BBB Pool Method: The Ultimate Way to Clear and Sparkling Pool Water




Are you tired of using expensive and complicated pool chemicals to keep your pool clean and clear? Have you ever heard of the BBB pool method? BBB stands for Bleach, Baking Soda, and Borax, and it is a simple and cost-effective way to maintain your swimming pool.

The BBB method is based on accurately testing your pool water and adding only the specific chemicals needed to keep it balanced. This approach eliminates the need for expensive and unnecessary chemicals, making pool maintenance much more affordable.

You can keep your pool sparkling clean without breaking the bank by using household items like bleach, baking soda, and borax.

The BBB Method Pool: The BBB method for pool maintenance is a widely recommended approach. This method combines bleach, baking soda, and borax in specified proportions to sanitize and balance pool water chemistry effectively. Regular use of the BBB method helps maintain clear and safe pool water while minimizing the need for expensive pool chemicals.

BBB Pool Method: what is the bbb method for pools
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What is the BBB Pool Method?

If you’re looking for an affordable and effective way to keep your swimming pool clean and well-maintained, the BBB pool method might be just what you need. BBB stands for Bleach, Baking Soda, and Borax – three common household items that can be used to keep your pool water balanced and sanitized.

The bleach, baking soda and borax for pool method is a simple and straightforward approach to pool care that doesn’t require a lot of expensive chemicals or complicated testing procedures. Instead, you’ll use basic ingredients that you can find at any grocery store or hardware store to maintain your pool water chemistry.

Here’s how the BBB method works:

  • Bleach: Chlorine is a critical component of any pool maintenance routine, and bleach is an affordable and effective source of chlorine. Regularly adding bleach to your pool water lets you keep it free of harmful bacteria and algae.
  • Baking Soda: Baking soda is used to raise the pH level and total alkalinity of your pool water. If your pH and alkalinity are too low, your pool water can become acidic and cause skin and eye irritation. Adding baking soda to your pool water ensures that the pH and alkalinity stay within the optimal range.
  • Borax: Borax is a natural mineral that can be used to raise the pH of your pool water. If your pH is too low, your pool water can become corrosive and damage your pool equipment. Adding borax to your pool water lets you keep the pH at the right level without raising the total alkalinity.

Using the pool BBB method, you’ll test your pool water regularly to ensure that the pH, alkalinity, and chlorine levels are all within the optimal range. Adding the right amount of bleach, baking soda, and borax to your pool water lets you keep it clean, clear, and safe for swimming.

BBB Method For Pools Ingredients

When it comes to the BBB method for pools, the three main ingredients are bleach, baking soda, and borax. Each of these ingredients plays a crucial role in maintaining your pool’s chemistry. In this section, we will take a closer look at each of these ingredients and their functions.


Bleach, also known as sodium hypochlorite, is a powerful oxidizer that is commonly used as a disinfectant. In the BBB pool method, bleach is used as a primary sanitizer to kill harmful bacteria and other contaminants in your pool. It is a cost-effective alternative to traditional pool chlorine and can be found at most grocery stores and home improvement centers.

When using bleach, it is important to note that it can cause pH levels to rise, which can lead to cloudy water and other issues. To avoid this, you can use muriatic acid or another pH reducer to check your pool’s pH levels.

Clorox 30966 Concentrated Regular Bleach, 121 Oz. | Pack of 2

Clorox Bleach is one of the most popular, and it can be purchased on Amazon or locally.

Baking Soda

Baking soda, also known as sodium bicarbonate, is a versatile ingredient that is commonly used in cooking and baking. In the BBB pool method, baking soda is used to raise the pH levels in your pool. It is a gentle and natural alternative to harsher chemicals like sodium carbonate.

Baking soda can also help to balance the alkalinity levels in your pool, which can help to prevent corrosion and other damage to your pool equipment. It is important to note that baking soda should not be used as a substitute for pool shock or other sanitizers.

Arm & Hammer Baking Soda Naturally Pure (2-Pack)

Arm and Hammer Baking Soda is one of the most popular, and it can be purchased on Amazon or locally.


Borax, also known as sodium borate, is a natural mineral that is commonly used as a laundry booster and cleaning agent. In the BBB pool method, borax is used to raise your pool’s pH levels and balance the alkalinity levels.

Borax is a gentle and natural alternative to harsher chemicals like sodium carbonate. It can also help to prevent algae growth and other issues in your pool. However, it is important to note that borax should not be used as a substitute for pool shock or other sanitizers.

20 Mule Team All Natural Borax Detergent Booster & Multi-Purpose Household Cleaner, 65 Ounce, 4 Count

20 Mule Team Borax is the most popular Borax, which can be purchased on Amazon or locally.

Read: Borax in Pool Maintenance: Pros, Cons, and How to Use It Safely

The BBB pool method is a simple and effective way to maintain your pool’s chemistry without breaking the bank. By understanding the role of each ingredient, you can ensure that your pool stays clean, clear, and healthy all season long.

Step-by-Step Guide to the BBB Pool Method

Step 1: Test the pool water

Begin by testing your pool water using a reliable testing kit or test strips to determine the current levels of sanitizer, pH, total alkalinity, and other relevant parameters.

Step 2: Adjust chlorine levels

Maintain proper sanitation by adjusting chlorine levels in your pool. You can use bleach to raise the chlorine level. Aim for a chlorine level of 2-4 ppm.

Step 3: Add borate

Add borate to your pool water to control algae growth and stabilize the pH. You can use borax or a commercially available borate product. Aim for a borate level of 30-50 ppm.

Step 4: Maintain total alkalinity

Use baking soda to maintain the total alkalinity within the recommended 80-120 ppm range. Regularly test and adjust as needed.

Step 5: Test and balance the pH

Maintain a pH level of 7.4-7.6 by testing regularly and adjusting with muriatic acid (to lower pH) or borax (to raise pH) as needed.

Step 6: Monitor and maintain water chemistry

Regularly test your pool water to ensure it stays within the recommended parameters. Make necessary adjustments to maintain a balanced and clean swimming environment.

Step 7: Keep the pool clean

In addition to maintaining water chemistry, ensure your pool is clean by regularly skimming debris, vacuuming, brushing the walls and floor and backwashing or cleaning the filter as needed.

By following these steps, you’ll be able to maintain your swimming pool effectively using the BBB method, ensuring a clean, clear, and safe environment for swimmers.

Pool Care Handbook and Video Course

When I bought my house with a swimming pool, I knew absolutely nothing about pool care. I just winged it for a while, making many mistakes along the way.

Fortunately, I was recommended Swim University’s Pool Care Handbook and Video Course. I bought it and it was an absolute game-changer.

It was the best money I spent that year. I learned everything from basic cleaning to advanced troubleshooting. Swim University offers a no-quibble refund policy too so what do you have to lose?

Do You Need Any Other Chemicals?

You may occasionally need a few additional chemicals in order to balance your pool water when using the BBB pool method.

These include:

Cyanuric Acid

Cyanuric acid, also known as CYA, is a stabilizer that helps protect the chlorine in your pool from breaking down in sunlight.

You should aim to keep your CYA levels between 30 and 50 ppm.

  • If your CYA levels are too low, your chlorine will dissipate too quickly.
  • If your CYA levels are too high, your chlorine will be less effective.

Although many say you can add CYA to your pool by pouring it directly into the skimmer, personally, I always mix all chemicals in a bucket of water before adding them to the pool.

Rx Clear Swimming Pool Stabilizer and Conditioner | Water Balancer | Cyanuric Acid for Swimming Pools | Longer Lasting Sanitation | Helps Reduce Chlorine Loss Due to Sunlight | 25 Pounds

RX Clear Stabilizer (CYA) is available on Amazon

Muriatic Acid

Muriatic acid is used to lower the pH level of your pool water. You should add muriatic acid slowly and in small amounts, testing the pH level after each addition has had a chance to be mixed throughout the pool by running the pool pump for at least 4 hours.

Be sure to wear gloves and eye protection when handling muriatic acid.

Klean Strip Green Safer Muriatic Acid Jug 128 Oz (Pack of 4)

Klean Strip Muriatic Acid is available on Amazon.

Testing the Water

When it comes to maintaining your pool, testing the water is one of the most important things you can do. Without accurate and consistent testing, you won’t know what chemicals to add to keep the water clear and sanitized. Here’s what you need to know about testing the water with the BBB pool method.

Test Kit

You’ll need a good test kit to test your pool water properly. The Taylor Test Kit (available on Amazon) is highly recommended as it is one of the best on the market. Depending on the size of your pool and how hot it gets in the summer, you’ll need to test your water at least once a week or, in some cases, every other day.

The Taylor Test Kit comes with everything you need to test your water, including reagents, test tubes, and a color chart. It measures the following entities:

  • Free and Total Available Chlorine
  • pH
  • Total Alkalinity
  • Calcium Hardness
  • Cyanuric Acid

Recommended Test Kit

Taylor Complete Pool & Spa Test Kit - High Range K-2005C 2 oz Reagents

Taylor Complete Pool & Spa Test Kit

A very easy-to-use test kit that tests for free and total chlorine, pH, bromine, acid/base demand, total alkalinity, and cyanuric acid (stabilizer)

Once you’ve collected the water sample, follow the instructions that come with your test kit to measure the different entities. Record the results in a notebook or pool log so you can keep track of changes over time.

Test Strips

Test strips are an easy way to test your pool water. Just dip them in the pool for a few seconds and then compare the colors on the strip with the guide on the package.

Recommended Test Strips

AquaChek 7-Way Pool and Spa Test Strips - Silver Pool Test Strips For pH, Total Chlorine, Free Chlorine, Bromine, Alkalinity, Total Hardness, and Cyanuric Acid - Water Quality Testing Kit (100 Strips)

Aquachek 7-way test strips

I use these test strips that can tell you the total chlorine/bromine, free chlorine, pH, total alkalinity, CYA and hardness levels.

By regularly testing your pool water with a good test kit or test strip, you’ll be able to keep your pool clean and safe for swimming.


Many pool owners turn to various cleaning agents in their quest to maintain a clean and sanitized pool. Among these agents, bleach, borax, and baking soda (known as BBB) have emerged as popular choices.

Bleach, a powerful disinfectant, is widely recognized for its ability to kill harmful bacteria and viruses lurking in pool water.

On the other hand, Borax acts as a pH stabilizer, helping maintain the pool’s water balance and prevent fluctuations in acidity levels.

Baking soda, known for its alkaline properties, aids in stabilizing the pool’s pH, promoting a safer and more comfortable swimming experience.


Can I use regular household items to maintain my pool?

The BBB method uses bleach, baking soda, and borax to clean and clear your pool. These are all common household items that you probably already have in your pantry or laundry room. By using these simple ingredients, you can save money and avoid harsh chemicals.

Do I need to use any other chemicals with the BBB method?

In most cases, no. The BBB method is designed to be a simple, effective, and affordable way to maintain your pool without using a lot of extra chemicals. However, you may need to use additional chemicals if your pool has specific issues, such as high calcium hardness or low CYA levels. Always test your water regularly and adjust your treatment plan as needed.

Why choose the BBB swimming pool method over traditional techniques?

The BBB method is cost-effective, simple to implement, and reduces exposure to potentially harmful chemicals compared to traditional pool maintenance techniques.

How do I start using the BBB swimming pool method?

Test your pool water, adjust bromine levels for sanitation, add borate to control algae and stabilize pH, and use baking soda to maintain total alkalinity. Regularly monitor and adjust as needed.

Want to know how to save the planet and be more green with your pool? Then read my post Green Solutions for Eco-friendly Pool Maintenance: A Quick Guide

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