Pool Brushing - Further Reading

Why Does a Pool Need to be Brushed?

Brushing is important. There can be dead spots in the pool circulation where a boundary layer can form adjacent to certain spots of the pool surface. While the overall chlorine reading can be acceptable, these boundary layer spots can be low in chlorine and algae can develop.

Algae has a biofilm that protects it. Brushing the pool surfaces breaks the algae's biofilm and allow the chlorine to attack it. That is why frequent brushing during the SLAM Process is important to its success. All pool surfaces should be brushed at least weekly during regular maintenance.

Do Pool Cleaners Eliminate the Need to Manually Brush the Pool?

Pool robot cleaners do a pretty good job. You still need to manually brush some surfaces, along stairs, ledges, corners, etc.[1]

Wall Brushes

Pool Brush 18 inches.jpg

A pool owner should have at least one good brush.

Pool brushes have either polyester/nylon bristles or stainless steel wire bristles. There are also combo brushes with both poly and wire bristles. You should not need metal bristles for routine brushing.

Use only polyester/nylon bristled brushes on vinyl, fiberglass, and resin pools. Stainless steel bristles can scratch fiberglass and resin surfaces.

On new plaster and aggregate pools only use a polyester/nylon brush for the first year. After a year a polyester/nylon brush can be used or a combo poly/steel brush can be used.

Features to look for in wall brushes are:

  • curved ends and rubber bumpers
  • an aerodynamic fin to keep the brush pressed against the pool's surface.

Basic 18" Wall Brush

A basic 18" Nylon pool brush is fine for smaller pools. This brush has a spoiler fin to hold tight to walls.

Reinforced 24" Wall Brush

If you have a larger pool then a 24″ wall brush with nylon bristles and a reinforced metal spoiler fin may save you time and last longer.

Whale Brush

Whale brush.jpg

If you find it difficult to Keep the brush against the pool walls you may find the Wall Whale Brush makes brushing an easier and more enjoyable task. Just like a spoiler on a car, the tail on the Wall Whale works like a spoiler to hold the brush firmly against the pool surface. With the Wall Whale, you simply push down with one hand and the force of the water against the Wall Whale creates pressure between the brush and pool surface. As long as the brush is moving, even with the pole fully extended, the Wall Whale will hold the brush firmly against the pool surface.

The Wall Whale Brush has an XL version that some people say is too big and requires too much effort. The Wall Whale XL can be really tough to use on the floor.

SweepEase Pool Brush

SweepEase has a family of pool brushes with aerodynamic shapes to use water to force the brush to the walls and floor with 5-10 pounds of pressure. For those who find the Whale Brush too difficult to handle the SweepEase brush may work.

Sweepease has a 100% polyester bristled brush and a SS/Poly Blend Brush. Note that the SS/blend is not for use on vinyl or fiberglass pools.

Wall Whale or SweepEase?

Here is one members Wall Whale XL vs SweepEase comparison.


  • The nylon bristles on pool brushes get broken down by UV rays if you leave them sitting outside
  • All brushes tend to shed bristles eventually. When a brush begins losing bristles it is time to replace it.
  • If you find little white sticks in your pool cleaner it is likely your pool bristles coming loose

Specialty Brushes

Corner Brushes

Pool Corner Brush.jpg

A smaller brush is handy for brushing the corners that a large brush can't get into and for spas. You can use it to brush the skimmer throats, all the corners on steps and benches and under the waterfall. You can find the brush pictured on Amazon and in pool stores.

Stainless Steel Wire Brushes

You should only use a wire brush for stubborn black algae spots. Fresh finishes need to stick with nylon the first year.[2]

Brushes with stainless steel bristles are rough on a pool surface. Here is a thread where a member damaged their pebble finish using acid and a 6" wire brush.

If your pool is made or resin or fiberglass steel bristles can leave scratches on the surface.

Brushes with stainless steel bristles are often labeled as "algae brushes". Brushing and filtering alone does not fix an algae problem. The TFP SLAM Process and brushing with nylon bristle brushes to break the algae biofilm is what is needed and easier on the surface of the pool.

Stainless steel bristles do not deteriorate from the sun the way nylon bristles do. However, brushes shed their bristles and can leave sharp sticks of metal in the pool.

These are some products members have liked:[3]

Pool Poles

You need a good pole to connect to your brush. You will find some suggestions at Pool Poles.