How to Keep Your Plunge Pool Clean: 10 Essential Tips for Proper Pool Care

There's nothing like taking a cool dip in your backyard plunge pool, is there? But maintaining its pristine condition can be quite a task. Even with their small size, plunge pools require some TLC to keep them in great condition. But fear not! With the right information and some elbow grease, you can keep your plunge pool crystal clear and ready for relaxation.

How do you keep a plunge pool clean?

Cleaning your plunge pool isn’t rocket science, but it does need a bit of attention to detail. If you make it a habit to keep up with your pool’s needs, then a refreshing, crystal-clear plunge will always be just a few steps away in your backyard. Whether it’s weekly skimming or adjusting the water’s chemistry, we’ve got you covered. So let’s jump into the specifics of keeping your plunge pool clean and clear.

Your Plunge Pool Cleaning Toolkit

Keeping your plunge pool pristine doesn’t have to be a backbreaking chore. Having the right tools for the job can make the task easier and more efficient. So, what should be in your plunge pool cleaning toolkit? Below are some essential tools you should have on hand:

  1. Skimmer Net: This is an absolute must-have for removing leaves, insects, and other debris from the surface of your pool. It’s best to get a long-handled one for better reach.
  2. Pool Brush: Used to scrub the sides and bottom of the pool to prevent algae build-up.
  3. Pool Vacuum: A crucial tool for cleaning the floor and walls of your pool. It can remove the dirt that brushing alone can’t reach.
  4. Water Test Kit: This tool is necessary to test the chemical balance in your pool. It helps to balance your pool’s pH, alkalinity, and sanitiser levels.
  5. Pool Chemicals: Sanitisers, pH balancers, and algaecides are necessary to keep your pool water safe and clear.

While the above-mentioned tools are considered basic and essential for pool maintenance, there are other helpful tools that, while not necessary, can make the job easier and keep your pool even cleaner:

  1. Automatic Pool Cleaner: This robotic device can automatically clean your pool’s floor and walls. You can survive with a hand-held one but this can save you time and effort.
  2. Pool Cover: This is not strictly a cleaning tool, but it can significantly reduce the amount of debris that enters your pool, making your cleaning job much easier.
  3. Leaf Rake: This is similar to a skimmer but designed to clean up larger debris from the bottom of the pool.
  4. Telescopic Pole: This extends the reach of your skimmer net and pool brush, making it easier to clean every corner of your pool.
  5. Chemical Dispenser: Also known as a floating chlorinator, this device distributes sanitising chemicals evenly throughout your pool.

Now that we have all these covered, let’s get you down to the nitty-gritty of proper pool care.

1. Skim your Plunge Pool Regularly

We get it, life’s busy and you might be wondering, “How often should I skim my plunge pool?” To keep your pool surface free from leaves, bugs, and other debris, we suggest making skimming a part of your daily routine. If you can’t manage that, then aim for at least every other day. After all, who likes swimming with leaves?

2. Monitor and Adjust Your Plunge Pool’s Water Level 

Have you noticed your plunge pool’s water level decreasing faster than usual? Or perhaps it’s overflowing after heavy rain? Regularly monitoring and adjusting your pool’s water level is crucial to maintaining health. We recommend keeping the water level at the midpoint of your skimmer opening for optimal performance.

3. Scrub Down Your Pool Wall

The walls of your pool are the playground for algae and bacteria. To keep this at bay, you must include good wall scrubbing in your pool cleaning routine. Additionally, fortnightly scrubbing helps prevent staining and scaling over time due to the build-up of these organisms and other pool chemicals. Twice a month should keep your pool in good shape. However, if you notice signs of algae or other build-ups on the walls, you may need to scrub more frequently and ensure your pool’s water chemistry is balanced. We will explain this further along.

Investing in a pool brush suitable for your pool’s surface (concrete, vinyl, fibreglass) is an intelligent move. But if the idea of hand-scrubbing your pool wall isn’t particularly appealing, or if you’re stretched for time, consider adding a robotic cleaner to your plunge pool care routine. These diligent helpers run automatically, keeping your pool walls clean without any manual labour. 

4. Vacuum Your Plunge Pool

If you think of skimming as sweeping the floor, then vacuuming is like mopping it. Vacuuming your plunge pool can help pick up what your skimmer misses. You can use a handheld pool vacuum for an easier way of cleaning hard-to-reach areas such as the bottom of the pool. Whether it’s settled debris or stubborn algae, thoroughly vacuuming at least once a week can keep the water clean and your plunge pool in tip-top shape.

5. Test Your Pool Water Weekly

Now that you’ve got the basics of cleaning down pat, it’s time to get a bit scientific. Proper water chemistry is essential for ensuring a healthy and safe swimming environment. If the chemical balance of your pool is not right, it can lead to unclean water, skin irritation, and potentially harmful health conditions. Moreover, the correct water balance protects your pool shell and prolongs its life, preventing corrosive build-ups and expensive damages that you’ll have to shell money out later on. To start, all you need is a reliable water testing kit and our guide to maintaining optimal water chemistry.

Keep a Test Kit Handy

Wondering how to keep track of your plunge pool’s chemical levels? Well, that’s where a pool chemical test kit comes in. It’s a must-have tool in your plunge pool care arsenal. Here’s how it works: just fill the vials provided with some pool water, dip the test strips in, and voila! 

Simply compare the colours that appear on the strips with the accompanying chart. This easy-to-perform test will reveal whether you need to tweak your chemical additions to restore your plunge pool water balance. If you’re looking for an efficient way to ensure optimal water conditions, we highly recommend investing in a pool chemical test kit. It’s almost like having a mini-lab right at your fingertips!

Keep a Close Eye on pH Levels

If you’re wondering why maintaining the pH level of your plunge pool is crucial, here’s the lowdown: The pH level gauges the water’s acidity or alkalinity. Picture 7.0 to 7.4 as the sweet spot where your pool is just right – anything lower is too acidic, and anything higher is too alkaline. This balance can be influenced by various factors such as rainfall, pool maintenance, and even the simple act of topping up water. 

If you’re not testing and adjusting regularly, you could have an imbalanced pool and not-so-fun side effects like itchy skin, sore eyes, and a compromised filtration system. So, what is our top pick for healthy plunge pool upkeep? Keep a close eye on that pH.

6. Get to Know Your Essential Pool Chemicals 

Let’s dive a little deeper now. Cleaning your plunge pool isn’t just about physical debris; it’s also about invisible bacteria and other microorganisms that could spoil your pool day. So, let’s familiarize you with the essential chemicals you’ll need to keep your plunge pool water crystal clear and safe.


The first and most crucial chemical you’ll need is a sanitiser. Sanitisers, like chlorine or bromine, kill bacteria and other harmful microorganisms in the water. They’re the primary line of defence in keeping your pool clean and safe for use.

Chlorine vs. Bromine: Which Sanitiser is Right for Your Plunge Pool? 

Now that you know the importance of sanitisers, the next question is: chlorine or bromine? Both are effective sanitisers for pools, yet they each have their own unique offer. Let’s break it down for you.

Chlorine is the more commonly used of the two. It’s a powerful sanitiser and oxidiser that quickly kills bacteria and algae. If you’re after a cost-effective option, chlorine might be the way to go. However, remember that chlorine works best in higher water temperatures and can dissipate quickly under UV light. If you’re wondering whether that’s an issue, just remember to test your water frequently to ensure that the chlorine levels are optimal. We recommend maintaining chlorine levels between 1-3 parts per million (ppm) for a healthy pool.

On the other hand, Bromine is a tad pricier than chlorine, but it comes with some perks. It’s slower dissolving and more stable in hot water, making it a great choice for heated plunge pools. Furthermore, bromine might be less irritating to the skin and eyes than chlorine, a feature that swimmers with sensitive skin will appreciate. If you pick this alternative, remember that bromine isn’t as effective an oxidiser as chlorine, which means you might need to add an oxidising agent occasionally to keep your water crystal clear.

Magnesium Natural Sanitiser (vs Salt Water)

If you’re a fan of natural solutions and want your pool clean without harsh chemicals, we recommend you try natural sanitisers like magnesium. A magnesium mineral pool system works by using magnesium chloride, which, when added to the water, not only helps sanitise your pool but also offers a range of benefits over salt water and other traditional systems. The magnesium acts to naturally detoxify and cleanse the water, keeping it sparkling and crystal clear. 

pH Adjusters

Next up are pH adjusters, which come in two types: pH increasers (also known as alkalis) and pH reducers (acids). The role of these chemicals is to help you maintain the pH level of your pool water, which ideally should be between 7.2 and 7.6. Maintaining this balance is crucial as low pH can cause you skin irritation and corrosion of pool equipment, while high pH can cause scaling on the pool surface and cloudy water.

Alkalinity Increaser

Also known as a ‘buffer’, this chemical helps maintain the Total Alkalinity (TA) of the pool water, preventing rapid pH shifts. The recommended TA level is typically between 80-120 parts per million (ppm).

Calcium Hardness Increaser

This chemical helps maintain the hardness of your pool water which is particularly important for concrete or tiled plunge pools. Low calcium hardness can lead to the water becoming corrosive which may damage your pool’s surfaces and equipment.

Pool Shock

Even with regular sanitisation, organic pollutants can build up in your pool over time. A pool shock, or super-chlorination, is a way of giving your pool a quick, intensive purge. This usually involves a high dose of chlorine or non-chlorine chemicals to eliminate these pollutants. It helps kill algae, bacteria, and other contaminants that make your pool look icky. Think of it as a deep-cleaning treatment for your plunge pool.


You wouldn’t want your dream pool to be green and murky, right? As the name suggests, these chemicals are designed to kill algae, which can turn your pool green if left unchecked. Some sanitisers will also have some algaecidal properties, but a dedicated algaecide can be a useful addition if you’re having trouble with persistent algae.

7. Maintain Your Pool’s Filtration System

Next on our agenda is your plunge pool’s filtration system. Think of it as the kidney of your pool, filtering out impurities and keeping your water clear. But to ensure it functions properly, you need to maintain it well. Let’s see how.

Clean Your Filter Regularly

How often do you clean your pool filter? If you answer ‘I can’t remember,’ it’s time to change that. The regular frequency of your filter cleaning is vital to keep your plunge pool in prime condition. If you commit to cleaning it every four to six weeks, your pool and filter will thank you.

The Role of Your Pool’s Pump in Maintaining Water Quality 

Your pool pump is the heart of your pool’s filtration system, circulating water and ensuring it’s evenly heated and adequately sanitised. But if you’re wondering how to maintain this essential piece of equipment, don’t worry! We’ve got all the tips you need.

Check Your Pump’s Strainer Basket

If you’ve spotted debris in your pool water even after running the pump, chances are your strainer basket needs cleaning. Cleaning your pump’s strainer basket is simple but crucial to keeping your pool water crystal clear.

Remember, a clean plunge pool isn’t just about sparkling water; it’s about maintaining the systems that keep that water clean. So, ready to tackle your pool maintenance like a pro?

8. Inspect Your Pool Equipment Regularly

Your plunge pool equipment might be out of sight, but it should never be out of mind. Regular inspection and maintenance can prevent potential pool troubles and hefty repair bills down the line. Let’s walk you through the process.

Identify Signs of Wear or Damage

First things first, how do you identify potential issues? You can look for several signs – strange noises from the pump, water leaks, or the pool heater not working as it should. These could indicate that your equipment needs some TLC.

Prompt Repair and Replacement Tips

Found some wear and tear? Don’t panic. Timely repair or replacement is crucial, whether it’s a small seal or a larger piece like the pump. Remember, if you’re uncomfortable handling it yourself, it’s always best to call in a professional. After all, it’s better to be safe than sorry, right?

9. Keep Your Pool Area Clean

A clean pool backyard area complements a clean plunge pool. Apart from the aesthetic appeal, it also helps reduce the amount of debris entering your pool. Sounds like a win-win.

Prevent Dirt and Debris 

Here’s a simple question – would you rather spend time preventing debris from entering your pool or cleaning it up after it has entered? We thought so. Save the pool skimmers for later but preventing the debris from reaching your pool is a better idea. Things like pool covers, regular sweeping, and timely pruning of nearby plants can significantly reduce debris introduction.

Regular Pool Deck Cleaning

Your pool deck isn’t just there for lounging; it also influences the cleanliness of your pool. Regular cleaning helps maintain its appearance and prevents algae and moss growth, which can otherwise end up in your pool. So, isn’t it time you gave your pool deck the attention it deserves?

10. Schedule Professional Plunge Pool Maintenance

If all of this sounds like a lot of work, don’t worry! Professional maintenance services can take care of all the nitty-gritty, leaving you to enjoy a refreshing plunge simply.

Professional pool maintenance isn’t just for when things go wrong. Regular check-ups can help identify and rectify issues before they escalate, saving you time, effort, and money. So, if you’ve been on the fence about scheduling a professional service, we recommend giving it a shot.

Professionals bring expertise and experience to the table. They can thoroughly clean, balance your water chemistry, inspect for damage, and even give you tailored advice to keep your plunge pool in top shape. So, if you’re looking for a stress-free pool experience, professional maintenance could be just what you need. We at Plunge Pools Sunshine Coast can help you from planning and installation all the way to keeping and maintaining your plunge pools in tip-top shape.

What’s Next

Now that we’ve armed you with all the knowledge you need to keep your plunge pool clean, it’s time to start. Regular maintenance is the key to a clean, safe, and enjoyable plunge pool. And if you’re interested in other aspects of plunge pool planning and installation, we’ve compiled the 9 Things We Wish We Knew Before Building a Plunge Pool to help you get it right the first time.

Not sure if a plunge pool is within your budget? Check out our previous article about our Plunge Pool Installation Cost on the Sunshine Coast.


How often should I clean the filter of my plunge pool?

Ideally, the filter of your plunge pool should be cleaned every 4 to 6 weeks. However, if your pool sees high usage or is exposed to more debris, it may need cleaning more often.

What safe and effective cleaning material can I use instead of chlorine and other chemicals?

Natural sanitisers like magnesium can be effective alternatives to traditional pool chemicals. Products like Crystal Waters are also great options.

How can I prevent debris from contaminating my plunge pool?

Using a pool cover when the pool isn’t in use, regular sweeping of the pool deck, and pruning of nearby plants can significantly help in reducing debris contamination.

How frequently should I monitor and adjust my plunge pool’s water level and pH?

Water levels should be checked weekly and pH levels should be checked 1-2 times a week. However, during peak usage or after heavy rain, more frequent checks might be necessary.

Should I hire a professional for regular plunge pool maintenance, or can I do it myself?

While it’s possible to maintain your plunge pool yourself, hiring a professional can save you time and help prevent potential issues from escalating. Professionals can provide a thorough cleaning, water balancing, equipment checks, and valuable advice.

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