How to Clean a Pool That Has Been Sitting

If you want to know the importance of maintaining a pool, I would say it will be a secure fun-place for mosquitoes and frogs within a couple of weeks if it is left unattended. If the pool is not in use or maintained for a long time, the surface and also the bottom of the pool may undergo severe damage. But what to do if your pool has already deteriorated? Well, that’s why you need to know how to clean a pool that has been sitting.

Here I am going to share how you can fix your unattended pool and make it suitable for swimming.

Cleaning the pool that has been sitting

If your pool has not been used for weeks, it is supposed to be in really bad condition. When you are going to fix the pool that has been sitting, you must check whether the pool equipment and parts are workable or not. So the first task has to be the observation of the inside water, filtration system, and possible leaks or cracks.

How to Clean a Pool That Has Been Sitting

Condition of pool water

Surely, your pool water will be dirty and smelly. To fix this problem, you have two options to operate— pump all the water out from the pool, or clean it. You will need to choose one of them according to your pool type and material. Firstly, the algae should be removed by the proper pH and chlorine concentration.

The filtration system is also important

The filtration system also will be filled with numerous debris, leaves, branches, and dust. You will need to clean all these things and make sure that everything is thrown out of the system. You should often clean it to prevent clogging that damages the whole system making you replace the pool filter. 

Check the leaks, too

Don’t forget to check if there are any cracks or leaks have formed or not in the pool. If you have found any cracks, determine how injurious it is. If it is not that bad, you may repair, or, if you find it pretty big, it is better to reline your pool.

Now you have completed the pre-cleaning part, it is time to clean your pool. Here comes the question, should you drain the pool or not? Don’t worry, I’ll help you.

When to drain the pool?

If your pool is made of concrete, it is safe to drain the pool as they are rigid enough to retain the position and shape. You should drain the pool and do an acid wash to get the best result.   

You can drain the pool if it is filled with a lot of debris. A trash pump can work well and clean the pool within one hour by soaking up the leaves, twigs, and other solid particles. If the pool is not that dirty, you can go for a gas pump to clean it. 

It is recommended to do an acid wash to tuck the upper layer in order to expose the fresh layer of the bottom. 

How to drain the pool?

You can rent a pool pump with a discharge hose and suction to drain the pool completely within an hour. If your pool is not full of debris, you can use a smaller and cheaper pump.

After draining the pool, wash it and remove the stains and pressure wash the pool. Fiberglass and vinyl pools should undergo low-pressure wash with mild soap.

When not to drain the pool?

If the pool is made of fiberglass or vinyl you should avoid draining as they are lightweight and the liners may shrink and not retain the previous position that may affect the quality. You should also avoid draining immediately after heavy rain.

What to do with an undrained pool?

Use a bagger and nets to catch the leaves and 99% of the solid debris. Balance the appropriate stabilizer, pH, and chlorine level. The most effective way is to shock the pool until the water becomes blue-gray in color. Running the filter 24/7 and using flocculant are also good methods.


How can I open my dirty inground pool?

To open a dirty inground pool, firstly you will need to remove the gunk off from the pool cover. Whisk away, wash, and then store your pool cover. Skim your pool, remove the ice compensator and plugs. Now you need to reinstall the ladders and chutes. Finally, you can add water to the pool by running the pump.

How to clean the pool bottom without a vacuum?

If you don’t want to use a vacuum, a rubber or nylon brush can be your best friend to scrub the soft-sided and above-ground pool. Just make sure that the brush is large enough to do the job quickly. For cleaning the corners, you will need small brushes, too. When you are done removing all the particles from the side, turn on the filter to buck up the water.

How to cure a green pool quickly?

The fastest way of cleaning a green pool is to increase the chlorine concentration by shock treatment and add some algaecide supplement. It will remove the remaining green algae from your pool. Also, you should adjust the pH and alkaline level to keep the water preventable from green algae. These are the most effective tasks to cure your green pool quickly. 


These are some of the steps you can follow to clean your pool which has been sitting. Recovering pool water is often an extended and tedious process. Do not forget to have enough knowledge about the materials so that you can easily plan the cleaning process according to it as wrong cleaning methods might affect the sturdiness and appearance of your pool. However, even a pool that’s been cleaned may develop future algae problems and that’s why maintaining your pool is also necessary.

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