One of the dirtiest jobs that goes along with pool ownership is cleaning the tile at the waterline. The waterline is technically the point where the pool or spa water meets the tile. It is like the fill line, but honestly, there shouldn’t be a “line”.
Waterline Problems: Stains and Scale
The pools’ water line problems are either stains or scale.
If you notice stains or deposits caused by hard water in the bath tubs and kitchen sinks in your house, you are likely to also notice those same stains on the surface of the pool. When water evaporates, the calcium deposits remain on the sides of the pool and cause scale. It appears like difficult to remove gray or white scum. You will notice two types of pool scaling:
- Calcium silicate – This scale is the harder of the two kinds. It appears white-grey on the surface of your pool. Your first line of defense is an application muriatic acid. If muriatic acid does not remove it, you can be sure that it is in fact calcium silicate. Next, you will need to rub it with a pumice stone to remove the scum.
- Calcium carbonate – This white stuff on the surface of your pool can also be removed with a pumice stone. If you put a few drops of muriatic acid on this and it fizzes and bubbles, you can be sure you are dealing with calcium carbonate.
Pool staining can vary in color because of an imbalance in the chemical composition of the pool water.
Dealing with Scaling and Staining
A few tips for tackling the stains and scale in your swimming pool include working in small amounts of time. Don’t tackle it all at once. If you are watching your kids in the pool, work on the stains a little bit at that time. Remember a little maintenance along the way is better than letting the algae and other junk accumulate.
In fact, you might want to try some cleaning supplies that you have on hand already. This will save you a trip to the store and possibly some money.
When you have just a faint water line, go ahead and start scrubbing with an old toothbrush and one of these cleaning supplies:
- Dish soap
- Baking soda
If these general cleaners won’t cut it, go ahead and try some more heavy duty cleaners like cleaner made specifically for tile and a pumice stone. Both of these are available at a local store. If you need something else, you might want to try a cleaner known for its ability to clean tough scale and scum called The Works. The website for this company claims a 50 year history of excellent cleaning. It has been known to completely remove rust stains in a toilet when used along with a pumice stone. Another popular heavy-duty cleaner is Limeosol. This product is known for effectively and safely removing water stains, rust, calcium, and lime.
If you decide to use a tougher cleaner like The Works or Limeosol, use the cleaner before you add any pool chemicals. Then, allow al few days again before you resume the adding of pool chemicals.