Basic Chemicals You Need For Regular Swimming Pool Maintenance


The maintenance of the swimming pool is always of high priority as water is the breeding ground of a host of organisms, some of which might be virulent too. Chemical treatment of swimming pools is very necessary in order for it to be of use and to maintain hygiene.

Using chemicals can be quite alarming. But they are mandatory to prevent harmful pathogens from breeding and multiplying in the pool. Also, the cracks and crevices that are dark and moist can host large groups of algae and mosses. Besides, the sides of the swimming pool walls often collect sheets of certain organisms that can cause it to be quite slippery.

Maintenance of the swimming pool health is very important for a safe swim. After all, you don’t want hordes of single-celled organisms to move into your nose and mouth. So, there is a list of a few of the chemicals that you have to keep in your arsenal in order to maintain your swimming pool.

The chemicals fall into these categories: Oxidizers, Sanitizers, Water Balancers, and Specialty Chemicals. Here’s a brief overview of all of them for better understanding.



There are considered secondary sanitizers and are mostly used to destroy living organisms in a biological way.

1. Calcium Hypochlorite

This is popularly called bleach and rapidly destroys any living cell. It contains chloride also, which boosts the overall levels of it and kills algae. This works best when the pH level is around 7.1- 7.3.

2. Potassium monopersulfate

This is popular with people who are allergic to chlorine or who don’t want to use chlorine for cleaning their pool. Granular potassium monopersulfate is a rapid-action, oxygen-based sanitizer that destroys unwanted organisms with no residue. It is also non-toxic, thus allowing you to swim right after the treatment.


  1. Chlorine Tablets: These have good antibacterial properties and keep the water disinfected. Generally, swimming pools should have a minimum threshold level of chlorine or bromine in the water all the time. It shouldn’t vary by large amounts either.
  2. Bromine Tablets: This is used if you have a spa or a hot tub and during maintenance, shocking it regenerates more of it. The pH would be stable so it is ideally used to clean the water.
  3. Cyanuric Acid: This stabilizes the chlorine and protects it from the ultraviolet rays of the sun. The quantity of this shouldn’t exceed 50 ppm. If it does, draining the pool and refilling is recommended.

All these are available as powders that you can purchase from the markets and you’d just have to dump the appropriate quantity in the pool.

Water Balancers


Using all the above chemicals can alter the pH of your swimming pool which is bad as it can be corrosive to your skin. So, testing the pH of the pool several times is very important. The significant factors to look out for are the chlorine and pH levels, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, and cyanuric acid levels on a monthly basis.

  1. pH Increaser:

This is technically a chemical called Soda Ash and is basic in nature. This increases the pH if the pool shows higher acidity levels.

  1. pH Reducer:

This is sodium bisulfate, also called Dry Acid. This lowers the pH levels when required to reduce the total alkalinity.

Alkalinity Increaser:

This is a less harmful alternative to pH increase and consists of sodium bicarbonate.

  1. Calcium Hardness Increaser:

This is calcium chloride and is used to raise the calcium hardness levels.

  1. Chlorine Neutralizer:

Sodium thiosulphate is used if the chlorine concentration gets really high and this is capable of lowering free chlorine levels efficiently.

If this gets too confusing and too much for you to remember, there will always be efficient chemical combination packs that have a tablet, shock, algaecide, and stain-removers that would maintain the health of your pool for one entire season.

Specialty Chemicals


Specialty chemicals are used for fine-tuning the cleaning of your pool and are very specific.

At, you can find swimming pools that use these with advice from experts. A few examples are:

  1. Algaecides

These are cuprous-bearing chemicals and are substances that hinder the growth of algae in your pool. They are one class of chemicals you have to keep in stock especially if you stay in the tropics and temperate zones during summer.

  1. Clarifying Agents

These are tiny particles that aggregate into clumps while trapping dirt or physical debris and drops it onto the pool floor. They are called flocculants and can be removed easily. These can be used once a season to clear the water.

  1. Enzymes

These are biological chemicals that break down any type of organic contamination like odors, scum, and oils.

  1. Filter Cleaning Agents

These just trap sand, and other large physical elements like leaves and twigs that can clog your filters.

  1. Magnetic Metals

Magnetic metals are used to trap trace elements and keep them in solution so that they don’t stain the pool surroundings.

  1. Chemicals for removal of phosphates.

These make sure the phosphates are removed from the water and since algae depend on phosphates to survive, they won’t be able to grow. They’re the cheapest way to ensure that algae won’t grow again after one round of algaecides. It is often used in complementarity with algaecide.


In summary, the main chemicals you’d need on hand to clean your swimming pool are bromine or chlorine tablets and pool shocks. The pH adjusters are also very important. To measure and track all that we also need test strips and test kits to check the calcium, cyanuric, and hardness levels of the water.

Annually, it is best to use mild amounts of algaecides and enzymes to clear out the pool of any biological waste products. There are 12 categories of pool chemicals and while it can seem overwhelming to remember them all, you have guides and tutorials to clean your swimming pool effectively. Understanding what they are used for is very important as that is how you can plan out your swimming pool cleaning routine.