What is BBB Pool Method for Dummies? – SECRET RECIPE!

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The BBB method for pool care stands for Bleach, Borax, and Baking soda. It is now called TFPC these days, which means Trouble Free Pool Care. Normally, you would only need one of the three listed ingredients so the former name “BBB” looked a bit misleading.

What is BBB Pool Method for Dummies?

The BBB method of pool care is one that depends on the accurate and consistent testing of your pool water in order to add only the specific ingredients required to keep the water clear and sanitized.

The BBB method for kiddie pools, refers to bleach, borax, and baking soda however those particular items may not be needed in your pool.




For instance, I use liquid shock (simply a strong bleach form) and MA (Muriatic acid) (BUY ON AMAZON) with an occasional addition of calcium via Calcium increaser or more likely cal-hypo.

The most crucial part of this pool care method is accurate testing. This relies on two of the best recommended brands of test kits, used daily or nearly daily.

The TFPC method of pool care, formerly known as BBB pool method is a life saver. I particularly enjoy the new name “TPFC” being one of those that did not go and purchase some Borax, Bleach, and Baking Soda. Bleach is always needed in some form, Baking Soda and Borax are only required on occasions, fortunately, they are both quite useful in other areas of the house, like Borax for cleaning fiberglass tubs.

BBB Method for Kiddie Pools, How does it Work?

It’s basically simpler than people actually think it is and there’s no secret formula, or magic;

Basically, you worry about the pH and chlorine – and everything else is secondary to that.

You can increase your PH with ordinary 20 Mule Team Borax from AMAZON or the grocery store, and reduce with ordinary Muriatic Acid (BUY ON AMAZON), from AMAZON, Lowes, Hardware store or Home Depot.




TA (Total Alkalinity) is only (primarily) a buffer used to keep PH stable; you raise TA using baking soda. To reduce it – well, that’s trickier, but is explained in the next sub-heading of this guide.

CYA (Cyanuric acid)/Chlorine stabilizer helps prevent sunlight from breaking down chlorine too quick. However, it is a double-edged sword and the CYA level affects the ideal chlorine level. Simple to hard, but hard to reduce.

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Calcium (CH, calcium hardness) is a must for concrete pools, and has to be considered on pool with heaters, but is typically irrelevant for vinyl pools.

Several other swimming pool chemicals are basically non-needed. The ones that are useful are when something’s messed up in your pool. However, using them when your pool is fine, sure will mess something up…. So don’t do it!

“Shock” is not a noun, but a verb. You cannot buy “shock”. You “shock” your pool by increasing the Chlorine level high enough to kill all that is growing in it. Chemicals labeled “Shock” are either regular chlorine, with a different label, or else stuff that doesn’t belong in your pool.

However, you wouldn’t be able to anything right without a proper test kit. So, head over to AMAZON to buy one.

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BBB Pool Method for Dummies

Do I Have to Use Bleach, Borax or Baking Soda to Use the BBB method?

Not really. From experience, I typically use stabilizer, calcium hypochlorite, a little muriatic acid, and NOTHING else on the handful of commercial pools I still operate.

The BBB Method is more about using just what you need, in the most efficient form, and nothing else, than it is about bleach, borax, or baking soda per se. For example, bleach cost relative to cal hypo (calcium hypochlorite) or dichlor (sodium dichloroisocyanurate) are up, compared to what they were in 1997. So either cal hypo or dichlor may be a better chlorine source for you.




Is BBB only for Chlorine Pools or also Salt Water?

Both can use. In fact, Salt water pools are also chlorine pools. The only difference is the method of adding the chlorine.

ALSO SEE: Why Are My Chlorine Tablets Not Dissolving In Floaters?

BBB Method of Pool Care for Beginners

Today, I’m going to talk about how to keep your pool looking sparkling blue using the BBB method. This methid is one promoted on the three largest pool forums you’ll find on the Internet. Basically you’re gonna use household product you would find in your regular grocery store and that would be bleach, borax, and baking soda to balance your pool water and you would just add one more chemical to that mix which is muriatic acid (BUY ON AMAZON).

You’ll find that in your local hardware store that would lower the pH down if it gets too high. I’m with using bleach (the baking soda) to raise your alkalinity and the borax to raise your pH.

You’re gonna need just muriatic acid from your local pool store or hardware store. I use 31% muriatic acid in my routine. You can find this in the pool store if you go to a hardware store, you may get a little weaker acid solution but that’s how you lower your PH with the muriatic acid in your pool and again you raise your pH with the borax.

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You can raise the alkalinity with the baking soda and you sanitize your water with the Clorox bleach.




Using Chlorox Blerach to Sanitize Your Pool

so the Clorox bleach is the same exact ingredient that you would find in the pool chlorine that you would get at your pool store or local hardware store.

The one I use is 12.5 percent sodium hypochlorite and then your bleach here this is actually concentrated Clorox bleach and it’s sodium hypochlorite 8.25% so a little bit weaker.

So, if you test your water and your pH is too low you would add your borax to bring it up. On the other hand, if the pH is too high you would add Muriatic acid (BUY ON AMAZON) from your local hardware store or pool store to bring it down.

Side Note: Add about 10oz of BORAX to raise your PH BY 0.1 in 10,000 gallons of water with Alkalinity at 90. If the Alkalinity 120, add 22 oz. Alkalinity is a factor.

The end goal here is achieving the ideal pH range of 7.4-7.6 that will make the Clorox

bleach a lot more efficient at killing the bacteria and viruses in the pool and you’re also trying to achieve the balance of your community you want to keep it between 80 and 120 parts per million in most swimming pools and the alkalinity is tied in with the pH.

That means when you lower the pH with the Muriatic Acid (BUY ON AMAZON), the alkalinity will drop. When you

raise your pH with the borax, the alkalinity will rise slightly.

You want to use the baking soda to raise your alkalinity if it gets below 80. That will raise the alkalinity without raising the pH hardly at all.

Side Note:

Adding 1 lb. of baking sofa will raise your Alkalinity by 7 ppm and raise your PH by 0.1 per 10,000 gallons.

One of the main reasons you want to keep the alkalinity in range is that it prevents pH bounce. Ph BOUNCE is when your pH goes high and low rapidly and having alkalinity at a range will cause that to happen.

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Getting Ready for the BBB Method: Cyanuric, Test Kits & Knowing Your Pool Size

So, the good thing about using Clorox bleach in your pool is that won’t raise your conditioner level like the trichlor & Dichlor tablets with I’ll or so you have to make sure you have a residual amount of conditioner.

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I recommend thirty to fifty parts-per-million.

You can use a test strip like this AQUACHEK (BUY ON AMAZON) to get a conditioner reading here or you can use a Taylor test kit which I prefer

Side Note: Cyanuric acid should be 30-50 PPM to prevent the Sun’s UV rays from destroying the Bleach in the pool.

Part of doing the BBB method successfully is to have a good test kit and I recommend the Taylor test kit (BUY ON AMAZON).

This particular one is to Taylor complete high k2005 (BUY ON AMAZON) and it does the calcium hardness test, your alkalinity, conditioner, pH, your chlorine and it also does your acid demand and base demand test

Side Note: Test your pool water regularly (once or twice per week or more -in the Summer).

You can use a basic five-in-one test kit. Personally, I use this on my routine a lot and it does alkalinity and also does your pH and acid demand. I use a yellow OTO the desk to get the chlorine level and I also recommend the AQUACHEK test strips (BUY ON AMAZON) to use once in a while to get a ballpark figure.

I’ve discovered that these combinations  are a good way to kind of verify your test results with a

Taylor test kit or the 5-in-1 kit.

You simply drop one of these in your pool and it gives you a pretty good ballpark of where your chemistry is at.

Side Note: You need to know how many Gallons/Liters of water are in your pool.

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One important thing to know is the size of your swimming pool and for this to be effective you have to know how many gallons of water you have in your pool.

So, you can add the right amount of the Clorox bleach, the borax, the baking soda one where their gas in your pool will balance the chemicals.

Using the BBB method is a really inexpensive way of maintaining your pool to find all these products in a household aisle at your local store you can even find muriatic acid (BUY ON AMAZON) sometimes in the garden section of your local store.

They help in the maintenance of your water balance, the right sanitizer level, and pH. Be rest assured since you won’t need to worry about having a lot of algae outbreaks in your pool either and that’ll save you money without having to shock your pool every week or to maintain the balance of the water.


The BBB pool method stabilizer trick isn’t hard at all. We have shared with you the easiest guide on BBB method for intex pool, above the ground and in-ground pools. Feel free to leave us any question where not cleared. We’d be happy to answer them.

Author: Howard S. Baldwin

My name is Howard S. Baldwin. I am a work-at-home dad to three lovely girls, Jane + Hannah + Beauty. I have been blogging for the last 3 years. I worked for other Home and Lifetsyle blogs, did hundreds of product reviews and buyers’ guides. Prior to that, I was a staff accountant at a big accounting firm. Needless to say, researching and numbers are my passion. My goal is to be an informative source for any topic that relates to DIY life and homemaking.

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