How to Clean a Swimming Pool Without Chemicals

Published Categorized as Eco-friendly, Pool Care

Have you always thought if you need to maintain and clean your pool with chemicals? While some items are irreplaceable, CHEMICAL-FREE SOLUTIONS found in your local grocery store may clean your pool.

They work just as well as products marketed exclusively for pool cleaning and are cost-effective.

How to Make Your Natural Pool Cleaner

Here are some ways you can explore if you want to keep your swimming pool clean without chemicals.

Baking Soda

A NON-ABRASIVE cleaning system that works great on pool tile and grout. You can also use it on a concrete or stone pool surface.

This is arguably the SIMPLEST and LEAST EXPENSIVE method of organically cleaning your pool. It is also a popular alternative to algae.

Additional Tip on Baking Soda

Baking soda will help raise the alkalinity of your pool and is significantly CHEAPER than other alkalinity boosters.

Add 1.5 pounds of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water to raise the total alkalinity by ten parts per million (ppm).


Household bleach which consists of 5.25 percent sodium hypochlorite, is the active ingredient that can REMOVE STAINS from the grout.

That is not something baking soda can do. If you use one gallon of 5.25 percent bleach per 10,000 gallons of water, the free chlorine level will rise by 5.25 ppm.

Therefore put in small amounts to avoid exceeding the recommended 3 ppm-level. Also, be sure to get an unscented one.

If you use a gallon of 5.25% bleach for every 10,000 gallons of water, the chlorine levels will rise by 5.25ppm.

Do it at a moderate level so that you won’t go beyond the maximum level of 3ppm. You also have to use the unscented ones so that

Bonus Tips on Bleach

Pools can also be shocked with bleach. Even so, shocking your pool simply means super chlorinating it.

This also means increasing the chlorine levels to the extent that it eliminates all germs and algae present in larger pools.

Muriatic Acid

If your pool is composed of concrete or gunite, you’ll need to acid wash it out every FIVE YEARS. Muriatic acid, or a softer muriatic acid substitute, will be used to accomplish this.

To lessen the alkalinity of your water, pour the acid up to 10 parts per million in a 10,000-gallon pool. This way is a cheaper option compared to an alkaline reducer.

Additional Tips on Muriatic Acid

It’s IMPORTANT to remember that muriatic acid is precisely what it sounds like: acid. If not handled properly, it can cause damage and certain health conditions.

When working with it, always use acid-resistant safety goggles and pants, long sleeves, closed-toe shoes, and ideally acid-resistant boots.


Borax is marketed as a laundry enhancer, and it’s EFFECTIVE at removing odors from clothing.

And it’s also a natural cleaning agent you can use throughout the house, so you can use it as a pool cleaner.

Bonus Borax Tips

Borax is a good pH enhancer for your pool. For every 10,000 gallons of water, add only a half cup of Borax.

The amount you’ll mix will depend on the pH levels needed in your pool. Mix them slowly so that the pH levels won’t rise too much.

Olive Oil

Oil cannot be mixed into the pool water, although it might be needed by the pool deck.

Tree saps might grow through the cracks or other stains spilled by people who used the pool. This is when you need the olive oil.

It’s an ALL-NATURAL POOL CLEANSER that you can use to dissolve the sticky residue before cleaning with a sponge, mild detergent, and warm water.

You may also use it to clean your pool cover, plastic pool toys, and anything else that isn’t submerged.

Important Notes on Olive Oil

Olive oil is a GREAT MOISTURIZER as well. If your skin feels dry after swimming, take a shower to remove all toxins.

Then rub some olive oil into your arms and legs to replenish hydration and hold in moisture, which will help to moisturize your skin even more. 

White Vinegar

Have you ever been irritated by the powdery, white gunk lying at the edge of your gorgeous, clear pool?

White vinegar may remove this nuisance in your pool in the same way it can remove calcium accumulation in your pot.

Scrub the residue off with a 50/50 mix of vinegar and water, a sponge, or a soft cloth dipped in it.

It’s fine if small vinegar water gets into the pool, but if you’re worried, make sure it works after using vinegar and alter the levels.

Follow-up Tip

Vinegar also WORKS WONDERS on metal surfaces. Examine the grips on a pool ladder. Simply soak a sponge in diluted vinegar and scrub it over the steel surface to make it glitter.

Lemon juice

When it comes to polishing metal surfaces, do you know it works quite as well as vinegar but smells better? If you like, you can use lime juice or lemon juice.

Citric acid is a GREAT POOL CLEANER. It’s a natural cleaner for everything because it scrubs off calcium deposits, dirt, algae, bacteria and perhaps even rust.

Citrus clearers are a staple in many households, and for a good reason. As a result, lemon juice is an affordable and practical approach to keeping your pool in good shape.

Bonus Lemon Juice Tip

Plant a lemon tree beside your pool for six advantages: shade, increased privacy, windbreak, and lemons for pool cleaning.

Lemon is such a natural handy household essential that can be useful for eating and disinfecting your pool without using chlorine.

You’ll enjoy the benefits brought by having Lemon around.

Rubbing Alcohol

What if you don’t have any vinegar or lemon juice? Check if you have any rubbing alcohol in your medication cabinet.

It’s also known as isopropyl alcohol and is useful for cleaning sticky muck and polishing stainless steel surfaces.

BE CAREFUL to dilute it with water first, such that the alcohol content is between 50% and 70%.

Additional Tip

It may be beneficial to have alcohol on hand to disinfect wounds. But it would be more ESSENTIAL for a swimming pool with algae.

Not only does it help disinfect your wounds, but it also helps clean your pool water. Bacteria are prohibited with the aid of rubbing alcohol.

Simple Green Pool Cleaner

Being a pool water cleaner, this is a non-toxic and eco-friendly solution containing organic contaminants, enhancing the chances of a bacteria-free pool.

It EFFECTIVELY ELIMINATES dirt, algae, and bacteria, but it could even erase minor quantities of rust with a bit of elbow grease.

Because Simple Green is quite saturated, dilute it first. The next dilution ratios are recommended by the manufacturer:

  • Moderate – 1:30
  • General cleaning – 1:10
  • Intensive cleaning – 1:1

The ratio signifies the Simple Green parts to the amount of water chemistry needed. Half a cup will do to keep the pool clean.

Follow up Tip

Since Simple Green is non-abrasive to the skin, you can use it on more delicate surfaces, including pool coverings, pool toys, and vinyl liners.

Melamine Sponge

A melamine sponge can cleanse your pool without chemicals or filters. It does not involve the use of chemicals or cleaners.

It removes algae and sticky residue from various surfaces, especially pool ladders.

Additional Notes

Melamine sponges are similarly disposable, but you may get a lot of use out of one before discarding it, making it a cost-effective and vital natural pool cleaner to have on hand.

UV Light

You can use ULTRAVIOLET LIGHT and chlorine in conjunction with one another. While chlorine retains the long-term effect, UV light disinfects against algae.

Adding a UV light setup in your swimming pool can reduce the amount of chlorine you need to use while minimizing chloramines.

You’ll need to calculate your pool’s flow rate to obtain the proper size of UV rays. UV light, when suitably proportioned, may kill germs and viruses.

Many microbes/algae proliferate faster than water, and UV rays do not give any sanitation residue.

Salt: Better Than Chlorine

Chlorine is the MOST EFFECTIVE and widely used cleaning treatment in swimming pools, but it is also the most dangerous compared to salt.

You will have green hair, red eyes, and itchy skin if you dip in a pool where the water has already been processed the water with chlorine.

Additionally, chlorine in swimming pools has been linked to the development of asthma and allergies in youngsters, even if it kills the algae in pools. 

Saltwater pools are a GOOD SOURCE of salt systems, and it DRIVES ALGAE AWAY along with their process, unlike pools with chlorine.

Aside from lemon being an organic household item for cleansing, salt is also beneficial and a very multipurpose element.

Warning: Always Test First

Once you start the maintenance, ensure you have an excellent kit to test the pool surfaces and balance them correctly.

Always invest in a test kit to ensure you accurately read what’s in your water, even salt levels, to keep the pool clean.

Keep watch for any traces of chemicals like bromine, the total chlorine amount, cyanuric acid, and other residual chemicals found in the entire area of your pool.

Hydrogen peroxide acts as an oxidizer if you use PHMB to clean your pool for once-a-month maintenance.

Maintain the right amount of salt since too much is also not good.


Bromine may be a good alternative for a chemical like chlorine, but they have similarities and are both halogenic compounds.

It’s also more pricey than chlorine. So even if it does the same job, bromine isn’t preferable. Like chlorine, it needs to be assisted with chemical additives.

This method isn’t as effective in an outdoor and an above-ground pool. Bromine is okay if you still wish to free chlorine and have the BUDGET and DILIGENCE to clean.

A Pool That’s Safe to Swim In

During the summer, it’s always BEST to beat the heat by cooling down in the swimming pool.

However, if poorly maintained, if the pool is so full of algae, has too much chlorine beyond regulated levels, alarming salt content, it is harmful to the skin.

Chlorine is fine and all, but there are pool owners who prefer a MORE ORGANIC PROCESS of disinfecting their swimming pools.

With all the alternatives present, you can now clean your pool without chemicals that can pose harm to your body and anyone using the pool.

Frequently Asked Questions

For any questions related to cleaning swimming pools without chemicals, here are the FAQs below:

What Are Pool Chemicals That Are Unsafe for Kids?

MORE chlorine consumption can be harmful to small children, especially when they accidentally drink pool water and get red eyes.

Be cautious about the setup system when making your kids plunge into swimming pools, particularly when the pool has a lot of chlorine or salt. They should swim in a chlorine-free pool for better human health.

Is Ozonation okay?

An ozone machine is simple to set up. It does assist in lowering the amount of chlorine used in the pool. It also aids in the degradation of organic pollutants, algae, and bacteria in pools.

It is not a stand-alone sanitizing system; you must use it with chlorine or another detergent. Since ozone is such a short-lived gas, it lacks substantial residual capacities and is costly.

Can I Use Robotic Pool Cleaners?

With each day, technological progress astounds us. You may now utilize robotic pool cleaners instead of chemicals and filters to keep your pool clean. They are intelligent, clever, and efficient in keeping the pool clean and algae-free.


Summer is the high time for people who want to use a swimming pool. However, most surfaces are bound with harsh chemicals that do not benefit our health.

While it’s IMPORTANT to have proper sanitation systems intact, sometimes the process isn’t easy without chemicals. There are alternatives for pool care.

Keeping your pool clear with less maintenance lets you swim around in your outdoor pools without worrying about harsh chemicals and algae.

By Christine Newton

Hi, I’m Christine. I’m a swimmer and the Lead Editor of YourPool. I’ve been working with content for as long as I can remember, and I really enjoy finding inspiration for our readers. Right now, I’m living in a small pool (literally), but my dream is to have a complete oasis one day. Stay tuned—I’ll make it happen!

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