Those who are fortunate enough to own a pool know how much joy they bring. Whether you are lounging poolside, doing laps, playing a game, or floating in the sparkling water, the pool is the place to be for endless hours of fun in the sun.

That said, it is imperative to know how to properly clean the pool water, so it is always sparkling and inviting. You should be cleaning the skimmer basket(s) out weekly, and even more so during inclement weather. Make sure to check the lint and hair pot, usually located on the front of the pool pump. This should be cleaned out every few weeks, but make sure you turn off the pump while doing this.

Regular filter cleaning is also a must—especially after a heavy storm. Chances are, it will need a thorough cleaning after bad weather to remove dirt, leaves, and other debris.

When it comes to vacuuming and brushing the sides of the pool, choose equipment specifically designed for pools. Pool cleaners, vacuum heads, and brushes should be designated for use with vinyl-lined pools. Always store your pool cleaning chemicals in a cool, dry place where children and pets cannot reach them.

If you don’t want to physically vacuum your pool, there are dozens of automatic pool cleaner models that will do the job for you. They are easy to install and maintain in both new and existing pools. A suction-side cleaner will attach to the suction line of the swimming pool’s plumbing system and clean by using the power of suction to pull debris from the pool’s walls and floor. It then picks up and deposits this debris by passing it through the skimmer and filtration system. A pressure-side cleaner works by using your pump’s water pressure to propel the cleaner around the pool and push debris into a filter bag. This is then collected and removed. The most popular type of pool cleaner is the robotic, which features a self-contained filtration system that will not tax your existing pool equipment. It is also easy to use, since all you have to do is plug the cleaner’s control unit into an outlet, place the cleaner under the water, turn it on, and leave the rest to the robot!

To protect swimmers from harmful bacteria and organisms that can contaminate your pool water, you should shock your pool. Pool shock is a highly concentrated amount of chlorine that “shocks” the pool water to kill off any bacteria, resulting in cleaner, safer water. Shock the pool after a storm if debris has blown into the pool, there’s been a pool party with an increased number of swimmers, when it has been extremely hot and sunny for a long period of time, if swimmers complain of irritated eyes, if you notice signs of algae growth or an odor, or if the water begins to look cloudy or hazy.

Following these guidelines is sure to keep your pool water and liner in pristine condition and ensure that family and friends alike enjoy your pool to the fullest!