Can You Clean Your Pool With Vodka?

It’s common knowledge that alcohol has some cleaning properties. After all, alcohol is often used to sterilize wounds, and it can even be used to get rid of tough stains. But can it be used to clean a dirty pool?

Cleaning your pool by adding vodka to the water will likely mess up the chemistry more than it will help keep anything clean. For a drained pool, vodka on a cloth may be somewhat effective for spot-cleaning stains, but no more than an alcohol-based cleaner.

Let’s take a further look at why there’s a myth that it’s okay to clean your pool with vodka and the reasons you might try it — as well as the reasons you probably shouldn’t. This tactic, which has the feel of an “old wives tale,” isn’t totally wrong, but it’s certainly not something you’d want to really go out and buy vodka for.

Why You Might Clean Your Pool With Vodka 

Worker cleaning swimming pool

Vodka may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you’re thinking about cleaning a pool, but if you don’t have a specialized pool cleaner lying around, it might seems like the best option.

Or perhaps you’ve heard that vodka can be used to clean a pool and you’d like to give it a try yourself.

Should You Clean Your Pool With Vodka? 

Despite what you may have heard about vodka and pools, it’s best not to try this option for quite a few reasons.

It Hurts the Water Balance

Pool water needs to be balanced. The pH should remain around 7.2-7.4, and chlorine levels should be kept steady (no more than 5 ppm). If you start cleaning the pool with vodka rather than the proper substances, that balance becomes much harder to maintain — and it’s very hard to restore once it’s thrown off.

It’s Not Cost-Effective

Cleaning your pool with vodka is simply not a cost-effective option. Even if you just want to try it out, you’d probably need a few bottles of vodka minimum to make any sort of noticeable difference. 

It Doesn’t Do a Good Job

There is some truth to the myth in that vodka can clean the surface-level issues with the pool and get rid of any buildup. However, if your pool has been neglected for quite a while, you won’t be able to address the real issues present.

It may seem like vodka has cleaned the pool, but it almost certainly hasn’t done a good enough job to make the pool safe.

What Are Better Alternatives to Vodka? 

The best alternative to vodka is simply to keep up with regular pool maintenance. Make sure you brush the walls as needed and use a pool net (on Amazon) to scoop the debris out every day.

There are also some household cleaners you can use in place of vodka — and they’ll cost less!

If you’ve left your pool alone for too long and you need extreme help, shocking your pool is the best way to go. This involves adding much more chlorine than your pool would normally need to kill off any bacteria living there.

What Other Household Cleaners Can You Use to Clean Your Pool? 

Baking soda

The first thing you can use to clean your pool is baking soda (on Amazon). Mixing it with some water provides a safe and cost-effective cleaning solution for the walls of your pool that won’t alter the chemical balance of the water.

You can also use common household bleach to clean your pool and restore some chlorine to it, as this does have the necessary chemicals in it. However, it’s important to check the ingredients before you proceed.

If there’s any added fragrance or color in the bleach, it can do more harm than good to your pool, so make sure you go for the most stripped-down version. It’s also important to be conservative and add a little at a time if you aren’t certain of the amount your pool may need. 

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