How to Remove Organic Pool Stains

What You'll Need
Ascorbic acid based cleaner
Diphosphonic acid based cleaner
pH reducer
Old sock

Owning a swimming pool can be wonderful but it also requires you to deal with pool stains. Some of those will be organic stains which are typically green or brown in color and you can get rid of them particularly easily. As any pool owner knows, pools require regular maintenance and eliminating stains is a big part of any maintenance schedule. Luckily, it’s usually a fairly quick job.

Step 1 - Identifying the Stain

There are several different types of organic stain that can end up leaving pool stains in your swimming pool. Stains that are green and brown are usually organic and come from leaves or natural debris. They often look like algae. These are the easiest stains to eliminate. Somewhat harder are stains that are dark or reddish brown which are typically metallic and generally stem from iron, copper or manganese. The metals could be in your water, especially if the pH levels aren’t maintained properly or if you live in a hard water area. It’s important to not just get rid of the stains, but also to find the cause of them.

Step 2 - First Steps

The initial stage in erasing organic pool stains is with a shock of chlorine in the pool. Add a heavy dose of chlorine and scrub the stain with a brush. In many cases, doing this will eradicate the stain completely.

Where the stain is at the waterline, try using an enzyme-based cleaner. Since these cleaners erase the oils that hold the dirt at the waterline, the stain should vanish with little or no scrubbing on your part. To finish, use a vinyl or tile cleaner that’s appropriate for pools. This will remove the remainder of the pool stain.

You can also used an ascorbic acid-based cleaner or a diphosphonic acid-based cleaner. These will work on more stubborn stains although you will have to scrub hard at them. This task is best done in winter when you have the pool drained and can access the entire area. Remember to keep a cover on your pool during the winter to keep out debris that could lead to organinc pool stains.

Step 3 - Metal Stains

If you frequently have metal pool stains, you’ll need to have your water checked to determine where the metal is coming from. If it returns, try half-filling the pool with fresh water that has been shown to have no metal content. Allow it to circulate for 2 days then have the water re-tested.

To remove the stains, try using an ascorbic acid-based cleaner or a diphosphoic acid-based cleaner. As with other stains, you will need to scrub hard to remove the pool stains so performing this in winter is best when access to the pool is easier.

Another method for eliminating metal pool stains is to use pH reducer. Take an old sock and pour about ½ pound of the pH reducer in it. Tie the sock closed, and using a pole, hold it on the stain for 10 minutes. You don’t need to rub it backward and forward but just let it sit on top of the stain. When you’ve finished, de-chlorinate your pool.