How to Identify and Remove Your Pool Stains? - Globo Pool
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How to Identify and Remove Your Pool Stains?

Yes, some stains are because of negligence in cleaning and not following the right pool maintenance routine. However, you might be doing the maintenance right, and your swimming pool still get stains. Lots of factors play a role in staining your pool, not just the dirt inside it.

The worst thing is that it gets tough when you don’t know what to do to get rid of the stains. Pool stains are of different types depending on the cause. When planning on how to remove and prevent the stains, you first need to understand the problem, nature, and the best method of getting rid of the pool stain. Here I will take you through pool stains as a topic, cover various areas under it and also tell you the best way to get rid and prevent them.

What are the pool stains?

Before we dig deeper into pool stains, let’s first familiarize ourselves with a pool stain. A pool stain is something that alters the pool surfaces’ appearance to the detriment of the swimming pool. That is the definition most pool owners would give you if you asked them. Most people confuse a scale with a stain.

A scale is typically colored since it’s a result of metals and dirt settling at the pool bottom. It’s not necessarily a stain but a Calcium Carbonate (chalk) deposit on the pool surface. It can be recognized easily by milky appearance, and a rough surface often called sandpaper surface.

Stains can be visible in the size of a hair clip or stain your whole pool surface. It’s quite rare to find a swimming pool without any pool stain, so you’re not alone. Typically, it’s what the pool owner sees and decides it’s unacceptable that triggers pool stain removal.

What Causes Pool Stains?

To make sure you have dealt with the pool stains properly, you must understand what is causing the stains in your pool. The most common causes can be categorized into two categories:

#a) Organic Matter

These are the stuff that finds their way into your pool water. Some organic matters that can cause pool stains may include leaves, barriers, and much other organic debris. They will leave the stains if they are allowed to settle on the pool surfaces for too long.

#b) Metal Elements

If you keep your pool adequately cleaned and sanitized, then the most common cause of pool stains in your swimming pool is metal elements. They can be quickly introduced into your pool accidentally. The primary source is water or corroded copper pipes taking water into the pool.

The metal elements can also be obtained from rusted metal accessories, equipment, and parts you use in your swimming pools. Metals can also be introduced by salt added to a saltwater pool, algaecides containing metals, or liquid chlorine.

How Do You Identify The Causes With Stain Color?

Once you know the color of the stain you have in your pool, it gets easier to know its cause. When you get the cause, it even gets easier to find the best stain remover to use. Here the common cause of stains about the stain color.

Greenish-Brown Stains: this is the most common pool stain color that pool owners have to deal with now and then. It’s mostly caused by organic matter like leaves, among other plant debris.

Reddish-Blue Stains: These stains are mostly got from the brightly colored berries that fall from berry-bearing trees or if you’ve bushes around your swimming pool.

Blue-Greenish or Black Stains: similar to greenish stains, these stains are likely caused by organic matter like the berries or leaves. If you have no leaf-or-berry dropping plants around your swimming, there could be other culprits such as copper from corroded copper piping.

Greenish-Red-Brown Stains: if you see a combination of these colors in your pool surfaces, mostly like culprit of the stains is iron in your water. If you use well water to fill your pool, it’s most likely to bring an iron element. It can also be brought in by draining inside the swimming pool from a place with rusted irons.

Blackish-Brownish-Purple Stains: what you see is a dark color combination. The cause of these types of stain is manganese, naturally occurring metal elements present in bore and well water. It can also be found in the municipal water line.

How Do You Determine the Cause of the Stains Using Test?

Once you know the cause of the stains in your pool, it’s always best to test your theory to confirm your staining problems. Here are some tests you can do to affirm your guess:

#1) Organic Stain Test

If your first guess was an organic stain, you could apply a small amount of chlorine directly. If it’s an organic stain, it will go away quickly.

#2) Metal Stain Test

If the stain isn’t going away with chlorine applied, it’s because the sanitizer has little to no effect on the metal elements. That’s the reason most swimming pools have ladders made from metal.

In this case, you can try out a small amount of ascorbic acid power directly on the stain. If the stain is lightened or removed by the acidic powder, the culprit is a metal element.

How Do You Get Rid of Pool Stains?

As I mentioned above, pool stains are handled differently. You first have to understand the type of stains you have in your swimming pool and address it accordingly. Otherwise, you will be doing a shoddy job, wasting your time and money. Here are the different ways you need to handle stain removal.

How Do You Get Rid of Organic Pool Stains

The best way to remove organic stains from your pool surfaces is by using chlorine in the right amount. The amount used in regular water sanitization isn’t enough to remove the stains. You need to super-chlorinate the water, merely shocking the pool. How do you do it, right?

#a) Test and Balance the Water

The first step is to use the best pool water test strips or best liquid test kit. The goal is to ensure the water alkalinity is between 100ppm (parts per million) and 150ppm. The most ideal is 125ppm. You also have to ascertain that the pH is between 7.4 and 7.6, with the medium 7.5 being the perfect pH.

#b) Shock the Pool

If the stain problem is on one small spot, giving your pool, a regular Shock Treatment dose should take care of the problem. However, if you’re dealing with multiple stains or large stained areas to deal with, it’d be wiser to use a triple dose. That means adding around 3-pounds of DryTec Calcium Hypochlorite Chlorinating Shock Treatment for every 10,000 gallons of water.

Important: Do the shocking at night or at dust to get the best results. Why is that important? During the day, the sunlight might interfere with the chlorine strength, or someone might decide to jump in for a swim, which can be a terrible idea.

#c) Brush the Pool

By this point, all the stain bonds are broken, and you can easily brush them off. You need to use the best stiff pool brush ideal for your swimming pool surface type of scrubbing the damn stubborn stain. If you have a vinyl or fiberglass pool, you need to get the best stiff nylon brush, and if your pool surfaces are concrete or tiles, get the best stiff soft-wire brush. Don’t be frustrated if you don’t remove all the stains at this point.

#d) Run the Pump

The next step is to allow the shock treatment to circulate all over the pool water for at least 8-hours, or you can leave it overnight for the best result.

#e) Brush the Pool Again

Once the circulation time is over, take the same brush you used before and scrub the stained spots again. Check if the stains are gone. If they are, you’re done. If there are not, still visible, repeat the shocking process.

How Do You Get Rid of Metal Pool Stains

Suppose you were able to handle the stain situation with the above method, lucky you. Getting rid of metal stains is more difficult compared to organic pool stains. How do you do it?

#a) Test Your Water for Metals

The first step is to test the metals inside your pool water that might have stained the surface. Identifying the type of metals inside your pool water helps a lot get the ideal pool stain to remove. Various DIY methods use home test kits for metal. However, I advise you to sample pool water to a local pool store for testing.

#b) Get the Best Metal Pool Stain Remover

You now need to get the best metal pool stain remover that targets the type of metal(s) found in your pool and the most like culprit for the stains such as Pool Mate Mineral Out and Stain Remover or Essential Values Swimming Pool & Spa Stain Remover.

#c) Follow the instructions

You must follow the usage guidelines on the pool stain remover you’re about to use. Each product works differently. It’s a must you follow the manufacturer’s instruction to achieve the best results.

How Do You Prevent Pool Stains?

Once the hard part removes the stains, you need to know how you will prevent these stains from ever coming back. Prevention will help keep your swimming pool looking great and save you extra work of stain removal in the future. Let’s look at how you can prevent the pool stains depending on the type of stain.

How Do You Prevent Organic Pool Stains?

It might come as a surprise to those who have tried to get rid of stains in their swimming pool, but it shouldn’t take much of your effort to keep organic stains out. All you need is to keep the organic off your pool water. How do you do that? Well, you need to follow these tips:

Maintain the right water chemistry at all times, pH, alkalinity, and sanitizer levels.

Another tip is to always keep the pool water clean by using the best robotic pool cleaner or the best automatic pool cleaner. These two cleaners won’t require you to be available for the cleaning, but you have to inspect it later.

You can use the best manual pool vacuum to clean it regularly and with directed cleaning.

It’s also necessary to skim your pool surface with the best pool skimmer. It will help you keep the leaves, twigs, and other organic debris from settling at the pool bottom and staining the surface.

You also need to move any plant that bears fruits, especially berries from your pool area. If you need to beautify the area with a lovely pool landscape, ensure you plant plants and shrubs that do not bear any fruits.

Check the pool regularly for stains. If you find any, take steps to remove them while they’re still small.

Lastly, check your pool for stain regularly. If you come across any signs of stains, take the steps I gave you to get rid of them, however small.

How Do You Prevent Metal Pool Stains

Metal stains are much more stubborn compared to organic pool stains. The reason is, they are caused by metal elements that are hard to control. Here you must be extra vigilant for better results. What are the tips for preventing metal pool stains?

Test your water source for metal elements before using it to refill the pool. If there is any present, use the best hose mineral filter when you’re filling or refilling the swimming pool.

You can also use a metal sequestrant. The chemical is designed to bind with the metal particles keeping them from settling on your pool surfaces. It makes it possible for the filter to catch them.

You also need to maintain your pool plumbing. If there are parts that use copper pipes, it is best you check them for corrosion regularly.

You should also keep your pool pH level steady. That is necessary when you have copper in the water. With a low pH level meaning the water is acidic, it corrodes the copper and iodizes it, thus staining your pool.

Final Verdict!

Now you have a reason not to think of scraping down your pool walls whenever you see them stained. As you have seen here, pool stains are removable and preventable in the right ways. I would be quite happy if you succeed in dealing with this menace and you can enjoy clean-pool swimming again.

About the author

Sharif Miah

Hi! I'm Sharif, the founder of Globo Pool® and I have been working in the pool & hot tub industry for the last few years. I love to share my experiences with people & hope you are enjoying my information and lessons!

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