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How To Identify & Remove Pool Stains

How To Guides - Pools

Prevent & Treat Pool Stains With Ease!

A beautiful, sparkling pool is worth a thousand words – especially on a hot, sunny day after a long Canadian winter. Your pool is open, the sun is shining, the barbecue is grilling. All is perfect for your first pool bash of the season, until you spot that stubborn blemish at the bottom of your liner that makes you reconsider everything. Don't let eye sores like pool spots and stains ruin your backyard experience. Simply follow the steps below to get rid of your stains in a flash and, get back to having a splash!

What's In My Pool?

Tip 1 – If you spot a stain in your pool, do not panic! A blemish on your liner doesn't make you a careless pool owner, but it might bring some attention to important things that you may have neglected. The first, and easiest, step to a clear, stain-less pool is good water chemistry. After all, the easiest way to prevent pool stains is by stopping them before they have a chance to form by keeping your chemicals balanced. For example, consistently low pH or high chlorine levels are a catalyst for metal stains. Try to get into the habit of testing your water regularly with testing strips or other water analyzing tools in order to keep on top of your water chemistry.

Tip 2 – If you do in fact find a blemish in your pool, the first step to treating it, is to clean! A clean pool and a clean filter (either Cartridge, Sand or D.E) is vital, and a great place to start. Once you've done a thorough clean that you're happy with, you must then identify the type of stain that you're dealing with. Pool stains typically vary between Metal or Mineral/Rust Stains and Organic Material Stains. A good indicator of what type of stain you have on your hands is the stain(s) colour, or by consulting with your local pool experts for proper treatment if you're not sure!

how to treat and prevent pool stains
Stain Identification Graphic

Name That Stain!

If you've identified the stain as being very dark in colour or having a red/brown tint your stain likely falls into the metals and minerals stain category. Relating back to water chemistry, metal stains can be caused by imbalanced pH levels; which can cause corrosion of your pipes or your pool heater.  Or, from consistently 'hard' water which is typically prominent in well water.

Metal stains can be cleared but can also be controlled habitually by pool chemicals such as Stain & Scale or Metal Guard. By following the regular maintenance dosage of these products, you can help prevent this time consuming task and agony of having to clear any blemishes from your pool in the midst of your summer swim season.

If increasing your chlorine levels and reducing your pH doesn't help the stain to dissipate, please use a Vitamin C tablet or a Citric Acid based pool product to attack and treat your pool stain. If you opt for the Vitamin C Tablet method, place some tablets in a ziplock bag and crush them until they form into a powder-like substance. Sprinkle the powder over the stain and brush vigorously with a pool brush.

When using Stain & Scale for example, a citric acid based treatment, please make sure that your pool's pH level is on the higher end of your recommended range (around 7.6 ppm) as the ascorbic acid from the product will reduce these levels quite a bit. Apply the granular stain remover by pouring it through a 1.5” to 2”  PVC pipe directly onto your pool stain. Be sure to give both of these methods some time to work their magic. Lastly, please check that your water chemistry is balanced before jumping back in for a swim!

stain and scale gets rid of pool stains
Trust The Cleaning Power Of Stain & Scale

Alternatively, organic pool stains are more of a greenish-brown colour, and closely resemble the look of dirt. After all, organic stains are likely caused by tannins leaching from leaves, dirt blowing into the pool or potential algae growth; and are typically found while opening your pool!

A very simple way to eliminate most organic pools stains is to shock your pool with either granular or liquid chlorine, followed by a good scrub with a brush! If you find that your 'dirt' stains reside more along your waterline rather than at the bottom of your pool, this means that the organic material is floating to the surface.

In this case, turn to an Enzyme-based product, such as Pool First Aid, for best results! As a natural based cleaner, the enzymes in an enzyme-based product will help to break down the organic compounds and oils that are feeding off of each other and causing these imperfections along your liner. You can trust Pool First Aid as a safe and effective chemical for all pool surfaces – especially vinyl liners!

pool first aid gets rid of stains
Pool First Aid Is A Life Saver

Stains Are Preventable & Treatable!

We hope that these tips help you feel a little more relaxed about potential stains in your pool! Remember, the best way to avoid having to deal with any of these issues is by doing your best to keep your pool clean and your water balanced. To keep organic stains out of your pool, use enzyme-based chemicals to counteract any organic compounds that could be multiplying in the water. For the prevention of metallic stains, pay close attention to your water chemistry and try to keep your metals and minerals in line with a weekly care chemical.

After all, a sparkling, clean pool really is worth a thousand words and a hassle free summer, is priceless!

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