How to remove swimming pool stains

Written by bryant harland
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How to remove swimming pool stains
Many swimming pool stains can be eliminated with some extra chlorine and scrubbing. (eau de piscine 2 image by Nathalie P from

Stains in the swimming pool can be an eyesore. Stains left from organic material, such as leaves, are often a disgusting green colour, and stains from minerals or metallic substances are a rust colour. The type and severity of the stain will determine the best way to remove it. In many cases, a simple shock treatment, followed by vigorous scrubbing will do the job, but heavier stains may require more chemical intervention.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy

Things you need

  • Chlorine
  • Pool Brush
  • Pool Stain Remover
  • Sequestering Agent

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    Light or Organic Stains

  1. 1

    Determine the general cause of your pool's stain. Stains that are greenish in colour, located at the bottom of the pool are usually do to organic material. If the stain is around the pool ladder, or rust coloured, it probably has a metallic source. For metallic stains, look at section two for treatment advice.

  2. 2

    Perform a chlorine shock treatment on your swimming pool. This is done by adding chlorine to your pool as you normally would, but at three to five times the usual amount.

  3. 3

    Scrub the stained area vigorously with a pool brush. The stain should lighten up a little, but it may take several days of regular scrubbing before you see definite results.

    Heavier or Metallic-based Stains

  1. 1

    Allow the chlorine levels in your pool to drop to zero. Chlorine will evaporate naturally out of water, so it is just a matter of waiting until the chlorine levels have dropped.

  2. 2

    Apply an ascorbic acid-based pool product, such as "Polyquat 60." Follow any individual product instructions or warnings. To get best results, use a cup to deliver the product in several locations around the perimeter of your pool.

  3. 3

    Put the pool filter on circulate.

  4. 4

    Wait for a half hour. The stain should begin to vanish. If the stain is not gone, add more pool cleaner and wait for another half hour.

  5. 5

    Add a sequestering agent to your pool once the stain is removed. These are products sold at pool stores for balancing pool stain cleaners. Put the pool filter back on the "filter" setting.

Tips and warnings

  • Regular chlorine shock treatment will help to prevent stains from appearing.
  • Test the pH of your pool regularly. The ideal pH for swimming pools is between 7 and 7.6

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