Cleaning a solar pool cover isn’t difficult as long as it’s properly stored and the chlorine level is in check. You’ll need rubber gloves, knee pads, pool solution, and a rag.
Dilute the pool solution with water and keep a high-pressure spray ready. Apply a few rounds of sprinkling pool solution on the solar cover’s surface until all the debris has washed off.
Note that this was only a glimpse of the whole process! Keep reading for a detailed step-by-step guide with all the relevant information about cleaning your solar pool cover and its maintenance for long-lasting benefits.
But before we answer “how to clean solar pool cover,” let’s understand the basics of a solar pool cover.
What’s a Solar Pool Cover?
A backyard pool can be your safe haven–an escape from the world. A swimming pool offers endless leisurely benefits–be it relaxation, family gatherings, or BBQ nights by the poolside.
However, with perks come responsibilities. A swimming pool owner is often only concerned about their pool’s hygiene. But maintaining pools goes beyond just cleaning. There are other essential facets of well-balanced pool maintenance that are often overlooked, and one such component is a Solar Pool Cover.
Solar pool covers, also known as solar blankets, are swimming pool covers that utilize the sun’s energy to keep the pool warm and comfortable.
Contrary to regular pool covers, such as safety covers and automatic covers, solar pool covers absorb and retain heat, which simply means lesser or no use of pool heaters – but this will also depend on the sun’s intensity during the day.
Generally, most solar covers resemble bubble wrap and are available in different shades.
It’s important you get your needs straight prior to purchasing a solar pool cover. This is because there are a variety of solar covers that serve different purposes.
For instance, if you want to draw the maximum amount of sunlight possible, a clear solar cover will be ideal. However, if you want to retain heat to keep your pool warm overnight, a dark and opaque solar pool cover will serve you better.
Benefits of Solar Covers
Keeping your pool warm isn’t the only function solar pool covers serve. Here are three reasons why you should definitely get a solar cover for your pool:
1. Saves Energy
Be it a gas pool heater or electric heat pump, you’ll almost always be staring at a hefty energy bill for your pool maintenance. Replace all these with a solar pool cover and you get your pool heated without a bill that drains your pockets.
2. Saves Water
Did you know that a pool without a cover loses an average of two inches of water per week? It seems minimal and insignificant initially, but this could mean losing between 10,000 to 20,000 gallons of water every year depending on your pool size!
Moreover, this is why your pool loses a majority of its heat. A study conducted by Cal Poly in 2016 found that solar covers reduce heat loss and evaporation of pool water by nearly 95 percent.
Use solar pool covers to eliminate this evaporation and save plenty of valuable water!
3. Longer Swimming Season
With your pool warm and comfortable thanks to the solar pool cover, you can relax in your pool for longer than usual.
Step-by-Step Guide on How to Clean Solar Pool Cover
Now that you’re fully aware of how valuable a solar pool cover is for the proper functioning and longevity of your pool, we’re faced with the million-dollar question of how to clean a solar pool cover for effective and prolonged use.
A solar pool cover is invaluable in protecting your pool from dirt and debris. Besides, it also keeps it toasty. With time, your pool may get moldy, and you’ll have to clean your swimming pool.
Your pool requires cleaning, and so does its cover. It gets dirty, and therefore, to avoid contaminating your pool, you need to clean it with great precision.
Here’s a step-by-step guide for you on how to clean your solar pool cover:
Step 1: Safety first
Make sure you use rubber gloves to protect your hands from long soap exposure. You must also use a rubber pad for the knees and shins – it will protect you when you kneel at the edge of the pool for cleaning.
Step 2: Gather all the materials for cleaning
You should collect everything you need for this cleaning process in the beginning.
Take a bucket, mix pool soap with water, and keep the diluted water spray or high-pressure spray ready. Open the pool pump to let the water run through, pull the cover, and then let it sink to the surface.
Step 3: Clean the debris
Use the diluted water spray to sweep away the debris off the cover – leaves, pollen, and any such foreign objects. This process will go on until the entire pool cover surface is thoroughly swept.
Make sure you direct the debris towards the drain. This will ensure you don’t mess up your garden in the cleaning process.
Step 4: Scoop the soap
Scoop some pool soap with the help of a plastic container and sprinkle it on the solar cover. You can also use a bucket to spread it across the cover for faster results.
Next, use the high-pressure spray and sweep away the solution on top of the cover. This ensures that all the dust gathered on the solar cover is duly removed with the help of the soap and drained in the pool filter.
Step 5: Clean with a rag
Dip a rag in the soap bucket to clean the seams with soap and use the high-pressure spray again to clean the stagnant debris.
This step will remove all the leftover dirt that wasn’t flushed in the first round of high-pressure spray. Since you’ll be kneeling while doing this step, make sure you have your rubber pad under your knees and shins.
Step 6: Upper pool cleaning
For this step, roll the cover to see the tiles that were previously occupied by the pool cover. Since these tiles are exposed all the time, they’re prone to debris.
Dip your pool brush in the soap solution and begin cleaning the tiles. Again, you’ll be kneeling in this step, so make sure you have your safety gear on.
Use the high-pressure spray to flush out all the remaining dirt on the surface. Watch out for the dirt that hides in corners, and make sure to clean that as well!
Step 7: Treat the pool
You’re done with cleaning the cover! Now, it’s time for you to clean the pool – that is, if you wish to swim in it. Use chlorine shock and clarifier to treat the pool while you run the pool pump overnight.
Wash the pool in the morning. Make sure you keep the solar pool cover rolled up and away from this treated water. This is because exposure to such harsh chemicals will damage and shorten the life span of the cover.
Step 8: Finish Up
Once you’re done with the entire cleaning process, gather all your cleaning tools, equipment, and chemicals, and store them in a safe place.
Caution: Make sure you close the chemical bottles’ lids and keep sharp cleaning tools in a place that’s beyond children’s reach.
How Do Solar Covers Work?
A pool collects heat throughout the day, but that’s not enough to keep the pool consistently heated at all times. Solar covers are like giant bubble wrap sheets that go over your pool.
These bubbles attract and retain the sun’s heat, resulting in a warmer pool and for a longer period of time. In addition to heating the pool during the day, these covers also protect the water from windy chilly nights thanks to their heat retention.
Simply put, think of solar covers as a lid on a warm pot. If you want to optimize the results, invest in a solar blanket that can cover your entire pool.
Things to Consider When Buying a Solar Cover
Buying a solar pool cover is a necessary investment considering its above-discussed benefits. However, the type of solar cover you purchase – and whether or not you purchase one – depends highly on your budget.
If you’ve decided to purchase a solar cover (and we hope you do), keep in mind that it can get very confusing very fast since there are plenty of size and shape combinations available.
So how do you zero in on the best solar cover? Here are several things you must consider before buying a solar cover:
Cost isn’t always the correct yardstick to determine a product’s value. Often, there are inexpensive options that deliver the same or even better results.
It’s always preferable to explore the market and compare the available solar covers in terms of their value and quality.
Generally, a thick cover absorbs more heat and lasts longer since it’s more resistant to rips or unwanted sun damage. The thickness of a solar cover is usually measured in mils–one mil is equivalent to 0.0001 inches.
Solar cover thickness can range from 6 to 16 mils. The greater the thickness, the heavier the cover, and the more difficult it’ll be to fold. Therefore, you might need a retractor to hold and roll it up.
Solar pool covers are usually made of any one of the following three materials:
Polyethylene: Covers made of polyethylene are lightweight, affordable, and effective in terms of heat transfer. However, if the thickness is less than 12 mils, it’s prone to tearing.
Vinyl: Covers made of vinyl are for pool owners who want to easily remove the covers without having to be on guard for tears. It’s durable and resistant to any sun damage.
Polypropylene: Covers made of polypropylene block more UV radiation than the rest. It’s thicker than polyethylene, making it a little less flexible and more difficult to roll and fold.
4. Pool Dimensions
The pool’s size is an essential concern when purchasing a pool cover. Solar pool covers are made to fit a variety of swimming pool shapes, be it a rectangular pool or a compact one. But this doesn’t spare you from the task of picking the one with the best fit.
The wrong pool cover dimensions will negate the purpose of the cover almost entirely. A pool cover should be large enough to sit on the surface of the water for optimal heat transfer.
If your pool is in a custom shape, you can buy a larger cover and trim it to fit the best.
5. Presence of Air Bubbles
As discussed earlier, air bubbles trap the sun’s heat, which in turn keeps the pool warm. When the sun sets, these bubbles act as insulators and prevent heat loss, even at night.
Note that solar covers without bubbles can also retain heat, but not as effectively. Besides, thicker air bubbles also make the cover tear-resistant.
Always, always buy a solar cover that comes with a warranty. This will help you easily get a new one in case of any tears or damage.
A personal backyard oasis is on pretty much everyone’s dream list. But to fulfill this dream, you must be ready to take on additional responsibilities. Maintaining a pool can be both time-consuming and expensive.
Therefore, it’d be wise to make the most out of it and invest in the right kind of pool accessories – like a solar pool cover. These solar covers offer an effective and affordable way to use the sun’s heat and make your pool warm for your next dive.
There’s no denying that solar pool covers can be expensive, but they qualify as an excellent investment if taken care of. Timely cleaning and maintenance can go a long way in adding to the usual lifespan of solar covers. We hope you now have a detailed answer to the question “how to clean solar pool cover?”