Looking for pool care hacks that’ll make pool maintenance easier than ever?
Keep reading. You’ve found them
When you think about it, owning a pool can be a pretty big responsibility. There are chemicals to balance, filters to clean, surfaces to skim, and so much more. Which is why for many, pool maintenance is more of a chore than an enjoyable part of pool ownership.
But it doesn’t have to be that way!
The world of pool maintenance is much simpler when you know the right pool care hacks.
Because when it comes to keeping your pool clean, it’s not so much about the amount of time you put in, but how you spend it. Ideally, we all want to clean our pools quickly and affordably, but sometimes, the exact opposite situation occurs.
We spend hundreds on chemicals just trying to keep the water balanced. And sometimes it feels like we’re fishing leaves out of the pool every other day. At this point, it almost feels as if pool maintenance is never ending.
But the reality is, it’s all in your approach. And in this post, we show you 21 pool care hacks to cut your work time and swimming pool bills in half.
Sound too good to be true? Keep reading — we guarantee you’ll find at least one tip in here that you can benefit from right now.
21 Pool Care hacks That Make Pool Maintenance Easy
1.) Balance your pool water twice a week to save on chemicals
You may wonder how balancing your water MORE often calls for fewer chemicals, and the answer to that is simple. The more balanced your water normally is, the fewer chemicals you need to restore balance.
In most cases, pool owners don’t get around to testing their water too often. Maybe 3 times in a good month. So then what happens?
You test the water and add all the chemicals need to balance it. But usually, when you do this, you end up using a lot more chemicals than usual. And that’s because by testing less often, you give the chemicals in your pool more time to get out of balance.
And the longer your water goes unbalanced, the more chemicals you need to add to it.
So by testing your water often and reducing the amount of time in between tests, you pool stays balanced longer, and you spend less money on chemicals.
2.) Remove calcium scaling with vinegar
There are a bunch of different ways to remove calcium scaling from the walls of your pool. But did you know that vinegar is an excellent, natural pool scale remover?
Yup, all you have to do is grab a sponge, add some diluted vinegar, and start scrubbing. Within a few seconds, the scaling should start fading away into the sponge.
And before you know it, the walls are squeaky clean. Rejoice in saving yourself a trip to the pool supply store!
3.) Use a solar cover to improve heat retention by over 70%
If you follow our blog, then you already know why this is one of the most important pool care hacks we have to share.
Solar covers not only act as a barrier between your water and all the leaves that like to find their way into it. But they also improve your pool’s heating retention and heating efficiency in a major way.
In fact, by using a solar cover, you experience 75% less water evaporation (the main reason for heat loss) compared to pool owners with uncovered pools.
[Learn more: How To Use a Solar Cover]
4.) Run your filter at least 8 hours to reduce manual cleaning
Good water circulation is everything. It can make or break the cleanliness of your pool. Since water flow is responsible for everything from distributing chemicals and heat, to powering your filtration system, it’s important to stay on top of it.
Many pool owners only run their filter systems when they expect to swim. Although this does reduce energy costs in the short term, the amount of pool and chemical maintenance you have to do in between usually outweighs the savings.
By running your filter at least 8 hours each day, you’ give your pool system the optimal circulation it needs to keep your water healthy. And that means waking up to far less cloudy, green water.
5.) Use a pool care schedule to save time and money
Getting SOME pool maintenance done is always better than doing none at all. Fair enough, right?
But what if we told you there was a better way? A surefire strategy for avoiding the headache of having to deal with what feels like weeks worth of pool maintenance every time you miss a few days?
Out of all the pool care hacks in this post, using a pool care schedule may be the simplest, yet most effective. Why?
Well, when you use a pool care schedule, it conditions you to get into the habit of regularly testing your water and cleaning the pool. And if there’s anything we know about pool maintenance, it’s that the longer left undone, the worse it gets.
On the flip side, using a pool care schedule makes chemical management easier, saves time, reduces decision overload, and most important of all, guarantees that your pool never reaches the point of no return.
6.) Run your pool pump at night
We already mentioned why running your pump 8 hours a day is a good for water circulation. But did you know that running your pump at night can save you money on electricity?
And that’s not just a theory, it’s fact. Electric companies charge less for electricity during non-peak hours or night time.
So by running your pump at night, you reap all the benefits of healthy water circulation and cut down on your swimming pool bills. Talk about a win win.
7.) Use lime juice to remove metal stains
Have a pesky rust or metal stain on the pool wall? Blast it away with lime juice.
Really, just grab a few limes, squeeze them into a cup, add a little salt for texture, and you have a natural stain removing solution.
And the best part is that unlike most commercial stain removers, lime juice contains 0 harmful chemicals, so you don’t have to worry about it causing skin irritation or throwing off water balance.
8.) Add DE powder to sand filter to improve filtration
If you have a sand filter but wish that it was just a bit more effective at capturing debris, rest easy. We have the solution for you.
By adding a small amount of DE powder to your sand filter, you can drastically improve its filtration ability. So it’s essentially like getting the best of both worlds without breaking the bank.
The powder allows the sand to clump together, which helps it retain smaller micro debris that would otherwise get pumped back into the water.
To add DE powder to your sand filter, pour the powder into your pool skimmer. This allows the powder to flow and distribute evenly into the sand filter.
9.) Use tennis balls to absorb stray oils in your water
Looking for pool care hacks that are fun for the whole family? Well, it’s not this one. But it’s still fun.
[If you truly do seek fun for the whole family, here are 40 Swimming Pool Games You Have To Play]
The logic here is simple: the outer layer material on tennis balls absorbs dirt and oil surprisingly well
And nearly every swimming pool is riddled with oils of some kind, even if you can’t see them. From the natural bodily oils of swimmers to sunblock and soap runoff, the list goes on.
Luckily, the solution to this common problem is simple.
Toss a few tennis balls into the water and skimmer basket. And just like that, you cheap, free-floating oil cleaners for your pool.
10.) Replace single speed pumps with variable speed pumps
If you’re still using a single speed pump, it’s time to switch to a variable speed pump.
- Variable speed pumps are drastically more energy efficient
- They offer multiple speeds, which make it easy to manage electrical consumption
- Most of them are built to last longer than traditional pumps
11.) Line your skimmer basket with pantyhose to improve filtration
Ah, the good ole skimmer basket. The first line of defense (aside from you) between pool contaminants and your filter system.
Most of the time when you empty out your basket, you only fish out a few leaves, twigs, and bugs if anything. Everything else seems to find its way through — eventually making a home in your filter.
But not anymore.
This is one of the simpler pool care hacks, but the results it’ll get you are immediately noticeable.
Grab an old pair of pantyhose and wrap them around the skimmer basket. As if you’re putting the basket in a net. Then, tie the spare fabric around the rim.
This simple hack improves the effectiveness of your basket’s filtration drastically. But more importantly, it takes a huge load off of the main filter, which also means less work for you.
Starting to see how all these pool care hacks tend to just stack up and create one awesome, time and money saving effect?
12.) Use an automatic timer to automate filtration
Sure, running your filter and pool heater 8 hours a day is great and all. But what about the days when you’re not around to do it? Or just forget in the midst of everything else?
If that’s a problem you foresee, then you’ll definitely be interested in the solution. Automatic timers.
Using an automatic timer is the easiest way to keep your pool looking good even while you’re away. It’s a simple device that hooks up to your equipment breaker.
All you have to do is set a timeframe for the automatic timer to run, and you’re done. It’s like having a mechanical pool helper there to keep your water circulated.
13.) Use a black hose and solar heat to warm up your pool
Although this is more of a pool heating hack, pool care is about keeping your pool healthy and comfortable. And with this pool care hack, you can do that on a dime.
The science behind it is simple: a solid black hose, when wrapped in a coil formation, does an excellent job of absorbing natural solar heat on a sunny day. And that’s mostly because of the color of the hose — on the color spectrum, darker colors absorb whereas lighter colors reflect.
Now keep in mind, this won’t heat up your pool anywhere near as fast, or as effectively as using a pool heat pump. But, it’s still a cheap and useful hack for keeping your water warmed and comfortable during the hotter times of the year
[If you liked this hack, check out: 7 Cheap Ways To Heat Your Pool]
14.) Use solar rings to reduce water loss
Solar rings are pretty much the compact version of solar covers. They’re solar covers in ring form, there we said it.
With that in mind, it’s easy to see why solar rings are ideal for managing water loss. Just a like a cover, when bound together, the rings create a heat shielding barrier for your pool water.
It’s basically like putting a lid on a pot of water that’s set to boil. Not only does the water heat up faster, but a lot more of it stays in the pot.
Solar covers and rings are no different in this regard.
15.) Convert your vacuum into a temporary main drain
If you happen to own an above ground pool, then that pool also lacks one of the most useful parts of an inground pool.
The main drain.
Main drains make it easier to keep your water clean by constantly circulating it from from the deep end. But with above ground pools, there is no deep end or floor drains. So aside from the circulation created by your pump, there isn’t much happening under the surface.
Of course, there are a few pool care hacks that resolve this. And turning your manual vacuum into a makeshift main drain is one of them.
How is this done? Simple.
Connect one end of your vacuum hose to the suction hole in the skimmer, then place the other end at the bottom of the pool. Towards the middle is best.
With this simple hack, you create a mobile “main drain” that circulates water from the pool floor and speeds up filtration.
16.) Use baking soda to increase pH or clean tiles
Need to increase your pool’s pH or alkalinity? Toss some baking soda in there
Trying to get that pesky buildup off of the tiles? Scrub it off with a simple baking soda and water paste.
Yes, baking soda really is that useful. And if you were looking for short and sweet pool care hacks, this is one of them.
17.) Perform regular pool heat pump maintenance to save on repairs
This one is huge for the sole reason that it relates directly to what makes your pool a comfortable place to relax in the first place.
The heat. The soothing, warm, and gentle embrace of heated water.
When your pool is warm year round, it’s easy to forget about the machine working in the background to make it all possible. But forgetting about it for too long can cost you.
Because when you don’t perform regular maintenance on pool heaters, they go through a lot more wear and tear. Naturally, that leads to part replacements and repairs. Repairs that become more frequent, and increasingly severe the longer the heater is ignored.
And eventually, you end up with a freezing pool and a pool heater that won’t turn on. Usually during the coldest time of the year.
On the flip side, by scheduling annual pool heat pump maintenance, you not only extend your pool heat pump’s lifespan — you chop future repair costs in half.
18.) Add a fountain to easily improve circulation
This is one of the pool care hacks that doubles as an attractive upgrade for your pool.
Adding a fountain to your pool does two important things: it adds aesthetic appeal, and it circulates your water
And you don’t necessarily need an expensive fountain to do this. You can purchase a simple one online that can be set up in just a few minutes.
19.) Use lemongrass and dryer sheets to deter bees
In the summertime, the weather is great, the beach trips are frequent, and everyone tends to be much happier. What’s not to love?
Oh, that’s right, all the bees that keep finding their way into your pool and interrupting your swim. Of course, you don’t necessarily want to get rid of them. Bees are important to the eco system, specifically because of their role as pollinators.
With that said, you can safely, and naturally deter bees away from your pool by using dryer sheets and a few lemongrass plants. Yup, for some reason, bees love the smell of hot dogs, Coca Cola, and your pool, but absolutely detest the smell of clean laundry. Go figure.
So place a few baskets of lemon grass and dryer sheets around the perimeter of the people. You should see an immediate decrease in the frequency of bee visitation.
20.) Keep water a mid skimmer level for optimal circulation
On the topic of good water circulation, maintaining proper water level is nothing short of essential.
If your water level is too, then your skimmer can’t pull in the water it needs to kick off the circulation process. This has a domino effect which leads to your pool pump quickly running dry and potentially overheating. And after your pump, your pool heater is usually next in line to take the hit.
If your water level is too high, you’ll see a major drop in filtration effectiveness. Without the skimmer door being able to open and periodically take in surface debris, a lot of it ends up on the pool floor. And usually, this leads to more vacuuming
So, for the best results, aim for the in between — keep your water line at mid skimmer level. This ensures that every part of your pool system can do it’ job as expected.
Of course, if you’re not too consistent with maintaining your pool’s water level, you may want to consider an automatic leveler. It’s a simple addon that hangs on the edge of your pool and automatically monitors your water level.
21.) Clean your filter at least once a month for more effective filtration
A clogged pool filter does you no good. It’s pretty much like cleaning your kitchen floor with a dirty mop. You can do it, but it won’t help.
Jokes asides, cleaning your filter regularly comes with a few benefits.
For one, it’s the best way to keep your filter working as effectively as the day you bought it. This is because when a filter is clean, there’s less resistance against the water flowing through it.
On the other hand, a dirty filter creates pressure for the water being circulated through. This, in turn, puts a heavier strain on your pump, making it work harder to get the water through the filter. And naturally, the extra work is paid for by increased electricity bills.
So long story short, clean your filter at least once a month to keep it working at top performance.
Bonus.) Use a salt water chlorine generator to reduce chemical costs and maintenance
Tired of irritated skin and eyes? Wish your pool sanitizer didn’t smell like toxic chemicals?
Well, then you might just love salt water chlorine generators.
We wrote a whole post about them, so we’ll just summarize them into these main points.
Salt water chlorine generators:
- Produce a safer, and higher quality salt based chlorine (no chemicals)
- Balance your chlorine levels automatically (no need to add tablets)
- Are cheaper than buying replacement chlorine chemicals
- Make your pool water incredibly soft
[Learn more: Salt Water Chlorine Generators]
You have the pool care hacks, now take action
Now that you know all of these new pool care hacks, it’s time to take pool maintenance head on. Because what’s knowledge without application?
Truthfully, you’re probably already eager to get started. For most pool owners, saving money and spending less time maintaining the pool is more than enough motivation.
On that note, if you enjoyed reading this post, here are a few others you might like:
- 9 Energy Saving Tips For Your Swimming Pool
- 15 Cheap Ways To Upgrade Your Pool
- 9 DIY Pool Heater Repair Tips & Troubleshooting Hacks
Have a few pool care hacks of your own? How have these pool care hacks worked for you?
Let us know in the comments below