Keeping your pool water clean requires filtering out dirt and killing off the bacteria, algae and other germs that can contaminate the water. The most popular chemicals for cleaning pools are chlorine and bromine, but many people are concerned about using such toxic substances. Fortunately, there are some natural alternatives that work well.
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 35-percent H2O2. You may use 35-percent, food-grade hydrogen peroxide, but a better alternative is 35-percent, pool-and-spa hydrogen peroxide, available from several online vendors. Pool-and-spa hydrogen peroxide is more stable and will not deteriorate on the shelf as quickly as food-grade H2O2. Always store hydrogen peroxide in a cool, dark place.
Start with 1 cup of 35-percent H2O2 for every 500 gallons of pool water. Check the level with hydrogen peroxide test strips. Aim for a concentration of 50 to 100 ppm, though you can go up to 1000 ppm to "shock" a pool that has a lot of contaminates.
Do not use hydrogen peroxide if you have any natural rubber components in your pool, as H2O2 degrades rubber.
Baking Soda and Borax
To maintain your pool, you also need to regulate the pH of the water. Instead of chemicals, use regular baking soda and borax to balance the pH of your pool. Baking soda lowers the pH level and increases alkalinity. Add 1 ½ lb. of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of pool water to increase the total alkalinity 10 parts per million.
Borax is a natural mineral, sodium tetraborate, that has been refined for purity. Borax increases the pH level and increases acidity. Start with ½ cup of borax per 10,000 gallons of pool water. Find borax with the laundry detergent in your grocery store.