How To Clean Bottom Of Pool Without A Vacuum?

dirty pool with leaves and dirt in it

There are times when you think you have everything pool-related figured out. The pool party is all set and you’re just ready for the guests to show up.  Then you notice a layer of dirt on the floor of the pool. Your vacuum is broken and you don’t have time to throw in your robotic cleaner.  You need a solution fast for how to clean bottom of pool without a vacuum. In this article, we’ll explain how to quickly get dirt and leaves removed from your pool.

Dirt Edition: How To Clean Bottom Of Pool Without A Vacuum

The best thing you can do is slow down and breathe.  It’s not an emergency, only a slight frustration. 

Step 1: Isolate The Main Drain

You’ll want to start by going back to your pool equipment and isolate the main drains pipe. This means your skimmers will stop skimming, and all the water being pumped is coming from your main drains. 

Step 2: Brush Toward The Deep End

Then, go get your pole and brush. You can guess what you’re going to do next. Yes, you start at the shallow end, and brush the dirt toward the deepest part of the pool. If you have a play pool with a deepest section in the middle, start at the end with the stairs, then switch to the opposite end of the pool, working all the dirt to the main drains.  You’ll have to push the dirt right over top of the drains for the dirt to be sucked in, you’ll get it there with patience.

Step 3: Turn Skimmer Valves

Once you’re done sweeping the floor of the pool, go back to the equipment set. Finally, turn the skimmer valves to open up the skimmers again. Without skimmers skimming, your pool will get a lot dirtier than it would otherwise.

How to clean bottom of pool without a vacuum shown via a leaf net

Leaves Edition: How To Clean Bottom Of Pool Without A Vacuum

Unfortunately, if you have leaves in the pool instead of dirt, that is another matter.  You’ll want to use the leaf skimmer net on the pole instead and scoop out the leaves. It sounds like an easy task, but you’ll soon find it can be tougher than it looks. Depending on where you live and the time of year, keeping leaves out of the pool can seem like a part time job.  

If you have a heavy leaf load, you may want to consider a pressure side cleaner, which works using water pressure to push leaves into the net on top of the unit.  If you your primary debris is dirt and dust on the floor of the pool, you might want to consider a suction pool cleaner.  


Ultimately, dealing with the debris load is all part of owning a pool. Unless you have a staff, you need to do the work to stay ahead of the leaves and dirt.  Getting the leaves and dirt out of the pool helps prevent dramatic fluctuations in your water chemistry and helps keep your swimming environment clean.