The best pool chemicals have long been recognized as effective assistants for all swimming pools and their chlorinated water due to several essential reasons below.
The chemicals for pools maintain a balanced pool environment to swim in and, at the same time, enhance water purification and clarity. They help reduce the possibility of contaminants and other chemical risks to grow and cause damages to pool surfaces.
In brief, these substances are meant to develop a better swimming experience for users and prolong the general health of pools, regardless of their design or structure. This article would tell you all about the essential pool of chemicals and their buying guide.
Table of Contents
- What Chemicals Do You Need for a Pool?
- What Are the Best Pool Chemicals to Use?
- Comparison of Top 17 Best Pool Chemicals 2020
- Reviews of the Best Pool Chemicals
- Arm & Hammer Clear Balance Pool Maintenance Tablets
- In The Swim Basic Pool Opening Chemical Start Up Kit
- Natural Chemistry 05131 Pool Perfect+
- Intex Swimming Pool Start-up Chemical Kit
- BioGuard Pool Complete Chemicals
- In The Swim Poolcenter Swimming Pool Shock Chemicals
- DryTec 73% Extra Shock Treatment Pool Chemicals
- In The Swim Super Pool Opening Chemical Start Up Kit
- Leisure Time Renew Non-Chlorine Shock Treatment Chemicals
- BioGuard Banish Algicide Chemicals
- HTH Shock Super Treatment Pool Chemicals
- Clorox Pool&Spa Shock XtraBlue Chemicals
- In The Swim 3-Inch Pool Chlorine Tablets
- BioGuard Pool Opening Complete Chemicals
- In The Swim Ultimate Spring Start-Up Pool Chemical Kit
- DryTec Shock Treatment Pool Chemicals
- Clorox Pool&Spa 12104CLX pH Up
- How to Choose the Best Pool Chemicals?
- How to Add Chemicals to Pool?
- How to Check Pool Chemicals?
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
- Swim Network Overview
What Chemicals Do You Need for a Pool?
Pool chemicals are meant to provide proper treatment for the water, and I know you will need to get familiar with several of them at the beginning. Beneath is a glance at all of the essential chemicals currently available for swimming pools.
- Bromine: It is the second most essential factor after chlorine. Apart from being compatible with pool water, it works for hot spa water. Though shocking, it is regenerated and contributes to raising the pH stability rate in swimming pools.
- Cyanuric Acid: It is either liquid or dry stabilizer that shelters chlorine from UV radiation. It should be added in a small amount with di-Chlor and trichlor into pools. The balanced range for Cyanuric Acid in the water is from 30 to 50ppm.
- Pool shock: The pool shock is either Calcium Hypochlorite or chlorine-free. It should be applied once every few weeks to kill algae & bacteria. Most of them are made in a granular form in 1-pound bags to pour directly in pools.
- pH: There are pH increaser and reducer chemicals to adjust it to the ideal rate between 7.2-7.6ppm. The increaser often raises 1 click while the reducer will lower about 3 clicks (7.8 to 7.5, for example) with 10,000 gallons of the water.
- Alkalinity: When the Alkalinity level in pool water is measured to drop below 80ppm, the Alkalinity increaser chemical should be added. To increase 10ppm of Total Alkalinity in 10,000 gallons, it only demands 1 pound of this chemical.
- Calcium Hardness: Its operation is quite similar to the Alkalinity increaser as it raises Calcium Hardness by 10ppm when this chemical is less than 150ppm.
- Algaecide: Its base varies from Copper to non-metallic. It is used to prevent the growth of algae in swimming pools and stops this from returning to them.
- Clarifier: Tiny particles floating inside pools through a coagulation process by the clarifier will turn into bigger ones that are easier to be captured in the filter.
- Enzymes: They are capable of breaking down floating oils and other types of non-living organic contaminants in pools, then remove them out of the water.
- Metal control: Trace metals in pool water need to be sequestered and locked up by this metal magnet to block the chance for them to develop pool stains.
- Phosphate remover: Because Phosphate is the main source for growing algae inside pools, a Phosfree chemical helps to prevent it from coming back again.
What Are the Best Pool Chemicals to Use?
After getting to know the most common chemicals to add in swimming pools, you should begin digging into researching specific ones of the best pool chemicals.
- Best Overall: Arm & Hammer Clear Balance Pool Maintenance Tablets
"Resealable container, comfortable water on skins, protects synthetic pools."
- Best Budget: Clorox Pool&Spa Shock XtraBlue Chemicals
"Reduces eye irritation, prevents algae growth, improves filter performance."
- Best for Above Ground Pool: In The Swim Basic Pool Opening Chemical Start Up Kit
"Biodegradable clarifier, protects pool plumbing, 10 4-way test strips included."
- Best for Sensitive Skin: Natural Chemistry 05131 Pool Perfect+
"Continual phosphate removal, no waterline rings, multiple pack selections."
- Best for Intex Pools: Intex Swimming Pool Start-up Chemical Kit
"Includes metal control, up to 10,000-gallon pools, completely shrink-wrapped."
- Best for Small Pools: BioGuard Pool Complete Chemicals
"Weekly usable formula, contains no chlorine, convenient 3.78L container."
- Best for Vinyl Pools: In The Swim Poolcenter Swimming Pool Shock Chemicals
"Suits with pool start-ups, direct pool shock, individually wrapped treatment."
- Best for In-Ground Pools: DryTec 73% Extra Shock Treatment Pool Chemicals
"Super chlorinates water, controls algae growth, improves clarity for pools."
- Best All-in-One Pool Chemicals: In The Swim Super Pool Opening Chemical Start Up Kit
"Gets rid of oil & lotion, pre-measured components, non-metallic algaecide."
- Best for Winterizing Pools: Leisure Time Renew Non-Chlorine Shock Treatment Chemicals
"Removes leftover oils, blocks chloramine build-up, applicable to jacuzzis ."
- Best to Remove Algae: BioGuard Banish Algicide Chemicals
"Non-foaming & staining, works for all pool surfaces, quick 24-hour outcomes."
- Best for Saltwater Pools: HTH Shock Super Treatment Pool Chemicals
"6 packs at once, does not over-stabilize pools, acts and dissolves quickly."
Comparison of Top 17 Best Pool Chemicals 2020
In case you are wondering which of the mentioned best pool chemicals are the most suitable one to choose from, I think you would like to consult from this table. It provides an overview of the chemicals and compares their features with each other.
Reviews of the Best Pool Chemicals
Aside from disinfecting and sanitizing pool water in swimming seasons, the best pool chemicals can achieve a lot more than you could think of. I hope you can find a favorite product on the list underneath to obtain for your pool.
Arm & Hammer Clear Balance Pool Maintenance Tablets
(Best Overall - Editor's Choice)
The chemical tablet from Arm & Hammer is provided in 16 counts per package and can optimize chlorine performance. By effectively clearing up all cloudiness in pool water in a natural way, this tablet will maintain the highest level of water clarity.
Other pool chemicals such as flocculants and sanitizers would undoubtedly work much better with the Arm & Hammer tablet for pH and Alkalinity. Aside from decreasing the amount of unpleasant odor, it prevents potential risks for pool surfaces like corrosion.
- Chlorine performance is fully optimized.
- It clears cloudiness to make clear water.
- It helps other chemicals to perform better.
- It reduces odors and prevents corrosion.
- The powder sinks fast to the pool bottom.
In The Swim Basic Pool Opening Chemical Start Up Kit
(Best for Above Ground Pool)
The In The Swim Deluxe start-up chemical kit is a basic one for swimming pools up to 15,000 gallons. The stain-away bottle includes Iron, Magnesium and Copper to reduce stains on pool surfaces and water discoloration. There are 4-way test strips provided.
Of course, the clarifier in this kit improves filter performance without doing harm to the overall chemical balance of pools. Its chlorine shock is powerful to kill all types of algae and bacteria. The sun-sorb bottle can absorb and eliminate body lotion & oil.
- It runs fine with up to 15,000-gal pools.
- It can reduce the discoloration of water.
- It comprises 4-way chemical test strips.
- Its clarifier is harmless to pool balance.
- The sun-sorb eliminates lotion and oil.
- Its instructions are not made so flexible.
Natural Chemistry 05131 Pool Perfect+
(Best for Sensitive Skin)
The 3L bottle of chemicals from Natural Chemistry is claimed to be natural without any toxicants to become a safe cleaner additive for pools. It is used for removing the redundant amount of Phosphate in pool water to obstruct it from feeding for algae growth.
While boosting most existing sanitizers in the pool, these natural enzymes release organic material into it to eliminate the risks of skin irritation. This Natural Chemistry chemical treats 20,000+ water gallons. It helps the filtration system to run better as well.
- It is a 3L safe and natural pool cleaner.
- It does not allow Phosphate to develop.
- There are no chances for skin irritation.
- It can work with more than 20,000 gals.
- It does not seem to reduce chlorine use.
Intex Swimming Pool Start-up Chemical Kit
(Best for Intex Pools)
One of the most famous pool brands, Intex, is here to provide you with a chemical kit that is specifically designed for their swimming pools. There is a 1-pound bag filled with non-chlorine oxidizing shock to enable pool treatment and improve water quality.
Moreover, the kit contains 10 test strips for 15-second tests of 4 important chemical factors in pool water. It even includes two Type A or C filter cartridges for owners to replace them often. All of the components in this Intex kit have been pre-measured.
- It is produced to work with Intex pools.
- It is for oxidizing shock pool treatment.
- There are 10 test strips for chemicals.
- Two Type A/C cartridges are supplied.
- No defections have been found out yet.
BioGuard Pool Complete Chemicals
(Best for Small Pools)
This chemical bottle of a 3-in-1 intensive formula from BioGuard is suitable for pool owners to use with their pools weekly, even for small kiddie pools that are less than 1,000 gallons. Plus, it is also beneficial for all kinds of swimming pools with saltwater.
By having the ability to prevent Phosphates from increasing in the pool water, there would no longer be any possibilities for algae growth. This BioGuard chemical could reduce build-ups in the waterline as well, therefore, keeping the water as its clearest.
- It works well for small swimming pools.
- It eliminates Phosphates from the start.
- It prevents waterline build-up for pools.
- It improves the clarity level of the water.
- It might develop bubbles for swim spas.
In The Swim Poolcenter Swimming Pool Shock Chemicals
(Best for Vinyl Pools)
If you are in need of a quick chlorine boost for pools, this Poolcenter pool shock from In The Swim with 68% of the chlorine ingredient should come straight to mind. You can definitely achieve a sparkling clean pool without contaminants in about 24 hours.
Each chlorine shock pack is made to contain 1 lb and there are 24 of them available in one single purchase. This chemical is safe to be added directly into the pool water and does not damage vinyl liners. It is responsible for cutting down algae & bacteria.
- It contains up to 68% of chlorine shock.
- It helps to clear up the pool in 24 hours.
- A total of 24 packs of 1 pound available.
- It can be added directly into vinyl pools.
- The chlorine level is still high after hours.
DryTec 73% Extra Shock Treatment Pool Chemicals
(Best for In-Ground Pools)
To serve extra pool shock, this DryTec chemical treatment has an even higher level with 73% of Calcium Hypochlorite (chlorine) in the ingredient. It offers a fast chlorine boost to remove different sorts of organic waste that can affect the pool water quality.
You can choose to purchase the 1-pound chlorine shock bag from a pack up to 24 identical packs for much longer use. By eliminating a series of organic debris such as algae and bacteria, the pool health and appearance would be effectively restored.
- The 73% chlorine provides extra shock.
- It kills all sorts of organic contaminants.
- It can be purchased from 1 to 24 packs.
- It will revive the best water appearance.
- The chemical does not seem to dissolve.
In The Swim Super Pool Opening Chemical Start Up Kit
(Best All-in-One Pool Chemicals)
The best all-in-one chemicals for pools on the market so far should be this Super kit from In The Swim, which is able to handle up to 30,000-gallon pools. The chemical is beneficial in removing all sorts of mineral stains in the pool plumbing with its solution.
Comprehensive instructions for pool openings are attached in the In The Swim kit for pool owners to consult and follow. Its Algaecide bottle works well with spas and both pool designs. As the clarifier is entirely biodegradable, it does not affect the chemical balance.
- It can work with up to 30,000-gal pools.
- It eliminates mineral stains in plumbing.
- There are detailed instructions supplied.
- It removes algae for both pool designs.
- No guide for the right order to add them.
Leisure Time Renew Non-Chlorine Shock Treatment Chemicals
(Best for Winterizing Pools)
Being a non-chlorine oxidizing shock, this Leisure Time Renew chemical treatment is the most ideal option to use for swimming pools in cold and winterizing seasons. It is contained inside a large 5-pound bottle that works with mineral purification systems.
Furthermore, the chemical can create a Bromine solution to kill microorganisms left by swimmers like deodorants, soaps and natural oils. This granular oxidizer made by Leisure Time does not affect the pH level. Spas are ready in 15 minutes after adding it.
- It is an ideal choice for winterizing pools.
- It can run with multiple filtration systems.
- It removes leftover pool microorganisms.
- It has been buffered to keep the pH rate.
- No % of the active ingredients are shown.
See Also: 15 Best Winter Pool Covers
BioGuard Banish Algicide Chemicals
(Best to Remove Algae)
The Banish algicide bottle from BioGuard is specialized for optimal algae removal including black, mustard and green algae far from building up in pools. The solution is about 1 quart in a convenient container that delivers quick results within 24 hours.
It has been approved to be used at the same time with pool shock treatments, thus, the required steps to complete this process are fewer. After the Banish application, there is no need to readjust the pH level in swimming pools since it does not change.
- It kills multiple diverse types of pool algae.
- This bottle provides results after 24 hours.
- It can be used with pool shock treatments.
- It does not adjust the pH level of the pool.
- It cannot remove Calcium on the waterline.
HTH Shock Super Treatment Pool Chemicals
(Best for Saltwater Pools)
There are 6 1-pound bags filled with effective HTH pool shock and its 4-in-1 formula to kill both algae and bacteria existing in swimming pools. This chemical dissolves quite fast and does not interfere with the current stabilized condition of these pools.
When being taken advantage of as directed from this brand HTH, the pool shock will not cause pool liners to fade out. It minimizes the chance of eye irritation for potential users as well. Additionally, this chemical treatment works fine with saltwater systems.
- The 4-in-1 formula is stored in 1-lb bags.
- It does not affect the pool’s stabilization.
- It does not cause fading to all pool liners.
- It can work easily with saltwater systems.
- It is not meant for small pool applications.
Clorox Pool&Spa Shock XtraBlue Chemicals
At such an incredibly reasonable price, you can open and pour this 6-in-1 chemical formula into the pool then get ready for swimming 15 minutes later. Crystals to fight multiple algae types are available in the Clorox Shock XtraBlue bottle of pool shock.
It is good to know that the chemical liquid dissolves quickly and does not affect the pH balance of the pool. Other than eliminating different algae, this solution can also kill bacteria. It should be made use of as part of your weekly routine of maintenance.
- It is from a 6-in-1 formula at a low price.
- It is a pool shock that eliminates algae.
- It dissolves fast without affecting the pH.
- It is also capable of preventing bacteria.
- It may bleach out the bottom of the pool.
In The Swim 3-Inch Pool Chlorine Tablets
The In The Swim pool chlorine tablet has a standard 3-inch size that comprises up to 99% of available Trichlor. Its entire bucket weighs 50 lbs but the tablet is individually wrapped in an 8-ounce bag, which is easy to open and takes a little while to dissolve.
For every 10,000 gallons of the pool, it is recommended to add 1 to 2 of this chlorine tablet for the most optimal water sanitization power. Furthermore, the 3-inch tablet is able to adapt with most chlorine feeders or floaters to spread it evenly throughout the pool.
- 99% of trichlor is inside a 3-inch tablet.
- Each 8-oz bag is individually wrapped.
- 1-2 tablets work for 10,000-gal pools.
- The size fits into most floaters/feeders.
- The external tablet packing is insecure.
BioGuard Pool Opening Complete Chemicals
(Best for Pool Opening)
At the beginning of swimming seasons, it is essential to have chemicals like this one from BioGuard to help to clean the pool. The bottle contains about 1 quart of a 3-in-1 concentrated formula that restores water clarity and clears away filth from the winter.
- It is used for cleaning for pool seasons.
- Its liquid formula is 3-in-1 concentrated.
- It removes leftover filth from the winter.
- No defections have been found out yet.
In The Swim Ultimate Spring Start-Up Pool Chemical Kit
(Best for Oversized Pools)
The last In The Swim chemical kit will perform well with huge swimming pools of up to 35,000 water gallons. It has the ability to absorb organic contaminants like oil and body lotion to keep the plumbing and filtration as clean as possible for better rates of circulation.
In addition to the existing chemicals in 2 earlier collections, the Ultimate kit includes 2 extra bottles of Phosfree solutions and metal control to prevent staining and algae growth. As usual, there are 10 test strips in total to conduct 4-way tests of pool water.
- It can handle up to 35,000 water gallons.
- It removes all pool organic contaminants.
- Phosfree and metal-free are all available.
- It contains 10 4-way chemical test strips.
- Its chemicals might create foam in water.
DryTec Shock Treatment Pool Chemicals
The DryTec pool shock chemical acts as a strong sanitizer that contains up to 68% of chlorine in each of its granular bags. 1 pound of this chemical is applicable to 10,000 gallons of pool water. The effects are seen quickly and the dissolving process is in no time.
Along with providing an effective chlorine shock for pools, the DryTec chemical bag is capable of controlling algae growth and destroying invisible bacteria. The good news is the powder has been completely certified by NSF for applying with drinking water.
- The active ingredient is 68% of chlorine.
- The effects appear quickly after using it.
- It kills bacteria and bacteria inside pools.
- It can be applied to most drinking water.
- It might gather cloudiness for pool water.
Clorox Pool&Spa 12104CLX pH Up
(Best With Pool App)
This Clorox 4-lb granular chemical pack is specifically applied to increase a low pH level in swimming pool water. The brand provides an advanced app to gain analysis of chlorine and saltwater pools from experts, then obtain great advice for pool care.
Low pH rate is likely to cause red eyes after swimming and deterioration to the pool equipment, therefore, the pH Up chemical will raise it to an ideal range of 7.2 to 7.6. You needn’t worry about eye irritation or corrosion, stains & scale occurring with this.
- It is manufactured for increasing the pH.
- A Pool app from this brand is available.
- It balances the pH back to an ideal rate.
- It reduces eye irritation & pool corrosion.
- It is likely to rocket up the Alkalinity level.
How to Choose the Best Pool Chemicals?
Based on my previous experience, I believe that all users, including yourself, should highly concentrate on these details for a busy shopping time of pool chemicals. They might seem irrelevant at first, but the long-term effects would likely amaze you.
In terms of the most common pool shocks on the current market, there are two popular types of non-chlorine oxidizers and chlorinated shock. From what I can tell, each of them includes different advantages to perform in varied situations.
Non-chlorine shock is an alternative for oxidizing and eliminating organic debris to improve pool water clarity. It does not kill algae & bacteria or raise the chlorine level. This pool shock lets free chlorine attack and remove them instead of doing it directly.
On the contrary, the chlorinated shock is undoubtedly more effective in reducing algae and bacteria growth in the pool. It provides a quick chlorine boost to reach the ideal range. Nonetheless, it is unusable for winterizing pools the same as non-chlorine.
Considering the appropriate amount of gallon is essential since some chemicals are flexible for all pool sizes but others might not. That is why liquid chemicals are slightly more convenient for you to control the suitable poured volume.
The conventional water treatment is 1 pound or 1-2 tablets for 10,000-gallon pools. There should be clear instructions for users with a smaller pool because the chemical has to be used up in one time. Do not go over the appointed rate to avoid alternated results.
Out of all available container forms for pool chemicals, I see that most brands would choose to store the substances in these 3 shapes: tablet packs, granular bags (powder), and liquid bottles. They suit different personal requirements.
Except for the bottle that has to be securely sealed, two other forms are individually wrapped of a particular amount and have to be used up at once. The 3-inch tablets are most ideal for inserting into a pool feeder, while the other two work with other tools.
The pool chemical form is a matter related to storage, so I think it worths being taken into account. Just go for the one that makes you feel most comfortable and store this container well to preserve the chemical quality and performance for long-term uses.
How to Add Chemicals to Pool?
The most popular and effective way to add chlorine into a pool is through a floating chlorine dispenser (or known as a feeder). The unit holds some 3” tablets for them to dissolve slowly, and it releases them into the water while floating across the pool.
Besides that, it is fine to add both chlorine granules and tablets into a pool skimmer. While the pool pump is running, the water flows into this skimmer line, past the pump, and being purified at the pool filter before reaching a heater, then heads back to the pool.
How to Check Pool Chemicals?
After the application of these chemicals into the pool, it needs to be checked to see if the water has reached a balanced state. You should use a pool cleaner beforehand to collect the remaining algae and particles that have not been obliterated.
To check for pool chemicals, taking advantage of a pool water test kit is the most-trusted method so far. Even if it is a digital or manual system, a complete package will always provide you with a certain quantity of reagents to test some chemical factors.
There are several pool chemical kits above that contain extra test strips for users to check for crucial elements such as Free Chlorine, pH, Alkalinity, and CYA. Although this method is considered to be old-fashioned, it still produces entirely accurate results.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Here are some frequently asked questions about swimming pool chemicals.
Swim Network Overview
Using pool chemicals is a quick, diverse, and convenient way to maintain the proper balance for pools. You can obtain these substances at a reasonable price and add them yourself into swimming pools with instructive guides then wait for the results.
The cheapest choice is the Clorox Pool&Spa Shock XtraBlue Chemicals. For optimal algae removal, I would go for the BioGuard Banish Algicide Chemicals. The In The Swim Ultimate Spring Start-Up Pool Chemical Kit is suitable for large pool applications.
I expect you to find the most suitable kit for yourself via this article about the best pool chemicals and make use of the buying guide. Do not hesitate to express your opinions in the comment section.
Moreover, I bet others will love to read the article, so please share it on Facebook and Twitter to spread the word. Thanks for reading.