How to Clean In-Ground Swimming Pools

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Clean up your in-ground pool so you can fully enjoy your dips.
Clean up your in-ground pool so you can fully enjoy your dips. (Image: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)

Your in-ground swimming pool provides lots of enjoyment for your family during the hot, summer months, but you’re the one who needs to commit to regularly care for and maintain it so it keeps its sparkle all summer long. Dirt, leaves and other debris can make your in-ground swimming pool look uninviting, so it’s up to you to clear it away and keep it crystal clear. Learn here how to clean your in-ground swimming pool and let your family splash around and cool off without all that dirt spoiling the fun.

Things You'll Need

  • Leaf skimmer
  • Pool vacuum
  • Wall and floor brush
  • Tile brush
  • Algae brush

Grab leaves and other rubbish from the surface of your in-ground swimming pool with your hands or a leaf skimmer before they have a chance to sink to the bottom. Hose down the side walls to loosen any litter stuck to the walls. You'll save yourself lots of time vacuuming if you can catch what you can by hand or net.

Clean the walls of your in-ground swimming pool once a week to keep calcium deposits and algae from building up. Apply long, firm strokes along each wall using a wall and floor pool brush made especially for this purpose. A pool brush can be bought at a pool supply company.

Remove water-line scum and calcium deposits from tile walls with a tile brush using a nonabrasive chlorine-based liquid cleaner recommended by your pool manufacturer. Use a stiff brush to clean plaster-lined concrete walls and a softer brush to clean fiberglass or vinyl pool walls. Use a pumice stone or a scouring pad to remove overly soiled spots on the walls of your in-ground swimming pool.

Vacuum your in-ground swimming pool once a week by slowly stroking the walls first, then the steps, and finishing off with the floor. Regular vacuuming reduces the need for adding sanitizing chemicals to your water. Choose a vacuum from a pool supply company to either connect to your pool's circulation system or one that runs on its own power supply.

Empty your skimmer or strainer basket in the trash once a week. It will improve your pool's circulation system and make your in-ground swimming pool a lot cleaner. Check the pool filter once a month. If the pressure reading is too low, that means you need to empty your skimmer or strainer basket. If the pressure is too high, it may be time to clean the filter.

Tips & Warnings

  • Regular skimming reduces the need for chlorine and improves your pool's circulation.
  • Get a professional leaf rake with a plastic rubber edge from a pool supply shop for hosing down the walls of your in-ground swimming pool.
  • Buy a pool vacuum specifically designated for use in cleaning in-ground pools.
  • When your pool vacuum loses suction, it's time to clean out the basket.
  • Keep your in-ground pool equipment area and heating unit clear of leaves and debris, and check regularly for signs of wear and tear.
  • You'll need to spend between 4 and 8 hours cleaning and maintaining your in-ground swimming pool during peak season.
  • Moving your vacuum around the bottom of your in-ground pool too fast will cause dirt to float around and you'll have to chase after it.
  • Your in-ground pool will get really dirty if you don't clean out your skimmer basket regularly.

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