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Best Pool Shock 2020 – Reviews & Buyer’s Guide

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using shock to clean our poolIf you have been a pool owner for quite some time, it should come as no shock (pun intended) to you that there are many different pool shock options to choose from. Even if you are someone that does not like to shock your pool often, there will come a time when you will need a shock.

Instead of wasting your time researching the different manufacturers and ingredients contained in the shock, you can read our reviews. We will give you an unbiased opinion as to the best pool shock available in 2020. Some of our choices will be budget-friendly, and others will be a more premium shock.

Regardless of what you are looking for, you will be able to find a suitable solution here.

Comparison of our Favorites in 2020:

ProductPriceComes in sizes:Editor Rating
In The Swim
In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock (24 bags)(Best Overall)

Check Price
1 lbs bags4.85/5
Clorox Pool&Spa Shock Plus
Clorox Pool&Spa Shock Plus 6 Pack (1 lb Bags)(Best Value)

Check Price
1 lbs, 6 lbs, 12 lbs4.65/5
Aqua Chem Super Pool Shock
Aqua-Chem Pool Shocks (10 Pack)

Check Price
1 and 2 lbs bags4.40/5

The 5 Best Pool Shocks:

1. In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock — Best Overall

In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock (24 bags)

Our top pick for the best overall pool shock is the In The Swim Chlorine Pool Shock. The pack comes with twenty-four bags of chlorine shock. Each kit (1 Pound) is capable of treating 10,000 gallons of water. Make sure you know the exact pool size before putting shock in.

If you have a concrete pool, you can pour this bag out while walking around the outer edge of the pool. If you have a vinyl or fiberglass pool, it is best to dissolve the shock in a five-gallon bucket and then disperse that water/chlorine mix into the pool. This will help to make sure the shock solution is not too concentrated in one area, causing discoloration.

This product is 65% calcium hypochlorite, so it is quite useful at handling harmful bacteria and an algae outburst. As powerful as this product is, it also works quite well for regular maintenance as it is not a super shock. If you are looking for an easy to use simple shock product, this is a great option offered at a reasonable price.

  • Effective at killing harmful bacteria
  • Can clean up an algae outbreak
  • 65% calcium hypochlorite
  • Comes with 24 bags of product
  • Can sometimes take some time to dissolve

2. Clorox Pool&Spa Shock Plus — Best Value

Clorox Pool&Spa Shock Plus 6 Pack (1 lb Bags)

Clorox puts out an entire line of pool maintenance products. Customers comfortable with the Clorox brand name tend to enjoy the simplicity of the Clorox products. Most of them are very user-friendly, and they work to make pool maintenance feel similar to bathroom or kitchen cleaning.  The Clorox Pool&Spa Shock Plus 6 Pack is an excellent value for a pool shock.

This pool shock will save you some money while making the pool shock job quite simple. The Clorox Pool&Spa Shock will not raise your pH and can have you back swimming in the pool in as little as fifteen minutes. The shock comes in an easy to open bottle that can be poured directly into any type of pool. According to Clorox, it is best not to pre-dissolve this shock.

Each bottle of Clorox Pool&Spa Shock treats 12,000 gallons of water. If your pool is a little larger, this product will get you a bit further than the In The Swim one-pound bags of shock. After dispersing this product in the deep end area of your pool, allow your filter to run for several hours.

  • Kills harmful bacteria
  • Clears cloudy water
  • Won’t impact pH
  • Swim fifteen minutes after treatment
  • Not sold in bulk
  • Easy pour bottles are easier than the bags

3. Doheny’s Super Pool Shock

Doheny's Chlorine Super Shock

If you are looking for a product that does not mess around, the Doheny’s Super Pool Shock may be the choice for you. This is a super shock treatment featuring 68% calcium hypochlorite. The Doheny’s Super Pool Shock is available in twenty-four one-pound bags, and a few other options. If you have a commercial pool that you need to shock, they will also sell this product in bulk.

Although this chlorine is a bit more potent than some other choices, it is still safe for regular maintenance. Like all shock treatments, Doheny’s Super Pool Shock is excellent at eliminating algae, bacteria, and other harmful contaminants.

The treatment directions for this chlorine say to use one pound per every 10,000 gallons of water.

This is a fair price super shock that can get you through a pool season without an algae outbreak. The only issue that we have come across with the Doheny’s Super Pool Shock is that it can sometimes take some time for the shock to dissolve.

  • Fair Price
  • Can be purchased in bulk
  • Safe for weekly maintenance
  • Can take some time to dissolve
  • Has been known to be less effective than other competitors

4. Aqua-Chem Pool Shocks

Aqua-Chem Pool Shocks (10 Pack)

If you were waiting for the premium pool shock option, you have found it. The Aqua Chem Pool Shocks is a more expensive product, and some will argue that it is more than worth it. Like all pool shocks, the Aqua-Chem is good at killing bacteria and algae.  This particular product has a bit of an algaecide in it as well. Even after the shock is done, there will be some algaecide left in your pool.

This product can be used in all pool types, and it does an excellent job of getting the water looking blue but also very clear. The Aqua Chem will not increase the pH in your pool. If money is not a problem for you and you want a pool shock that is guaranteed to do its job, this is a perfect option for you.

  • Will not alter the pH
  • Contains some algaecide
  • Works with all pool types
  • Swim in fifteen minutes
  • Expensive

5. Ultima Total Control Pool Shock

Ultima 24726 Total Control Blended Shock

In our review of the Aqua-Chem Pool Shock, we explained that there is a small amount of algaecide in the product. With the Ultima Total Control Pool Shock, you are getting a shock and an algaecide all in one. This can be a great thing if you are looking for a product like this, or if you have some issues with algae in your pool.

Not only will the Ultima Total Control Pool Shock help to clean up an algae outbreak, but it also works to prevent both green and black algae even after the initial treatment. This is a granular product sold in a three-pound easy-to-use container. Since this is not purely pool shock, you will have to use more than one pound per 10,000 gallons that most other companies advertise. To treat a 20,000-gallon pool with the Ultima Total Control Pool Shock, you will need one three-pound bottle.

The pricing on this product is a bit higher than some of the others we reviewed. That price difference, combined with the fact that you need quite a bit more than other brands to complete the job this product will have you spending more money. If, however, you are struggling with an algae outbreak, this may be worth the extra money.

  • Algaecide and pool shock all in one
  • Easy to use granular product in a bottle
  • Works to prevent algae after the shock
  • Expensive
  • Need more product to cover the same area

Buyer’s Guide

Choosing the right shock for your pool is not rocket science, but there are a few things you will want to consider. Sometimes when you see a bargain price on some pool shock it can be tempting to load up, here are a few things to look out for to make sure you are getting the best bang for your buck.

Calcium Hypochlorite

A shock is only as good as the sum of its ingredients. Most pool chlorine and shock should contain about 65% calcium hypochlorite. If you happen to find a product that calls itself pool shock with a much lower concentration, you may want to reconsider.

Pool Shock with Algaecide

If you have an algae outbreak and you are looking to clear it up, choosing a pool shock with algaecide can make sense. When just doing your weekly pool maintenance, you don’t necessarily need that algaecide. Keeping up with shock treatments to your pool is an essential part of regular maintenance. Find a good shock that will not change pH and use it often. Chances are you won’t see an algae outbreak if this is done correctly.

Liquid vs. Granular

Most pool shock will come in a granular form or a tab. When it comes to vinyl and fiberglass pools, people get concerned about shock staining the sides. Most times, it is best to dissolve the shock in a five-gallon bucket before pouring it directly into the pool. There are also pool chemical dispensers that you can use to make sure that you get even distribution throughout your pool.

How Much Will I Need?

A general rule of thumb when purchasing pool shock is that you will need one pound of shock for every 10,000 gallons of water in your pool. Keep in mind if you are dealing with a significant algae outbreak or just had a large swim load, you may need to double or triple shock your pool. When researching shock and the pricing involved, make sure to understand that one bag will not always be enough for your pool.

Best Pool Shock 2020

How Do I Shock A Pool?

Always follow the recommendations on the particular shock that you purchase. Some will ask you to dissolve the shock before putting it in the pool, and others will say to throw the shock right in. Some pool shocks will advertise that it is safe to swim after just a few minutes. This is great in an emergency like a party or gathering, but mostly you should be shocking your pool at night when everyone is out.

Shocking the pool at night gives it time to work before the sun can burn it all off. Keep your pool filter running for 8-24 hours after a shock. If you are going to be paying for these chemicals, you may as well use them properly and get the most out of them.


Choosing which pool shock to use is not a difficult decision. Most options are identical but come in different packaging. When you find a good shock that works for your pool, go ahead and stock up. Shock is much cheaper when purchased in bulk. To properly care for your pool in a year, you will go through a lot of pool shock.