The thought of a relaxing dip in the pool becomes less appealing when you think about all the chemicals in your pool water. Fortunately, there are natural alternatives to the sanitation chemicals typically used to keep pool water clean and sanitary. You also can take steps to reduce the amount of dirt and debris that find their way into your pool.
Green, leafy plants give off oxygen, and oxygen in pool water helps promote and support good bacteria. These good bacteria feed on algae and other organic materials in your pool. Encouraging these good bacteria is as simple as placing plants close to the edge of your pool. If you're feeling adventurous, turn a section of your pool into a natural water garden, placing plants directly in the water. This type of natural pool is quite common in Europe; it creates a living filtration and oxygenation system. If you have a saltwater pool, remember to choose plants that enjoy brackish water.
Sanitize With Hydrogen Peroxide
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) is a natural alternative to chlorine for sanitizing your pool. Hydrogen peroxide is a combination of hydrogen and oxygen that's often used as an antiseptic and disinfectant. That little brown bottle in your medicine cabinet is probably only 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. For pool cleaning, you'll need a 35 percent solution, which you can purchase at natural food stores, pool supply centers or online. Add a cup of hydrogen peroxide to your pool for every 100 gallons of water.
Do not use hydrogen peroxide if you have any natural rubber components in your pool, as H2O2 degrades rubber.
Remember to turn off your chlorine generator if you have a saltwater pool. If you don't, your pool will continue to produce chlorine while you are using hydrogen peroxide as a sanitizer.
Naturally Alter pH
To maintain your pool, you also need to regulate the pH of the water. If it goes too high, pool sanitizers function poorly. If it goes too low, the pool's pipes will corrode, and swimmers may experience eye irritation. If your pH level is too high, add baking soda to the pool. Add 1 1/2 pounds of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of water. If the pool's pH is too low, add 1/2 cup of borax for every 10,000 gallons of water. Borax, which is made of a natural mineral, is found in the laundry aisle of most grocery stores.
Borax is a natural mineral and is relatively safe. It can, however, irritate the eyes, nose and throat and is harmful if ingested.
Baking soda also helps eliminate algae and can safely be used to scrub away algae that are clinging to the sides and bottom of the pool.
Grab a Shower
One simple and natural way to keep your pool cleaner is to shower before getting in it. When you go for a swim, your body leaves some of its natural oils behind in the pool water. Showering before jumping in the pool removes some of these oils, so fewer of them can deposit in your pool water. It also removes any oils from any perfume, after-shave, moisturizers or hair products you use.
Have a Ball
Even if you shower before getting into your pool, you'll still leave behind some of your body's natural oils. You also may have to wear sunscreen in the pool to protect your skin. To mop up these oils, throw a few tennis balls into the pool and let them float around. Their outer felt covering will absorb oils over time, pulling them out of the pool water. When the balls start to look dirty, replace them.
Get a Robotic Pool Cleaner
Admittedly, a robotic pool cleaner isn't a natural way to clean your pool, but it may be an important step. At the end of the day, homeowners use chemicals to clean their pools because they work well. Natural remedies don't always work quite as efficiently, especially after a big pool party or heavy pool usage. A robot will automatically clean the pool for you as often as necessary, saving you time and labor. Robots decrease the amount of debris that runs into the pool filter and help keep pools sparkling clean.
- Dohney's: Natural Alternatives for Keeping Clean water
- Good Girl Gone Green: 5 Eco-Friendly Tips to Keep Your Pool Clean
- Child Guard: Natural Homemade Swimming Pool Cleaners
- National Institutes of Health: Hydrogen Peroxide
- Centers for Diseae Control and Prevention: Disinfection & Testing
- 20 Mule Team Borax: About
- ABC 27: Consumer Reports Warns of Dangers of Borax When Making Household Slime
- Solar Pool Technologies, Inc.: Eliminate Algae in Your Pool Using a Homemade Algaecide
- Green Living Ideas: Greener Pool Cleaners
- Homemade Cleaners
Home is where the heart is, and Michelle frequently pens articles about ways to keep yours looking great and feeling cozy. Whether you want help organizing your closet, picking a paint color or finishing drywall, Michelle has you covered. If she's not puttering in the house, you'll find her in the garden playing in the dirt. Her garden articles provide tips and insight that anyone can use to turn a brown thumb green. You'll find her work on Modern Mom, The Nest and eHow as well as sprinkled throughout your other online home decor and improvement favorites.