Three Things to Consider Before Buying Pool Chemicals

The proper treatment regimen will keep your pool water clean and safe.

Diving board on top of pool with blue water.
Treating a pool with chemicals isn’t a precise science, but it’s close.Markus Spiske

Covering a pool when not in use and vacuuming big pieces of debris helps keep it clean, but nothing is more important than maintaining the water’s chemical balance. Without a few additives, a pool is prone to algae and bacteria blooms. Thankfully, pool-chemical science is easy to learn, and chlorine quells most problems before they happen. Here are some other ways to keep your pool clean and fresh.

In The Swim 3" Inch Pool Chlorine Tablets - 50 Pounds
These individually wrapped cakes dissolve slowly to keep water clean between treatments.In The Swim

To figure out how much chlorine you need for your pool you need to know how many gallons of water you’re treating. That number will help you calculate the appropriate ratio of chlorine to water to mix. If math isn’t your forte, there are pre-formulated chlorine tablets you can drop in water. The most effective tablets are large, slow dissolving, and evenly distribute chlorine over a longer period, which means less maintenance work on your part.

Clorox Pool&Spa XtraBlue 3" Long Lasting Chlorinating Tablets 12 lb
Enriched with a stabilizing agent to boost UV resistance, this product slowly dissolves and destroys algae and bacteria.CLOROX Pool&Spa

While chlorine is tough on algae, bacteria, dirt, and odors, it does have a weakness: sunlight. Sunlight breaks chlorine down fast, which is why it’s important to store it in a dry, dark place. If you have adequate storage but are still concerned about shelf life, individually wrapped chlorine tablets are better at withstanding outside elements.

In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock - 24 X 1 Pound Bags
These individually wrapped chemicals arrive in one-pound bags so it’s easy to calculate how many to add to the water.In The Swim

Shock is chlorine in another form. Instead of a slow-dissolving pellet designed to keep chemical levels within specific tolerances over time, shock is a fine powder or liquid that shoots the levels of chlorine in a pool so high in a short window that it “shocks” dangerous microbes into a harmless matter. It’s a safe treatment if you haven’t used a pool in a while and algae is taking over, or after a big event like a party when more people than usual were in the water. Just know that after a shock treatment you’ll have to wait until the water’s chemical levels drop to safe levels before anyone dives in.