Basic Pool Care

Note: A newer and more up-to-date version of this article can be found here.

This Leslie’s Swimming Pool Supplies video will teach you how to keep your pool clean by having a regular maintenance schedule.

If you have any other questions about cleaning your pool, visit or one of knowledgeable staff members at one of our 800 stores.


Video transcription:

Hi! I’m Lauren. Here at Leslie’s we’ve been serving the needs of do-it-yourselves pool owners since 1963. We believe that every pool owner can care for and maintain their pool with help from the experts at Leslies.

Today I’ll be showing you some simple and easy steps on how to care for your pool to keep it clean, clear and ready to use. Routine cleaning is important to keeping your pool working properly and looking great.

During the swimming season you should spend about an hour a week cleaning your pool. This video will demonstrate the 5 main steps of Pool Cleaning.

The first step to cleaning your pool is to remove leaves and debris that are on the pool surface and floor. Any leaves and debris that are left in your pool can cause staining and algae growth.

The skimmer net is used to catch and remove leaves and debris on the pool surface. The Leaf Rake will remove larger debris like rocks, twigs and acorns that sink to the bottom of your pool. If you don't remove these larger items out of the water they can clog your main drain and damage your pump.

Your pool has at least 2 baskets that should be checked regularly. The skimmer basket catches leaves, bugs and any other floating debris. You should check this basket whenever you’re cleaning your pool. After emptying, use a garden hose to clean out any excess debris. The basket in your pool pump needs to be emptied on a regular basis too especially after heavy rain and wind storms.

Your pump basket will trap leaves and debris before they enter the filter a clogged basket can damage your pump and cause pool circulation problems. Make sure the O-Ring or gasket inside your pump lid is in good condition and well lubricated with Leslies pool and spa lube.

Next remove all dirt and debris that settles on your pool walls steps and floors by brushing stains can develop and algae can grow in you pool if you don't brush regularly. For best results while brushing, you should divert maximum suction to the pools main drain. This is done by turning the suction control valve in front of your pump to close off suction from the skimmer. Always make sure your pool pump and filter are running while you brush. Brush strokes should be slow and smooth starting just under the water line. Begin in the shallow end and move towards the deepest part of the pool. All dirt should be brushed towards the main drain. If u diverted your pool suction while brushing re-adjust the suction control valve so that 80% comes from the skimmer and 20% comes from the pools main drain.

The next area to take care of is the water line around your pool. Oil, dirt and bacteria in your water can form a ring or scum line around your pool. To prevent and eliminate a ring or scum lines brush the water line regularly. Depending on your pool surface, you can use a product like Leslie tile cleaner to cut through the oil and dirt on your tile and restore its shine. We recommend using Natural Chemistry’s Pool Perfect regularly to prevent an oil and scum line from forming.

Pool Perfect breaks down organic matter in your pool water making the water feel soft and silky. To prevent scale formation make sure to keep your water balanced. If you have a scale ring of scum line around your pool. Leslies has a variety of products you can use to eliminate it .The final step is to vacuum your pool. To manually vacuum your pool, you will need a tele-pole and vacuum head and a vacuum hose. Attach the tele-pole and the vacuum hose to the vacuum head. Next you’ll need to prime the hose. Slowly lower the vacuum head into the pool feeding the vacuum hose hand over hand straight down into the water forcing air out of the hose.

Place your hand firmly over the hose that no air gets inside. Attach the hose to the suction port inside the skimmer. You can now begin to vacuum your pool. Use smooth and even strokes. Over lap to ensure complete cleaning. During swim season you should manually vacuum your pool at least once a week depending on weather conditions.

If you don't want to manually vacuum your pool, you can use an automatic pool cleaner which vacuums the pool for you and cuts your cleaning time in half.

When cleaning your swimming pool, remember these 5 easy steps:

1. Clean the pool surface & floor
2. Empty the skimmer and pump baskets
3. Brush the pool walls, steps and floor
4. Clean the water line
5. Vacuum your pool

You should also test your pool water regularly and at least twice a week during swim season to ensure it's balance and ready for swimming. You can use test kits or strips to test your water or bring in a sample to any Leslies store for a free test and analysis.

We hope this video has shown you just how simple it is to take care of your swimming pool. Our goal here at Leslies is to make pool care easy.

Thank you for watching.

For more information please visit our website at or any one of our more than 800 stores nationwide.

Essential Products

Leslie's Pool Shock


Leslie's 3 inch Chlorine Tablets


Leslie's Pool Maintenance


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Leslie’s makes every effort to provide accurate recommendations based upon current ANSI/APSP/ICC-5 2011 (R2022) standards, but codes and regulations change, and Leslie’s assumes no liability for any omissions or errors in this article or the outcome of any project. You must always exercise reasonable caution, carefully read the label on all products, follow all product directions, follow any current codes and regulations that may apply, and consult with a licensed professional if in doubt about any procedures. Leslie’s assumes no legal responsibility for your reliance or interpretation of the data contained herein, and makes no representations or warranties of any kind concerning the quality, safety, or suitability of the information, whether express or implied, including, without limitation, any implied warranties of merchantability or fitness for a particular purpose.