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Common Pool Stains And How To Treat Them

There are two types of stains that can be found in swimming pools; organic and metal stains. Here is a brief explanation of both.

What is it?

Pool water, equipment, and surfaces can become discolored due to contamination, sunlight, and the presence of metals in pool water. Metals are often introduced into the water via source water, equipment (corrosion of heater parts), pool chemicals, or other pool devices. Changes in water balance (usually from an increase in pH or application of a shock product) can cause the metals to become insoluble and allow them to drop onto the pool surface, resulting in staining. Iron and copper are the two most common types of stains. Some stains may be organic in nature (such as black algae and pink slime) and should be treated with algicides and shock.

To remove metal stains:

  • The key to stain removal is identifying the stain, making it soluble again, and removing it from the water
  • Use Iron Stain Remover to eliminate recent stains
  • Add Pool Magnet® Plus: Ties up metals in pool water
  • Sparkle-Up®: Aids physical removal of metals through the filter

To prevent metal stains:

  • Pool Magnet® Plus: Ties up metals in pool water
  • Sparkle-Up®: Aids physical removal of metals through the filter

Organic Stains

Non-living organic stains are usually green and brown in color and often look like algae. To remove non-living organic stains, elevate the level of chlorine to hit breakpoint chlorination and scrub the area vigorously with a surface appropriate brush. After 24 hours, ensure chlorine levels have returned to normal range (below 5ppm) and broadcast Pool First Aid around the perimeter of the pool and brush again. The concentrated enzyme and clarifier in the Pool First Aid will help break down the non-living organics and coagulate any small particulates.

Note: Organic staining on vinyl liners may actually be a fungus under the liner. This treatment may temporarily lighten the liner fungus stain, but may not permanently remove it.

Anytime you have a stain or algae growth in your pool, it is a good idea to bring us a water sample. We offer FREE BioGuard Water Analysis to our customers and are highly trained and ready to help! 


Written by Advanced Spa And Pool