Everything You Need to Close Your Pool for The Season
Stock up on the best pool closing supplies to keep your swimming pool in perfect condition before winter.
While pool party days may be coming to an end, that doesn’t mean pool maintenance season has ended. In preparation for the off-season, pool owners have to tackle the pool closing checklist, including backwashing the pool filter and giving the pool a deep clean. From measures like algaecide and a strong shock to keep water clear to sturdy pool covers, be sure to stock up on the best pool closing supplies to winterize your pool correctly. Below, we’ve rounded up everything you’ll need to close your pool.
1. Clorox Pool & Spa Scale, Metal & Stain Control
A scale and stain remover is crucial to remove any existing metal stains and help prevent new ones from forming during the coming months. Clorox Pool & Spa Scale, Metal & Stain Control removes stains from iron and copper as well as other metal stains or scale formations. Pour the formula directly into the pool and then use a pool brush or scrubber to help remove stains. It also helps preserve pool equipment from getting rust or metal stains. Not to mention, it gets an average of 4.6 stars from over four thousand pool owners on Amazon, with users citing they saw almost immediate improvement of stains with and without scrubbing.
2. Wall Whale Classic 18” Swimming Pool Brush
To help prevent bacteria and algae from building up over the winter, give a deep scrub to all of the swimming pool surfaces with a swimming pool brush. This can be used in conjunction with a scale and stain remover or on its own. We ranked the Wall Whale Classic Swimming Pool Brush among the best pool supplies for good reason. It takes its name from the large 18-inch, whale-like fin at the back of the brush which pushes against the brush head for additional force as you move it through the water. This gives it far more scrubbing power than a standard pool brush.
3. Stargoods Pool Skimmer Net, Heavy Duty Leaf Rake
Skimmers are essential accessories for closing pools, and we named the Stargood Pool Skimmer Net as the best runner-up in our guide to the best pool supplies. Whether it’s routine cleaning throughout the season, or as part of the pool closing process, use this wide-net skimmer to scoop out any leaves and dirt. The net is close to 2 feet wide and 14 inches long, and the flat lip on the basket makes it easier to tend to dirt at the bottom of the pool. The net itself is made of fine mesh to trap small and large debris. Our reviewer also noted the thickness of the plastic frame was sturdy and crack- and bend-resistant.
4. Dolphin Nautilus CC Automatic Robotic Pool Cleaner
Once the surfaces have been scrubbed and the pool has been skimmed for floating debris, run the pool vacuum to reach the detritus that has settled on the bottom. For pool owners who don’t already own a pool vacuum—or who might be looking for an upgrade—we ranked the Dolphin Nautilus CC the best pool vacuum of 2023. Completely robotic, it’s capable of cleaning a pool 33 feet in length (or smaller) in under two hours. The large capacity built-in filter allows the Nautilus CC to pick up larger debris and leaves, and it comes with a full-width scrubber.
5. Taylor Technologies Complete Pool Test Kit
While it’s important to maintain the right chemical balance in pool water throughout the swimming season, it’s equally important to test the water quality before closing the pool down for the winter. Pools with hard water can develop calcium buildup, and bacteria can form rapidly in water that is not properly chlorinated. Test your pool’s water for calcium hardness, bromine, free chlorine, pH, total alkalinity, and cyanuric acid—as these are the essential chemicals that help keep pool water clean and clear.
In our research for the best pool test kits, the Taylor Technologies Complete Pool Test Kit came out on top. The kit is designed for chlorine pools but can be used on saltwater pools along with a saltwater pool test kit. The water balance calculator helps pool owners easily determine the appropriate levels, and it comes in a container that offers secure reagent storage and keeps it safe during the off-season.
6. Runbo 7-in-1 Pool Test Strips
Another option for a quick check of chemical balances in the water is the Runbo 7-in-1 Pool Test Strips. Just put a strip in the water for two seconds, remove it, and wait 30 seconds to see the results. The strips measure free chlorine, total chlorine, bromine, calcium hardness, total alkalinity, pH, and cyanuric acid. There is a chart on the outside of the bottle to compare the results. Our reviewers found the strips to be the best test strips among pool testing kits and remarked that they were “extremely easy” and “straightforward” to use.
7. DryTec 1-1901-24 Calcium Hypochlorite Chlorine Shock Treatment for Swimming Pools
Throughout the season, shocking the pool with a high dose of chlorine and other chemicals keeps water clear, eliminates bacteria, and makes the pool safe to swim in. Giving the pool a shock treatment before closing it down will help ensure that the levels of bacteria don’t increase over the off-season. This will also make it easier to get the pool up and running the following season, as a pool left untreated will grow unhealthy levels of bacteria and algae. The DryTec Shock Treatment nabbed our best bang for the buck pick in our guide for the best pool shock. It comes in a 24-pack of 1-pound bags, making it a smart choice if you plan to use it on a regular basis. Each bag has 68 percent hypochlorite and a minimum of 65 percent available chlorine to kill off any contaminants in the pool.
8. Kem-Tek Pool and Spa Algaecide
Many pool closing kits and checklists suggest both shock and algaecide as part of the winterizing process. Algae can bloom in untreated, neglected waters over the winter months, resulting in green water. The algae is not just unattractive, but it can be harmful to skin as well as erode surfaces over time. After shocking the pool, apply Kem-Tek Pool and Spa Algaecide, ranked as number one in our best pool algaecides guide. It contains polyquaternium which is effective on most algae, including green, black, and mustard. It disperses slowly to smother the algae before it can grow and spread, helping the water stay clear even in winter. Kem-Tek Algaecide is effective for both freshwater and saltwater pools.
9. In the Swim Pool Winterizing and Closing Chemical Kit
One of the best pool closing kits, this pick is designed to help both above-ground and in-ground pools 35,000 gallons or smaller get winterized for the season. The kit includes 1 Qt. Winterizer, 1 Qt. Winter Stain-Away, 2-Lb. Chlorine Free Pool Shock, 1 Winter Sorb, and 1 Winter Pool Floater. Perfect for pool owners who may be new to pool maintenance, the kit rates highly among consumers. More than 11,000 users on Amazon give it a five-star rating, citing it as effective, simple to use, and economical.
10. Robelle Round Solid Pool Cover for Above-Ground Pools
Most pool owners know they need to cover their pools during the winter months. Not only does it help keep the water clean, but it prevents damage to the pool during winter storms. Robelle’s above-ground pool cover is made of heavy-duty polyethylene and includes a winch to help secure the included cable through the grommet holes along the edge of the tarp, keeping the cover in place. It comes in 18 different colors and eight different sizes ranging from 12 feet to 33 feet. The size includes 4 feet of overlap to ensure the pool is covered completely. Note that the manufacturer does suggest going up a size if the pool has large top rails. Among the more than 10,000 five-star reviews on Amazon, top reviewers state it lasts multiple winters, is easy to install, and they appreciate the range of colors.
11. Robelle Supreme Rectangular In-Ground Winter Pool Cover
Robelle also makes a range of in-ground pool covers—including in-season solar covers to keep the pool warm. But for a pool winter closing checklist, the Robelle Supreme is sturdy enough to stand up to winter weather. The cover comes in a variety of sizes to fit in-ground rectangular pools and is made of extra heavy-duty polyethylene. The top is coated to prevent damage caused by UV rays and the underside is black to help prevent algae growth. Like their above-ground pool covers, the grommets, winch, and cable are included.
12. Yankee Pool Pillows for Above-Ground Swimming Pools | Extra Durable 0.4 mm PVC Winter Pool Pillow
Adding an air pillow underneath the cover of an above-ground pool helps offset rain, snow, and ice accumulation by giving ice a place to expand upward, instead of out toward the pool walls. The Yankee Extra Durable Winter Pool Pillow is resistant to cold temperatures as low as −10 degrees Fahrenheit, making it a great choice for pools in areas with heavy snowfall and long periods of below-freezing temperatures. Among the over 1200 five-star reviews on Amazon, customers like its durability, ease of installation including a four-point contact system and rope to hold the pillow in place, and fast inflation and deflation.
13. Wayne Fully Submersible Pool Cover Pump
A pool cover pump will prevent an excess of rainwater from accumulating during the off-season. Our review ranked the Wayne Fully Submersible Pool Cover Pump as the best overall in our best pool cover pumps guide. It has a high flow rate with a large 1.25-inch drain hose that is capable of removing up to 3,000 GPH. Other features our reviewers appreciated include the automatic on/off switch, the 25-foot-long power cord, and the wide base that keeps the pump from flipping over.