How to Start a Pool Cleaning Business

Young man cleaning pool
••• Alex Mares-Manton/Asia Images/Getty Images

If you enjoy being outside and working in different locations, then starting a pool cleaning company from home might be for you. 

What a Pool Cleaning Business Involves

Pool cleaners visit client's homes or businesses (i.e. hotels, apartments, gyms, etc) to check and adjust the water's chemical balance, maintain the pumps and filters, check the skimmers, and clean. Along with a regular weekly schedule during the season, they might make extra visits to open and close down a pool, or after a storm which often blows debris into pools. Further, along with pool maintenance, pool cleaners can work on spas and hot tubs. 

How Much do Pool Cleaners Make?

According to Spring Board Pool Route Brokers, professional pool cleaners earn $50 to $60 per hour, up to $200 if equipment repair and maintenance is done. If you hire cleaners in your business, Glassdoor indicates they'd be paid $8 to $11 per hour. 

Pros of Starting a Pool Cleaning Business

There are several advantages to running a pool cleaning business, including:

  • You can work outdoors.
  • You can start part-time.
  • You don't need a large investment to get started.
  • The work is physical, which can help keep you in shape. 
  • You don't need to dress professionally. Board shorts and t-shirt will suffice. Although, you don't want to look too scraggly either.

Cons of Starting a Pool Cleaning Business

Like most businesses, there are a few downsides to running a pool cleaning business, such as:

  • Some pool cleaners are toxic and can be hazardous to your health. New non-toxic options are available which can appeal to some markets.
  • Daily, long-term sun exposure can be dangerous. 
  • In areas with cold winters, pool cleaning is a seasonal business, so you might need to find other work during the off-season. Of course, many places such as hotels have indoor pools, so you may be able to retain enough work to survive the winter.

What it Take to Start a Pool Cleaning Business

Pool cleaning is not a learn-as-you-go business. Pool cleaners should know their stuff, either through apprenticing or tagging along with a respected practitioner.

Due to health codes, some states require certification if you’ll be attending to public and health-club pools, hot tubs, and spas. Florida requires that candidates take an open-book test to become certified.

A knowledge of environmentally-friendly products, including chlorine alternatives, can be a plus and help you set your pool cleaning business apart from others.

What You’ll Need to Get Your Pool Cleaning Business Started

If you'd like to enjoy the sun and get started as a pool cleaning company, here's what you need:

  • Gain any needed experience, especially if it's required by your state.
  • Set up your business structure, such as an LLC. You'll also need to decide on a business name.
  • Business plan: Outline what you offer, the market you'll offer it too, how you'll finance your new business, and other details needed to create a business plan.
  • Marketing plan: Who is your target market and what strategies will you use to let them know about your pool company?
  • Money to start your business: If you don't already have the tools and equipment needed to start your business, you'll need to find funding to buy it.
  • Business license as required by your city or county.
  • Certification: Check with your area's health department to find out what’s required
  • Insurance: Your state may require that you get bonded and fingerprinted. 
  • The ability to swim: On the off chance you fall in, you need to be able to save yourself. 
  • Good physical health: Efficient pool cleaning requires stamina and energy
  • Sunscreen and a hat: Being in the sun can be enjoyable, but dangerous without the right protection.
  • Water bottles and a cooler: You'll be in the sun and working hard, so you need to keep yourself hydrated.
  • Business cards and flyers or brochures: You can pass these out at pool supply stores in your area.
  • A prepared pitch: While you can pass out your business card to businesses, having a prepared pitch to deliver to motels/hotels, apartments, spas, gyms and contractors can improve your chances of being hired. 
  • Basic pool cleaning equipment and chemicals: You'll need to obtain poles, hoses, skimmers, chemicals, and test kits.
  • Reliable transportation to haul your pool cleaning gear

Edited April 2018 Leslie Truex