What Is a Pool Skimmer Sock?

Written by Michael Dean
December 7, 2023

pool skimmer sock

Coming home to a sparkling, clean swimming pool is super rewarding. Many components of your pool system make it work, including your filter, pump, and pool skimmer. Your skimmer is the first line of defense against larger contaminants. But if you want to amp up your game, I recommend using a pool skimmer sock. A pool skimmer sock is a great tool that helps you achieve a clean and pristine swimming pool and can even help filter out the smallest bits of debris.

Today, I’ll discuss what a pool skimmer sock is, when and how to use it, and share with you my favorite options.

Main Takeaways

  • A pool skimmer sock is an extremely useful tool that cleans your pool and puts less strain on your filter.
  • Skimmer socks complement the work of pool skimmers by preventing smaller debris from contaminating the pool and clogging up the filter system.
  • They are easy to use, budget-friendly, and extend the lifespan of pool filters, reducing maintenance costs. What’s not to like?
  • Skimmer socks are especially useful during pollen season and for heavily used pools, keeping the water clean and reducing the need for frequent filter cleaning.

What Is a Pool Skimmer Sock?

Pool skimmer socks are a type of covering made of ultrafine mesh installed on top of your skimmer basket. They are elastic, so they will fit any size of the skimmer basket. Skimmer socks act as a filter for your skimmer and will filter out small particles such as dirt, pollen, and even dead algae! You’ll be surprised at just how much debris is hidden in your pool!

pool skimmer sock

Your pool skimmer is more important than you might think. Skimmers prevent large debris and act as the first line of defense against all unwanted contaminants. Without a skimmer sock, skimmers cannot filter smaller debris, like insects, bugs, and hair, that would otherwise reach the filter. However, throw on a skimmer sock, and you’ll prevent much smaller particles from reaching the rest of your filtration system!

Why Would You Use a Skimmer Sock?

A pool skimmer basket filters most of the larger debris, like leaves, grass, hair, and some insects and bugs. But a lot of smaller debris continues through the filtration system and eventually reaches the pool filter, so a skimmer sock can enhance your pool maintenance experience. Here are the main reasons why you should use a skimmer sock.

Better Filtration

First, skimmer socks act as an additional layer of filtration for your pool. The fine mesh material they are made of can trap tiny particles as small as pollen, small bugs, algae, hair, dirt, and more! Using a skimmer sock can significantly improve your pool water’s overall cleanliness and clarity.

Prolongs the Life of Your Pump and Filter

Over time, the debris that enters your skimmer can clog and damage your pool’s pump and filter system (I have research on how to unclog a pool skimmer line if you need it). Skimmer socks act as a barrier, preventing larger (and smaller, of course!) debris from reaching these critical components. This helps extend the lifespan of your pool equipment and reduces maintenance costs overall.

Easier Maintenance

One of the best advantages of installing a pool skimmer sock is that cleaning becomes much easier. After all, cleaning a skimmer sock is much simpler than cleaning a skimmer basket or your pool’s filter. Is the sock full of debris? Simply remove it, empty its contents, rinse it off, and put it back in the skimmer basket. It is that simple!

Better Water Circulation

A clogged skimmer basket can hinder water circulation in your pool. As the water flow decreases, this can lead to a host of other issues, including pool chemical distribution and issues with the efficiency of the filtration system. Skimmer socks can easily prevent this problem by keeping the skimmer basket clean and free-flowing, improving your skimmer’s suction power.

Reduced Chemical Usage

When your pool’s filtration system operates efficiently, flowing without any hindrance, you’ll likely end up using fewer chemicals to maintain water balance and clarity. Skimmer socks help maintain optimal filtration, which can lead to cost savings on pool chemicals in the long run.

Clearer and Cleaner Water

By capturing even the smallest particles you might not have even seen in your pool, skimmer socks contribute to crystal-clear pool water. This not only enhances the aesthetics of your pool but also provides a safer and more enjoyable swimming experience for you and your family.

Prevents Algae Growth

Debris and contaminants in your pool water can provide nutrients for algae to thrive. Using a skimmer sock to remove these potential food sources can help prevent algae growth and reduce the need for algaecides and shock treatments.

How to Use a Pool Skimmer Sock

Using a pool skimmer sock is super easy! There’s nothing to it. Plus, since they’re elastic, you can easily put them on and remove them when needed.

  1. Turn off the pump before you begin working.
  2. Open the skimmer basket lid.
  3. Put the sock on the skimmer basket as you would put a garbage bag in your trash bin by stretching the sock. Make sure you put it on nicely so it doesn’t slip off. 
  4. Place the skimmer basket lid back on and turn the pool pump back on.
  5. The pool skimmer sock will accumulate debris as the pool water circulates through it. Check the skimmer sock regularly, at least once a week or every few days, especially if your pool gets a lot of debris. Depending on your area, you may need to clean it more often. Some pool owners swear by daily cleaning, especially during pollen season.
  6. When the sock is full or significantly dirty, remove it to clean it.
  7. Simply take out the skimmer sock, empty its contents, rinse it out, and put it back in following steps 1-4. 
  8. After 4-8 weeks, it may be time to replace the skimmer sock with another.

When to Use a Pool Skimmer Sock

There’s no hard and fast rule on when you should use a skimmer sock, but I recommend using one throughout the pool season. First, skimmer socks are not very costly, so it’s a budget-friendly way to make pool maintenance a little bit easier. And second, they will help you cut down on pool maintenance costs over time! There are really no disadvantages to putting a skimmer sock on your skimmer basket.

They are especially beneficial in pollen season as the skimmer basket cannot filter fine pollen without a skimmer sock. These pollen grains will lead to murky and contaminated water if not properly filtered. And using a pool skimmer sock can easily prevent unsightly pollen buildup.

You should also use a pool skimmer with a sock if your pool is frequently used, especially in the heat of the summer. The higher bather load can lead to more contaminants in the pool, making the skimmer sock a valuable tool for keeping the water clean and clear.

Pool Skimmer Sock Costs

Pool skimmer socks are incredibly budget-friendly. They cost between $8 and $15 for a pack of 20 to 30 skimmer socks – talk about a deal! While there isn’t a huge range in the cost of pool skimmer socks, the price may depend on the number of socks in the packet, the brand, and the quality.

Remember that as long as they are cleaned often and looked after, each sock should last you around 4 to 8 weeks, or earlier if they are too dirty to be used.

Recommended Skimmer Socks

Are you sold on the benefits of pool skimmer socks? I don’t blame you! If you don’t have some in your pool shed already, here are two of my favorites to purchase for my own pool:

IMPRESA 20-Pack of Pool Skimmer Socks
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I may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at zero additional cost to you. This in no way impacts my research process or opinions.
Outus 20 Pack Pool Skimmer Socks
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I may earn a commission if you make a purchase, at zero additional cost to you. This in no way impacts my research process or opinions.

Alternatives to Pool Skimmer Socks

Although pool skimmer socks are budget-friendly, a few DIY skimmer sock options exist. You can use mesh fabric, cheesecloth, or even pantyhose instead of pool skimmer socks. Once you secure the material of your choosing on the skimmer basket, it will work just like a pool skimmer sock, preventing fine debris and dirt from passing through the skimmer.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Are skimmer socks a good idea?

Absolutely! Small debris can clog your filter pumps, so skimmer socks are a must-have if you have a pool with an automatic skimmer system. You can avoid expensive repairs and maximize the performance and life of your pool filter.

Skimmer socks do not harm your pool in any way, and they are reusable. You can toss the debris in the trash, rinse out your sock, and reuse it.

Will a skimmer sock catch dead algae?

Yes! A pool skimmer sock can even catch dead algae, unlike a skimmer basket. It filters the algae, preventing it from reaching the filter, thus decreasing the strain on your filter and preventing it from clogging. If your sock gets filled with algae, you can easily dump the algae in the trash, clean it, and put it on the skimmer.

Skimmer Socks Are a Small Investment For a Great Return

If you have an automatic pool filter system, you need to care for its efficiency. This way, it will last you longer and result in a sparklier pool, too! Although it may seem like such a small thing, pool skimmer socks can increase the efficiency of the pool filter system, saving you a lot of money and time in the long run. Plus, it’s easy to install and budget-friendly – what more could you want?

Do you have any more questions about pool skimmer socks or other pool equipment? Just shoot me a message! Also, make sure to check out my research on the best pool skimmers and best pool skimmer basket replacements if you need some upgrades.

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