The 10 Best Pool Brushes
This wiki has been updated 30 times since it was first published in January of 2016. What's the best way to manage algae growth in the water where you swim? Nope, it's not dumping in a ton of chlorine. All you have to do is brush the surfaces on a regular basis; the filter system will take care of the rest without you having to add excess chemicals. Find the right model for your pool or spa from our selection, which includes options for vinyl, gunite, fiberglass, and more. When users buy our independently chosen editorial selections, we may earn commissions to help fund the Wiki.
June 27, 2019:
For everyone out there who is interested in doing the most cleaning with the smallest amount of back-breaking labor, we still like the ever-popular Wall Whale Classic. The tail ensures that you don't need to press as hard to remove algae and other gunk, so you can get more done with less effort. It's also made to last, so you probably won't need to replace it every season. With that said, there is one potential drawback, which is that there are occasional reports of it damaging a vinyl liner. The company claims it's perfectly safe for vinyl, however, as long as the brush isn't damaged in any way. We'd recommend that you check it before each use to be on the safe side. If you'd rather not take any chances, the Poolmaster Deluxe is a soft but effective option that's made specifically for vinyl liners. It's large at 18 inches wide, and features a rubber bumper for extra peace of mind.
We also decided to add one kit, the HydroTools by Swimline Maintenance Kit. If your pool is new and you don't have many supplies, it makes a good starting point, as it comes not just with a brush but with several other handy supplies, as well. It's not too spendy, but note that the included pieces may not be as robust as some more expensive choices, so you may need to replace them as time goes on. Also, note that it doesn't come with a hose or pole, even though it's advertised as having everything you need. But most pool brushes aren't sold with a hose or pole, so you'll probably need to invest in these separately no matter what.
A Brief History Of Pool Brushes
As families invested in swimming pools, they sought to protect that investment with maintenance products like pool brushes.
The earliest swimming pool was likely dug between 3000 and 2000 B.C.E., in what is modern-day Pakistan.
Called the Great Bath, this pool was about 900 square feet in total, and lined with bricks that were sealed by a tar-like substance. While it would've been big enough to serve the purpose, the Great Bath was no community pool. Scholars believe it was used for religious ceremonies by bathers who believed they were purifying their souls in the water.
Both the ancient Greeks and Romans built large pools for sports training and nautical military games and exercises. Some wealthy Romans even had personal pools for swimming. It may sound strange to modern ears, but Roman emperors were known to even keep fish in these swimming pools. High-status Roman Gaius Maecenas was the first to build a heated swimming pool, around 100 B.C.E. This fire-heated pool was unique because, unlike most other so-called pools of the time, it was used for recreation rather than merely bathing.
Promoted for their health benefits, swimming pools gained popularity much later, in mid-19th century Britain.
By 1837, there were as many as six indoor pools with diving boards in London, and in 1844 the Maidstone Swimming Club was established. Formed after several drownings in a nearby river, the organization is now regarded as the world's oldest surviving swimming club.
As the 19th century drew to a close, swimming clubs popped up all over England. Many indoor baths were converted to swimming pools, and many bathers were likewise converted to swimmers.
The first modern Olympic Games included several swimming races, and their fame was a boon to the swimming pool business. By 1907, swimming pools were even being installed aboard ocean liners. The first such pool was added to the White Star Line's RMS Adriatic. Also in 1907, one of the world's first above ground swimming pools was installed by the Racquet Club of Philadelphia.
After World War I, soldiers and their families sought distraction in swimming pools around the world, and swimming training and safety became standardized. A similar phenomenon occurred after World War II, when home swimming pools grew popular in the United States. As families invested in swimming pools, they sought to protect that investment with maintenance products like pool brushes.
Today swimming pools are omnipresent, with New Zealand holding the record for most pools per capita at 65,000 home swimming pools, and a population of 4,116,9000. Since the 1950s, the pool maintenance industry has grown in lockstep with the swimming pool industry itself.
The equipment and maintenance products industry, which includes pool brushes, was valued at $3.4 billion in 2011. This industry is expected to nearly double in value over the coming decade.
Swimming Pool Safety Tips
Drowning is the second leading cause of injury-related death among children under 15, but following a few basic safety tips can greatly limit the risks associated with swimming.
All pools should be properly secured by a fence that is at least four feet tall, and not accessible by children.
Chief among those tips is never leaving a child unattended in or near the water. There are more than 7,000 drowning deaths in the United States every year, and about 80 percent of them occur in residential pools and spas. To avoid contributing to this statistic, task an adult with supervising children in the water. Having an adult focused on the safety of children in or around the water — even if a lifeguard is present — can save lives.
It is also critical that you teach children how to swim. In addition to being healthy and fun, swimming is a potentially life-saving skill. There are many affordable swimming lessons available worldwide, from organizations like the YMCA and local parks and recreation departments.
Everyone who swims should be instructed to stay away from drains and suction outlets, which can pull in hair or clothing, and cause drowning. Before swimming, make sure drain covers are in place. If a drain cover is missing or broken, do not enter the pool.
All pools should be properly secured by a fence that is at least four feet tall, and not accessible by children. Door or gate alarms and pool covers are also suggested by the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission.
Finally, it is always wise to learn the cardiopulmonary resuscitation technique. CPR-trained bystanders who witness a drowning can be the difference between life and death for the victim. Classes are available for free at community centers and hospitals, and are also offered by the American Red Cross.
Choosing The Proper Pool Brush
Although many models and variations are available, choosing the right brush to clean your pool doesn't have to be daunting.
These brushes are typically half nylon and half stainless steel, and aren't recommended for frequent use.
Start with the basic 18-inch nylon brush. This utility brush is ideal for swiping away the dust and debris that rapidly collects at the bottom of the pool. If your pool was recently installed, you should use a nylon brush as often as three times a day to prevent the discoloration that can be caused by calcium. Once your pool's surface has cured, weekly use is sufficient. If you fail to clean frequently enough, you run the risk of algae build-up. Once algae grows, it develops a natural barrier to cleaning chemicals.
If it has been a while since your pool was cleaned, and there are both algae growth and stains, you'll need to take a different approach. Combination bristle brushes are an excellent choice for cleaning algae and mild staining. These brushes are typically half nylon and half stainless steel, and aren't recommended for frequent use.
For severe stains and the persistent black algae, you'll need an even more aggressive approach. If a severe stain can be removed, the stainless steel brush will do the job. Unfortunately, these brushes can damage your pool plaster. Any brush with stainless steel bristles should be used as little as possible.