Best Pool Chemicals for Vinyl Liners

Vinyl liners have developed an unfair reputation for being vulnerable and weak. They just get bleached by solid chlorine tablets and strong chlorine concentration. Since chlorine is often used in pools, it creates a dilemma that can be solved with smart pool chemical selection.

The best pool chemicals for vinyl liners are Liquid Pool Shock with 12.5% concentration, a pH decreaser and a pH increaser that work for spas and pools, and an algaecide that is specifically positioned as vinyl-liner-friendly. Aside from this, most pool chemicals can be the same for all pools.

According to the criteria above, the best pool chemicals for Vinyl Liner are:

Vinyl Lines and Pool Chemicals: What You Need To Know

Pool shock is the fastest-acting pool chemical that sanitizes and oxidizes the pool killing all microbes and making the pool water sterile. However, the water needs to be chemically balanced before it is safe to swim, so other chemicals are also needed. 

Most other chemicals are relatively safe, and the same for vinyl liners and other types of pool lining. But shock (and sometimes sanitizer) is one particular chemical that can bite into the vinyl liner. That’s why it has to be different for Vinyl liners.

Best Pool Shock: Champion Ready-to-Use Liquid Pool Shock

While solid pool shock granules and tablets can bite through a vinyl liner, liquid chlorine doesn’t have the same effect. If diluted chlorine affected vinyl liners, vinyl would never have been viewed as a pool-lining material. It is the concentrated nature of solid shock tablets that affects the vinyl liner adversely. Even with significant sanitizing strength and industrial grade concentration, it is specifically lauded for being vinyl friendly by customers in its reviews.

The product has over 1470 reviews and ratings that add up to a global average of 4.5 on a 5-star scale. 86% of users have given it 5 or 4 stars, and only 1% have given it 1-star. Keep in mind that all customers don’t have vinyl liners but those who do have mentioned that the shock works well for vinyl-lined pools. 

Its ease of use is rated at 4.2 stars, which is also promising. Again, any liquid chlorine shock should be fine for a vinyl liner, but why you need Champion Liquid Shock is because people with Vinyl-lined pools have advocated for it.

Best Pool Sanitizer: ProTeam Spa Di Chlor

As mentioned earlier, you need to have kid gloves on with sanitizing chemicals because they can have a bleaching effect on a vinyl liner. The rule of thumb is to avoid tablets and slow-dissolving chlorine granules. A chlorine dispenser that keeps tablets from direct contact with vinyl liner can prevent the adverse effects of using chlorine for sanitizing your pool.

In other words, you have two options: use chlorine tablets and a chlorine dispenser, or use pre-dissolved Di Chlor. These granules aren’t usually pre-dissolved because they are used for spa sanitizing. With vinyl liner pools, you need to be more careful. You can dissolve these in a bucket or a large pot in less than 5 minutes. 

The concentrated liquid can then be dumped into the pool for sanitizing. It is advisable to use Spa Di Chlor 3 times a week to keep your pool clean. If you want to save money, though, you can dilute liquid chlorine pool shock in a 1:1 ratio. 50% diluted pool shock is a decent sanitizing agent.

Best Pool Oxidizer: Doheny’s Chlorine-Free Oxidizing Shock

Pool oxidation is required to get rid of non-microbial impurities from the pool. If you don’t want to waste your liquid pool shock to clear your pool of non-bacterial waste, you can use a chlorine-free oxidizing shock. Doheny’s Chlorine-Free Shock is safe for vinyl-lined pools. That said, you can use liquid chlorine for oxidizing your pool as well, which makes this an optional purchase.

Best Water pH Decreaser: Clorox Pool&Spa pH Down

So far, we have discussed the chemicals that have to be different for vinyl-lined pools. And among those, the highest value chemical is the liquid pool shock which can work as an oxidizer as well as a sanitizer. 

From this point forward, you can make mistakes in your chemical selection without affecting your vinyl liner. Just keep the following rule in mind: get chemicals that work for both pools and spas. This ensures that you don’t get super strong chemicals that can affect your liner.

Clorox Pool&Spa pH Down is a pH-decreasing agent that can be used to prevent scaling and cloudiness in your swimming pool. When calcium hardness rises due to high alkalinity, you can add Clorox pH down. You should regularly test your pool pH to prevent unhygienic conditions. Having this product on hand can help you take immediate action.

Best Water pH Increaser: Clorox Pool&Spa pH Up

A pH increaser does the opposite of what a pH decreaser does. Clorox Pool&Spa pH Up can help make water less acidic. When the pool water acidity increases, your skin can start itching when you get in the water. In some instances, the acidity stings the eyes as well. Testing the pH and using a pH increaser immediately is the solution. 

This product has over 6,900 reviews and ratings with a global average rating of 4.7 stars on a 5-star scale. A 4.7-star rating is among the highest for this category.

Best Algaecide: Pool Mate Pool Algaecide

Algaecide is a chemical you need to have at hand, and hope you don’t have to use it. Whenever you see an algae bloom in your pool, you can use algaecide or chlorine to get rid of it. Having Pool Mate Algaecide ensures that you don’t have to waste pool shock for smaller infestations. Most algaecides are equally useful for all types of pools. This one specifically claims to be vinyl-friendly as well.

Optional Items for Vinyl Liner

Now that you have all the essential chemicals that you need remember to get a pool clarifier, pool chemical testing kit, and a vinyl liner repair kit. As long as you opt for a well-rated product with over 500 verified reviews and ratings, you will be in the clear. I’ve not linked to specific products because you cannot damage your vinyl liner with these chemicals.

Final Thoughts

The first chemical you need is liquid pool shock. As long as you have liquid chlorine, you’re halfway through. It can be used for sanitizing and oxidizing. Other than that, you can get chemicals that are spa-friendly as they are less likely to bite into vinyl. Avoid using tablets without a dispenser, and make sure you pre-dissolve any granules you use.

Jed Arnold

Jed spent every year from the ages of 15 - 22 as a Lifeguard (Red Cross) and ages of 17 - 22 as a Certified Pool Operator (CPO). Between working for over a dozen facilities and owning a pool, he carries over a decade of pool experience.

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