3 divers diving into a swimming pool

Guide on Must-Have Chemicals for Your Pool

As many pool owners know, swimming pools require lots of TLC. In fact, ongoing maintenance cost represent a significant cost of pool ownership over its lifetime. That’s without factoring in if things go really wrong, either! 

To properly maintain your pool and avoid hefty servicing bills, you need to make sure that you’ve got the right chemicals. Neglect your swimming pool enough and you might return to your backyard to find a swamp in its place. 

In this guide, we’re going to take you through some of the most common chemicals that you will use as you maintain your pool. 


Everyone is familiar with chlorine. It’s the main agent that sanitizes your pool water, eliminating algae and other bacteria to keep pool water swim-safe. Chlorine often comes packages in either liquid or granular form, and there are two main chlorine compounds that are used in pools.

The first, calcium hypochlorite is a chlorine compound that is mainly used in residential pools and spas to kill off germs that could make swimmers sick. If you’re after a fun fact then calcium hypochlorite tablets can be used to disinfect drinking water as well.

Sodium hypochlorite can also be used to disinfect pool water, though it’s a bit more high-powered than its calcium counterpart. You can use sodium hypochlorite to “shock” your pool, which we’ll touch on below. 

It’s worth noting that chlorine becomes less effective over time. That’s why “stabilised” chlorine exists. Its purpose is to slow down the breakdown of chlorine. We’ll also get into that later. 


In a nutshell, pool shock is highly concentrated chlorine. The most appropriate time to use this chemical is after intense pool use, as well as when you’re starting up your pool for summer or closing it down for winter.

You will mainly use pool shock during summer when, as we mentioned, your pool is used more often. Shock your pool about once per week if you use your pool daily, otherwise one per fortnight is ok.

Cyanuric Acid

Cyanuric acid is also known as stabiliser and we quickly gave this chemical a mention above. Here’s why you need it. UV light speeds up the breakdown of chlorine, which only happens at a faster rate during summer. To protect your chlorine (and wallet) from the sun, you need some cyanuric acid.

You’re likely to spend more money on chlorine than any other pool chemical during summer. Purchasing some stabiliser will help you relieve some of the stress from your wallet. After all, maintaining a pool already costs enough money.


Algae will use any and every opportunity to start growing somewhere in or around your pool. Thankfully, algaecide has been designed to kill algae. Usually, you would add this to your pool after giving it a good shock ~ when you’re opening your pool up, after heavy use, or when you’re shutting it down. 


Your pool is full of bacteria and other particles that your filters can’t pick up on. Clarifier has been created for the sole purpose of helping particles clump together on the surface of your water. Then, your pool pumps will move the filters through to the filter where they are collected. 


Lastly, flocculent has a similar purpose to clarifier. Its job is to help particles clump together. Though, instead of clumping articles on your pool surface, it sinks them to the floor. Then you’re able to vacuum the particles out manually. 

Flocculent reduces the workload on your pool filter. Appropriate times to use this chemical include when you’re treating cloudy pool water, as well as when you’re performing a green pool recovery. 


As a pool owner, you will use all of these chemicals at one point or another. It’s important to always be stocked up on the right pool supplies and to perform little bits of pool maintenance day by day. In the long run, you will avoid major problems and don’t have to worry about paying expensive pool repair bills.


Person in wheelchair on the beach

Leave a Reply