective way to keep the water, walls, and floor of a pool cleaner.

It's also super simple to use. Toss one in your skimmer basket, place a chlorinator in the pool, and you'll have clean water to swim in.

Chlorine tablets are available in highly concentrated formulas. Some tablets can clean up to 10,000 gallons of water and work for up to a week at a time.

Chlorine tablets chemically treat the water to kill algae and bacteria that would otherwise discolor the water and make it look unpleasant. These same contaminants can pose a health risk, too. You definitely don't want to swim around with algae and bacteria, right?

Check your skimmer basket every three or four days during pool season. You'll notice the tablets dissolve as the days go by. You'll probably need to add a new tablet to the basket every six to seven days, depending on the type you're using. Don't overdo it, though. Follow the instructions carefully so you don't add more chemicals than your volume of water can handle safely.

Chlorine tablets are not expensive, especially when you consider that a single tub of them could last you the entire summer, so this is an affordable way to maintain your pool and keep the water sparkling clean.

This simple step is great, but chlorine alone won't keep your pool totally clean.

Telescopic Pole

telescopic pool cleaning pole

Instead of one pool cleaning tool, get several. A telescopic pole with pool attachments is a fantastic multi-tool for your swimming area. The pole can be attached to a brush, a manual pool vacuum, or a skimmer, so you can perform multiple cleaning actions.

The skimmer can be used to remove surface debris from the pool. The brush is effective at cleaning gunk off the walls and floor of the pool. Pool vacuums are a simple way to keep the pool free of grime and debris.

Use the skimmer any time you see debris floating on the surface of the water. You're likely to see leaves, twigs, grass, and perhaps even bugs from time to time. A skimmer is a simple piece of netting you can glide just below the surface where the debris is floating. Lift the netting to capture the gunk and simply toss it away.

If you can, you might want to use a pool vacuum every other day. This handy tool can get into corners and hard-to-reach areas that are difficult to clean otherwise. The vacuum will suck out debris, dirt, and grime that can collect on the walls and floor. With a telescopic pole attachment, you can reach all areas. Don't forget to move the ladder and other items that might be in the pool to clean behind them.

Use a pool brush to scrub the walls, ladder, and other surfaces. This loosens up dirt and grime so they can then be removed with a pool vacuum. You should especially use the brush everywhere on the inside of the pool after a big pool party. If people swim in the pool regularly, perform this task about once a week otherwise. First, brush the entire pool, then use the vacuum to remove the loosened gunk.

Make sure you get the right brush for your pool. If the pool is made of vinyl, painted concrete, or fiberglass, you want a brush that has nylon bristles. If your pool is unpainted concrete or gunite, a brush with stainless steel bristles will work beautifully.

Don't be afraid to use your brush to scrub. You want to get into the cracks and crannies and nooks. Brush the pool with upward strokes. Use some pressure and brush upward in long strokes to loosen up all that gunk and junk.

Getting all of these attachments and the pole is an initial investment but it will pay off in the course of just one summer. Even if this and chlorine tablets are all you have to keep the pool clean, that combination will be enough to keep your pool looking beautiful.

Automatic Cleaner

automatic pool cleaning device

An automatic pool cleaner will vacuum your pool for you while it's not in use, getting everything cleaner while you do absolutely nothing. Some models will only vacuum the bottom of the pool. Others may treat the walls and the floor.

You can even get some auto-cleaners that have custom cleaning modes, and some that will work on a schedule that you determine. There are a lot of options out there and the market is only going to get more varied.

This is one of your more expensive options for keeping the pool clean, and you'll still need other equipment to keep the pool maintained, such as a surface skimmer and chlorine tablets.

You may also want to manually scrub your pool every month or so, even if you have an automatic cleaner, but these devices can save you time, energy, and work.

Shock Treatment

hand testing pool water with device

Does your pool have that sort of... pool smell? If you are getting a strong chemical scent from your water, that's not a good sign. A clean pool shouldn't have any smell at all.

If you notice this issue, you might need to chemically "shock" your pool with calcium hypochlorite (aka cal hypo). This shock treatment ensures that your chlorine continues to work to keep your water clean. You can shock your water once a week to keep it in shape.

This process is also called superchlorination, and it sanitizes pool water by destroying the buildup of chloramines. These are what form when the chemicals in sweat, urine, and oil build up in the water.

Shock treatment will make cloudy water look clear, and sanitize it so it's swimmable again. There are many different pool shock treatments available with different chemical compositions, but they're all designed to do the same thing. Pool shock can be in liquid form in a formula that dissolves in the water.

This is not necessarily a regular maintenance task. You only need to perform this operation when you notice your water is cloudy, off-colored, or smelly. A single shock treatment can quickly sanitize and clean the water for you so you can get right back to enjoying the pool.

Test Strips

hand testing pool water with paper strips

Always keep some pool test strips handy so you can keep an eye on the water's pH level. You don't want the water to be too alkaline. A chemical imbalance can result in water that has bacteria or algae in it. You definitely don't want to swim in that.

Test the water once a week to make sure everything is clean and healthy. There will be a key along with the test kit that lets you know exactly how to read the results and what you need to do to fix the pool pH, so you don't have to guess.

There are all sorts of different test kits and test strips available, many different tools and formulas that can be used to test the pH balance of your water. Choose something affordable that looks easy to use. There are so many options available, this shouldn't be difficult.

Most kits include multiple applications, so you'll only need to get one of these every two or three months if you test once a week. Get a few boxes, and you should have enough tests to last you through most of the summer.

Surface Skimmer

Your surface skimmer is a multi-function cleaning tool. Not only can you put your chlorine tablets in here to chemically clean the water, but the skimmer will also collect leaves and other debris floating on the water for you.

The skimmer is an extremely easy-to-use tool. All you have to do is drop it right in the pool and let it do its thing. Clean the skimmer out every other day or so, and it will just keep right on working for you.

This may not grab all the debris and mess you don't want in the pool, but it can save you the trouble of fishing a lot of small pieces out of the water yourself. With the skimmer floating around doing the job for you, instances when you have to skim the pool yourself will be few and far between.

There are all kinds of different designs available, from plain skimmers to highly embellished and colorful ones. The skimmer needs to be cleaned out every few days because it will collect debris. Once it gets full, it won't be able to do its job, so make sure you check it regularly so it can be cleaned out as needed.

Pool Maintenance

Maintaining a clean and healthy pool requires daily attention and care. But with the right pool cleaning products, most of the work will be done for you. All you have to do is empty your skimmer, check your chlorine, maybe remove a couple of leaves, and perform a test every week. A little bit of maintenance with the right tools goes a very long way.