Solar Blanket - Or the Hundred Dollar Recycled Plastic

Jul 25, 2015
Alachua, FL
Perhaps i just don't get it. We live in northern Florida. It has been at or above 90 degrees for the past several weeks. But nighttime temps in the 50s have kept the pool at or slightly above 70 degrees. So I decided to spring for a "solar blanket" that I had heard so much about. The pool is only a 12'x24', so it's not big at all. I was all excited to get this thing (purchased from Doheny's). Of course, I sprung for the top-of-the-line one instead of El Cheapo.

First off, I had it on the pool for the better part of a week. The pool this time of year receives a fair amount of direct sunlight in the middle part of the day (about 4 hours). The temperature rose by about two degrees in that week. Was the increase due to the blanket or was it just a natural consequence of more direct sun and warmer temps? I'm thinking the latter. I was out of town on business last week. The wife called me in horror as the pool had gone completely green with the blanket on it. I took the cover off and got the pool nice and sparkling again. But my hundred dollar solar blanket is now lying in the back yard. How in the heck doe you get these things clean before you fold or roll them up for storage?

I'm think I'm going to just put it in my truck and take it to the recycling bin at the county garbage collection center next weekend. A hundred dollar lesson learned.


Mod Squad
TFP Expert
Platinum Supporter
LifeTime Supporter
Aug 10, 2012
Solar cover is a misnomer. It is really a solar blanket. They work by reducing evaporative heat loss. Mostly overnight but also when it is windy. My cover slowed overnight heat loss from 5, 6, 8 degrees to 1, 2, 3 degrees depending on temps and wind.

Without a solar cover the theoretical temp of the pool will be the midpoint between high and low temps. Hi 90, lo 70 will result in an 80 degree pool. With a solar cover typically the temp will slowly climb up toward the high temp over a week or two. I definitely like my solar cover. It helps tremendously in spring and fall.

I cut my cover in half to make it easier to handle and to clean. My pool is 18x41 and I basically have 2 18x20 covers. It stays in place fine and is much easier to handle. Cleaning them is a bit of a pain but you get better at it. I don't clean it very often.