Swimming pools are synonymous with relaxation, having fun, and exercise. However, these would all be impossible without a clean and safe pool environment. A well-maintained swimming pool is essential for the well-being of swimmers and the longevity of the pool itself.

This pool care guide by Crewcare will explore the importance of cleaning swimming pools and provide a detailed overview of the cleaning process.

Residential versus Commercial Pools

Before delving into the nitty-gritty of pool cleaning, it’s important to discuss the differences between residential and commercial swimming pools. While both serve the same purpose of providing aquatic enjoyment and fitness, there are notable differences in their cleaning requirements.

For one, residential pools typically cater to fewer users and may have simpler filtration systems compared to commercial pools found in hotels, resorts, and public facilities. Additionally, commercial pools often demand more rigorous cleaning schedules, adherence to stricter regulations, and specialised equipment operated by trained professionals.

That being said, it’s still best to hire a professional cleaning company like Crewcare to handle pool cleaning. While the process can be reasonably DIY-ed by homeowners, it requires specialty equipment and chemical balancing—both of which need significant investments in money, time, and training.

Cleaning Swimming Pools: A Deep Dive

Cleaning and maintaining swimming pools takes a lot of time and care. Below is a look at each of the most important steps, detailing the most crucial elements:

  • Skimming and Surface Cleaning

Skimming the pool's surface with a net is the first line of defence against debris and contaminants like leaves, insects, and other detritus. Focus on areas where debris tends to accumulate, such as corners and near skimmer and return jets. That said, make an effort to remove as much dirt as possible from the entire surface of the pool.

Empty skimmer baskets and pump baskets regularly to prevent blockages and ensure proper water flow through the filtration system. Remember to check and clean pool skimmer and pump baskets weekly or as needed, removing any buildup that could impede filtration.

  • Brushing

Brushing the pool walls, steps, and floor helps loosen dirt, algae, and other organic matter that may have adhered to the surfaces. Use a pool brush appropriate for your pool's surface material (concrete, fibreglass, vinyl) to avoid damage.

Start at the shallow end of the pool then work your way towards the deep end. To ensure thorough coverage, use overlapping or W-pattern strokes. Pay special attention to areas with poor circulation, such as behind ladders and steps, and brush them more frequently to prevent algae growth.

  • Vacuuming

After brushing, vacuum the pool to remove the loosened debris and sediment from the floor and walls. Choose a vacuuming method based on your preference and pool size: manual, automatic, or robotic.

Ensure that the pool's filtration system is running during vacuuming to capture debris and maintain water clarity. Also, vacuum the entire pool surface in a systematic pattern, overlapping each pass to ensure thorough cleaning.

  • Filter Maintenance

The swimming pool filter plays a crucial role in removing fine particles and impurities from the water. Clean or the filter regularly to remove trapped debris and maintain filtration efficiency. The frequency of cleaning depends on factors such as pool usage and environmental conditions.

Monitor the filter pressure gauge and clean or backwash the filter when the pressure rises above the manufacturer's recommended level. Also, make sure to follow the manufacturer's instructions for cleaning and maintenance procedures specific to sand, cartridge, and diatomaceous earth filters.

  • Chemical Balance

Testing pool water regularly is essential for maintaining proper chemical balance and water quality. A pool testing kit is required to measure pH, chlorine levels, alkalinity, and calcium hardness.

Adjust chemical levels as needed to achieve the recommended ranges for each parameter. For pH, it should be around 7.2 to 7.6. Free chlorine should be at about 1 to 3 parts per million (ppm), while total alkalinity and calcium hardness should range at 80 to 120 ppm and 200 to 400 ppm, respectively

It’s also important to shock-treat the pool periodically, especially after heavy use. This will oxidise organic contaminants and maintain sanitiser effectiveness.

  • Equipment Inspection

Always check pumps, filters, heaters, and skimmers for signs of damage, leaks, or malfunction. These pieces of equipment are critical tools for maintaining a pool, so regularly inspecting them can help in identifying and addressing issues before they escalate.

Schedule routine maintenance tasks such as lubricating o-rings, replacing worn parts, and cleaning salt chlorinator cells to prolong equipment lifespan and prevent breakdowns.

  • Safety Considerations

Pool safety should be a top priority for all pool owners or facility managers to prevent accidents and injuries.

Install appropriate safety measures such as pool fencing, self-closing gates, and anti-entrapment covers to prevent unauthorised access and drowning incidents. Clear visibility of the pool area is also crucial, so trim vegetation, remove obstacles, and ensure adequate lighting, especially at night.

Finally, educate pool users on safety rules and guidelines, including proper swimming techniques, supervision of children, and the importance of avoiding diving in shallow areas. If necessary, have these reminders posted near the pool.


Cleaning swimming pools is a multifaceted task that requires attention to detail, consistency, and dedication. By following a comprehensive cleaning routine and addressing specific considerations such as filtration, chemical balance, and safety, pool owners can create a clean, safe, and inviting environment for swimmers to enjoy. Whether maintaining a residential oasis or a bustling commercial facility, proper pool maintenance is essential for the health, safety, and enjoyment of all.