How To Clean An Above Ground Pool Without A Vacuum

Cleaning an above-ground pool without a vacuum might seem complicated, but using proper techniques and tools can help.  There are soft brushes and chemical products available in nearby hardware or online stores. The soft brushes help collect the dirt, and chemicals help purify the pool water. Depending on the type of dirt and build-up, the cleaning process will change. Also, the pool size needs to be considered.

Several processes will help to clean a foregoing-ground pool without a vacuum. One with a vinyl liner will need a delicate process. 

Methods To Use While Cleaning Above Ground Pools

Cleaning the pool water is essential. Growths of algae and bacteria can be found even when swimming pools are regularly in use. 

In most cases, pool owners use pool vacuum cleaners. In case you don’t have one, there are several alternative methods for pool cleaning. Depending on the type of dirt, you can choose the cleaning process & tools.

Leaf Rake

Sometimes some fibrous dust, leaves, and flower petals drop on the pool water. With a leaf rake, you can accumulate them and take them out of the water. 

You can find several types of leaf rakes like plastic leaf rakes, nylon rakes, etc. Choose the one you need. On a broad scale, the plastic rake is easy to use.

Skimmer Net

The dirt and debris that don’t dissolve in water can be taken out of the swimming pool quickly with the help of a skimmer net. You should do it before the dirt gets degraded and mixes up as tiny particles into the water.

In cases of leaves, flower petals, pieces of wood, or metals, a skimmer net is the best option to use.


Depending on the type of wall and pool surface, you can use a rubber brush, nylon brush, or steel wool brush.

Brush the walls and concrete floor. After scraping off the visible dirt and brushing off any stains, you can use a pool pump to remove any undissolved dirt particles. A filter pump can be of great use in this case too. Also, scooping up the dirt build-ups by hand can help.

Tennis Balls

A tennis ball is an excellent method to take out body lotion, moisturizer, or any skin product from the pool water. Mostly the oily dirt is easily removable from the pool water with the help of tennis balls. 

Drop some tennis balls into the pool. While floating, they will catch the dirt and change color from bright to murky. That is when you understand that your clean pool water is free from oily gunks.

Shock Method

The shock method is one of the most effective ways to clean different types of algae and debris from your pool. The technique works by maintaining the chlorine level of the clean swimming pool.

To use the shock method, you will need a bucket of water, one pound of Calcium Hypochlorite pool shock, protective eyewear, and hand gloves.

  • Step-1: Take a gallon of water from the bucket. To make sure the water’s clean, use a fresh supply.
  • Step-2: Mix a pound of shock product in the water.
  • Step-3: Drop the bucket of water containing the mixture at the most affected place in the pool on an as-needed basis.
  • Step-4: Give it a bit of time of around 12 hours to do its magic. This will also help to mix the shock with the pool water adequately. 
  • Step-5: After 12 hours, the water will become cloudy. You can leave the pool for another 12 hours to clear out. Otherwise, you can use a pool clarifier to get rid of the cloudiness instantly.

The shock method works by leveling the pH level to kill algae and debris. It increases the alkalinity level of the pool and makes it inhabitable. In this case, chlorine tablets also help.

Depending on the type of algae, green, black, yellow, and blue, different types of algaecides are available in the market. You can also go for mixed types. These algaecides also help to kill germs and bacteria in your pool.

Hand Method

Collecting debris is more accessible with your own hands. You can even remove the most massive pieces of gunk that way.

This is, albeit, not a convenient method. Not handling the dirt properly can spread it in the water again. Waste removal setups can also get ruined by improper water movement. 

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Cleaning The Pool Bottom Without Pool Water: 

If possible, drench off the water from the pool. It will allow you to clean the bottom with more physical intensity. Firstly, scrub off the dirt with a brush. Use cleaning chemicals like sodium bicarbonate. This will help to loosen up the dirt build-ups. 

Now you can use a garden hose to wash out the pool bottom. Using the same outlet to the drench pool, remove any dirty water. After the required cleaning is done, refill the swimming pool. 

Cleaning The Pool Bottom With Pool Water: 

Even in the presence of water, you will have to scrub the bottom with a brush. After scrubbing off, you will need to take out the dirt. In this case, two factors will influence. 

1. Having A Filtration System: 

If the pool has a filtration system, it will be easier to remove dirt and debris from the water. With the help of the pool pump, dirt and debris will accumulate on the filter. Just remember to keep the filter turned off while scrubbing. Turn it on only when the water needs to be cleaned.

2. Not Having A Filtration System:

Cleaning out the dirt in the absence of a filtration system might need a bit more physical work. You will need to take out the dirt and debris with your hand or a dustpan. 

Using a dustpan, accumulate the dirt in one place. Now take out the dirt and debris with your hands. You need to be careful. Strong waves can easily remix the dirt into the water. This process works better in case of massive debris. 

Regular Pool Maintenance Is The Key To All

Yes, there are many ways to clean your pool and keep it tidy without using a vacuum. But the best practice is to use your own hands. The algae invasion is not like a storm that comes all of a sudden. Instead, it gradually builds up when we remain idle from the regular maintenance. 

Cleaning your pool with bare hands seems tedious. So we recommend you use a firm brush and gently keep brushing your pool off and on. Also, you may collect the debris from the bottom of your pool, and hence you may use a garden hose as an attachment. It helps to remove the dirt out of the pool so you can hold the process of regular dirt or algae build-up. 

Prevention Process To Keep Your Swimming Pool Dirt/Algae Free

Here are some tips to keep your pool clean. This will help you to avoid high maintenance now and then.

  • If not in use, cover your pool with a pool cover.
  • Keep your filtration system running.
  • Clean the skimmers and the filter.
  • Do basic cleaning of your pool regularly.
  • Check and maintain the chlorine level.
  • Keep the surroundings clean.
  • Have a pool cleaner, especially for cleaning algae and dirt.

Final Words

To any above-ground pool owner, it’s important to keep the pool water clean. And without proper maintenance, the chance of algae growth increases. As algae are food for bacteria, the chances of bacteria growth also increase. Besides home cleaning, different types of cleaning services are also available. They use insect repellents to clean the poolside as well.

Hopefully, this article will help you to know how to clean an above-ground pool without a vacuum cleaner. Remember to clean your pool on a regular basis to have a safe swimming experience!

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