Got a stubborn stain in your swimming pool? Ugh – it can be frustrating. If you have stubborn stains, it makes sense to reach out to a professional for prompt and effective stain removal- though it may be useful to know a little more about the stain for future reference. If you live in Florida, Texas, or Arizona, our team at Pool Troopers is ready to help!
Identify the Stain
The first thing to do if your pool is stained is identify the stain that you are dealing with since different types of stains require different intervention and removal tactics. It also helps to know the type of stain so that you can take measures to avoid it happening again. Testing the stain allows you to rule out algae, which can be treated with a sprinkle of granular chlorine. Talk to your pool cleaning or chemical professional to learn more about algae and how to curb its growth.
Types of stains to look out for in and around your pool:
- Organic Stains are usually brown or green in color, and are often the result of leaves, foliage, cones, and seeds finding their way into the pool. They will sink and leave residue on the surface of your swimming pool. Berries, algae, and even insects can also stain your pool.
- Metal Stains are dark and reddish-brown. These stains may look like rust but are usually caused by iron or other metals. Copper tends to turn the pool’s surface a turquoise or teal-blue color.
- Rust Stains are usually spots rather than stains, and look as you might expect, which makes rust easy to identify. If your pool is constructed with metal rebar, there is a chance that the staining is caused by an issue with the metal structure of your pool.
- Mineral Stains are a possible repercussion of hard water. It can manifest in your pool with a scaly white or grey deposit on the surface, or along the waterline. Typically, the mineral stain is a residue that accumulates oil and dirt creating the discoloration and stain. Scrub these away!
- Waterline Stains are often the result of dirt, debris, and oils that get in the water. These pollutants could travel from dirty feet, laundry detergent, or the people using the pool. This is another reason why it is imperative to test and treat your water regularly to keep it clean and safe.
If your pool is plaster or concrete, you may not actually be dealing with a stain but rather mottling. Mottling is when the plaster just ages and garners streaks and shades over time. This is a natural progression that you may not be able to prevent.
Test the Stain
Testing is really the only way to determine what the stain is. Is it organic? Metallic? Testing helps you find out. To test, sprinkle different granular compounds directly on the stain and brush vigorously. The different stains react to different solutions – here’s what you should know:
- Organic stains, like from foliage or vegetation, react to and are removed with granular chlorine.
- Metallic stains, like from hard water, are removed with granular Vitamin C.
- Rust stains reacts to dry acid, sodium bisulfate.
Your pool should be drained to fully expose the stain during treatment to remove it. That may mean draining the pool entirely, so this could be a task best planned for the season’s end or before you fill it in the spring, depending on your climate.
Remove Pool Stains
Now that you know what the stain is, what are you going to do about it? Calling a pool service professional is always an option, but if you want to try and remove the stain yourself, here are some stain removal tips:
- The easiest stains to remove are organic stains. Shocking or super-chlorinating your pool is effective at getting rid of these types of stains.
- Metal pools stains can be more challenging to remove as they must be treated with chemicals. Chlorine doesn’t remove metal stains.
- You can remove iron stains with ascorbic acid found at your local hardware store.
- Copper stains can be removed typically with ascorbic acid.
- Before investing in a bunch of different metal stain removers, have your water locally tested to see what hard metals could be in the water and staining your pool. Most town offices offer testing kits to residents.
- Scrub mineral stains with a solution made from equal parts of vinegar and water to remove the stain. You can also add some baking soda for stubborn mineral deposits.
If you notice a pink or pale staining around the waterline of your pool, try scrubbing with granular chlorine. Still a stubborn line? Try salt and lime juice on the waterline stain- and scrub!
Acid Bath in Extreme Cases
If you have a stubborn pool stain, an acid bath is another option. This allows you to remove the stain without draining the swimming pool and uses strong acidic solutions to basically burn-away the stained surface spot. The acid removes the stained concrete surface from the pool. It is aggressive and should only be used in extreme cases and with concrete surfaced pools. Tiles, glass, or some stone pool surfacing will not work with acid bath- in fact, it can be very damaging.
Prevent Pool Stains
So, what can you do to prevent pool stains in the first place? It is pretty easy. Keeping a clean and properly treated pool should be your first goal. The cleaner the water in the pool, the less likely you are to discover a stubborn stain. Here are a few more tips:
- Trim trees and bushes near or around your pool to prevent debris and foliage from finding its way in the water.
- Invest in an automatic pool cleaner to make the job easy and prevent stains from forming.
- Make sure that you are testing the pH of your pool’s water regularly when the pool is in use. Stains can occur when the chemical balance is off.
Got a stubborn pool stain? Talk to the team at Pool Troopers, a swimming pool service company providing chemical service and pool cleaning to pool owners for Florida, Texas, and Arizona homeowners. Call us or schedule online to get rid of your stain!