How to clean dirt from the bottom of a pool

Swimming is extremely enjoyable, and it is beneficial for the body, being a moderate-intensity exercise. People love swimming. Nevertheless, if the swimming pool is dirty, would someone want to enter it? It requires consistent cleaning. Hundreds of individuals use a pool, and it is natural that sweat, skin, hair, and dust may contaminate the water. 

A swimming pool is a large and open surface with moist air around it. These conditions are just right for the dust floating in the air to enter the pool. Over time, the pool gets dirty, and the water gets cloudy. While floating particles can be cleaned using sieves, the bottom of the pool is a little challenging. The prudent thing to do is getting to know how to clean dirt from the bottom of a pool.

 How to clean the bottom of the pool

Vacuum Suction and Filter method

The swimming pool may be full of floating particles and some settled debris at the bottom of the pool. The stuck debris cannot be removed using an ordinary filter. There are special vacuum cleaners available for swimming pools.


  • Remove the standard filter hose from the filter pump
  • Close the outlet valve on the pool to prevent water from getting out
  • Attach the cleaning head to the hose and connect the hose to the water filter
  • Direct the output of the filter back to the tool

The setup is intended to make the water flow through the suction hose into the filter. The filter allows the cleaned water to the outlet, which will recycle the water back into the pool.

Telescopic poles are available that can be attached to vacuum head to allow it to reach father on to the pool floor. This is especially helpful for pools which are more in-depth and hard to reach.

Move the suction hose slowly on the bottom of the pool. Have multiple passes where the dirt is stuck badly. Do not stir the water; otherwise, the particles settled at the bottom of the pool will get mixed with water making it cloudy in appearance and difficult to clean.


If there is too much dirt at the bottom of the pool, have a filter wash cycle. Backwashing will clean the filter and allow you to resume the process. It will be faster, and the water will be cleaner after a backwash. 

If the dirt dislodges in the water, do not use chemicals to make them aggregate. Use of chemicals to clean swimming pools can load the entire system with foreign chemicals and also disturb the pH of the system. It would require extra efforts and a lot of money to balance the pH again.


Effective: Does the job well, there is no complex preparation required

Fast: The cleaning can be started without any preconditions

Relatively cheap: Vacuum pump and hoses are less expensive than other options

Does not spoil the constitution of water: Since it does not involve chemicals, the pH is not disturbed

Lesser wastage: Most of the water is recycled back to the pool, so wastage is minimal


  • Residual dirt from the filtered may make the water cloudy
  • If during vacuuming, the dirt is dislodged from the bottom of the pool, it may make the water cloudy, and it may make the situation more troublesome
  • If such a murky situation happens, it would be necessary to close the pool for a day or two until the dirt settles and then start to clean the bottom.

Scrubbing and Cleaning the walls

The walls of the pools also accumulate dirt. This primarily builds between the gaps in the tiles, if the pool is lined with tiles. Periodic scrubbing and cleaning the walls should be part of the regular bottom-cleaning schedule.

How to clean dirt from the bottom of a pool - Scrubbing and Cleaning the walls

Use a long scrubber to clean the walls. Scrub thoroughly on all the walls and wait for one day before starting the pool bottom. One day is enough time for the particles to settle at the bottom. Scrubbing and cleaning the walls before cleaning the bottom of the pool will save you from a lot of extra effort.

The good part is that you would need a bottom cleaning cycle only once since you already have the dirt at the bottom of the pool. The negative is that wall cleaning, and scrubbing can only be done on weekends or some time where the pull can be shut for two days. Moving water will not allow the particles to settle down. If vacuuming is attempted immediately after brushing off the walls, the water would be murky.

The scrubbing material depends on the substance of the pool’s wall. Here is the recommendation: 

If the pool wall is unpainted concrete, you should use a nylon bristle-based brush or with Aluminum bristles.

For Gunite, a brush with stainless steel bristles will work well.

In case you have vinyl, fiberglass of painted concrete walls, Only nylon bristles are recommended. Aluminum can be too abrasive for these materials and may end up scratching the walls of the swimming pool.

Regular Pump and filter

This is a common technique used by big swimming pools intended for use by the public. The water from the bottom of the pool is continuously pumped through a filtration system. All the dust, debris, sand, and other particles floating in the water are captured at the sieve, and the filtered water is circulated back to the pool.

How to clean dirt from the bottom of a pool - Regular Pump and filter

Such pools require the system to be turned on for 8-10 hours per day. After routine intervals, the filter needs a backwash. Over time the filter itself becomes clogged with particles. A backwash cycle cleans the filter by spraying clean water to wash off all the dirt off the filter.

While this technique is suitable for cleaning floating particles, it does not tackle particles stuck at the bottom of the pool.

If you have a big pool, keeping this system powered up for the recommended duration every day will preempt the maintenance that the bottom of the pool requires.


Various accessories can be used to facilitate cleaning. Depending on the requirements, there are multiple vacuum heads available. These can be attached to standard hoses and serve different needs.

How to clean dirt from the bottom of a pool

Vacuum Heads

You may want to use vacuum heads that have bristles or scrubber attached to it to dislodge dirt. There are heads that have wheels attached to them, as well as a scrubber. This can be used to make uniform passes when there is stubborn dirt that will not dislodge in one pass.

It is important to note that there are two types of vacuum systems – one that pulls the debris in and the other one forces pressurized water.

If you suspect hard material like twigs or small concrete particles, a vacuum system may damage the filter due to the hard material hitting the filter. In such a case, the pressurized water system can be used as an alternative. The water pressure will create a vortex in water that will dislodge dirt from the pool surface and also take care of the hard materials.

Skimmer Net

This is a straightforward way to keep your swimming pool cleaner. It can also prevent debris from reaching the bottom of the pool. It can be done regularly – let’s say once on two days or as per the usage of the pool.

Automatic Cleaning Robots

This is one of the latest developments for easy cleaning of the pool floor. Also called as automatic pool cleaner, it has wheels and moves across the surface to pull all the dirt and debris and discharge it off the outlet pipe. While robots cannot do all the cleaning that would want, but they do their job reasonably well and require less frequent manual vacuuming.

PH Adjusting Chemicals

Any changes that you may do with the water may result in changes to the pH level of water. An ideal pH range for a swimming pool is 7.5 to 8. You may use solutions to bring the pH level in this range. pH meters are small handheld devices that can measure the pH within seconds.

Draining the pool and thorough cleaning

This may be done in an unusual scenario like a dead animal or wall breaking up, current leakage, etc. but it is also recommended that the pool be drained and cleaned thoroughly once in a while. Pools are harbors for dangerous micro-organisms.

Other Considerations

While cleaning the bottom of the pool may be very useful in keeping the pool hygienic and safe, it is not just the visible debris that can be a source of trouble. Disinfection is needed regularly. 

Water sanitizers may be used to disinfect the pools, but they dissipate in some time, and they need to be replenished regularly.

Chlorine has been widely used in pools for disinfection but is known to cause a lot of irritation and other potentially dangerous health issues.

Pool deck cleaners are liquid concentrates that you can add to the water. Trisodium Phosphate is another chemical that is water-soluble and works effectively.

In such cases, it is essential to note that the manufacturer’s recommendations must be followed.

My name is Ron Walsh. I’m an industry expert, certified pool technician, and avid lover of all things aquatic. In my beautiful homeland of Florida, where I still reside today, pools are everywhere. Needless to say, I learned to love water at a young age. With my love of water, and pools in particular, it was only natural that I follow a career path in the swimming pool industry. If there’s someone to learn about above ground pools, pool cleaners and maintenance from, it would definitely be me. If you have any question just let me know.

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