Step-by-Step Guide: Safely Chlorine Washing Your Pool to Prevent Harmful Organism Growth

Dive into the world of pool maintenance with us as we tackle a crucial task – chlorine washing. You might wonder, “Why should I chlorine wash my pool?” or “Isn’t regular cleaning enough?” Let’s demystify these queries together.

Key Takeaways

  • Chlorine washing, also known as ‘shocking,’ is a crucial aspect of pool maintenance. It involves adding a large dose of chlorine (10 to 20 times the regular dose) to the pool water, effectively eliminating living organisms, bacteria, and algae.
  • Regular pool cleaning alone cannot tackle microscopic organisms that can breed diseases. Chlorine washing not only cleans the pool but also disinfects it, preserving the stability of the pool water’s chemical balance.
  • Prepare for chlorine washing by procuring necessary supplies, including a chlorine shock product, a water-testing kit, a pool brush, protective gloves, and a bucket. Safety measures such as wearing protective gear and ensuring a well-ventilated area for mixing the chlorine solution are essential.
  • A systematic step-by-step procedure for chlorine washing a pool includes draining the pool, applying the chlorine solution, scrubbing the pool surfaces, rinsing, and then refilling the pool with water. Recheck the water’s parameters using a testing kit to ensure they are within expected ranges.
  • Common mistakes to avoid while chlorine washing include over-chlorinating, which can lead to dry skin or even damage to the pool’s structure, and ignoring safety precautions, which can result in hazardous situations. It’s crucial to always prioritize safety and use the right amount of chlorine.

Understanding Chlorine Washing

What Is Chlorine Washing?

Chlorine washing constitutes an advanced level of pool cleaning, frequently referred to as ‘shocking’ in common parlance. This process involves adding a large dose of chlorine, specifically 10 to 20 times higher than the daily dose, to the pool water. Effectively wiping out living organisms, bacteria, and algae, chlorine washing acts as a reset function, reviving the water’s purity from contamination. For instance, Yellow algae, a common pool-invader, can actively resist common sanitizers but can’t survive a comprehensive chlorine wash.

Why It’s Necessary for Pool Maintenance

Chlorine washing bears a significant necessity for maintaining a healthy pool environment. Regular cleaning might eliminate visible debris, but it doesn’t address microscopic organisms, a breeding ground for diseases. By incorporating chlorine wash, you’re not just cleaning; you’re disinfecting. This process also helps to manage the stability of the chemical balance in the pool water. For example, high levels of chloramines, responsible for pool-related eye irritation and skin discomfort, drastically reduce post a thorough chlorine wash. Hence, to maintain a safe, clean, and enjoyable pool, periodic chlorine washing becomes essential.

Preparing for a Chlorine Wash

Gathering the Necessary Supplies

Procure the supplies you require before starting the chlorine wash. A chlorine shock product is paramount, and the packaging often provides guidance on the recommended amount. For an accurate measure, consider the volume of your pool. Usually, it’s a pound of shock product for 10,000 gallons of water. Don’t forget a water-testing kit, essential for verifying the chlorine and pH levels in your pool. Gather a pool brush, protective gloves, and a bucket, vital for mixing the chlorine solution. Note that different brushes work better with varied pool surfaces, such as nylon brushes for vinyl pools and stainless steel brushes for plaster or concrete pools.

Safety Measures to Consider

Chlorine is a potent chemical with the potential to harm, meaning there’s an assortment of safety measures you require to observe. First, always wear protective gloves when working with chlorine as direct contact often results in skin irritation. Also, consider a mask or goggles to protect your eyes from accidental splashes. Read through the manufacturer’s instructions for the shock product to understand specific safety guidelines. Mixing your chlorine solution in a well-ventilated area helps avoid and dissipate fumes. When performing the chlorine wash, ensure that no people, especially children, or pets are in the vicinity. If you spill any chlorine, clean it up immediately to prevent exposure. Always practice safe storage of the chlorine materials, storing them in a cool, dry place away from children’s reach. An essential element of safety is respect for the power of the chemicals; knowing how to handle them safely minimizes any potential risk.

Step-by-Step Guide to Chlorine Washing a Pool

Based on the previously discussed points, let’s delve into the specifics of chlorine washing a pool.

Draining the Pool

First, drain out the water. This task involves a pool pump, particularly a submersible one. Spread a large tarp or similar protective material in the area where you’d be draining the pool in order to prevent soil erosion. From this, attach a pool drainage hose to the pump and place the other end in the designated drainage area. Plug in the pump and let it run until the pool is empty, then disconnect.

Applying Chlorine Solution

Follow up with the chlorine solution application. For this, you’d require pre-determined amounts of chlorine, water, and a pump sprayer. Here, combine the chlorine and water in a bucket, bearing in mind the manufacturer’s recommended ratio. Fill up the sprayer with this prepared solution. Standing at the deep end, start spraying from the bottom and gradually move upwards, ensuring complete coverage of the pool.

Scrubbing the Pool Surfaces

Scrubbing follows next. Use a pool brush for physical scrubbing of the pool’s surfaces. Initiate from the top and head towards the bottom. Take your time in this process, as effective scrubbing enhances the absorption of chlorine and ensures a thorough clean.

Rinsing and Refilling the Pool

Rinsing comes after scrubbing, then refilling. Use fresh water to rinse every surface of the pool thoroughly. Refilling the pool happens after rinsing off all the chlorine. It’s beneficial to add a pool conditioner before refilling to balance the water’s chemistry. Slowly start refilling the pool using a garden hose. Once full, use your water-testing kit to ensure the water’s parameters are within expected ranges.

Remember, chlorine washing plays a critical role in pool maintenance, ensuring your pool stays not just visually pleasing but hygienically safe. By carefully following these steps, you’re on your way to maintaining a pool that’s refreshingly clean and safe for use.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

While chlorine washing your pool, a number of potential missteps can arise. Awareness of these mistakes allows you to bypass them when maintaining your sparkling oasis. Let’s discuss the critical ones.


Excessive amounts of chlorine can lead to more harm than good. For instance, over-chlorinating your pool can lead to dry skin and cause eyes to burn. Even more, it can damage your pool’s structure, causing a decline in the pool liner and equipment’s lifespan. It’s pivotal to use the right amount of chlorine when performing a wash.

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the ideal chlorine level for pools sits at 1-3 parts per million (ppm). Exceeding these levels may lead to the troubles mentioned above.

Ignoring Safety Precautions

Safety should always be a priority when dealing with chemicals such as chlorine that poses the tendency to be harmful if not carefully handled. Forgetting to protect your skin and eyes, neglecting to wear non-slip footwear, or unnecessarily allowing pets and kids near the pool during the cleaning process may lead to hazardous occurrences.

Remember, safety comes first. It’s essential to always use goggles, gloves, and non-slip footwear while handling chlorine and its solutions, and ensure the pool area is secured against intrusion by pets or children during the cleaning process. By taking these precautions, you provide a safer environment for yourself and others while maintaining your pool’s look and hygiene.


So you’ve learned the ins and outs of chlorine washing your pool. It’s not just about maintaining aesthetics, but also about ensuring a safe and hygienic environment. Remember, it’s easy to slip up and over-chlorinate, but doing so can cause more harm than good. Safety should never be an afterthought either. Neglecting precautions may lead to dangerous situations. It’s all about striking the right balance – using just the right amount of chlorine and adhering to safety protocols. With these steps, you’re well on your way to keeping your pool in prime condition. The next time you decide to give your pool a thorough cleaning, you’ll be armed with the know-how to do it right. Your pool is a significant investment, and with proper care, it’ll serve you well for years to come.

To safely chlorine wash your pool and prevent harmful organism growth, begin by ensuring you have the correct amount of chlorine needed based on your pool’s volume and current chlorine levels. For detailed steps, refer to Pool Tips USA. After adding the chlorine, let the pump run for at least 8 hours and wait for the chlorine levels to stabilize before swimming. Additional insights and best practices can be found on Swim University.

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is chlorine washing important for pool maintenance?

Chlorine washing is crucial for disinfecting the pool and preventing harmful organism growth. This keeps the water clean and safe for swimmers while also maintaining the pool’s general health.

What are the safety measures during chlorine washing?

Safety measures during chlorine washing include wearing protective gear, using the correct amount of chlorine, following the manufacturer’s guidelines, and keeping the pool area secured during the cleaning process.

How does over-chlorinating impact the pool and swimmers?

Over-chlorinating can cause dry skin and eye irritation for swimmers, along with potential damage to the pool structure. Thus, accurate chlorine measurement is essential.

What happens if safety precautions are ignored while chlorine washing?

Ignoring safety precautions during chlorine washing can lead to unsafe conditions and hazardous incidents. It’s important to follow all recommended steps and precautions to ensure safety.

Why is it important to secure the pool area during chlorine washing?

Securing the pool area during chlorine washing keeps unsuspecting individuals, especially children and pets, safe from the chemical exposure.