Your swimming pool provides hours of fun and enjoyment for your family -- until the water turns green and red sediment begins to collect on the bottom and sides of the pool. Harsh chemicals that shock pool water can be expensive and unpleasant, if not actually dangerous, to use. If you are willing to spend some extra time caring for your pool, there are several common household products that are gentler than pool shock to use to keep the water in your pool appealing.
Dip a pH test strip in the water to test your pool's pH. Follow the instructions on the package to interpret the results.
Estimate the amount of water contained in your pool. Multiply the length times the width times the average depth times 7.5 to obtain an estimate in gallons.
Add the recommended amount of baking soda to the pool water. Arm and Hammer recommends that if the pH level is less than 7.2, you should add 3 to 4 lbs. of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water. If the pH level is between 7.2 and 7.5, add 2 lbs. of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water. If the pH level is above 7.5, do not add baking soda to the water.
Add bleach. Clorox recommends adding 1/8 cup of bleach for wading pools holding less than 100 gallons of water. For pools with between 4,000 and 6,000 gallons of water, use 3 to 4 cups of bleach. For pools holding between 6,000 and 8,000 gallons, add 5 to 6 cups of bleach. For larger pools, use 1 cup bleach per 1,500 additional gallons of water.
Wait for 6 hours.
Use the pool chlorine test strip to evaluate the chlorine concentration in your swimming pool.
Repeat the bleach dosage as needed to obtain 0.6 to 1.0 ppm available chlorine.
Clean your pool weekly for best results.