How to Tackle Staining
FIRST: Determine that the stains are
not Bleed Through Mold (also known as
the 'Bold Mold') if you haven’t already.
Now, let’s decide if the stains are
“organic” or “mineral”.
ASK YOURSELF THESE QUESTIONS:
||Are the stains brown or purple?
||yes=most likely mineral, iron or manganese
||Are the stains blue-green on a gunite surface?
||yes=most likely mineral, copper
||Are the stains on the vertical walls?
||yes=verifying that the stains are most likely not
bleed-through mold, and could be organic or mineral
||Is the entire pool stained, maybe with the exception
a clean spot where there was a toy sitting?
||yes=mineral, typical mineral fall out from water
||Were the stains there when you opened the pool but
not when you closed it?
||yes=probably mineral because often minerals in the
water fall out of solution over the winter due to
uncontrollable changes in water chemistry, however,
see next question
||Did the stain darken as a result of adding Shock
||yes=try mineral solutions
||Did the stains appear as a reaction to adding Shock,
Total Control 1000 or Builder 2000?
||yes=try mineral solutions-these products cause
minerals to fall out of solution
||Are the stains spreading?
||yes=most likely organic, not necessarily
||Are the stains spotty and blotchy?
||yes=could be black algae-try suggestions for
organic-make sure you ruled out
bleed-through mold. Black algae tends to adhere to
gunite surfaces nicely due to the surface structure
||Was your pool full of leaves or organic debris and
algae when closed?
||yes=try organic solutions first)
||Did the stains lighten as a result of adding Shock
||yes=organic -if they return, make sure you rule out
||With effort, do the stains scrape off?
||yes= it’s probably an algae, you cannot scrape off a
mineral stain-try the organic treatments
||Is the pool a gunite pool?
||yes=not bleed-through mold, if black and spotty
could be black algae, if brown most-likely mineral but
could be either)
||Have you tried anything on the stains?
||(yes=investigate what you tried and if it worked. If
you tried a mineral solution (acid-based) and got no
results, change course. If you tried an algaecide or
shock and got no results, change course
Okay, have you got your facts straight?
- If you answered “yes” to most of the questions 1 through 7,
try our “mineral stain suggestions”.
- If you answered “yes” to most of the questions 8 through 13,
try our “organic stain suggestions” below.
Still not sure? Try this tip…place a
vitamin “c” tablet on the stain and, if when the tablet dissolves,
there is a clean spot…it’s a mineral stain because the acid in the
vitamin tablet will have lifted the stain.
Let’s take a couple notes:
- Acids remove mineral stains.
- Usually shock treatments, and sometimes algaecides, remove
Mineral Stain Suggestions
Mineral Stain Suggestions to try:
- Try Spot Specialist if you use Pristine Blue or Algae
Shield. You can put it in a sock and rub it directly onto the
stain wearing rubber gloves, broadcast it, with the filter off,
over the stains, or dilute it in a bucket of water and pour it
down the walls over the stains. Cloudiness is common with Spot
Specialist but it normally clears on its own. Use the sock
method and push the sock into place with a pole and brush if the
stain is in an unreachable place. Try this if you suspect that
the stains are mineral.
- Try Metal Muscle, Super Erace, or Spot Specialist if you do
not use Pristine Blue or Algae Shield. With the Alkalinity and
PH in balance and the filter off, pour Metal Muscle or Super
Erace over the stains or as close as possible, let it sit for
about an hour, then turn the filter on.
Organic Stain Suggestions
Organic Stain Suggestions to try:
- Raise the water level over the stains and shock the pool.
Try this if you suspect that the stains are organic.
- Try Ring Leader for top stains and stains on steps, swimouts,
or buddy seats. You can put Ring Leader in a sponge applicator
with a refillable handle like you use in your kitchen for
We always like to try a little bit of a product first to see how
it is going to work before we invest much into it. We do not like to
waste anyone’s money at Family Pools. If the suggestion you tried
worked, then invest in the proper dosage for your pool. Simply ask
one of our representatives in the store or check our product dosage
It never hurts to brush the stains after the treatment has been
added, although it is not usually necessary. If lightening occurs
but not disappearance, repeat the treatment process.
For severe, recurring mineral problems, ask us about Jack
White fixtures and steps stain the easiest as does white plaster.