How To Clean Pool Without Vacuum?


Taking a cool dip in your swimming pool after a long day’s work or during weekends is definitely one of the best feelings in the world. But the euphoria can vaporize very quickly if you find the pool dirty just before taking the dip. This is why keeping your pool clean on a regular basis is necessary.

If you have the money to spare, cleaning your swimming pool with a vacuum is definitely the way to go. But what if you don’t have a vacuum? Don’t fret, because there’s more than one way to clean your pool without a vacuum. Here’s everything you need to know about the methods and processes.

Key Takeaways

  • Cleaning a swimming pool without a vacuum is easy and cost-effective.
  • There are multiple pool cleaning methods based on which part of the pool you’re cleaning.
  • Learning to clean your pool without a vacuum isn’t too difficult and can be learned with a bit of practice.

Is it Smart to Clean Your Pool Without a Vacuum?

Is it smart to clean your pool without a vacuum

Yes, it definitely is! You need to remember that swimming pools have been around for thousands of years, while the first swimming pool vacuum was invented in 1937. A vacuum can definitely make things easier, but other swimming pool cleaning methods are just as effective.

And the best part is, none of those methods are as expensive as buying a new vacuum, so if you’re a new pool owner or planning to own a new pool then knowing how to keep your pool clean without a vacuum can save you a lot of money!

Not only that but contrary to what many pool owners believe, pool vacuums aren’t as effective as the manufacturers would like you to believe. While vacuums are good at cleaning large chunks of dirt or debris, they aren’t good at suctioning smaller dirt particles. Also, they’re not good for scrubbing the side of the walls.

Equipment Needed to Clean a Pool Without Vacuum

Equipment needed to clean a pool without vacuum

When you’re cleaning a pool without a vacuum, it will involve multiple techniques for the different parts of the pool. Each of these techniques requires different equipment, all of which are cheap and can be bought easily from your local hardware store supermarket. Here’s a list of the most common pool cleaning equipment you should own as a pool owner:

  • Pump Filters
  • Nets
  • Gloves
  • Buckets
  • Protective eyewear like pool goggles
  • Brushes of different sizes
  • A rake
  • A dustpan
  • A hose with a large nozzle

With only one or two exceptions, these tools are all you’re going to need to clean your pool without a vacuum. If you don’t have them already (some of which you already should have), then get them as soon as possible to learn to start cleaning your pool.

How to Clean a Pool Without Vacuum?

Just to be clear, there is no ‘one’ proper technique to clean a pool without a vacuum. Different parts of the pool and different layers of dirt require different techniques, so you need to learn and understand all of them to give your pool a thorough cleaning.

Pump Filtration System Technique

Pump filtration system technique

Pump filtration systems are one of the best ways to keep your pool clean with minimum effort. The filters are installed in the pool which in turn filters the water when the pump is turned on. Pump filters can use different types of filters to operate, the most common ones being sand and cartridge filters.

Prices for pump filters for swimming pools start at $55 and can go over $300 if you want to buy the premium ones. Naturally, the more expensive ones work better, so choose a model that fits your budget and standards. You can buy them online or from your local swimming pool supply store.

To clean your pool using this system, follow these steps:

  1. Thoroughly clean the filter first with it turned off to ensure no debris gets stuck in the mesh.
  2. Turn on the filter and let it run for a few hours.
  3. Before turning on the filter, be sure to apply algicide and other cleaning agents to the water to ensure all dirt and debris gets filtered out.
  4. Turn off the pump and let the water rest a bit before diving in for some fun!

The Shock Technique

The shock technique

One of the cheapest and most popular non-vacuum pool cleaning methods, the shock system is particularly good at removing algae and small debris from your swimming pool.

To use this technique, you’ll be needing the following equipment- a pool shock product like calcium hypochlorite pool shock, protective eyewear, gloves, and a bucket. Once you have them all in order, proceed with the following steps:

  1. Mix one pound of the shock compound with a bucketful of water and mix them uniformly.
  2. Once the shock compound has been mixed, get into the water and find the areas that have visible algae and debris.
  3. Once the entire bucket of shock mixture has been added to the water, turn on the pump and let the swimming pool run for at least 12 hours or until the water turns cloudy.
  4. Add some pool clarifier in the pool depending on the size of your pool and give it a day to clear up the water.

The Tennis Ball Technique

The tennis ball technique

This surprisingly simple pool cleaning method simply requires a couple of cheap rubber tennis balls. If you see oil and dirt floating on the surface of your pool water, all you have to do is throw the tennis balls in the affected areas. The felt-covered surface of tennis balls is made from a mixture of wool, nylon, and cotton.

This surface is good at attracting oil and dirt from water, all you need to do is wait a few hours for the balls to soak up the oil and dirt from the water surface before taking them out. Once you’ve taken them out you can wash them and reuse them for playing, but don’t use the same balls a second time for cleaning.

Brushing Technique

Brushing technique

While the above-mentioned techniques are all about cleaning the pool water, it’s important to not forget about the side walls and the bottom of the pool as well. Over time, dirt and stains can accumulate on the internal surfaces of your swimming pool. When that happens it becomes necessary to clean them.

The first thing you need to do to clean the walls and floor of the pool is to drain it completely first. Once drained, give it a few hours to dry before taking your brush set and start scraping the walls and floor clean. Dirt sticking to the walls and floor of a pool needs to be scraped off in broad, gentle motions for best results. Once the dirt has been scraped off, you can use a dustpan to collect the dust and dirt from the pool floor and throw it away.

As a rule of thumb, you should brush the walls and the floor of your pool before a pump filtration treatment of the water to maximize efficiency. Otherwise, you’ll have to drain your pool multiple times which is a time waster that can be easily avoided.

The Skimming Net and Rake Technique

The skimming net and rake technique

Sometimes the dirt and debris floating on your pool water such as tree leaves, flower petals, and plastic bags or bottles are large enough that you don’t need to apply filter or shock techniques for cleaning. During times like these, a skimming net is more than enough to clean the surface of your pool without getting wet.

You can also achieve the same results using a large rake if you have one around the house. Granted using a rake might not be feasible for large pools, but they work well with the smaller ones.

Using Your Hands

If you don’t mind getting wet to clean your pool without a vacuum or any of the above techniques, you can always use your good old hands to clean any floating debris in the pool or dirt stuck on the pool walls and floor. Your hands are only good for basic cleaning, anything more than that and you’ll have to use any of the techniques mentioned above.

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The Importance of Keeping Your Pool Clean

The importance of keeping your pool clean

Swimming pools can be a lot of fun, but unless you keep them clean on a regular basis you’re basically inviting a bunch of health and hygiene issues. Dirty pool water can cause a range of issues from skin irritation to permanent lung damage, so keeping your swimming pool clean should be one of your top priorities.

One excellent way to keep your pool clean when it’s not in use is to use a cover over the entire pool surface. Granted you’ll need to take it on and off every time you use the pool, but it will significantly reduce the dirt accumulation and the number of times you have to clean your pool.


1. How can I clear the sift at the bottom of the pool without a vacuum?

You can clean the sift at the bottom of the pool using a dustpan.

2. Do I need to buy special tennis balls for pool cleaning?

No, regular tennis balls will suffice for the job.

3. What’s the best pool shock cleaner?

There is no fixed answer to this. Any pool shock with high chlorine content is good enough for the job.

4. Can I clean the pool wall and floor stains without draining the pool?

Yes, you can clean stains from pool walls and floors without draining the pool using strong acidic solutions.

Final Thoughts

And there you have it, everything that you need to know about how to clean a pool without a vacuum. Having a pool vacuum can be handy, but using the above-mentioned methods ensures a more thorough cleaning that leaves no stone unturned. So if you were planning to buy a vacuum, ditch the plan and see if the techniques discussed above works for you first.

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I am Donald M. Beyer and I am backyard enthusiasts. I am a homeowner who has been doing DIY projects in and out of my house for many years. From simple backyard lunches to making an old-school pizza oven in my own backyard, I have a lot of experience in turning my backyard into my and my family’s personal playground.

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