Swimming is more fun than cleaning the pool, but it won’t be fun for very long if you’re swimming in bacteria! Chlorine and other sanitizing agents aren’t going to do all the work – you have to clean the physical structure as well. You don’t want to be swimming in a secret swamp while trying to enjoy a pleasant summer afternoon. 

The chemicals will help, but they don’t keep debris (like dead bugs) out of your pool, and the walls and floor of the pool won’t stay clean indefinitely. 

Tools You Need

  • Telescopic pole
  • Skimmer net
  • Pool brush (for telescopic pole)
  • Vacuum and attachment (or robot automatic pool vacuum)

Regularly using these tools will prevent your filter from getting clogged up. However, there is something you can do if your filter does get clogged!

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Robotic pool cleaners can be a big help!

Cleaning the Filter

D.E. Filter

In a D.E. filter, the grid elements should be thoroughly cleaned at least annually. The owner’s manual should have instructions to remove the grids. You can then hose them off with a strong stream of water from a garden hose. Then, fill a large plastic tub or bucket with warm water and 1/2 cup of automatic dish detergent. Soak the grids in this soapy mixture for three or four hours to get them thoroughly clean.

Once they’re done soaking, rinse them off again with the hose before returning them to their place in the filter. All done! But make sure you check for any tears or damage in the grids and replace them before putting the filter back together.

Sand Filter

For both Sand filters and D.E. filters, they must be periodically backwashed to get rid of any debris or dirt clogging them up. The process of backwashing reverses the flow of water backwards through the filter, flushing out any accumulated debris. Generally, it is recommended to backwash the pool filter in this way when the pressure hits 10psi over the original start-up pressure.

Cartridge Filter

For cartridge filters, it’s a very fairly simple process to clean them out. The cartridge element itself can be removed and cleaned out with a high-pressure garden hose. Either using an attachment or manually increasing pressure will work. Then, return the cartridge back to its place in the filter.

how to clean pool
There are many supplies to help clean the pool, depending on what you need done.

Maintaining Proper Chemical Levels

Both pH and sanitizers are important to maintaining a clean, sanitized pool. Testing your water a few times a week will help attune you to the changing chemical composition of your pool to keep it in check. Depending on how much the pool is used, changing water (both sunshine and ran), and frequency and amount of chemical application will affect the pool water.


The pH should be between 7.2 to 7.6. A pH outside that range greatly reduces the potency of the pool chemicals. You can use pH reducers and pH increaser to adjust the pH into the proper range.


Chlorine tablets are the most efficient way to sanitize the pool. These specialized tablets dissolve slowly to release a steady amount of chlorine into the water. This gets rid of bacteria in the water. Using stabilized chlorine is more effective because it stands up better to the sun Sanitizing chlorine tablets are the most efficient sanitizer to use in your pool.

How to Clean Your Pool When it’s Very Dirty

“Shock” the Pool

One alternative option for a very dirty pool is to “shock” it. Shocking the pool involves granular oxidizer, a type of powdered chlorine. Start with three or four gallons of pool shock and check the color the next day. It should have turned to a cloudy white, clear, or light green color. If not, add another 3 or 4 gallons and wait again until the next moring. You can repeat this process until the water is clear. Leave the filter running and scrub the pool to get any dirt and growth off the physical structure so it can be completely clean the whole way through.

We are Bates Cleaning Service, a reputable and reliable residential and commercial cleaning service company in Austin, Cedar Park, and surrounding areas! Whether you need a one-time service or consistent cleanings, contact us at (512) 887-8507.