acid wash pool

When Do You Need to Acid Wash a Pool?

Those of us who are lucky enough to own a swimming pool all know what a relaxing luxury it is. However, pools do require regular maintenance to stay the relaxing and refreshing oasis that they are. One essential piece of pool maintenance is knowing when to acid wash the pool. In this article, we will discuss what acid washing is, when to do it, and just how important it is.


What is an acid wash?

Acid washing is a powerful method used for cleaning the surface of a swimming pool. Pools will accumulate all sorts of stains and discoloration over time. This can be caused by algae growth, mineral deposits, and hard water. Not only do these make your pool look funky, but they also pose health risks to the swimmer! Acid washing involves applying an acidic solution that is dilated to the pool’s surface.


Why have an acid wash for the pool?

Standard pool maintenance like skimming, vacuuming, and chemical balancing usually prevents most issues. However, some stains are just too stubborn and resistant to these methods. In these cases, an acid wash is necessary. Acid washing is particularly useful for removing discolorations (red and pink hue), water stains (stains on the pool’s surface caused by hard water in the pool water), and algae growth.


How does acid washing work?

Acid washing is a meticulous process with many steps, and using protective gear, including closed toed shoes, and goggles, is necessary. 


Acid washing involves draining the pool completely to expose the stained surface. You then prepare a diluted acid solution (usually a mixture of muriatic acid and water – a mixture that is strong enough to eliminate the stains, but not strong enough to damage the pool surface). After preparing the solution, you apply the solution to the pool’s stained surface. The acid then breaks the stains down. When the process of breaking down is done, you then use a pool cleaner or scrub brush to thoroughly clean the surface. Once cleaning is complete, thoroughly rinse the pool to get rid of any remaining acid solution. The water’s pH must be neutral after this point. Then, you refill your pool and enjoy your beautiful new surface.


Signs that it’s time to acid wash your pool

There are definitely some telltale signs that will tell you when your pool needs an acid wash. Let’s go over some of those signs below.


Algae growth is the most obvious sign of needing an acid wash

If you notice any algae growth – which can look like green or slimy patches on the pool surface or the pool walls, then it is definitely time for an acid wash on your pool. Acid washing will get rid of the algae and potentially prevent future algae growth. Remember, algae thrives in warm and stagnant water that is not properly managed. Regular pool maintenance prevents this!


Strange discolorations like red and pink should be treated ASAP

Certain minerals that may be difficult to clean will give off red or pink hues on the pool’s surface. Acid washing will effectively clean these stubborn stains and restore your pool’s beauty and consistency.


Factors that may affect the acid washing process

There are certain factors that are worth considering when going into acid washing your pool. This is because these factors could influence the process. Let’s explore.



Is your pool above or inground?

Whether your pool is above or inground can affect the acid washing process. Inground pools, believe it or not, require more frequent acid washing. This is because they tend to get more stains and debris, being inside the ground. Above ground pools, though, may not ever need acid washing. Their height tends to keep debris out of the pool, eliminating most of the risk of stains.


How often do you acid wash your pool?

It is typically recommended to acid wash your pool every three to five years. This can change though, depending on how much the pool is used, the pool’s surrounding environment, and how often and well the pool is maintained. As a general rule though, if the pool starts to show severe staining or growth, it’s time for an acid wash.


What pool surface do you have?

The type of surface your pool has also affects how often you’ll need to acid wash. Tile and vinyl surfaces usually require a regular amount of acid washing maintenance, while plaster pools are much more prone to staining and discoloration, thus having more of a need for acid washes.  


Does an acid wash need to be done by professionals?

Acid washing involves dealing with potent acids that can be hazardous if mishandled (hence the protective gear detailed earlier). We recommend having an acid wash done by professionals to maximize safety and results. Professionals have the gear, and expertise to perform the procedure efficiently, while minimizing risks.


GPS Pools is here not only for acid washing, but for all your pool needs!

Maintaining a beautiful pool, free of any stains, can be achieved by acid washing! However, acid washing is a task that is best left for experts. GPS Pools are exactly those experts. We understand the importance of having a beautiful and well maintained pool and we offer all sorts of professional services to help you keep your pool beautiful. From acid washing, to just regular maintenance, you can trust GPS Pools for all of your pool needs.