Best Pool Shock 2020 – Reviews and Top Picks

Last Updated: March 28, 2020

Best Pool Shock TreatmentIt’s time to open the pool and fire up the BBQ. But what’s the first step to getting your pool back in working order? Pool shock! Every pool owner knows that maintaining a pool requires more work than standing by and admiring it — you’re going to need some chemical help. Whether you are great at consistently keeping your pool clean or need something to spruce it up quickly, these reviews are here for you.

A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites

Best Overall
Aqua Chem 12101AQU-04 Xtra Blue Swimming Pool...
Best Value
hth Pool Shock Super Shock Treatment 6 count 6lbs...
Premium Choice
In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock - 24 X 1 Pound...
Name
Aqua Chem 12101AQU Shock
hth 52008 Pool Shock
In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock
Editor Rating
4.50/5
4.60/5
4.50
Sizes Available
8 Sizes
6 Sizes
3 Sizes
Best Overall
Aqua Chem 12101AQU-04 Xtra Blue Swimming Pool...
Name
Aqua Chem 12101AQU Shock
Editor Rating
4.50/5
Sizes Available
8 Sizes
Best Value
hth Pool Shock Super Shock Treatment 6 count 6lbs...
Name
hth 52008 Pool Shock
Editor Rating
4.60/5
Sizes Available
6 Sizes
Premium Choice
In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock - 24 X 1 Pound...
Name
In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock
Editor Rating
4.50
Sizes Available
3 Sizes

The 10 Best Pool Shocks — Reviews 2020

1. Aqua Chem Shock for Swimming Pools — Best Overall

Aqua Chem 12101AQU

This pool shock from Aqua Chem has so many good qualities about it, it’s hard to know where to start. First, you can use this in any pool. If you have a vinyl or fiberglass pool, we recommend pre-dissolving it, though. Second, this can take care of any algae or bacteria buildup you have, turning your pool water from cloudy to sparkling in almost no time. Once you add the Aqua Chem pool shock, it will fully work in 15 minutes. It’s not hard to see why it is our top pick. This product will also mitigate chlorine eye irritation and won’t affect the pH level of your pool at all!

There are some people who claim that this product did not make their pool literally sparkle, as per the advertisement.

Pros
  • Works in 15 minutes
  • Mitigates eye irritation
  • Works in any pool
Cons
  • Pool might not actually sparkle (as advertisement claims)

2. hth 52008 Pool Shock — Best Value

hth 52008

We love this product because of the bulk and the value. This pool shock from hth is similar to our top pick in that it will help mitigate chlorine eye irritation and not affect the pH balance of your pool. Meant to be used once a week, this is not a quick cleaning agent. You will see the results of this pool shock after about 24 hours of using it in your pool. For vinyl and fiberglass pools, we again recommend that you pre-dissolve this shock. This particular product comes in six packs of one-pound bags. The amount you use depends on the size of the pool. To know when your pool is safe to swim in again after use, check to make sure that your chlorine levels are between 1-4ppm (parts per million).

It should be noted that as this is sold in bulk, it is mainly intended for bigger pools. It can be used for smaller pools, but make sure to do your math right on the ratios of gallons of water to shock. If you do it wrong, you could end up with a very green pool. Other than that, this is a wonderful product, and we think that it is the best pool shock for the money.

Pros
  • Bought in bulk
  • Mitigates eye irritation
  • Can be used in all pools
Cons
  • Meant for big pools
  • Can turn your pool green

3. In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock — Premium Choice

In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock

In the Swim Chlorine Pool Shock is so powerful, it is only available in the contiguous 48 states, and can only be shipped by ground, meaning it is unavailable for one- or two-day shipping. This pool shock is not meant for maintenance like our value pick — it’s designed to clean your pool in a hurry when you have an emergency or got neglectful and have to host an impromptu pool party. Made with 68% calcium hypochlorite, this product can turn your pool from green to blue in a snap. While it is packaged to be conveniently used with standard 10,000-gallon pools, the ratio of 1 pound of shock to 10,000 gallons of water can easily be figured out for smaller or bigger pools. As this cleaning agent is chlorine based, it will increase the chlorine levels in your pool. This product can be used in all types of pools, but you might want to get a floating dispenser if you are going to use it in a vinyl or fiberglass pool.

There have been reports of this shock damaging pools, but that does not take into account user error.

Pros
  • Cleans your pool quickly
  • Cleans your pool thoroughly
  • Comes in convenient packaging
Cons
  • Can only be shipped by ground
  • May damage your pool

4. Clorox 33012CLX Pool&Spa Shock

Clorox 33012CLX

One of the most widely known names in cleaning products, Clorox makes it to our list at number four. Not only does this product clean your pool right up, it also will improve the performance of your pool’s filter. The Clorox pool shock will have your pool up and running in as little as 15 minutes, killing bacteria and three types of algae (green, black, and mustard). This product is meant to mitigate the irritation your eyes feel when swimming and won’t affect the pH levels of your pool. This item comes packaged so you can easily do one package per 12,000 gallons, and you don’t need to pre-dissolve it, so cleaning your pool is a breeze.

As with other pool shocks, the main concern here is that it can turn your water green. This may be the result of user error, however, and not because of an issue with the product itself.

Pros
  • Improves performance of pool filter
  • Kills three types of algae
  • Won’t affect pH of pool
Cons
  • Can turn water green

5. DryTec Shock Treatment for Pools

DryTec 1-1901—24

This pool shock is from DryTec does everything you want a pool shock to do. Dosed at one pound per 10,000 gallons, your pool will come out looking and feeling as fresh as the day you first filled it up. Made from 68% calcium hypochlorite, DryTec’s pool shock is meant to clear your pool up while reducing eye irritation from the chlorine.

This product does what all of the others on this list do, but there a few reasons it’s number five. First, sometimes it doesn’t fully dissolve, which means you’ll have to use your pool brush to push the crystals around to get them to dissolve. Second, it doesn’t work as quickly as a few of the other pool shocks, and even when it works well, it doesn’t get your pool quite as clear. Lastly, once the package is open, you will need to use all the crystals or else they will go bad. With all that said, this is a good product, especially at the price point, and you can buy it in varying amounts.

Pros
  • Mitigates irritation to eyes
  • 68% hypochlorite
Cons
  • Water remains slightly cloudy
  • Product goes bad once opened

6. Doheny’s 7701 Super Pool Shock

Doheny's 7701

Perfect for giving your pool that chlorine boost, Doheny’s pool shock is great for killing bacteria, algae, and even viruses. Made from 68% hypochlorite, this pool shock is more for regular maintenance than a quick pool refresh. It also seems that this product doesn’t have the same strength as some of its competitors, and to get it to work properly, you will need to use a large amount of it. When you do get your water levels to read out correctly, you may notice a weird milky quality to your pool water. Many have had success with this pool shock, but it seems to be rather finicky.

Pros
  • 68% hypochlorite
  • Fast acting
Cons
  • Weak for a pool shock
  • Can turn water white

7. Ultima 24726 Control Blended Shock

Ultima 24726

This product doubles as both a pool shock and as an algaecide. Made to shock your pool and prevent green and black algae, this is a good pool treatment but isn’t as tough on bacteria as other products on this list. You will need to get your filter up and going first, and once you put the product in your pool, the quickest you can expect to see results is three hours. This product is also meant to improve water clarity, but it won’t make it sparklingly clear. It’s also surprisingly expensive, and you’ll need more than just the 3.3 pounds in the bottle if you have a decent-sized pool. Since this is meant to be used for maintenance, that can get pricey quickly.

Pros
  • Doubles as an algaecide
Cons
  • Takes a while to work
  • Kind of pricey for what it is

8. Zappit Hypo Pool Shock

Zappit Hypo Pool Shock

Zappit’s Hypo Pool Shock really packs a punch. For the sake of comparison, the most potent pool shock on this list so far has a ratio of one pound of product per 12,000 gallons of water. Zappit recommends one pound of product for every 40,000 gallons of water. While other products on this list are 68% hypochlorite, Zappit is 73%, hence the manufacturer dubbing it a “super chlorinator.” Suffice to say, we wouldn’t recommend jumping in the pool 15 minutes after use. However, let this sit for a day, and you will have a very fresh pool.

The downside is that Zappit only comes in 50-pound buckets, and we wouldn’t recommend regular usage. This is for when you reopen your pool and then a couple more times throughout the season. If you use it too much, your pool’s calcium and chlorine levels will go out of control. You also need to be present when it arrives at your house in order to sign for it. Do note that you should read how to use Zappit. This is a strong chemical that can react in unpredictable and dangerous ways if not dealt with properly.

Pros
  • Super chlorinator
  • Bulk purchase
Cons
  • Need to be home for delivery
  • Need to be careful when using
  • Easy to overdo it because of the chemical’s strength

9. Pool Essentials 25106ESS Shock Treatment

Pool Essentials 25106ESS

Able to handle certain types of algae and being a decent clearing agent, this pool shock from Pool Essentials is good but not great. Tougher algae, such as mustard algae, will easily outlast the chemical assault brought forth by Pool Essentials. It seems the most common reaction to this price is utter indifference. Does it work? Yes, mostly. Is it worth it for the price? Sure, why not. When using this pool shock, you’ll want to really irritate the agent, as it clumps easily.

Pros
  • Good for the price
Cons
  • Clumps easily
  • Doesn’t kill algae

10. POOLIFE Rapid Shock

POOLIFE 22232-A-0912

Rounding out our list at number 10, POOLIFE gives us Rapid Shock, and like the previous shock, this product is absolutely just okay. It hasn’t gained much of a reputation, so it is hard to know where the market sits on this product. Will it clean your pool? Yes. Will you be happy about the price? Maybe.

Pros
  • Will clean your pool
Cons
  • Pricey for the quality

See: The top digital pool water testers!


Buyers Guide

Not all pool shocks are created equal, so it is important that you know what you’re looking at when you are deciding to make a purchase. The great thing about pool shocks is that you can test them out to see which ones you like the best, but what should you be looking for in the first place?

Is it safe for your pool?

Most pool shocks are compatible with any type of pool, but there are a few that are a little more potent and might eat away at vinyl or fiberglass pools. There are also pool shocks that don’t work especially well with saltwater pools.

How regularly do you maintain your pool?

This is another question of how strong of a product you should buy. If you are using a pool shock as regular maintenance, then you’ll want something that will keep your chemical levels in check. Stronger pool shocks might raise the level of chlorine, calcium, or pH and that can be harmful to your pool, as well as any swimmers. On the other hand, if you’ve left the cover on the pool all season and need a quick shock, you might want something more powerful.

Make sure you know your ratios.

Find out how much of the chemical you are supposed to put in the water. Using a pool shock is not a guessing game, as you are using cleaning agents that can be reactive if mixed with the wrong things!

Conclusion

Hopefully these reviews have cleared up a few questions for you. We’re confident that with our research, you’ll be able to make the right choice for your pool. Maybe you’ll decide to go with our top pick from Aqua Chem, or maybe you’re looking for value with the pool shock from hth. All we know is that if you didn’t find the right pool shock for you in these reviews, we would be shocked!


Featured Image Credit By: CLOROX Pool&Spa Shock Plus, amazon