The Tennis Ball Hack All Pool Owners Should Know About

If you own a pool, you're probably happy to take any advice on cleaning it you can get. While these home additions are fantastic for the warmer months, and add a truly engaging focal point for your backyard, there are so many factors that come with caring for a pool. Chlorine levels, finding the right skimmers and filters, and worrying about temperature are all things that play into maintaining one. Once the seasons change and people begin using the pool, there's also the not-so-small matter of making sure that oils, sunscreens, and other lotions don't accumulate or leave an off-putting film on the water's surface.

Of all the issues you might have to consider when it comes to your pool, this last one might be the most frustrating. While filtration systems are in place to help manage oils and liquids that make their way into the water from swimmers, it can be a daunting task to think about how to control it when the pool is in constant use. According to Latham, once oils have made it into your filters, they can be difficult to remove. This pool-cleaning hack, however, can help collect these liquids before they cause too much damage. While relying on your actual system is integral, adopting this little hack will add some extra help.

Throw in a tennis ball

If your pool has a greasy film after a big day filled with swimming fun, one hack to help soak up the oils in your pool is to throw in a few tennis balls. These fuzzy additions can float, so they will "skim" the surface as they move around in the water. As the tennis balls naturally drift around the entire pool, the outer casing of the orb will pick up oils, lotions, and other grease that has migrated from people's skin to the water's surface.

Tennis balls have an exterior casing made of felt nylon. According to Instructables, this material acts like a makeshift magnet, pulling grease to the fuzzy cover and out of the water. This hack has worked for many pool owners, and is a great way to remove oily substances from the water. You can use three to five balls depending on how large or small your pool is, and judge how efficiently the number removes the detritus.

It's not all in the tennis balls

It's important to keep in mind that while tennis balls are a useful and easy trick for removing greasy layers from your pool's surface, they aren't foolproof. These items shouldn't be used to replace or fill in for actual filters, but instead as an aid to a pool's filtration system. You also want to protect your pool from these oils and lotions with a treatment, especially if the people that use it wear a lot of suntan oil, lotion, or other sunscreens. American Pool recommends using an enzymatic solution, which can help reduce the amount of "scum" or build-up that accumulates in the water.

Pairing this solution with a good filtration system will keep the latter in good condition while also breaking down oils and greasy layers in your pool. The tennis balls will also contribute to pulling some of these off of the surface, making your pool look and feel cleaner. Once you've finished letting the balls float, you can put them in the washing machine or rinse them in the sink to remove the detritus.