A Complete Guide to Swimming Pool Cleaners

To keep your pool in tip-top shape, you must commit to regular pool maintenance. While pool cleaning isn’t the most fun thing to do, there are several pool cleaners options available to help make the job easier. Which is best? Here we will explain everything you need to know about pool cleaners to help you choose the right one.


What's Involved In Pool Maintenance?

To keep your pool free of bacteria and algae your pool must have a filtration system. This circulates the water to keep it clean. In conjunction with your filtration system, you will need a sanitising agent such as chlorine, salt, or mineral and additional chemicals to maintain the water quality. The slightest imbalance can see your pool turn cloudy or green relatively quickly and once it’s at this stage, it can be tricky to get the levels right again. You will also need to maintain your equipment and clear the water of debris regularly by emptying your skimmer basket and scooping leaves and other unwanted objects out of the pool.

Pool Cleaner Options

Cleaning The Pool Manually

The name may give it away, but this essentially means cleaning your pool manually. While this is by far the cheapest option available, it is also the most time-consuming. What’s involved exactly?

Skimming the water

If you choose to clean your pool manually, you will need to physically remove leaf litter and dirt from your water using a skimmer net that is attached to the telescope pole. How often should this be done? Ideally, this should be done every day.

Brushing The Pool

The surface of the pool will need to be scrubbed to loosen dirt or contaminants from the interior, again using a telescopic pole with a brush attachment. How often should this be done? Every second day or once a week at the minimum.


You will need to attach a vacuum head to the telescopic pole to vacuum the pool. You should manoeuvre this over every part of the surface including the steps.

How Often Should This Be Done?

At least once a week.
The equipment you need will depend on the type of pool you have, for instance, fibreglass pools should only be brushed with soft brushes whereas other types of pools, such as gunite need an abrasive brush type such as stainless steel.


Cleaning The Pool With The Help Of An Automatic Cleaner

If you want to drastically reduce the amount of time you spend on pool maintenance, then you need an automatic pool cleaner. While they are a more expensive option, most find the time they save is worth the investment. There are a couple of different automatic pool cleaners options available and they all work differently to clean the pool.

Suction side cleaners

If you are looking for a budget-friendly automatic pool cleaner that is easy to use and maintain, then a suction side is a great choice. They attach to the skimmer which is another component of the filtration system. The skimmer draws pool water through the filtration system to clean it and from this pressure, the suction side cleaner moves around the pool’s surface to pick up dirt and other unwanted nasties from the water. The only downfall to this type of cleaner is that they only work when the pump is switched on and over time, they can prematurely wear the filtration system.

Pressure Side Cleaners

Pressure side cleaners attach to the pools return jets. The return jets play a key role in your pools filtration system and return filtered water to the pool. The pressure from the jets pushes the pressure side cleaner along the walls of the pool to clean it. It sucks up dirt and debris which is collected by a filter bag. There are different versions of this pool cleaner with varied pressures, which one is best suited to your pool will depend on factors such as the size of your pool, how much leaf litter goes into it and your budget. They are an effective cleaner and are priced higher than other types such as suction side cleaner.

Robotic Pool Cleaners

When it comes to automatic pool cleaners, a robotic cleaner is the most technologically advanced option. Unlike the other two, they run independently using electricity rather than running through the filtration system. Even though they use electricity to function, it is minimal and around the same as a light bulb which makes them the most environmentally and budget-friendly choice. They have been designed to work safely in the water and will switch off automatically if the slightest variance is detected in the electrical current. Robotic cleaners are equipped with advanced brush technology that scrubs every inch of your pool and in turn, fewer chemicals are normally needed to balance the water. While they are the most expensive automatic cleaner, they can save you a significant amount of time having to manually clean the pool.

Other Pool Cleaning Aids

There are a few other pool cleaning options that you can add to your pool to reduce maintenance.

Leaf eaters – Leaf eaters pull dirt and debris from the floor of the pool and collects it in a leaf bag. They are simply powered by a garden hose and don’t use your pools filtration system.

Solar-powered collectors – Solar-powered collectors float on top of the water and are entirely powered by solar. They move through the water to collect twigs, bugs, and leaves before they have a chance to sink to the bottom and affect your pools pH levels.

Self-Cleaning Pools

Self-cleaning pools have revolutionised pool cleaning. They can reduce your pool maintenance to practically nothing and are the most hands-free option available. They offer the most superior clean and circulate the water in every inch of the pool. They sit flush at the bottom of the pool and most are colour matched so, they are almost invisible. Self-cleaning systems propel streams of filtered water in the pool to push dirt and debris to the drain. While they are an expensive investment initially, the long-term benefits you can reap from this system is unmatched. It can be run via smart technology which allows you to automate your cleaning from a smart device – you don’t even have to be home to do it! As the water is circulated from the bottom to top, algae doesn’t have the chance to grow. It disperses pool chemicals evenly throughout the water, so fewer chemicals are needed to keep the water sanitary. They maintain the highest water quality of any pool cleaners. Additionally, they make a great selling feature if you ever choose to sell your home down the track, most people want a pool that is low maintenance and easy to maintain and a self-cleaning pool is just that.

Speak To The Professionals

If you’re not sure which pool cleaner to choose, it’s a good idea to speak to a pool professional. They can advise you of which options are best suited to your pool and budget. Our team here at Barrier Reef National are pool experts and can answer any questions you have about pool cleaners.