Small children and those with allergies or sensitive skin are often very sensitive to the chemicals used to clean a pool. Using natural methods or products you have around the home already is a good way to save money on maintaining your pool and avoid some of the harsher effects of standard pool chemicals.
Skimming the pool often with a pooler skimmer is one of the easiest remedies for removing debris. Placing a pair of panty hose or tights around your skimmer frame or on a picture frame will work to remove very fine debris in the pool. Having swimmers place socks on their hands and feet for a few minutes and brushing them along the floor and walls of the pool can also loosen debris that can then be skimmed or wiped up with the socks.
Use baking soda to help keep your pool clean. Baking soda can help maintain the pH level of your pool. Each week during pool season, measure the pH of your pool and add 3 to 4 lbs. of baking soda per 10,000 gallons of pool water if the alkalinity is less than 7.2; add 2 lbs. if the alkalinity is between 7.2 and 7.5; and don't add any baking soda if the alkalinity is above 7.5. Keep the pH below 7.8 to prevent pool clouding, especially in hard water areas, according to Arm and Hammer, a baking soda manufacturer. Baking soda is also good for scrubbing out pool filters and the sides of pools as necessary.
Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) works like chlorine in your pool without the harmful fumes and irritation. Often used as an antiseptic and disinfectant, hydrogen peroxide capable of cleaning a pool needs to be 35 percent H2O2, not the 3 percent often found in the medicine cabinet. Pool and spa hydrogen peroxide is available through pool supply vendors. Use 1 cup of H2O2 per 500 gallons of pool water. Hydrogen peroxide test strips are available and to test the concentration amount of peroxide in your pool. A level of 50 to 100 parts per million (ppm) is ideal.
A natural mineral, borax or sodium tetraborate, is refined and can be used to increase the pH level in a pool. Use 1/2 a box -- about 32 oz. -- of Borax per 10,000 gallons of pool water. Borax is available in a box in the laundry detergent aisle at grocery and discount stores.