Having a pool in your yard is fun—it’s one of the best ways to stay busy and entertained all summer long. However, along with all the fun there is some work that every pool owner must do to ensure the pool is clean and safe. One of the most intimidating things about getting a pool at first is knowing which chemicals you need to put in, how much, how often, and in what order, to maintain a beautiful, sparkling clean pool. Here’s a crash course in pool chemicals for the new pool owner.

Early Season Cleaning

The first step in proper pool maintenance is having the right cleaning agents. Throughout the swimming season this means chlorine, but you may also want to have some “shock” chemicals you can add at the beginning of the year to remove all the bacteria and contaminants that may have accumulated in the pool during the off-season. These sanitizers help remove, deactivate, and destroy harmful bacteria.

In-Season Sanitizing

During the pool season you will also need some sanitizers—generally in the form of chlorine tablets—to keep your pool properly sanitized and ready for swimming. Chlorine comes in a variety of forms, including liquids, tablets, sticks, and more, so you can find the one that works best for you. If you don’t like the harsh smell of chlorine, or you have someone in your family that is sensitive to this chemical, talk to your local pool supplier to find out which chlorine alternatives are best.

Balancers & Stabilizers

There are a lot of things that can impact the balance of chemicals in your pool, including:

  • Precipitation
  • UV rays
  • Humidity
  • Evaporation
  • Cleaning agents

Over time your pool’s pH levels are changing, causing it to become more or less alkaline, and those chemicals will need to be rebalanced. You can purchase pH reducers and pH increasers to help keep it in the correct range. These agents can also ensure that your sanitizers are working at peak capacity.


If your pool is prone to algae growth—and most pools are—you may want al algaecide that prevents these plants from growing, causing cloudy water and clogged filtration systems.

Stain Removal

Even the best-kept pools may eventually develop stains, which can cause your beautiful pool to look less-than-inviting. Stain removal and prevention chemicals will remove stains caused by metals in the water (such as copper, iron, or lead), and prevent stains from forming so you won’t have to spend your weekends scrubbing the sides of the pool and can instead spend them enjoying some fun in the water and sun.

Outdoor pools in cold climates like Utah may also need additional chemicals to winterize the pool during the cold season. Talk to your local pool supplier to find out more.