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Best Pool Shocks in 2020 – Reviewed

Most of our readers understand what is involved with “shocking” a pool to get it ready for the pool season, but for those who may not know what it is, let us give a simple yet eloquent definition. Pool shocking is the process of raising the free chlorine levels in a pool so that the pool’s water is an inhospitable environment for algae, bacteria, and chloramines. And the process starts with the pool owner using the best pool shock product available.

Now that we know what shocking the pool entails, it’s time for us to find the products that work the best. Although there are probably a couple of dozen pool shock products available, not all of them work equally well. That’s why we’ve selected the three that we feel are the best and provide the pool owner with proven performance. Let’s take a closer look at these products now.

Quick Summary of Best Pool Shocks

 Editor’s Choice 
Clorox Pool & Spa Shock XtraBlue  (review)
 Also Recommended 
HTH Super Shock Treatment Swimming Pool Cleaner  (review)
 Also Consider 
Pool Essentials Shock Treatment  (review)

Reviews

Editor’s Choice: Clorox Pool & Spa Shock XtraBlue

Just about everyone knows the name Clorox, or at least, should know the name. They’re a company that’s dedicated themselves to making some of the best disinfecting products currently available. Their product line includes everything from bleach to disinfecting wipes, and now they’ve added a pool and spa shock to their line. And the shock that they sell, Clorox Pool & Spa XtraBlue Shock is one of the best products around that a person can use to shock their pool. Of course, with the product containing the Clorox name, it’s probably not a big surprise for anyone.

This product is a 6-in-1 shock that’s designed to kill bacteria, kill algae, and clarify water. It’s also designed to help improve the filter’s performance as well. And because this product dissolves quickly, the pool is ready in 15-minutes so swimmers can return to the pool as quickly as possible. To use this product, all the consumer has to do is to put on protective equipment such as goggles and gloves, add the shock to the pool’s water according to the package’s directions, wait for 15-minutes, and then test the water to see if it needs to be shocked again or if it’s good to go. Yes, it’s that easy.

Another thing that we liked about this product is that each box comes with 12 1-pound bags, so there’s plenty of product to keep the pool in good condition all season long. This is a product that does a good job of making the pool water crystal clear and it quickly kills bacteria and even some of the most hard-to-kill algae out there: algae such as mustard algae, green and black algae. Although this product isn’t the only product that a pool owner is going to need to keep their pool’s water in good condition, it is one of the most important starting steps to a cleaner pool.

PROS:

  • It kills and prevents algae quickly.
  • The pool is swim-ready in 15-minutes.
  • It’s a 6-in-1 formula.
CONS:

  • None.

Also Recommended: HTH Super Shock Treatment Swimming Pool Cleaner

Another product that we thought did a great job of shocking a pool is this product from HTH. This product is called Super Shock, and we think that name probably fits this product quite well. After all, it does do a good job of returning a pool to its normal baseline cleanliness levels. This product is designed to be added to a pool every week to keep the pool in good shape, but the consumer should always keep in mind that they have to use this product in conjunction with regular testing to be sure that they don’t overtreat the pool.

Since this product is a 4-in-1 product, it’s capable of killing bacteria and algae quickly and efficiently. And yes, it’s capable of treating some of the tougher types of algae including mustard, green and black varieties. One bag is enough to treat a pool up to 13,500 gallons in size, so a box of 12 should keep a person’s pool nice and clean almost all season long.

If there was one potential flaw we could state about this product, it’s the fact that the bags aren’t as durable as we think they should be and might be prone to rupturing during shipping. Now that we’ve put that out there, we do have to say that this is still one of the best pool shock products we’ve used.

PROS:

  • This product is good for vinyl-lined pools.
  • It’s a 4-in-1 formula that works well.
CONS:

  • This product could’ve been better packaged.

Also Consider: Pool Essentials Shock Treatment

The last product that we’d like to discuss is this shock treatment from Pool Essentials. This is a 6-pack of shock that’s a little bit pricey, but it nonetheless does a great job of shocking the pool. It’s a product that’s capable of clearing cloudy water, controlling bacteria and killing algae. It’s also a product that does a good job of controlling chlorine odor.

Another thing that we liked about this product was that it was easy to apply. All the pool owner had to do was apply it, wait for 15-minutes, test the pool to see if they need to shock it again, and if it doesn’t need an additional shock, then the pool can be put back into service. It’s this quick and easy because this product dissolves extremely quickly in the pool’s water, and this allows swimmers to get back to swimming sooner.

This product is also well packaged, so there’s little chance of the packets rupturing during transit. All of these things make this pool shock a good choice for people who are looking for a quality pool cleaning product. Oh, we almost forgot, it probably should be mentioned that this product is perfect for vinyl pools and it won’t eat away these pools over time like some harsher products tend to do.

All things taken into account, we have no problem saying that this is a quality shock that should serve most pool owners well. They do need to make sure to regularly test their pool and follow the package’s directions, but that’s the case with any pool shock product they’re going to use. It’s a good product and worth a good look.

PROS:

  • This product works well and is easy to apply.
  • This product is well packaged.
CONS:

  • This product is more expensive than we would’ve liked.

Pool Shock Guide

If you’ve been away and come back to a pool filled with algae or have left it to build up for some time, there is a good case for using a pool shock. Not only is this a fast way of ensuring your pool has the balance of chemicals it needs to return to a safe state, but they are very effective.

This is only when you buy the right product for your needs. Because some are better than others, we have created the following buyer’s guide. By the end of it, you’ll know what to expect from a quality pool shock.

What To Look For In Pool Shock

Effectiveness

Some brands put the right balance of chemicals to make light work of bacteria and algae that puts you off using your pool any time soon.

This is where it is a good idea to check the reputation of the product. If there are plenty of positive reviews you know it is effective at shocking the pool. 

Suitability

A lot of products are tailored towards concrete pools whilst other pool shocks are fine for vinyl above ground pools. Whatever pool you have, it is best to check the shock you are buying is right.

Calcium Hypochlorite

You will find that most pool shock products contain around 65% calcium hypochlorite. One of the most effective and important ingredients, if you find a product that has a lower amount, it would be wise to consider another.

Premix

This can make getting rid of that green tint a lot easier but not every product is premixed. Some need to be dissolved in water before you put it into the pool. If you want to keep things simple, buy a product that is good to go.

Value

Some products come as a single unit which is fine if you usually keep an eye on the water. However, if you have a holiday home with a pool or just want to be sure you have a decent supply, there is great value to be had.

Some products come in multipacks with the measurements all done for you whilst others are just large containers that last a while.

Reduced Odor

The strong smell of these chemicals can feel quite potent when you’re using them and even as they work their magic, it can feel like they are too strong. Some brands make theirs with a reduced odor so if the smell of chlorine bothers you, there are alternatives to consider.

How Much Pool Shock Do I Need?

This will depend on the size of your pool and the particular brand you use but around 10-30ppm is needed. Leave this for a few hours to rid the pool of bacteria and built-up algae. 

Sometimes the pool only needs a bit of help to make it crystal clear and hygienic again. In which case, for every 10,000 gallons use half a bag of pool shock.

This is a general guideline as the strength of a pool shock will vary depending on the brand. Look at their guidelines to be sure.

Benefits Of Using Liquid Chlorine To Shock A Pool

The main reason a lot of people use this method is that it is simple. Pour in the right amount to the deep end and over a few hours, your pool water will start to clear.

Because you don’t need to premix it, this is one of the easiest ways to get rid of that ugly green water.

Liquid Vs Granular Pool Shock

As long as you purchase from a reputable company, both of these methods are going to give you a clear pool that is inviting as it is safe.

Most of the time you will find that shock pool comes in a granular form and sometimes a tab. These are great but some people have their reservations, particularly those who own a vinyl pool. This is because some brands can stain the sides. 

The best approach is to dissolve it in a bucket before you put it in your pool and make sure you insert it in even quantities. There are products you can buy to distribute the pool shock evenly. 

How Do I Shock A Pool?

The only thing you have to learn to do is use the appropriate amount. Each brand differs but after you have found the ideal amount and either pre-mixed it or have it ready to go, spread it throughout the water.

Some are fine to just tip in the deep end so read the instructions first. From this point, it is a waiting game. keep your filter running for up to 24 hours after.

What Is The Best Time To Shock A Pool?

Because the blazing sunshine can evaporate some of the chemicals, it is best to shock a pool overnight. If the weather isn’t so hot then it can be fine to do it in the daytime.

How Long Does A Pool Shock Take To Work?

This depends on the brand as each one will have a different chemical formula. Some work within minutes whereas others can take all day and night. If you are desperate to use the pool that day it is best to use it as early as possible. 

Can You Use Pool Shock On A Pond?

Certain brands are fine to use in ponds although you must get the measurement right. The chemical content will kill algae but it can also be poisonous to turtles, fish, and plants so it is not always a good idea.

Is Pool Shock The Same As Chlorine?

When used correctly both can have a similar effect but it depends on the brand and suitability. The active chemicals are the same although the dosages can differ.

The main thing to remember is that it should be suitable for use in a pool otherwise it might not be as effective as a product tailor-made for clearing algae and bacteria.

With a number of quality products on the market, the above should help you find the right one.

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