With summer fast approaching, you’re probably looking forward to holding a pool party (or a few) in your backyard. But wait, having a pool party inherently means letting all sorts of germs and debris into your pool — germs and debris that you would inevitably have to deal with after the festivities are over.
It’s impossible to keep your pool in the same clean state that it was before during a pool party–unless you want to be a total party pooper. Nevertheless, there are a lot of ways you can minimize the germs, bacteria, dirt, and other nasty things that end up in and around your pool.
1. Have everyone shower first
A shower helps strip away sweat, dirt, oils, dead skin cells from the body, and at the same time, gives the skin and hair an extra layer of protection against the chemicals in the pool. Hit two birds with one stone by having everyone shower before they use the pool. Most guests will have the courtesy to take a shower before coming to a pool party anyway but having them rinse down before cannonballing into the pool can help minimize the germs that they bring into it.
If doing a full-on shower is not an option for everybody, at least have them hose down in the backyard before using the pool.
2. Bathe your pet
If you are going to allow your dog to use the pool during the party, give them a bath beforehand. Similar to tip number 1, bathing your dog will help get rid of dirt or debris from their body so that it doesn’t end up in your pool water. However, keep in mind that pets can also be sensitive to pool chemicals, so be sure to limit their swimming time to prevent irritation.
3. Place the food table far from the pool
Food and drinks are some of the worst things that can end up in your pool during a party. Aside from being inherently gross, food and drinks (other than water) can mess up the chemicals in your pool and make it harder to clean afterward.
4. Make kids wait after eating
What is worse than having food and drinks in your pool water? Why, vomit, of course! Kids are susceptible to sudden stomach upset if they swim too soon after eating. That said, have your children wait at least 30 minutes before they use the pool again, and ask other parents to do the same to their kids.
If this unfortunate event still happens despite your best efforts, treat the vomit as you would poop and clean it up immediately.
5. Add water
Having people dive into your pool repeatedly and splash around for hours can inevitably lower the water level in your pool. If you notice that the water is below the marker, turn on the garden hose and let it fill the pool back up. Doing this ensures that the water level is enough to have the pool equipment running properly, saving you from unnecessary maintenance tasks later on.
6. Shock your pool
Letting more than a few people swim in your pool will likely cause the chlorine level to decrease, making your pool more susceptible to algae. A good way to address this is by ‘shocking’ your pool; a process that adds chlorine or non-chlorine alternatives to the pool to increase the free chlorine level. Ideally, you should do this at night to avoid burn-off from the sun. You can also use muriatic acid alternatives for pools for extra cleaning. Don’t wait too long to do this, either, as algae can grow pretty quickly.
7. Run your pool pump
After shocking your pool, run your pool pump for at least eight hours to filter out debris and re-circulate the water. If there is still debris floating around after this process, you would need to manually remove them with a skimmer.
8. Clean the pool filter
You may also need to clean the pool filter cartridge system. Depending on the type of system you have, this is a relatively easy process. Simply open the housing, flush the filter with water, submerge the TSP in your cleaning solution, and then rinse the housing as many times as needed. Feel free to repeat the process if need be.
Maintaining a pool is tough work, especially after a pool party. To make your after-party job easier, keep these tips in mind while the festivities are ongoing, and follow the cleaning tips after the party is over. If you don’t have time for the cleanup or the pool is too dirty, consider calling a professional pool cleaner instead.