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Backyard & Pool Spring Cleaning Checklist

Spring is finally here! After a long, somewhat brutal winter, the warm sunshine is a welcome reprieve. It’s the perfect time to open all the windows and get started on your annual spring cleaning routine! Your home’s not the only thing that needs attention. A bit of spring cleaning around your pool and backyard will make your life a lot easier this summer. It will also keep everything looking fresh and new for as long as possible. Let's get started with a few spring cleaning tasks for your backyard and pool areas.

Spring Cleaning for the Pool Area

Clean your pool filters

Clean Your Filters

Before you open the pool, take a minute to prep your pool filters for the summer ahead. Check the filter media to make sure it’s clean and in good condition. Replacement cartridges for cartridge filters typically last about 3-5 years, and should be replaced if there is excessive discoloration, bands are broken, end caps are cracked, or if the pleats look flattened or frayed. DE filter grids tend to last a little longer at 7-10 years, and should be replaced if the seams or fabric are coming apart. If you have a sand filter, plan to replace the pool sand every 3-5 years to avoid a loss of filtration efficiency.

Pool equipment maintenance

Equipment Maintenance

Extreme temperatures can have a negative impact on gaskets and o-rings in your filter, pump, valves, and other pieces of pool equipment. Before you fire everything up again on opening day, take a minute to maintain your equipment. Check all seals, gaskets, and o-rings to make sure they’re in good working condition. Replace any that are dry, cracked, deformed, or otherwise damaged with an o-ring kit for your specific model. If the o-rings and gaskets are still in good shape, coat them with a bit of pool lube to maintain elasticity and ensure a tight seal. This extra spring cleaning step helps prevent issues with air and water leaks in the pool later in the season. It will also keep your equipment running as efficiently as possible.

BONUS TIP: If your pump, cleaner, or other major pool equipment could use a tune-up, just bring it to your local Leslie’s store. In-store labor is free for all pool equipment repairs. All you pay for are the parts! Our trained service technicians can quickly identify and resolve pool equipment problems, saving you the hassle of troubleshooting and finding replacement parts yourself. Leslie’s is a warranty station for all major equipment manufacturers, including brands like Jacuzzi Pool, Hayward, Pentair, Zodiac, Maytronics, Waterway, and so many others. We have all the tools and resources to get your pool up and running quickly.

water spray nozzle to clean pool deck

Clean the Pool Deck

A dirty pool deck isn’t just ugly to look at. It also causes extra dirt and debris to find its way into your water by wind, rain, or simply getting tracked into the pool. If your pool deck is discolored by mold, mildew, or algae stains, just imagine how many of those spores will end up in your water! If you own a pressure washer (or have a friendly neighbor who will let you borrow one), this pool spring cleaning task will be a piece of cake. Make sure to direct the spray and runoff away from the pool to prevent further water contamination.

If your deck material will allow it, follow the pressure wash with an application of diluted bleach solution. Lightly coat and scrub the area with a nylon brush or push broom to cover all the grooves and pockets. This helps keep the deck clean and spore-free for as long as possible. You can also use this method to manually clean the pool deck if you don’t have a pressure washer handy. It will take a little more elbow grease to do it this way, but it's still effective. Just don’t ever use soap! You don’t want all that extra foam to end up in your pool by accident. Trust us on this one.

pool accessories in a deck box

Wash Pool Accessories

Just like with the pool deck, dirty pool accessories can bring a lot of unwanted contaminants into the pool. After sitting in storage all winter, spring is the perfect time to clean up your accessories and get them looking new again. Thoroughly clean any of your functional accessories like diving boards and pool slides. If it’s a fiberglass accessory, add a layer of marine fiberglass conditioner to restore surfaces and prevent UV damage. Wipe down all of your floats, noodles, inflatables, and pool toys with warm, soapy water to make sure they’re clean and ready to use. 

Open the Pool

Depending on how well you closed your pool and maintained it through the winter, this part of your spring cleaning routine may be an easy one-day ordeal. But in some instances, it could take a few days. Regardless, Leslie’s has the resources to help make your pool opening experience go as smoothly as possible.

Leslie's Pool Cover

Prepare the Pool for Opening

To open your pool, you’ll start by removing the winter cover. While you’re waiting on the garden hose to finish refilling the pool to normal water levels, reconnect your pool equipment. Don’t forget to put the drain plugs back in! You’ll also want to remove any winterizing plugs from the return lines or pool skimmer. Prime the pump, open the air relief valve on your filter, and turn on your circulation system. You can close the air relief valve once the air is gone.

Leslie's Water Test Kit

Test and Balance Pool Water

After the water has had a chance to circulate for a few hours, use test strips or a test kit to make sure all levels are within proper ranges. Balance Total Alkalinity first, followed by pH and Calcium Hardness. It’s a good idea to also add a stain and scale product, such as MetalFree or Leslie’s Stain & Scale Prevent. Allow the water to continue circulating to ensure proper chemical distribution.

BONUS TIP: Looking for an easy route that eliminates the guesswork? Just bring your water sample to Leslie’s for a FREE 10-Point Water Test. Our precisely accurate AccuBlue® water testing system carefully analyzes every aspect of your pool’s water chemistry to provide you with a customized step-by-step water treatment plan.

clean swimming pool with clear water

Clean the Pool & Clear the Water

To finish opening the pool, thoroughly brush all pool surfaces, and use a vacuum to remove any debris that has settled at the bottom of the pool. Next, shock the pool with a high quality chlorine shock, such as Leslie’s Power Powder Plus 73 or Leslie’s Chlor Brite. In most cases, we also recommend using Algae Control and a clarifier, such as Leslie’s Ultra Bright Advanced, to turn your water crystal clear. Leslie’s Pool Opening Kits include all the right doses of shock, algaecide, clarifier, and sequestration chemicals to make it easy to open your pool. All you have to do is choose the right kit for your pool size.

Pool Opening Help

If this is your first spring as a pool owner, and you’re not sure where to start, don’t worry. We’ve got you covered! For the do-it-yourself approach, check out our detailed Pool Opening blog for a detailed step-by-step guide. On the other hand, if you’d rather learn how to open your pool by watching someone else do it first, our knowledgeable pool technicians can open your pool for you. We’re standing by to answer any questions you might have related to pool opening. Just call or stop by your local Leslie's store.

Spring Cleaning for the Backyard & Patio Area

landscaping and tree branches


You’ve already spent quite a bit of time prepping the pool for swimming season during your spring cleaning routine. Now it’s time to get the rest of your yard up to par. Remove errant weeds and grass growing up between paving stones or concrete seams. Go through your flower beds to remove weeds and extra organic debris. Trim the bushes for a tidy, symmetrical appearance. If you have low-hanging tree branches or any limbs extending over the pool or deck area, trim them back to avoid issues later. Trees, in particular, can be a source of excess debris (pollen, twigs, leaves, blossoms, acorns, etc.) in the pool, causing blockages in your skimmer and pump baskets. Keeping the limbs farther away from the pool area will help reduce cleaning time throughout pool season.

Patio Furniture

Outdoor Furniture

Your patio furniture sure takes a beating from Mother Nature. Between the harsh UV rays, extreme hot and cold temperatures, moisture, and settling dust and dirt, it doesn’t take long for your brand new outdoor furniture to start looking less than appealing. To keep your outdoor area comfortable and inviting, it’s important to keep your patio furniture clean. Remove covers from seat cushions to wash. If the cushions look overly faded, consider purchasing new ones or reupholstering your old ones. Spray down metal, plastic, and wicker furniture, using a mild soap and scrub brush if necessary. If it’s still looking worn and dingy after a thorough cleaning, a fresh coat of paint can often bring new life to old furniture.

Outdoor Lighting on a patio

Patio Surfaces and Awnings

Porches and patios can get amazingly dirty in seemingly no time at all. Patio coverings and gables with rafters or criss-crossed light strands are especially prone to attracting birds. And with those birds come a plethora of nests and bird droppings. Although it might be nice to watch the birds in your yard from time to time, it’s not so nice when it starts impacting your outdoor lifestyle. Take a minute to remove accumulated leaves, nests, and other debris in the rafters. Knock down any cobwebs you see, and sweep or spray away any fallen organic debris. If you have an outdoor fan or lighting, wipe off the dust and debris from the fan blades and light canisters. If you keep up with this on a regular basis, it won’t take long to finish.

With a little bit of time and elbow grease, this spring cleaning checklist can help you get your pool and patio area ready for a summer full of fun outdoor activities. If you're looking to bring your backyard up a notch, you don't want to miss our Backyard Style Guide. Here, you'll find this season's hottest outdoor accessories.

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