Is SoftSwim the Best Chemical Program for you?

Yesterday, we took a look at the weekly 3-step chlorine program from BioGuard, so today we will dive deep into the world of SoftSwim.

SoftSwim is a non-chlorine sanitizing system from BioGuard.  If you have heard of baquacil or biguanide, it’s the same general idea.  It’s great for those people who have an allergy to chlorine or just prefer a non-chlorine system.   All of the same chemicals that you would use to balance pH or alkalinity are compatible with SoftSwim.  It is very important to remember, however, that chlorine and SoftSwim DO NOT MIX.  If you add chlorine to a SoftSwim pool or vice versa, you will find yourself with something that looks more like a swamp in your back yard than a pool.

SoftSwim can be used with any pool surface type in both above-ground and in-ground pools.  It is not recommended for pools larger than 25,000 gallons, though.  SoftSwim does just what the name suggests: it makes the water feel softer for swimming!  It’s amazing how nice your hair and skin feel after swimming in the biguanide pool.  Perhaps the only thing simpler than 1-2-3 is A-B-C…but let me explain.  Let’s go through the steps.

image_softswim_aStep A: Prevent Algae Growth

The first step in keeping your pool crystal clear and algae-free is by using an algaecide.  “A” is great to use every other week to inhibit any algae from growing.  It won’t evaporate due to direct sunlight and it works harder in high temperatures, so don’t worry about cranking up that heater!

Step B: Sanitize to Kill Bacteriaimage_softswim_b

Just as chlorine is your sanitizer in a chlorine pool, “B” is your sanitizer in a non-chlorine pool.  It contains biguanide, which was originally developed as a pre-surgery microbial scrub so you know it’s effective when it comes to killing germs and bacteria.  It is only added as needed but it is one of the most important steps in your A-B-C program (at least it’s in the top 3, anyway.)  It’s powerful, yet gentle on your eyes, skin and hair.

image_softswim_cStep C: Oxidize and Clarify for Sparkling Clear Water

C” is effectively your shock for a SoftSwim pool.  It is a pure form of hydrogen peroxide and generally should be added once a month to maintain your water clarity.  It has a built-in stabilizer so it lasts longer in the water and won’t burn off easily in hot weather.  “C” works great to eliminate body oils, lotions, sweat or any other undesirable contaminants that could dim your sparkle.

As with any other product, there are pros and cons.  It can be a bit more expensive to start up in the beginning of the season than a chlorine pool.  There can be other more stubborn types of algae that affect SoftSwim pools, particularly pink algae.  As with chlorine, the best way to get rid of stubborn algae is shock or in this case, “C“.

Or if you don’t want to read, you can just skip right to the video.

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Is Chlorine the Right Chemical Program for You?

Whether you are a pool pro or just a beginner, knowing all the information about pool chemicals will help you make the right choices when it comes to deciding which chemical program you want to use.  This series will focus on the 4 different programs offered by BioGuard to help you determine which is the best fit for you.  We’re going to start with the most common: chlorine.  I promise you, it’s as easy as 1-2-3.

BioGuard tries to make caring for your pool as simple as possible so Step 1 in their 3-step chlorine system is to Sanitize.image_silk_guard

Chlorine is your sanitizer, which is what kills bacteria and controls algae in your pool.  One of the best things about BioGuard chlorine is the SilkGuard Advantage.  It not only sanitizes your water but it also protects your pool equipment, prevents staining and scale buildup, and best of all is that it makes the water feel like silk.  There are several options when it comes to which type of chlorine/sanitizer is best for you.

  • Silk Smart Sticks: If you’re looking for a low-maintenance option, this is for you.  Smart Sticks only dissolve when your pump is running, so in order for these to work properly, you need to run your filter at least 8 hours per day.  (There’s no such thing as over-filtering your pool so this is the minimum recommended amount.)  You just add one stick into the skimmer each week and let them do the rest.
  • Silk Tabs and Silk Sticks: These are also slow-dissolving but will dissolve continuously, whether or not the pump is on.  They also contain SunShield Technology to prevent the sun from burning the chlorine out of the water.
  • Super Soluble: This is a powder form of chlorine that dissolves quickly, leaving no residue in the water.  You would just add a little bit each day, depending on the size of your pool.  This is great for small pools because you can measure out the perfect amount without over-chlorinating your water.

Step 2: Shock.


  • Smart Shock: This is the best maintenance shock to use.  It’s an oxidizer and a clarifier in one.  There’s no need to pre-dissolve it and you can swim just 15 minutes after adding it to the water.  It helps keep the water sparkling and fights off any bacteria or algae.
  • Burn Out: If you’re dealing with a green or cloudy pool, other alternatives are Burn Out 35 or Burn Out 3 for really stubborn chlorine blocks.  These will really get rid of any contaminants in the water.  It’s shocking how well they work!


Step 3 in the Weekly Program: Preventative Algaecide.

  • Back Up: There are many different algaecides on the market but we recommend using Back Up.  It’s a preventative algaecide and is highly effective when it comes to blocking a wide variety of algae growth in pools of all sizes.  It’s non-staining and won’t affect any of your other chemical levels in the water.

If you prefer this explanation in video form…here you go!

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Posted in Pools

5 Ways to Prevent “Pool Hair”

We’ve all been there: you’ve been swimming in the pool all day and when you get out, your hair is knotted and brittle and it takes forever to get a comb through it.  Sometimes it feels like there’s not enough de-tangler in the world that will fix your problem.  Luckily there are a few tricks that you can try to help you combat these summer woes.

1. Optimizer Plus®

There’s a reason this product from BioGuard® is #1 on the list: it’s the best way to protect your hair.  It was originally used in the Olympic swimming pools for both water softness and clarity.  It works like a conditioner for your hair and skin and will leave both feeling soft after a long day of swimming.  Another great thing about it is that it’s a one-time addition to the water and will last you from year to year.

2. Wet your hair before getting in the pool.  

Think of your hair like a sponge.  There’s only so much water a sponge will hold; same goes for your hair.  If it’s already wet, then it will absorb less of the chlorinated water and save you a bit of a headache later on.  Do NOT shampoo it before diving in though, because that could strip away the natural oils that act as a shield against the chlorinated water.

3. Try a conditioning mask.

This goes along the same lines of wetting your hair but this is a trick used by celebrity hair stylists.  All you need is a large spray bottle and a wire whisk.  Mix 4 tablespoons of your favorite conditioning mask into 4 cups of warm water.  Use the whisk to make sure you break up all the chunks of conditioner.  Pour that mixture into your spray bottle and shake it up some more, for good measure.  Once you arrive at the pool, drench your hair with the spray before jumping into the water.  It’s also a good idea to tie your hair back in a bun or braid to avoid some nasty tangles later on.

4. Opt for All-Natural Remedies

Before going in the pool, you can try treating your hair with natural oils like jojoba or coconut to help seal the hair cuticles and create a barrier from the chlorine.  If you’ve already gone in, try using apple cider vinegar, which acts as a natural clarifier.  Clarifiers help to remove any buildup in your hair like chlorine or dirt.  Just mix one part vinegar to four parts water and pour over your hair after it’s been washed.  Then you’ll want to rinse it out again to avoid your hair smelling like a salad.

5. Rinse & Repeat.

Sounds like an obvious solution but when you get out of the pool, go and rinse off in the shower.  Now is when you should definitely wash your hair (maybe with a clarifying shampoo.)  The quicker you get the chlorine out of your hair, the better.

What are some of your favorite remedies to prevent “pool hair”?

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How To Open Your Pool

Doing it the right way can mean the difference between a summer of fun and a summer of headaches! Follow these important (and easy) steps to ensure a smooth, carefree pool opening in the spring. And remember, your local BioGuard® Dealer is always ready to assist with information tailored to your specific pool care needs.

  1. Remove pool cover (skip this step for new pools)
    Drain off any accumulated water on the cover away from your pool. Once removed, clean with BioGuard Stow-A-Way® to prevent sticking and odors. Store in a dry place, free of debris and protected from the sun and weather.
  2. Fill your pool
    Your pool should be filled to the middle of the skimmer opening to allow for proper circulation.
  3. Check your pump, skimmer basket & filter
  4. Get your water tested
    Be sure to circulate pool water 24 to 48 hours before taking a water sample. Using a clean plastic container (or better still, one that your dealer provides), scoop about one quart of water from elbow-depth. Seal the container and take it to your BioGuard Dealer for testing and analysis.
    BioGuard pioneered the idea of computerized water analysis. Over the past 25 years, we have used our resources to research, develop and refine the science of water analysis. Today, our computerized water analysis system provides accurate results almost instantly. You receive personalized instructions for starting the pool. Help keep your water perfectly balanced by bringing in a water sample at least once every month during the pool season.
  5. Test sanitizer & pH levels
    You can test sanitizer and pH levels yourself using the BioGuard 1200V Test Kit or BioGuard Test Strips to check free chlorine, total bromine residuals and pH levels and Total Alkalinity. Use the following chart to determine proper levels.
  6. Routine maintenance
    Routine maintenance is the best way to maintain your pool. And with one of BioGuard’s easy-to- use 3-step pool care programs, it’s as easy as 1-2-3! We even have a non-chlorine system-our SoftSwim® Program-if you prefer pool care that doesn’t use chlorine to sanitize!

Watch the full Video here.

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