Why it’s a terrible idea to clean your poolside floor with pool water

Over my years in the leisure sector I’ve seen it time and time again: spooling water from the pool onto the poolside floor and scrubbing off because “it cleans” and/or “it sanitises”.


Since I became aware of this fact, it’s put me off swimming in pools to say the least, but did you know that the top 12 inches of a pool’s water is where all the body fats accumulate (it certainly makes you want to ensure your head is really far out of the water when you are breathing doing front crawl)?


And what are the most common contaminants that make poolside floors unsightly, greasy and slippery? You guessed it: body fats.


So by scooping up water from the pool and putting it onto the poolside floor, we are in fact introducing body fats to try to remove body fats: that’s counter-intuitive and is definitely an ineffective way of trying to clean and sanitise. If you are trying to rinse off contaminants with water containing the same contaminates, you are not removing anything but instead just depositing more onto the surface.


The floor may look clean, but I can guarantee you that by any scientific measure it is not. It will be unhygienic and slippery when wet due to the build-up of body fat residues left behind.


There is a supplemental issue too: the rise of sodium hypochlorite build-up. Whilst this may appear to look very similar to calcium, it is nowhere near so easy to remove once in place. Calcium can be broken down using the right kind of chemical, whereas sodium hypochlorite is impervious to chemicals and really requires mechanical removal methods which are time-consuming and therefore expensive.


Why does this happen? I can only assume because people haven’t been educated about what is really going on (just like 99.99% of people in life, lifeguards don’t want to deliberately do something wrong).


So spread the word among fellow leisure sector people: you must, must, must use fresh, clean water to rinse off your poolside floors.

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