DIY vs Professional Pool Cleaning: A Cost and Benefit Analysis

South Africa’s bright sunshine is best enjoyed poolside, but the responsibility of maintaining that sparkling blue oasis is a pressing concern. One question swimming in the mind of many pool owners is whether to dive into the world of DIY pool cleaning or let professionals handle the deep end. 

This article aims to provide you with a cost, time, and effort analysis, allowing you to make an informed decision that suits your lifestyle and budget. Let’s find out which option makes for a clearer choice and cleaner pool.

DIY Pool Cleaning Analysis

Pool leaf skimmer laying on the floor next to a pool

When you choose to take pool cleaning into your own hands, there are several factors to consider.

1. Costs and Time

The cost of acquiring basic pool cleaning tools (regardless of your choice to do the cleaning yourself or hire a professional), such as a net skimmer, pool brush, and vacuum can range from R1,500 to R3,500, sometimes even more. On top of that, chemical costs can amount to R500 to R1,000 per month, varying according to pool size and usage. Hidden costs, like the additional energy bill from running your pool pump, should also be considered.

Moreover, pool cleaning isn’t a quick dip. A thorough cleaning can occupy 1-2 hours of your week, with added time for additional pool maintenance tasks like shocking your pool or managing algae.

2. Pros of DIY Pool Cleaning

  • Cost-saving Potential: The initial appeal of DIY pool cleaning is its cost-effectiveness. By putting in your own time and labour, you save on professional service fees.
  • Satisfaction: There’s a sense of pride and accomplishment in maintaining your own pool, making every swim a testament to your hard work.
  • Flexibility: DIY pool maintenance allows you to choose when and how often your pool is cleaned.

3. Cons of DIY Pool Cleaning

  • Chemical Balance Complexity: Pool maintenance isn’t just skimming leaves. Managing chemical balance requires knowledge and attention, with potential mishaps leading to costly fixes or even damage to your pool.
  • Time Commitment: Though it may save money, DIY pool cleaning can consume a significant chunk of your valuable time.
  • Potential for Missed Issues: Without professional expertise, underlying pool problems may go unnoticed until they become significant, expensive issues.

Professional Pool Cleaning Analysis

Outdoor Swimming Pool Cleaning and Heating Equipment Seasonal Maintenance Performed by Professional Pool Technician.

Choosing a professional pool cleaning service presents its own considerations.

1. Costs and Time

The cost of professional pool cleaning services in South Africa can range from R200 to R1,000 per visit, depending on your pool’s size and condition, and the company you hire. This cost generally includes chemical balancing, cleaning, equipment checks, and problem detection.

2. Pros of Professional Pool Cleaning

  • Expertise: Professional cleaners are experts in their field. They can accurately identify what your pool needs and address issues before they escalate.
  • Time-saving: By entrusting your pool to professionals, you free up your own time for other activities.
  • Efficiency: Professional pool cleaners work efficiently, potentially reducing the energy consumption required to keep your pool clean.
  • Consistency: A regularly scheduled service ensures your pool stays consistently clean and ready for use.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your pool is being maintained by professionals lets you relax and enjoy your pool without worry.

3. Cons of Professional Pool Cleaning

  • Higher Costs: Hiring a professional pool cleaning service can be more expensive upfront compared to DIY.
  • Less Control: With a professional service, you may have less control over the specific cleaning schedule.


The decision between a DIY and a professional pool cleaning service boils down to your individual priorities, whether that’s cost-saving, time-saving, expertise, or peace of mind. For pool owners who highly value their time and prefer a professionally maintained pool, a professional service might be worth it.

Through SweepSouth, South Africa’s #1 home services platform, you can access a variety of vetted outdoor professionals who also offer pool cleaning. Booking a SweepSouth cleaning service allows you to avoid the stress of having to clean your pool or the rest of your home, and rather spend time doing the things you love. With SweepSouth, every day can be a perfect pool day!

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