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9 Easy Pool Liner Cleaning Tips Every Owner Should Follow

Pool Scrubbing Mitt

Last Updated 6/26/22

While most of us would rather be enjoying the pool than cleaning it, cleaning your swimming pool is part of life for pool owners. When done regularly and properly, cleaning will help keep your vinyl pool liner in tip-top shape. As you pull out the sponges, vacuums, and pool scrubbers, check out these tips to help make your cleaning process more efficient and prevent major maintenance issues down the road.

Never drain your vinyl liner pool for cleaning

We can’t stress enough that you should NEVER drain your above ground pool during a routine cleaning if you have a vinyl liner. The water in the pool helps secure the pool liner, and by draining the water you risk damaging it. Most cleaning can be done without draining your pool. 

Clean your pool at least once a week

Removing debris, vacuuming, and brushing the vinyl pool liner on a regular basis will help reduce the likelihood of major stains and pool maintenance issues. There are plenty of pool apps for your smartphone that can help keep you on a regular cleaning regimen. The more you and your family use your above ground pool, the more often you should clean it.

Use a tennis ball to absorb oils

Whether you shower before using your pool or not, oils from sweat, hair products, and sunscreen get left behind in your pool while swimming. The solution? Throw a tennis ball or two in the water and leave it there. The fibers on a tennis ball can help absorb these oils, keeping your water cleaner longer and preventing long-term damage, stains, and fading to your vinyl pool liner.

Try natural cleaners

There are plenty of natural and organic options for removing stubborn stains on your pool liner. White vinegar, baking soda, or organic dish soap are great alternatives and can help you tackle most mildew and stains with less health and environmental impact. They’re also cheaper than many of the other pool cleaners you can buy.

Pro tip: Be careful when using any cleaner to avoid bleaching or fading your liner. Always follow your manufacturer’s instructions and test new cleaning products on a small area before moving forward. 

Always brush toward the floor

When brushing dirt off the above ground pool walls, always start high and brush down toward the floor. That way, the debris will fall to the floor and be sucked up during vacuuming rather than floating around in the water.   

Widemouth Skimmer BoxDon’t forget to pay attention to hard-to-reach areas.

Vacuums and brushes can sometimes have a hard time maneuvering around the obstacles in your pool, like stairs, ladders, skimmers and gaskets. When cleaning your vinyl pool liner, it’s best to give those hard-to-clean areas some love by scrubbing them by hand with a smaller tool, like a pool cleaning mitt. It will prevent dirt and debris from building up there over time and damaging your liner.

Invest in a robotic pool cleaner

Robotic pool cleaners are awesome! They reduce the amount of cleaning you have to do and they’ll clean your pool faster and better than you can. You can’t beat the convenience, and you’ll be preventing stains and damage to your vinyl pool liner without doing much work yourself.

Test your water chemistry regularly

Good water chemistry is incredibly important when it comes to cleaning your pool. Dirt and debris can impact your water chemistry, so you should always do a water chemistry test before and after you clean your pool to make sure levels are where they should be. Proper water chemistry will help prevent algae and other debris that can stain and damage your liner, so it’s an important preventative maintenance step.

Get the pool cleaned professionally at least once a year

The most efficient way to clean your vinyl pool liner? Have someone else do it! The advanced equipment professionals use goes beyond what you are able to do with your own cleaning accessories and water testing kits. A good cleaning service will also inspect your liner and all your parts to make sure your pool is in good working order, potentially saving you money on serious maintenance issues down the road. We recommend having a professional check out your pool at least once a year.

We hope these tips help you keep your pool cleaner and save you time, money, and energy throughout the swimming season. If your pool liner has seen better days and you need a replacement, we’re here to help. LinerWorld has a wide selection of bold, colorful liners for your above ground swimming pool.

Shop Swimming Pool Liners From LinerWorld


For more about cleaning and maintaining your swimming pool, check out these links…

Read Now:
Tips for Cleaning Your Swimming Pool Toys & Floats
How to Sanitize your Pool, Patio, and Pool Accessories
Complete Above Ground Swimming Pool Maintenance Guide

Pool Liner Cleaning Tips

18 responses to “9 Easy Pool Liner Cleaning Tips Every Owner Should Follow”

  1. Chew says:

    I have an above ground pool-27 feet diameter. I have a brownish type stain after I vacuumed. I used a liner brush and it removed some of the stain but not all of it. I have well water and had the water tested. No issue with iron or metals. I know that I shouldn’t drain the water but don’t know what I can do to clean the bottom. The liner is approximately 8 years old. Any suggestions?

    • Pool Guru says:

      Hi there. Sorry for the delay in response. We would assume the stain would be from your well water. Possibly a toy, or something sat at the bottom of the pool? We do not recommend fully draining the pool to clean the liner — or for any reason other than replacing your liner. If you cannot get the stain off with gentle scrubbing underwater, there may not be much else you can do. We would recommend replacing the liner if it is a bothersome eyesore. We are getting many of our most popular liners back in stock soon and are running some fantastic pre-summer specials! Let us know if we can help you get a new, stain-free liner for your pool!

  2. Loren says:

    We bought a house with a vinyl pool. The pool has not been open in 3 years. It was covered and all the equipment was taking off and put inside for storage. Now I can find a poo professional to do a proper cleaning. What should I do.

    • Pool Guru says:

      Hi, Loren! We would definitely recommend getting your pool checked out by a professional after 3 years. After you find someone you trust, we hope you’ll come back to LinerWorld for any new equipment and supplies you need!

  3. Kari says:

    We have an inground pool and need a new liner put in an nobody in eau can do it because to busy. Ours should last this summer but need one for next spring. Any suggestions?

  4. anna says:

    Hello! We just put up our above ground pool. when doing so, we got dirt al over the liner above the water line.
    what do i clean it with without disturbing the perfect chemistry (it took me a week but i finally got it perfect) of the water?

  5. Smiley says:

    Hi I have above ground pool and and I had the winter cover on it and just took it off the sun ate it up the water was really low a little above the drain I filled it up with water and know my pool is blue green my pH was low so I put 4 box’s off baked soda to bring it back up I shock it three times brush the liner but I think I messed up by putting a gallon of algae treatment in it I don’t know yet haven’t checked I have a sand filter and I was going to let it run 48 hrs what should I do if it doesn’t work

  6. Chervise L Biggs says:

    Good evening I have a question my above ground pool have a ring around the top of the pool. It’s from the oil that I use in my hair. What can use to have that removed
    Please help

    • Pool Guru says:

      Hi! Thanks for reaching out. Without seeing the stain and knowing some more details about your pool, we’re hesitant to provide a specific solution.

      A bit of scrubbing with our pool scrubbing mit and vinegar or dish soap may work. Or you can try a specific pool enzyme cleaner. We recommend you talk to a pool specialist in your area and test any cleaner on a small inconspicuous area of the pool to ensure it doesn’t cause any damage.

      Also, it’s a good idea to prevent future oil buildup by wearing a swim cap, showering, and tying your hair up when using the pool. Regularly skimming and cleaning your pool can also help future buildup.

  7. ExcelPools says:

    Wow! I do not know that tennis balls can help us clean a pool. Thank you for sharing this.

  8. Tony says:

    I am going to take my AGP down for the winter. I’ve drained it, before I fold it up I am wondering if wiping it out with a Pine-Sol / water mix & letting it dry first is a good idea or not?

    • Pool Guru says:

      It’s best to use pool-specific products or more natural cleaners that are designed for to be safe for pools. We always recommend testing any cleaner on a small, inconspicuous area. Consult the pool’s owner’s manual and consider working with a local pool professional if you have questions about pool maintenance. Thanks!

  9. These pool cleaning tips are essential for vinyl pool liner maintenance. Regular cleaning, avoiding draining the pool, using natural cleaners, and investing in robotic cleaners are key. Testing water chemistry and professional cleanings help prevent damage. Following these tips ensures a clean and durable pool liner for a hassle-free swimming season

  10. Taking care of your pool’s vinyl liner is important for keeping your swimming area clean and enjoyable. Remember to clean it regularly, but never drain the pool, as it could damage the liner. Using natural cleaners and investing in a robotic cleaner can make your job easier. Testing the water regularly and getting professional cleanings can help prevent damage and costly repairs. By following these tips, you can maintain a clean and durable pool liner for many seasons of fun in the sun!

  11. Being a pool owner is great, but pool liner cleaning can be tough to perfect. Thank you for providing us with this great insight!

  12. Scott says:

    Do you know of anything that will take polysand off of a pools vinyl liner? I have polysand between my pavers and the installer got polysand on the liner of the pool.

    • Pool Guru says:

      Thanks for reaching out! You can try gently scrubbing using a soft sponge or soft cloth. This can help to loosen the sand and prevent it from sticking too firmly. It might require several attempts, especially if it has started to harden. If the polysand has significantly hardened or these steps do not work, it might be worth consulting a professional pool cleaner for more specialized assistance.

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