The Lowdown on Swimming Pool Stains & How To Remove Them

No one likes stains, especially in the pool. While most of the time stains are more an eye-sore than anything, they can be an indicator that something is wrong or there’s a chemical imbalance in your pool. Generally, swimming pool stains are broken into two categories — organic and metal — and best identified by color. In this blog, we’ll break down various types of stains, what might be causing the discoloration, and some potential treatment options. We’ll also share how pool owners can prevent stains on their pool liner. With any luck, your pool liner will be stain-free and looking as good as new in no time.

Organic stains

As the name suggests, these types of stains are caused by natural organic elements, such as leaves, dirt, and other debris that are left too long. 

  • Green, yellow, or brown stains are likely caused by leaves, grass, algae, mud, and other natural debris.
  •  If you have berries or bright flowers near your pool, you may see some red, blue, or purple-ish stains as well 

Metal stains

If you can’t narrow down a potential organic cause for the stain, it may have been caused by metal. These types of stains are generally a red-brown or blue-green/black color and darker than most organic stains. Iron and copper are two common types of metal stains for pool owners. 

  • A brownish-red colored stain may have been caused by iron. Iron is common in lawn fertilizers and well water. 
  • If a stain is a dark mix of blue, green and black chances are the stain was caused by copper. Copper is found in a lot of pipes. 
  • A dark black or purplish stain may have been caused by manganese

Due to similarities in color, it can be hard to determine the cause of a stain. Water samples and stain ID kits can help you determine what type of stain you might be dealing with. 

How to prevent pool stains

Taking the proper measures to prevent a stain before it occurs is the best way to keep your pool and liner looking great. Here are a few things pool owners can do to prevent both metal and organic stains:

  • Shower or rinse off before entering the pool to remove any grass and dirt from your feet
  • Keep chemicals balanced and within the recommended ranges at all time. 
  • Test the water routinely to pinpoint any irregularities.
  • Clean your pool regularly to remove leaves, grass, and other debris. 
  • Remove trees, bushes, or other landscaping that may be causing issues.

How to remove a pool stain

If you are dealing with a stubborn pool stain, don’t worry. Not all hope is lost. Working with a pool cleaning professional is generally your best option. Be sure to read all equipment instructions and proceed with caution when attempting any at-home stain removal techniques! We recommend you consult a pool expert to avoid any risk to your liner, but here are a few tips and tricks to try:

  • If you think it’s an organic stain, try applying a small amount of chlorine directly to the spot.
  • Triple shocking your pool and scrubbing the stain can remove some organic stains. 
  • Try applying ascorbic acid to a metal stain and see if it reduces or lightens it.

Once you’ve gone through the process of removing the stain, be sure you refer back to the prevention methods noted above to make sure the pesky spot doesn’t return. If a stubborn stain simply can’t be removed, it may be time to get a new pool liner

Hopefully, this helps! If you have any questions regarding stains in your pool, be sure to contact us or reach out on Facebook

Swimming Pool Stain Graphic


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