Some expensive pool chemicals, such as pool shock, can be replaced with regular household items. Pool shock sanitizes the pool, re-establishes the chlorine level and oxidizes and eliminates contaminates such as bacteria, perspiration, saliva and dead skin cells. PH balancers, which keep the pH level between 7.2 and 7.6, also can be substituted with cheaper items you may already have in your house or that you can buy at any grocery store or discount department store. Optimum cleanliness and pH levels can be disrupted by swimmers, rainfall, sunlight and organic matter such as leaves.
Use liquid bleach instead of pool shock or pool chlorine. The disinfecting agent sodium hypochlorite in liquid pool shock is also the ingredient in gallon jugs of household bleach, such as that produced by Clorox. Household bleach is about 6 percent sodium hypochlorite by solution, while liquid pool chlorine is about 12 percent, so use about twice as much bleach as you would pool chlorine.
Use baking soda instead of Alka-Up or other pool alkalinity-increasing agent. The pool chemical contains sodium bicarbonate, the same ingredient in baking soda. The only difference is baking soda is more finely ground. Use the same amount of baking soda as you would the retail ingredient.
Use borax instead of pH-Up or other pH-increasing agent to raise pH. Borax, which is sodium tetraborate, works the same way as other pool pH increasers, which contain soda ash. Use the same amount of borax as you would the retail ingredient.