Keeping your pool clean is important. When a pool is constantly in use, it is subject to sweat, oil and unfortunately in some cases, urine. It’s inevitable, and there is no way to tell the exact level of harmful chemicals that you are exposed to in your pool when you don’t keep it clean.
As a result, it is important to consistently clean your pool in the right manner. Now, I know what you are probably thinking – easier said than done.
It is true that keeping your pool clean can be challenging and time consuming. However, if you understand the proper way to go about cleaning your pool, how often you should clean it and are equipped with pool shock that actually works, you can easily keep your pool clean.
In this review guide, you will learn what pool shock actually is, how pool shock can help you keep your pool clean and a step by step procedure of how to use pool shock in the right manner. We will also show you the seven best pool shocks on the market today, so you won’t have to worry about whether or not your pool shock is actually getting the job done. If you’re short on time, here is a quick list of the top pool shocks available today:
What Is Pool Shock?
Pool shock is a substance (either liquid or granular) that is designed to fight off what is known as chloramines and subsequently keep your pool looking and feeling clean. Typically, the main chemical in pool shock is chlorine, but there are some pool shocks that effectively utilize other chemicals as the main ingredient.
Here are some of the most common chemicals found in pool shock:
- Calcium Hypochlorite
- Lithium Hypochlorite
- Sodium Dichlor
- Potassium Monopersulfate
This is the most common chemical used to clean swimming pools. While it is the most trusted, it also tends to be one of the most expensive pool shock treatment options. Calcium Hypochlorite contains between 65 and 75% chlorine.
This chemical typically works faster than all other pool shock treatment options. Lithium Hypochlorite, which contains around 35% chlorine, works in as little as eight hours after application.
Also known as Dichlor Shock, this chemical contains between 50 and 60% chlorine and works just as well as hypochlorite when it comes to cleaning a pool. Although there are only slight differences, Sodium Dichlor tends to be a slightly less expensive option.
Potassium Monopersulfate (Non Chlorine Shock)
This chemical only takes fifteen minutes to work, so you can apply it, eat lunch and return to the pool soon after. However, non-chlorine shock does not work to fight algae, so it should be seen as a less reliable option than chlorine based pool shock. Therefore, if you have a serious algae problem in your pool, you may need to go with a pool shock treatment that has a large percentage of chlorine.
Related: Best Pool Filter
While pool shock is the actual powder or liquid you will use to clean your pool, the act of “shocking a pool” refers to the actual cleaning process (see how to use pool shock). It is important to clean your pool with pool shock in order to keep damaging chemicals, bacteria and debris from shortening the life of your pool and damaging the structure, which can lead to untimely repairs.
Ranking and Reviewing the Best Pool Shock
Without further ado, let’s look at the best pool shock treatments in 2018 now that we have answered the question: what is pool shock? It is important to ensure you have the right pool shock treatment to use.
In this review guide, we will discuss in-depth what makes each pool shock great and go over the most important factors you should consider when choosing the pool shock that is best for you.
Related: Best Pool Test Kit
For each pool shock treatment, we will discuss the six most important considerations which are the approach, effectiveness, additional features, ease of use, speed and of course the price. We will also leave you with a detailed overall review of each pool shock treatment. While reviews aren’t specifically considerations, we – and you should as well – take both the quality and quantity of reviews for each product into account.
Although all seven of these pool shock treatments work well with any freshwater swimming pool, it is important to take your own personal preference and specific needs into account. For instance, if you have children and may need to quickly clean your pool without them begging you for hours to get back in, you may want to go with one that works faster, even if it is ranked lower on this list.
In The Swim is one of the most trusted pool shock treatment brands in the industry, and the In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock is arguably their most reliable product. With over 350 online reviews, mostly positive, you can feel confident that this pool shock will keep your pool clean.
The In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock is very reasonably priced when compared alongside other chlorine based shock treatments. Although there are other less reliable, non-chlorine shock treatments on the market, there are few options available that have a better balance of affordability and quality.
Related: Best Solar Pool Heater
This pool shock by In The Swim contains 68% Calcium Hypochlorite, which allows for fast acting oxidation. Although the recommended wait time is eight hours, you can apply this pool shock treatment and swim as soon as thirty minutes afterward. It comes in 24, one-pound bags and the dosage amount is one pound per 10,000 gallons.
Since the In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock is predominantly Calcium Hypochlorite – which is typically believed to be the most effective chemical for pool shock treatments – it works really well. Since it is so effective, it works well with pools that are subject to getting dirty more often.
Although the In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock doesn’t come with any additional features, which most pool shock treatments don’t, it does come in a large quantity. This pool shock comes in 24 one-pound bags, which should last you the entire summer without needing to buy more.
Ease of Use
One of the most appealing features of this pool shock treatment is its ease of use. While other pool shock treatments have difficult diluting procedures, you can simply sprinkle the In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock around your pool without diluting. For even better results, there are diluting instructions provided as well.
Another fantastic component of the In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock is the speed that it works. This pool shock begins working immediately upon placing it in the water; your pool should be ready to use soon after. With that said, this pool shock will continue to work for eight or more hours, eliminating all sweat, oil and urine from your pool.
Overall, the In The Swim Pool Shock Treatment is arguably the best, most trusted application to use when shocking your pool. Although the price is slightly higher than several options, it is by far the best combination of effectiveness and price, especially when considering the quantity provided.
Much like In The Swim, DryTec is also a very trusted name in the pool shock industry. This calcium hypochlorite shock treatment by DryTec is extremely effective in fighting off bacteria, algae and other harmful organic contaminants found in swimming pools. If you’re looking for a fast acting, quick dissolving swimming pool sanitizer, then this is a fantastic option for you.
This DryTec shock treatment is identically priced to the In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock. However, this pool shock treatment is available in different quantities – a one pack option and a 12 pack option – so you should be able to find the option that is most suitable for your needs and your budget.
This pool shock treatment by DryTec provides a very specific, detailed instruction manual, so you are able to shock your pool in the best manner possible. Much like the In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock, the DryTec shock treatment also contains 68% calcium hypochlorite, a highly trusted form of chlorine.
As previously mentioned, this shock treatment by DryTec is very effective at killing off any and all bacteria, algae and other organic contaminants. Per usual, the recommended dosage amount is one pound bag per 10,000 gallons of water. As long as you follow the diluting instructions and apply this shock treatment in the right manner, it is extremely effective.
One cool feature of this particular pool shock treatment is the fact that it is offered in several different quantity amounts. If you don’t use your swimming pool that often and only need a single cleaning solution, you can order one pack and save money. If you need to use it more frequently, you can choose 12 or 24 pack options.
Ease of Use
Although the instructions are slightly complex, they are well laid out in an easy to read manner, so you won’t have to struggle to interpret the material or make phone calls to DryTec in order to ensure you are doing it right. If you trust your prior experience, you can even get by with applying the solution without the use of instructions.
Although it works in as little as thirty minutes, this pool shock treatment works best if used overnight and allowed to take effect throughout a longer period of time. If you apply the shock in the right manner and test the water before using to ensure safety, then you can use your pool again in a relatively short amount of time.
Overall, this pool shock treatment by DryTec is a great pool cleaning option. Since it is available in such a large quantity (24 pack), it should last you for most, if not all, of the summer. With above average reviews, there is little reason to doubt the effectiveness of this pool shock treatment.
This shock treatment by Pool Essentials is another fantastic chlorine based option. This fast dissolving, easy to apply option is suitable for all pool types and can be used at any point during the year. If you are looking for a reliable pool shock option that takes effect in a relatively short amount of time, then this is a great option for you.
This is by far the most affordable option on this list. Although it isn’t the best option for long term use and thorough pool cleanings, it does a fantastic job of cleaning your pool in a fast manner and is a great option for situations where an immediate cleaning is in order. There are also only six packs included with the purchase.
Related: Best Pool Pump
If you are looking for a pool shock treatment that is easy to use, then this is one of the best pool shock treatments for you as it doesn’t require any dilution before adding to the pool or skimmer. The entire process of application can be done in several minutes. As with any shock treatment, it is best to use at night, but it is not necessary to do so.
This pool shock by Pool Essentials is one of the best pool shocks for destroying contaminants such as sweat, oil and urine that cause strong chlorine odor and cloudy water. After shocking your pool with this solution, you will begin to see a clear difference in the clarity of your pool water and the odor begin to reduce.
One of the coolest features that comes along with the Pool Essentials Shock Treatment is the skimmer, which makes it extremely easy to effectively and efficiently apply the solution into the pool. Although the skimmer does make the application process easier, it is not necessary to use and the choice is completely up to you.
Ease of Use
As previously mentioned, the skimmer makes this pool shock extremely easy to use. Even without the skimmer however, the Pool Essentials Shock Treatment has a very easy application process and works much faster than the average pool shock. For best results, you can follow their more in-depth application procedure.
The Pool Essentials Shock Treatment dissolves in the water and begins fighting off harmful contaminants very quickly. As a result, you will begin to see a difference in the quality of your pool water and even be able to use your pool again within the very same hour you apply the solution.
While there may be options available on the market that work better over a longer period of time, there are few pool shock treatments that are more affordable and faster acting than this one by Pool Essentials. Therefore, if you are wanting the least expensive option that still works well, then this is the one for you.
Although it is less proven than the aforementioned pool shock options, the HTH Pool Super Shock Treatment is arguably the most effective pool shock treatment on the market in 2018. With three different quantity options and various levels of strength, you should easily be able to find the pool shock that works best for your specific needs.
The super shock treatment by HTH is extremely affordable when factoring in the quality of the solution. If you want a stronger solution, then you can try the ultimate shock. It’s one of the strongest pool shock treatments on the market for the money. They also offer a more diluted solution for an even better deal.
Related: Best Above Ground Pool
Applying the HTH Pool Shock Treatment can be done in four easy steps laid out in the instructions that come along with the purchase. Although the recommended process includes checking the pH levels, etc., you can more easily apply the solution directly to your pool without fearing any harmful effects.
By simply shocking your pool once a week using the HTH Pool Shock Treatment, you can ensure your pool stays extremely clean, odor free and looking clear. If your pool is subject to more particles and contaminants such as sweat, oil and urine, then you may want to choose the ultimate shock, which you can actually see working in the water.
The ultimate shock option by HTH is able to do some things that other pool shock treatments aren’t able to do, including preventing scale formation, softening the water and becoming visibly blue in the water. Although, even the more basic super shock and even the basic shock treatment help the water stay clear in ways other options simply can’t.
Ease of Use
HTH lays out an easy to comprehend four step process of applying this pool shock treatment to the water. Since the HTH Pool Shock Treatment is much stronger than most other forms of pool shock, you should use it at night to avoid sun zapping the chlorine, limiting the effect the pool shock has on keeping your pool clean.
As mentioned, it is best to apply the HTH Pool Shock Treatment at night and let it run its course before jumping back into the swimming pool. If you are looking for a faster acting pool shock, then this may not be the best option for you. However, if you want the absolute best pool shock treatment, then you won’t go wrong choosing this option.
The HTH Pool Shock Treatment may just be the best pool shock treatment if quality is the only concern. With that said, it can take longer to take effect and generally cost more per packet than other brands. However, keeping your pool clean is very important and you can rest easy knowing this solution is doing just that.
Although Swim Best isn’t as an established brand within the pool maintenance community, it is quickly becoming trusted amongst its customers and beyond. The Swim Best Chlorine Pool Shock works just as well as many of the other aforementioned pool shock treatments and is available at an affordable price.
At an affordably low price, the Swim Best Chlorine Pool Shock is on par with the other options it is most similar to (In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock and DryTec Shock Treatment for Swimming Pools). Much like the others, this pool shock treatment solution is also of very high quality and comes in a large quantity.
Related: Best Pool Heater
For best use, use one packet per 10,000 gallons of water once a week. As far as specific application instructions, a detailed instruction guide will be provided upon purchase. As long as you follow the guide correctly, you will be able to enjoy a clean, healthy pool all year long.
The Swim Best Chlorine Pool Shock works extremely well at fighting off harmful bacteria, algae and other contaminants. Constructed with 68% chlorine, this shock is extremely effective and doesn’t take long to take effect. If you are looking for one of the best pool shock treatments that you can trust, you won’t find any problems in this solution by Swim Best.
Although this pool shock treatment by Swim Best doesn’t include any additional features, it does come with a rather large quantity size that should last you at least half the year when applying the solution once a week. So while it costs a little more than many others, it is well worth it given the quantity.
Ease of Use
The Swim Best Chlorine Pool Shock is arguably the easiest way to shock your pool. While other treatments require complicated dilution procedures, you simply tear the bag open and slowly spread into your pool with this option. For best results, you can follow a more sophisticated process, but doing so isn’t necessary.
For best use, it is recommended that you apply the Swim Best Chlorine Pool Shock before bedtime and let it take effect throughout the night. If you have an emergency come up and need to clean your pool immediately, you can have a cleaner pool within an hour by applying this pool shock treatment.
If you are looking for an alternative to the big brands within the market that may have slacked off providing customer service and helpful information, then this pool shock treatment by Swim Best is a fantastic alternative. This solution, fairly priced and proven effective, is certain not to disappoint.
If you are tired of the annoying smell of chloramine and want to try a pool shock treatment that doesn’t have chlorine, then the In The Swim Chlorine-Free Pool Shock is your answer. This pool shock treatment, although more expensive, works faster and just as well as chlorine based pool shock.
The In The Swim Chlorine-Free Pool Shock is one of the more expensive options on this review guide of the best pool shock treatments of 2018. With that said, it is also one of the most unique as it does not contain chlorine and comes with a large quantity of 24 packs, which should last you on average, six months.
Related: Best Robotic Pool Cleaner
This solution by In The Swim contains 38% potassium monopersulfate and does not contain chlorine, which for many is a huge plus. The dosage amount is one pound per 10,000 gallons of water. Since each packet is one pound and the average swimming pool is 10,000 gallons, simply apply the solution straight to the water when needed.
The best part of this non-chlorine pool shock treatment is that it works immediately upon entering your pool, meaning you can feel free to jump into your pool and enjoy a nice swim very soon after you apply the cleaner. With that said, chlorine is typically thought of as being the best chemical for cleaning pools, so keep that in mind when you make your decision.
What makes this solution so unique is that it doesn’t contain any chlorine, unlike all other options on this review guide. While some may consider the lack of chlorine to be a drawback, the In The Swim Chlorine-Free Pool Shock allows pool owners to clean their pool quickly without having to deal with chlorine odor and long, complicated dilution processes.
Ease of Use
While other chlorine based pool shock treatments may require complicated dilution processes and the quality of the pool shock is dependent upon how well you complete the said processes, this pool shock treatment by In The Swim makes it easy to effectively clean your pool in a short amount of time.
Not to be redundant, but since the In The Swim Chlorine-Free Pool Shock doesn’t contain chlorine, it is much quicker to use. Simply pour the solution straight out of the packet into your pool and watch it take effect within minutes. If you don’t want to wait eight hours to go swimming again, consider this pool shock treatment by In The Swim.
Although I typically recommend chlorine based pool cleaner for long term pool maintenance, the In The Swim Chlorine-Free Pool Shock is a great way to quickly clean your pool and go swimming soon after. Therefore, it can be beneficial to have this solution laying around in case of an emergency.
If you’ve never heard of these other pool cleaner brands, you probably have heard of Clorox who is famous for other cleaning products. What might be unknown however, is that Clorox actually makes a fantastic pool shock treatment that works really well at eliminating algae and bacteria from the pool surface.
Although the Clorox Pool & Spa Shock Xtra Blue is by far the most expensive option on this review guide of the best pool shock treatments on the market in 2018, it is also the most trusted brand of cleaning supplies on this list. It has a fantastic pool shock treatment that is certain to work regardless of your pool type.
Related: Best Pool Cleaner
To apply the Clorox Pool & Spa Shock Xtra Blue, you simply follow the detailed, easy to understand application instructions on the box provided. While diluting the solution may lead to best results, simply applying the pool shock to the pool once a week can keep your pool clean and looking clear all year long.
This pool shock treatment by Clorox works extremely well at killing and controlling green, black and mustard algae as well as reducing chlorine odor and eye irritation. Its six-in-one cleaning formula contains blue algae killing crystals that take effect in a rather short amount of time compared to other pool shock treatments currently on the market.
The Clorox Pool & Spa Shock Xtra Blue comes in a box of 24 one-pound bags, so you won’t have to worry about restocking the solution anytime soon. By applying one pack every week, which is the recommended dosage, you can effectively keep your pool clean for up to six months.
Ease of Use
Although some pool shock treatments can require complicated dilution processes, it is very simple and easy to shock your pool with the Clorox Pool & Spa Shock Xtra Blue. Simply take out and rip open one of the 24 pool shock packets that come with this purchase and slowly spread it around the pool, using more pool shock in the deeper areas.
While other chlorine based solutions can take up to eight hours to fully take effect, the Clorox Pool & Spa Shock Xtra Blue allows you to swim as little as fifteen minutes after application. If you have kids who have friends come over, then you may be confronted with a situation that requires you to quickly and effectively clean your pool. This solution allows you to do exactly that.
Although it is the most expensive pool shock treatment, the Clorox Pool & Spa Shock Xtra Blue is arguably the best pool shock treatment on the market in 2018. If you want a proven, effective pool shock solution from a trusted brand and aren’t concerned with the price, then this is a fantastic option for your specific desires and needs.
How to Use Pool Shock
In order to fully understand the importance of using pool shock and how to use it most effectively, it is good to have a general understanding of why your pool requires consistent cleaning and how pool shock can help you do just that.
Contrary to popular belief, what many refer to as “the smell of chlorine” is actually the smell of chloramine, a chemical formed from the combination of chlorine and bodily chemicals, such as perspiration, oils and urine. In other words, the smell is one of chlorine at work. Without chlorine, or other pool shock chemicals, oil, sweat and urine go unpunished inside the swimming pool.
So how do you actually shock your swimming pool?
While some pool shock treatment recommendations can give you confusing information using terms you never heard of, you can quite simply apply your pool shock treatment using the following six step process.
- Test the free chlorine and total chlorine levels in your pool to determine the amount of pool shock you need to add.
- Determine whether or not you need to dissolve the shock in water.
- Mix the shock in a bucket of warm water, if needed.
- Distribute your pool shock evenly.
- Check the pool shock recommendations to determine when your pool will be ready to use.
- Enjoy your clean swimming pool.
Of course, all pool shock requires slightly different use. In some cases, there may not be a need to dissolve the shock in water. Also, while some pool shock will take effect in as little as fifteen minutes, others may take up to 10 or more hours before your pool is once again ready to use.
Be sure to thoroughly read the instructions that come with the pool shock treatment that you choose in order to know the exact measures and way to shock your pool.
Lastly, it is important to use your pool shock treatment at night if you are using a chlorine based pool shock. The sun tends to burn free chlorine that hasn’t yet been stabilized, so you can prevent this from occurring by waiting until nighttime. Since most chlorine pool treatments only take eight hours, you can apply the treatment at night, let’s say 8:00 p.m., and your pool should be ready to use once you wake up in the morning.