How to Vacuum and Clean an Intex or Bestway Pool after winter (AVOID This!)

Owning your private swimming pool can be your ticket to the cool summer vibes, and an above-ground setup is all-around convenient.

Yet, one enormous concern that keeps popping up is how you can keep it maintained and fresh after the winter and all summer long.

Well, no worries!

In this article, we’ll take you through a detailed guide on vacuuming and cleaning an above-ground pool to perfection.

How to Clean an Above Ground Pool: 7 Steps

Without further ado, let’s jump right into the steps:

Rake the Water Manually

Pool vacuums are a blessing, but before hitting the power button, you must tackle a few issues by hand first.

Remember that your vacuum has a size limit on the things it can suck away. Large debris, leaves, and bugs can clog your pool cleaner easily.

Therefore, you should use a leaf rake to skim the water surface first.

Put In Some Elbow Grease By Brushing Your Pool Walls

Algae and dirt are likely to build up on the inside walls, especially at the waterline.

You don’t even have to empty the pool if you get a brush with a long pole to remove any sticking particles.

Keep in mind that you should let the scrubbed particles settle down before you go on with the vacuuming, though. For best results, brush your pool the day before the vacuuming.

Setup Your Vacuum

If you know what you’re doing, putting your vacuum parts together and getting started should be no trouble at all.

To get your vacuum ready, you should:

-Make sure your pump is running well.

-Adjust the pool filter settings. Use waste mode for large debris, and filter mode for minor dirt.

-Hook up the head to the pole and clip it in.

-Attach one end of the hose pipeline to the cleaner’s head and place it on the pool’s floor.

-Place the other end at the return jet to pump out any trapped air.

-Remove the basket from the skimmer.

-Connect the hose to the skimmer’s suction plate.

Master Your Vacuuming Sweeps

This step is all about sweat and patience. If you’re in a rush, there’s a big chance you’ll drag your vacuum all over the place!

Moving too fast in random motion causes turbulence. This will disturb the layer of debris and dirt that settled at the bottom, making the whole process counterproductive.

Instead, what you must do is grab the pole and move the cleaner’s head to the pool’s floor in slow and steady strokes. Your sweeps should slightly overlap to prevent any left-out waste.

If it’s already turbid, wait for a while for the debris to sediment before you go with another vacuuming round.

Keep Your Eyes on the Pressure Gauge

The pressure gauge is another thing to keep in mind. If it reads 10 pounds above the normal running level, you need to stop and give the filter a clean-up.

This might seem like a waste of time, but it’ll help you get the best results and keep your equipment from potentially expensive breakdowns.

Prepare Your Equipment for Storage

Once you’re satisfied with your pool’s cleaning, turn off the pump, disassemble your vacuum, and give it all a rinse with fresh water.

After that, it’s better to wait until all parts are completely dry before storing them to keep the mold and mildew away.

While you’re waiting for the vacuum parts to dry, clear the debris from your pump’s filter basket, then give the filter a final backwash.

On top of that, it’s essential to reset your filter to its original mode, from waste to filter.

Run Quick Water Tests

To wrap up your thorough cleaning session, you must adjust your swimming water chemistry. Typically, there are two parameters to keep an eye out for:


Ideally, your water pH level should be near neutral, which is around 7.5.

However, your pool’s pH may vary after cleaning. To raise the pH, add an alkali, like baking soda. On the contrary, using sodium bisulfate can help you lower the pH as it’s an acid.


Another thing that you should take into consideration is the chlorine level, which should be around three ppm.

With lower levels, you’re compromising the pesticide action of the chlorine. On the other hand, a higher chlorine level can cause skin rashes and eye irritation.

How Frequently Should You Clean Your Above-ground Pool?

Regularly maintaining your pool guarantees you healthy, clean swimming.

When it comes to skimming your pool’s surface, it should be part of your daily routine. This will prevent debris build-up and help get rid of large leaves.

As for brushing the walls, once or twice a week can be enough. Just note to always brush towards the floor so the waste would settle to the ground.

Lastly, a weekly vacuuming session can improve water circulation and keep your pool fresh.

Are Robotic Pool Cleaners Worth It?

Robotic pool cleaners are automatic vacuums that run without a filter system.

While they might sound wildly convenient, they usually come with a hefty price tag. Besides, these cleaners aren’t always the best for heavy-duty jobs that tackle wet leaves or large debris.

In that sense, using a robotic pool cleaner for your daily maintenance can be beneficial, but you could still use a traditional skimming and vacuuming session now and then.

Wrap Up

Figuring out how to vacuum and clean an above-ground pool is all about planning ahead and following a series of steps.

First, you need to skim the water for larger waste to avoid clogging the vacuum. After that, you should assemble your vacuum and hook it up to the skimmer.

The key to a perfect vacuuming session is to remember that slow and uniform movements are the best.

Finally, when you’re done, you’ll need to wash and dry all parts before storing them. Usually, you’ll need to repeat this cleaning job about once weekly.

It could seem daunting, but after a while, you’ll master the process and get to enjoy a fresh pool!

We have discussed how to drain your above-ground pool here. Filling it back up can take quite a long time.