New to pool care? Don’t worry, you’ve come to the right place! With a naturally chlorinated or salt pool, the fundamentals of swimming pool care remain the same. Whether you just bought a home with a pool or just need a refresher on basic pool maintenance, we will take you through everything you should be doing regularly to keep your pool clear and sparkling!

Skimming Your Pool

Did you know that the majority of debris, like leaves and pollen, that enters the water remains on the surface? While brushing and vacuuming are vital steps for maintenance, skimming the pool may be the most important piece of pool and spa maintenance. Bugs, sticks, grass clippings, and other unwanted items float on top of the water surface where a vacuum won’t reach. Proper skimming helps ensure a picture-perfect pool or spa and should be done on a weekly basis, whether you have an in-ground or above-ground pool. Manually removing debris with a skimmer also helps to preserve the life of your vacuum since it will have less debris to pick-up. This goes for your filter and pool plumbing as well. It will help make cleaning your filter easier, too.

Removing debris large debris is a must so that it doesn’t get caught somewhere it shouldn’t, such as a pump impeller. When skimming, be sure to always have the net in motion; once you stop moving, anything collected may fall off or out of the net. Pinch A Penny has a wide array of nets and brushes that can handle all tasks in your swimming pool or spa, some that are more suited to removing certain types of debris. You can learn more about pool nets and brushes on our blog.

Scrubbing Your Pool Tiles

Over time, pool tiles along the water line tend to gather dirt and grime. This can happen especially when you have a high bather load bringing outside contaminants into the pool, such as during the summer months. Scrubbing the tiles is a great DIY pool care project, and Suncoast Tile & Liner Cleaner is the perfect product for this. Just spray it on and wipe off tough oils, greases, films, scum lines, and bathtub rings on the tile line of pools & spas. It won't eat your grout, either. There is no soaking or brushing needed - just wipe it off and get cleaner, brighter tile. Bonus: It can also be used to clean strap/vinyl outdoor furniture and spa covers!

Cleaning pool skimmer basket

Emptying Skimmer Baskets

Since the skimmer baskets are hidden under your deck or porch, it can be easy to overlook them. Skimmer baskets work full-time to protect your pump and plumbing from large debris. If sticks or other large items get into your pump, it could lead to costly repairs, so this is an important job! Check and empty your skimmer baskets often, at least once a week. While you have the basket out, check for any cracks or breakage in the basket. This is a quick and easy way to protect your plumbing and pool equipment.

Brushing Your Pool Walls and Steps

This is a key step to keeping your pool clean. It may be hard to see the impact with your eyes, but keeping debris and other build-up from multiplying on your walls will help your pool in the long run! This also helps to move the debris to the bottom of the pool when the vacuum can get it. Not all pool vacuums work on pool walls, so regular brushing is key to a sparkling pool and protecting the finish. Don't forget ladders, steps and sun shelves as well. A few minutes of brushing is certainly cheaper than having to redo the surface of your pool. Different pool surfaces require different brushes, your local Pinch A Penny store can help you choose the right one. 

Vacuuming Your Pool

This task has been made much easier by the advent of new technologies. Today’s top-of-the-line automatic cleaners are cordless, battery-powered, and equipped with WIFI. Even if you don’t have access to an advanced cleaner like these, you can still get an affordable automatic pool cleaner that runs via suction or a booster pump. These vacuums clean the entire floor of your pool, and some robotic pool cleaners will also scrub the steps, walls, and waterline. Even if you have to do this manually, it’s an important step to keeping the surfaces clean and full of debris. Learn more about which pool cleaner is right for you on our blog.

Cleaning Or Backwashing Your Filter

Your pool filter does the hard work of keeping your swimming pool clean. Most of the tasks we mentioned previously are imperative to keeping your pool filter running better for longer. The pool filter traps all the dirt, grime, and other contaminants that you can’t see so that it doesn’t return to your pool water. While the cleaning methods for the different types of filters vary, it is important to clean them when the pressure inside reaches 10psi over normal operation. This will ensure a long life for your filter and cleaner, healthier water.

Balancing Your Pool Water

To keep your water clear, it needs to be balanced. This means that everything works in harmony. If measurements like pH and alkalinity give you a pit in your stomach, not to worry! Your local Pinch A Penny will test your water with our 7-point test for free! Just bring in a sample of the water. Make sure to collect it with the pump running, elbow-deep, and away from any jets. The experts in-store will then be able to give you a read-out of everything you need to keep your pool balanced.

To give your pool the best chance of staying this way, we recommend the ABCs of Pool Care to pool care beginners and experienced pool owners alike. The specifics can vary based on the method you use to sanitize your pool, but the basics are

  1. Daily chlorination
  2. Weekly shocking
  3. A dose of algaecide.
adding chlorine to pool

This will help to keep your pool its bluest, as well as provide defense against stains and more clarity!

If you want to take your DIY pool maintenance to the next level, learn more about pool filters, vacuums, heaters and plumbing by checking out this article on how your pool works.

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