Are you tired of seeing your swimming pool turning green again? If you love cleanliness, you would always want your pool water to be crystal clear, right? After days of research and trying 10 different methods of pool cleaning, we’ve found the BBB pool method to be the most effective for cleaning all types of swimming pools.
Introducing The BBB Method For Pool Cleaning
BBB standards for bleach, borax and baking soda. It relies on ordinary household cleaning items instead of synthesized chemicals to clean the swimming pool and its water sanitized.
Most pool owners don’t know that the over-the-counter chemicals sold at the stores by the name “pool cleaners” are actually the same chemical compounds we use at home. Why pay so much extra to buy the supplies which can be bought from a grocery store at a fraction of the cost? The pool stores are just making money by selling products with fancy names to the customers who don’t know much about pool water chemistry.
Let’s understand what role each of these ingredients plays in cleaning your pool:
Bleach contains sodium hypochlorite. It’s the same compound found in chlorine. In the BBB method, bleach will play the role of a sanitizer to wipe away all harmful organisms from your pool.
The bleach sold at grocery stores is similar to chlorine pool owners usually use. The only difference is that it’s slightly weaker. Two tablespoons of bleach will be perfectly enough to clean 26 gallons of water.
Don’t worry, bleach won’t make your pool turn yellow or generate clouds in the water. These are all myths.
Borax will be used for boosting the pH of the pool water. In case you didn’t know, pH affects the effectiveness of the bleach.
If the water pH is unbalanced, your eyes and skin will itch. Ideally, pH must be between 7.2 and 7.6. With half a teaspoon of borax, you can fix the pH level of the water. Simply sprinkle borax into the skimmer and let it circulate throughout the pool.
#3: Baking Soda
Baking soda is responsible for increasing the alkalinity of the water. Alkalinity helps maintain the pH level. Once that is in check, the bleach will be able to remove contaminants and harmful bacteria effectively.
If it’s 26 gallons of water, half a teaspoon of baking soda would do the work.
Things To Know Before Getting Started With The BBB Method
Before you prepare yourself to use the BBB method for cleaning your swimming pool, there are things you need to make yourself familiar with:
- Muriatic Acid
It is a dry acid that is effective in reducing the pH and alkalinity in a safe way. Keep in mind both pH and alkalinity are tied closely. If you lower the alkalinity, the pH reduces automatically.
If the water pH rises above 7.8 and the alkalinity is greater than 120, you will need to add muriatic acid to reduce them.
- Test Kit
To know just the right amount of acid required for maintaining the pH and alkalinity, you will need a test kit to perform an acid demand test. Yes, you have guessed it right, it’s mandatory to have a test kit with you.
In fact, you cannot use the BBB method to clean the pool before testing the water. You might need to test the pool water once a week if your pool is large and you use it often.
- Pool Size
The amount of chemicals required is based on gallons of water your pool can hold. Therefore, it’s critical to know the exact size of your pool. Make sure you have accurate measurements. The success of the method depends on it.
How To Clean Your Pool With The BBB Method?
Okay, we have enough information about the ingredients. Now let’s understand what is the BBB method? In other words, how to clean your swimming pool using this method?
It is very simple, there is no magic formula involved. You will need bleach, borax and baking soda which are all available at local grocery stores. You literally have to drop these chemicals into the water and nothing else. The goal is to keep the chlorine at the target. This is done by raising the pH level using borax.
I hear you, the BBB method sounds a little confusing. Simply put, the idea of this method is to keep the pool sanitized by killing all germs and algae. This is done by keeping the pH right and the Chlorine level high enough to kill the stuff filters fail to remove.
Basically, these are the things that matter:
- Chlorine for sanitizing the water
- Keeping the pH neutral
This is achieved through stabilizer and alkalinity.
Stabilizer (CYA): Stabilizer is a little tricky to handle. It stops the sunlight from destroying the chlorine inside the pool. However, it also slows the way chlorine works. If you don’t add enough stabilizer, the chlorine will disappear within an hour or so under the bright sun.
On the other hand, if you end up adding too much of it, the chlorine will fail to activate. The recommended level is between 30 and 90 ppm. The chlorine should be 2 ppm or 5 percent of your CYA (whichever is higher).
Note: The amount of chlorine required is determined by the CYA level. If you don’t know the CYA level, you cannot know how much chlorine is needed.
Alkalinity (TA): Achieving alkalinity is easy. You just have to add baking soda. It reduces the pH level and hence the bubbles in the water start fading away. When there isn’t enough alkalinity, the pH level fluctuates.
Water in vinyl and fiberglass pools already has enough alkalinity. Even if it’s a little high, there is nothing to worry about. However, if it’s a concrete pool, the alkalinity must be between 60 to 150 ppm.
The Basic Chemistry
These are the levels you need to maintain:
- pH should be between 7.2 and 7.8
- CYA should be between 30 and 60 ppm
- Chlorine must be 2 ppm or 5 percent of CYA
You start raising the alkalinity of the water by sprinkling baking soda in the water. It is just a buffer to keep the pH level of the pool stable. Then, you add borax and bleach.
- Bleach will be used for chlorinating and sanitizing
- Borax will be used for raising the pH level
- Muriatic acid will be used for reducing the pH (whenever necessary)
- A stabilizer will be used for making the chlorine last
- Baking soda is one of those B’s that is rarely needed
The objective of this method is to keep the pH level balanced and have sufficient chlorine to sanitize the pool. The two things that will make this possible are alkalinity and stabilizer. The safest way of maintaining alkalinity and pH level is to use muriatic acid. This is the only extra ingredient you will need apart from the BBBs.
Benefits Of The BBB Method
Some of you must be wondering why I should clean my pool with the BBB method. These benefits might change your mind:
- It’s highly cost-effective as compared to getting a whole list of chemicals from the pool stores that usually make pool maintenance expensive.
- It does not take much of your time. All you have to do is sprinkle the chemicals into the pool. You just have to add the right proportion.
- Since no harmful chemicals are involved, there are no chances of screwing up.
- It will increase the average life of your pool.
FAQs About The BBB Pool Method
Can I Use Other Chemicals Apart From These Three?
When you are sticking to the BBB method, you cannot use any other chemicals. Those pools chemicals and other heavily advertised cleaning products pretty much violate the method.
The BBB method helps keep your pool clean and increases its life by letting you avoid extra chemicals that make things worse.
Do I Have To Use Raw Bleach, Borax And Baking Soda?
Not exactly. The BBB method is more about using those cleaning agents that are necessary than just sticking to bleach, borax and baking soda. If you can find calcium hypochlorite at a cheaper price than a bleach, go for it. You simply need sources of these three ingredients.
Are There Other Chemicals I Should Avoid?
These are some of the pool chemicals that are best to avoid:
- Oxy-shocks and non-chlorine shocks
- All dyed and decorated chemicals
How Often Do I Use The BBB Method For Pool Cleaning?
Once you get the hang of the procedure, you will have to test the pool water 2 times and add the chemicals 2 to 4 times a week. Don’t worry, it will just take 20 minutes.
The BBB method teaches us that we must only use those chemicals that are necessary to keep the pool clean. But along with using these chemicals, you must have a clean pool filter too.
The BBB method does not eliminate the need of having good pool cleaning equipment. You will still need them for scrubbing and brushing the pool surface.