The Proper Way To Remove a Pool Cover

In order to properly maintain your pool, you will need to look after all pool equipment, including pool covers. Pool covers are an important part of any pool that helps to keep your pool warm and even extends the life of your pool system by keeping out debris. Whether you are looking to store the pool cover during the summer season or simply put it away for your daily swim, it is worth knowing how to properly remove the pool cover.

In this article, I will provide a step-by-step guide on how to properly remove both mesh and solid safety pool covers, how to clean the pool cover, and where to store them when they’re not in use.


Main Takeaways 

  • Safety pool covers are made up of a cover, springs, straps, and anchors.
  • Mesh pool covers are lighter and easier to remove than solid pool covers.
  • Remove pool cover in small sections, using an envelope style.
  • Let the cover air dry during removal to prevent mold growth during storage.

Step By Step Guide: How to Remove a Pool Cover

Removing a pool cover is not as simple as one might think. There is a proper way to remove a pool cover in order to prevent damaging it. By removing it properly, it will also be easier to install your pool cover again.

Solid Pool Cover

Removing a solid safety pool cover can be done alone. But because this type of pool cover is made from the sturdiest materials, it can be quite heavy. So, I recommend having a second set of hands to assist you.

Step One: Remove Debris Off The Cover

Before you begin removing the safety cover, it is recommended that you clean the cover. Because the cover is solid, rainwater and debris like leaves, sticks, and dirt can collect on the surface of the cover. Use a garden hose to rinse off all the dirt or use a broom to sweep it off the surface. If you want to learn more, here is my article on how to get water and debris off of your pool cover.

You should also let your cover dry before removing it as this helps prevent a build-up of mold when it is folded in storage.

Step Two: Remove The Springs and Lower The Anchor

Once you have cleaned the surface of the pool cover, remove the springs using the spring removal tool. The springs are connected to the anchors which are drilled into grommet holes in the paving around your pool. Make sure to store the springs in a safe place.

With the springs removed, lower the anchors into the grommets. This is to prevent people from tripping over them and to stop the springs from catching when removing the cover.

Step Three: Remove The Cover 

Starting at the long end of the pool, grab one corner of the cover and fold it over so that it reaches the first seam or spring with the underside of the cover exposed. Do this with both sides of the cover.

With one “row” done, repeat this process until you have removed the entire cover. This movement is similar to folding a piece of paper to fit into an envelope.

Try not to run the cover over anything rough or pointy that will damage the cover. And as a top tip, remember to wait a couple of minutes in between each fold to let the cover dry.

Step Four: Store The Cover In a Storage Bag

Once you have removed the cover from the pool, place it in its storage bag. To do this, you will need to fold the pool cover further until it is as small and as tight as possible. Roll this up and put it into the storage bag.

If you don’t have a storage bag, you can always use a plastic storage bin instead.

Mesh Pool Cover

Removing a mesh pool cover is pretty straightforward and similar to removing a solid pool cover. Luckily, this type of pool cover is not as heavy as the solid pool cover, so it is a lot easier to maneuver.

Step One: Clean The Cover

Unlike solid pool covers, mesh pool covers do not collect rainwater on the surface, so there’s no need to remove standing water. But mesh covers will still collect debris, so use a broom or a leaf blower to remove debris like leaves and dirt off the mesh top.

As it is a mesh cover, you won’t need to wait too long for the cover to dry before you start to remove it.

Step Two: Detach Cover Straps and Lower The Anchors

Remove the cover straps from the anchors in the paving around the pool. Store these in a safe spot. Next, use a hex driver to lower the anchors into the paving.

Step Three: Remove The Cover 

Starting from the long end of the pool, pull each corner of the cover so that it folds over itself with the bottom of the cover facing up like you would a letter for an envelope. Repeat this step until the cover is completely off the pool.

Make sure that there is nothing sharp, like exposed anchors, to catch and tear the pool cover.

Step Four: Store Cover In a Storage Bag

Allow the pool cover to dry properly before storage.

Once dry, fold the pool cover until the cover is small enough to fit in the storage bag. Then roll the cover and stuff it in the storage bag.

How To Clean Your Pool Cover

Cleaning your pool cover is just as important as removing it properly. Before you begin cleaning, make sure the pool cover is as taut as can be. This will make it easier to clean as the surface will be flat and wrinkle-free.

Solid Pool Cover

As solid pool covers collect standing water and debris, these do require more cleaning than the mesh covers. You don’t need expensive cleaners to wash the cover; simple dish soap will be sufficient. If you want, you can also opt for an enzyme-based cleaner. Using your choice of cleaner, spray the cover with a garden hose and scrub with a broom. Or if that sounds like too much work, a pressure cleaner will lift the dirt off for you. If you have mold on your solid pool cover, a simple solution of bleach and water can fix this problem.

A cover pump can also be a great option if you find water collects on your solid pool cover quite often.

Mesh Pool Cover

Cleaning a mesh pool cover is much simpler than a solid cover as there is no standing water that can often breed mold. However, if you do have mold on the cover, use a mild chlorine mix with a broom to clean it off. To remove debris and dirt from the mesh cover, use a broom or a leaf blower.

Another popular way to clean mesh pool covers is to install leaf catchers. These are large nets that are placed on top of the pool cover to catch leaves. When you are ready to remove the cover, pull the net off the cover first and clean it off the debris. This can save you the extra effort of sweeping the leaves off the pool cover itself.

Where To Store Your Pool Cover

Your pool cover should be folded tightly and stored either in its storage bag or any large plastic storage container. Before storing the cover away, it is imperative that the cover is 100% dry. Any moisture still on there will develop mold while sitting in storage.

You should also choose a storage location that does not have any rats as you don’t want rats or insects getting into the pool cover and destroying it. If you want more, feel free to check out my article on how to store your pool cover.

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Bottom Line

Solid and mesh safety pool covers need to be removed properly by using the above steps to ensure that they last longer and to make it easier for you to place them back on the pool. They are an essential part of your pool equipment, so make sure to look after them with care.

Have any questions regarding pool covers or other pool equipment? Feel free to reach out!

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