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Summer, sun and relaxation: Of course, a dip in your own garden pool is a must. To keep the refreshing water clean in the long term, it is regularly treated with various water care products.

Sometimes dirt can also settle on the bottom of the pool, which you can fight with an appropriate vacuum cleaner. But how can you clean the bottom of your pool if, for whatever reason, you don’t have a pool vacuum at hand?

Causes of a dirty pool floor

The reasons why dirt builds up on the bottom of a pool are as varied as the gardens in which people refresh themselves in the summer. This is where most of the causes of dirty pool bottom lie.

There are constant forces at work in nature that can show up as dirt on the bottom of your cool water. Most often, the wind drives insects, pollen and leaves onto the surface of the pool. Normally, the filter system reliably sucks them up. However, if this does not happen, they settle to the bottom.

In addition, both the wind and people can carry tiny particles, for example from plants, sand, grass or even cobblestones, into the pool. People often carry them on the soles of their feet, but a large application of (sun) cream, sweat or any other bodily fluid can also cause a dirty pool bottom.

The above causes can be prevented only to a certain extent, but this is entirely the case with algae formation. Due to the fact that algae only form when the pH value is unfavorable and the chlorine content is too low, preventive measures through good water care are very effective.

Cleaning the pool floor without a vacuum cleaner

Pool vacuums are already available at affordable prices these days. However, there are a few things you can do to clean your pool if you don’t want a vacuum or it is being repaired.

Option 1: Use a sponge

Just about every pool owner has a landing net at home to fish leaves or insects out of the water as soon as they are spotted. If you want to remove impurities from the bottom, it is often enough to wipe over them with a sponge. For landing nets are available, specific attachments that allow you to attach a sponge there.

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Option 2: Change the pool water

In principle, the water of any pool should be changed at regular intervals. Smaller pools in particular will thank you with clear, clean pool water. Ideally, this opportunity should be used to remove any existing dirt with the help of a sponge.

Changing the pool water, in combination with the other options presented here, offers the best protection against dirty bottom spots. If there is no questionable contamination from pool care products, the water also provides a good additional service for the plants in the home garden.

Option 3: Use pool care products

Pool care products are a real all-rounder, because they influence dirt prevention on several levels. On the one hand, they have a preventive effect, more on this in the following section. On the other hand, algaecides can reliably combat them, and flocculants eliminate even the smallest particles of dirt in the water.

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4 Preventive measures against a dirty pool bottom

It’s comforting to know what alternatives can do the job of a pool vacuum in a pinch. Far better, and usually less stressful, is to actively counteract the buildup of dirt on the pool floor before it occurs. There are a few ways to do this.

  1. Use a pool cover: When the pool is covered, no dirt gets into the water. Especially during longer periods of time when no one jumps into the cool water, the use of a pool cover is advisable to guarantee maximum cleanliness. But also for short periods, when the pool is unused, the cover is recommended.
  2. Use a landing net: The preventative effect of a pool landing net cannot be underestimated: If you fish the bigger culprits of a dirty pool bottom that have escaped the filter system, such as leaves or dead insects, out of the water promptly, fewer dirt spots will form.
  3. Connect a filter system: As a first instance in preventing a dirty pool bottom, you should connect a filtration system to the water circuit whose performance is sufficient for the capacities of the pool in question. For optimal care of the system, it is necessary to pay attention to regular backwashing.
  4. Pay attention to pool chemistry: An adequately adapted pool chemistry not only removes contamination, but also prevents it in the long term. Algae, for example, only form at certain pH values, which can, however, be chemically influenced.
    Most important, however, is the use of chlorine, because it reliably disinfects the pool water. In addition to neutralizing and combating pollutants and pathogens, it also binds dirt particles in the water. If you would like to do without chlorine, other means are available, which work just as well.

Frequently asked questions about pool bottom cleaning without a vacuum answered

What are the pros and cons of pool bottom cleaning without a vacuum?

Cleaning the pool floor without a vacuum is uncomplicated and quick to do if the proper preventative measures are taken. If you use a pool vacuum cleaner, a spontaneous cleaning like with a sponge is rarely feasible. Also, unlike with algaecide, you have to keep a constant eye on the use of the vacuum.

Pool cleaning is best done when the water is still. This is when you reach the maximum amount of dirt particles that have settled to the bottom. Due to the fact that this is usually the case early in the morning and utensils other than a vacuum cleaner have less traction, which makes them even more dependent on this condition, cleaning with alternatives is only something for early risers. In addition, an algaecide only works against algae, it does not touch other deposits.

How often should you clean the bottom of the pool?

At what intervals the bottom of the pool must be cleaned depends on individual use and additional preventive measures. As a guideline, one should not wait too long when the first dirty spots are visible on the pool floor. Cleaning is advisable in the following days.

Will cleaning without a vacuum make the pool floor as clean as with a pool vacuum?

Deeper pool maintenance always involves chemical and physical cleaning measures that must be applied at regular intervals. A pool vacuum is one tool to clean the pool floor, but by no means the only one. If you apply a plurality of alternatives that complement each other, you will by no means need a vacuum cleaner to achieve comparable results.


The use of a pool vacuum depends on factors that vary from individual to individual. On the one hand, there is whether you want to invest the cost of a pool vacuum. On the other hand, it should be noted that a vacuum cleaner can never lead to a clean pool floor on its own. In addition, alternatives such as sponges or algaecide can be integrated into everyday life in the short term and in some cases without spending much time.

Larry has been a true water rat since childhood. Pure pleasure turned into a passion. That's why he is the first point of contact for friends and acquaintances when it comes to pool-related problems. He is an integral part of the PoolHandbook editorial team.