Vital Swimming Pool Chemicals

Just like other stagnant waters around your home, swimming pools are faced with dangers that tend to not only reduce the quality of water but also, make the pool difficult to swim in. keeping your swimming pool clean and clear can be a tough job. This is especially when you do not have the right chemicals for the job. It is therefore important to learn the basics of maintaining a pool as well as the anticipated problems that may arise during the course of your pool ownership.

In this article, we are going to look at the different types of pool chemicals that every pool owner should have. Also, we will add a list of the pool chemicals that should be kept in stock by any pool owner.


These are the chemicals used to keep pool water clean and sanitized. Sanitizers also play an important role in killing microorganisms present in the water. Therefore, there should be a constant level of chlorine in the water to keep the pool disinfected at all times.  However, it is important to learn how to keep this chlorine level constant so that your pool can stay healthy and clean.

Sanitizer products in the market include:


This comes either in 3” tablets or 1” sticks. TriChlor also includes cyanuric acid and can be added to a chlorine dispenser or floater.


Dichlor is granular with powdered form of cyanuric acid that acts readily to chlorinate swimming pools.


This product comes in 1” tablets and works better in hot water. Bromine brings stability to the water PH as well.

Cyanuric acid

This is a stabilizer for both the dry and wet chlorine as it protects it from strong UV rays.  Some small amounts can be added to Dichlor and TriChlor. However, if your pool was recently drained, add a generous amount to maintain concentration at 30 to 50 ppm. However, if the cyanuric levels go beyond 50 ppm, consider draining some water before replacing it with fresh one.


Oxidizers are the secondary sanitizers and are used every few weeks to kill bacteria and algae present in the water. Both chlorine and non-chlorine forms are ready to use and you need to just pour them in the water.  Oxidizing products include:

Calcium hypochlorite

Calcium hypochlorite is used in the pool to not only sanitize the water but also, kill algae and bacteria at a much faster rate.  This product works well when there is a low PH level in the water at around 7.2.

Chlorine free shock

This is also known as granular potassium monopersulfate. It is a quick acting oxygen based sanitizer that can be used even when people are swimming in the pool. The good thing with this product is that, it leaves no residue in the pool.

Lithium shock

Lithium shock is also known as Lithium hypochlorite. This is loved by many people not only because it doesn’t destroy liners but also, because you can swim immediately after adding it into the water.

Water balancers

To ensure that your pool water is properly balanced, it is advisable to test the water for chlorine levels and PH. This should be done on a weekly basis.  On the other hand, you should be testing its alkalinity on a weekly basis. And For the cyanuric acid and calcium hardness, it is advisable to test them one per month.

PH increaser

This is Granular Soda Ash and is usually used to increase PH when it falls below 7.2 ppm.

PH reducer

Granular Sodium Bisulfate is used to lower PH of the water when it gets higher than 7.6 ppm. It can also be used to reduce alkalinity.

Alkalinity increaser

This is usually Granular Sodium Bicarbonate that raises the total alkalinity when it falls below 80 ppm.

Calcium hardness increaser

This is Granular Calcium Chloride that Raises calcium hardness when it goes below 150 ppm

Chlorine Neutralizer

This is Granular Sodium Thiosulfate used to reduce chlorine concentration.

Chemical Combo Packs

These Pool Chemical packages combine shocks, tablets, algaecide and stain away. These combinations make it easy for you to use the pool without making a lot of calculations.

Special chemicals

These are pool chemicals that can come handy when specific problems arise in your pool. They include:


These are calcium based products that prevents algae from growing in your pool.  You however need to shock the pool to kill algae and use algaecides to prevent algae from returning.


Clarifiers include flocculants that attract tiny particles together before falling to the bottom of the pool. After this, the pool is vacuumed to remove them.


Enzymes break down oil, scum and odors from the pool.

Filter cleaners

These products keep your filter working well. They remove oil, minerals, and metals from your sand and cartridge filters.

Metal magnets

These products keeps trace metals in the water so that they do not stain pool surfaces. The metals are then caught by the filter.

Phosphate removers

Products in the market such as PhosFree  break down phosphates in the water. Phosphates are the food to algae in the water. And without food, the algae will die.

Stain removers

These products remove stains on the surface, colored water as well as scaling. This is because of the minerals and metals in the water. There are over 20 pool stain chemicals in the market.

Tile and vinyl cleaner

This helps remove oil and grease build up along water line, furniture, diving boards and others. The good thing is that, these products do not have any impact on the chemistry of the water.

Start up and closing kits

These are chemical kits that contain everything you need on pool maintenance.

Which chemicals do you need to have on stock?

There are pools chemicals that you need to have on a regular basis. They include:

  • Pool shock and chlorine tablets
  • PH increasers and decreasers
  • Test kits

Also, you will need different chemicals that raise the PH, alkalinity as well as the hardness of the calcium in the water. However, these chemicals are not needed on a regular basis. Other chemicals such as clarifiers, algaecides, and enzymes can also come in your pool maintenance routine.

There are over 12 categories of pool chemicals to choose from. However, it is important to understand what each chemical does in order to know the one to choose when problem occurs.

View our Different Types of Algae and How to Treat Them