How Often Should You Clean a Swimming Pool?

swimming pool cleaningThe question, “how often should you clean a swimming pool?” is a difficult one to answer, because cleaning a swimming pool is no simple task!

There are many jobs – big and small – involved in proper pool maintenance. Some must be performed daily, some weekly, some monthly, some seasonally.

Even though you can create a maintenance chart to follow, keeping your pool properly maintained is not as simple as following the chart. You have to be observant and take care of problems as, or before, they arise.

Swimming Pool Maintenance

It’s important that you keep your swimming pool clean. This is one of the best ways to avoid future pool repairs. Taking a little time to spot clean any time you see a floating leaf or a bit of algae, or notice some piece of equipment that just doesn’t seem to be working correctly or making a loud noise, can save you money and headaches.

If you have had unusual circumstances, such as very hot weather, lots of swimmers, pets in pool, or a rain storm, you should also do extra shock treatments on an as-needed basis. In addition to daily tidying up, you need a regular maintenance schedule for pump cleaning, tile cleaning and vacuuming.

Cleaning Pumps and Skimmers

pool repair arlingtonKeep your pumps clean on an ongoing basis by watching the pressure levels. When the pressure is high (e.g. 40s), backwash them right away. Twice each season, you should clean the pumps thoroughly. Open them up and clean them out completely. This task requires daily, weekly and seasonal attention!

When people ask, “How often should you clean a pool?” they often don’t realize that many factors go into determining this. Clean your skimmers daily if your pool is near trees. If there are no trees around, once a week may be alright.

You’ll only know if your schedule is adequate by the number of times you need to backwash the pumps, and whether or not your skimmers and plumbing are becoming clogged with leaves, hair and other debris.

Generally, your weekly maintenance tasks should consist of:

  • Test pH levels. They should be between 7.4 and 7.6.
  • Adjust pool chemicals as needed to maintain the correct pH levels.
  • You also need to test free available chlorine levels. They should be between 1.0 and 3.0 parts per million (PPM). Adjust chlorine levels as needed.
  • Be sure you skim your pool for insects, leaves and debris – and then empty your skimmer basket.

hammerhead vacuum cleaning poolNo matter what else you do, vacuuming your pool is critical.

Vacuum your pool at least once a week – maybe twice. Again, this depends on how much errant debris you’re collecting from trees and swimmers. Vacuuming makes it easier to control the pH level, so it’s important to be sure to vacuum frequently enough to avoid debris decay on the bottom of your pool.


Your weekly maintenance tasks should consist of the following:

  • Give your pool a routine shock treatment. (This is different from the major shock treatments provided by professionals, using large amounts of chlorine.) Add a bag of shock for every 10,000 gallons.
  • Treat your pool with a maintenance-level dose of algae preventative.
  • Clean your pool tile/pool water line.
  • Brush the pool walls.
  • And of course, vacuum the pool.

Additional Tasks:

In addition to daily, weekly, and bi-weekly tasks, monthly, you should gather water samples to take to a water testing service for professional testing and pool chemical analysis.

Every two months, you should close your pool for 2-3 days and perform these tasks:

  1. Use filter cleaner and degreaser to clean your filters and remove built up grease and oil.
  2. Dose your pool with a flock or metal remover. Allow this to work for 2-3 days, then vacuum the pool.

Note that you cannot perform these tasks on rainy, windy days. You must perform them on still days that would probably be good for swimming!

If you don’t keep your pool clean, you will have a problem with algae, so it’s very important to keep your filters clean and stay on top of your maintenance, for the best looking and safest pool. In addition to following these guidelines, you should also simply keep an eye on your pool and clean whatever needs cleaning as soon as you notice it.

It’s easy to see that, when you ask, “How often should you clean a pool?” the answer really ends up being, “Every day!” There is always something to watch for, and the magnitude of tasks adds up to a list you’re better off addressing regularly, rather than letting them build up.

By keeping your pool clean and preventing problems, you are increasing the life and usability of your pool. Pool maintenance is a big job, and it requires a certain amount of knowledge, skills and abilities to do it correctly.

While you may believe you are able to keep up with your pool maintenance on your own, you may very well find yourself overwhelmed by the unexpected! For professional consultation and service, be sure to contact Sun Valley Pool Service at 817-358-9102 (Tarrant County) or 972-831-1234 (Dallas County) or request a quote online.

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24 thoughts on “How Often Should You Clean a Swimming Pool?

  1. Thanks for the great article on general pool maintenance. We are considering a pool and I like that you recommend testing pH twice a week to make sure the levels are around 7.4 to 7.6. I think you also made a great point about vacuuming the pool once or twice a week and shocking the pool once a week. I will have to make a cleaning schedule once we get our pool.

  2. Thanks for explaining that keeping our pool clean will increase the life and usability of it, so it’s an important thing to prioritize. My husband and I just moved into a home with a pool in the yard; it’s a new thing for us, so I need to do some research about how to take care of it. I’m glad I read your article because now I can see why it’s important to hire a pool service for regular cleaning.

  3. Thanks for explaining what kind of care goes into a swimming pool. I had no idea that the pool should be closed for 203 days every too months to clean it properly. I wonder if it could be good to close it for longer, depending on how much the pool is being used.

  4. It’s interesting to know that taking a little time to clean the floating leaves on your swimming pools or notice any malfunction with the equipment can save you money in the long run. My husband and I move to a new house recently, and this is the first time that we have a house with a swimming pool. Since we don’t really know how to take care of a swimming pool, I will recommend my husband to hire a professional to clean it regularly to prevent any problem.

  5. You made a good point that you can avoid future pool repairs by keeping your swimming pool clean. I’ve recently moved into a home that has a swimming pool dug in the back yard. Maybe I should look into hiring pool maintenance services to help me take care of my pool so I can enjoy it more.

  6. It’s interesting to know that the best way to prevent pool repairs is to take your time to clean your pool regularly. My husband and I moved to a new house, and we are looking for advice about how to take care of our new pool. I will make sure to clean it regularly to prevent any problems.

  7. You made a good point that vacuuming your pool at least once a week can help make it easier to control the ph levels in the pool. I’ve been looking into buying pools for my kids. Maybe having my kids handle the maintenance will be a good way to teach them some responsibility.

  8. Thanks for mentioning that one should clean their pool twice a season, as it will help keep algae from growing. One of my friends has a pool. These tips could really help her keep it clean, so thanks for sharing them.

  9. Great article! After having cleaned pools for several years myself it never amazes me how many people think they can do it themselves only to have it go to the “back burner” after a few months and be in need some some serious help! Between balancing the pH, vacuuming, cleaning the skimmers, cleaning the tile, and shocking the pool it adds up quickly. And I wouldn’t have even thought of the regular home owner dosing with a flock or metal remover. Thanks for the information, and for being realistic about how much work a pool takes!

  10. Thank you for all the info provided. I myself have never taken care of a pool on my own. I believe it is better to leave it up to the professionals to have it cleaned properly. I wouldn’t want to risk damaging a new pool or it not being properly cleaned enough for others to use. k

  11. I recently had a swimming pool installed in my backyard, and due to my busy schedule, I barely have the time to clean it up. I never knew that pool chemical adjustment in the pool is needed to maintain its correct PH levels. It’s best if I’ll just hire a swimming pool cleaner that is an expert at this job.

  12. Thanks for the great information. I have a new pool cleaning business and will now start recommending a shut down of the pool every 2 or 3 months to provide the suggested maintenance. I appreciate you sharing the tips. Thanks again.

  13. Agreed. There’s a lot more to cleaning and maintaining a pool than people realize. Basic cleaning can be done by the owner but it’s best to hiring a professional service for peace of mind. We find most of our customers realize the cost is worth the time they save in shopping for supplies and the actually cleaning and maintaining.

  14. These type of pool cleaners are very useful and good system for the users. For the pool cleaning there are many type of machines available in the market and as per the users requirement they purchase. How can you use the cleaning machine they also mention in the instruction manual and do the regular maintenance of the pool for the long running.

  15. Thank you so much for describing what a “Shock Treatment” is for a pool and everything it includes. I’ve always wondered how detailed a maintenance job for a pool should be, so reading this has given me a much better idea of what to work towards before we start swimming this year. Once I find a pool maintenance expert in the area, I’ll definitely ask them for this kind of treatment.

  16. It really helped when you talked about swimming pools and their cleaning guidelines. Recently, my wife and I moved into another house, and it came with a swimming pool! We’re excited to host amazing pool parties, but first, we’ll be sure to get a professional’s help to make sure it stays clean. Thanks for the advice on how an unclean pool means health hazards for us.

  17. Thank you for explaining that a weekly task for your pool should be cleaning the tiles. My friend is trying to be better about his pool maintenance and has been wondering what he should be doing on Saturdays (his day to take care of the pool each week). I’ll be sure to mention this to him so that he can make it a part of his list.

  18. Thank you for the great article! In my city it can be very rainy in summer. If I cover the pool before the rain, will it prevent an imbalance of the pool? Do you know what I could use for this?

  19. The warning you gave about pool parts not working and how they may require maintenance really helped to read. I tried firing up our swimming area again, and one particular pump wasn’t working as effectively as the rest of them. This could cause a lot of problems in the future, so I’ll ask a pool contractor to help us out with this immediately.

  20. Pool Cover is a great addition to most swimming pools. Not only does it assist with keeping garden debris (grass, leaves, mulch etc) and dirt out of your pool, they can reduce the effects of evaporation and used correctly can extend the swimming season.

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