According to a recent study, nearly 2.7 million Australians live in a home with a swimming pool. That’s about 13 percent of the Australian population, making pools a highly coveted home upgrade.
Owning a backyard pool doesn’t come cheap. A concrete swimming pool can set you back anywhere between $35,000 and $100,000 to install. When you’re spending that much money on something, you want to take good care of it, so it serves you for the longest time possible.
One way to keep your pool in top shape is through regular pool tile cleaning. Over time, stains and grime are bound to collect on tiles at the swimming pool waterline or fill line.
Unfortunately, many people don’t know how to clean pool tiles, which only leads to more accumulation of grime and stain. If you’re one of them, you’ve come to the right place. This guide provides time-tested pool cleaning tips that are guaranteed to keep your pool spotlessly clean.
Keep reading to learn more.
1. Know What Causes the Problem
Before you start the actual cleaning of your pool tiles, it may be beneficial to know what’s causing all that grime and stain on them. Generally, grime is the result of the accumulation of body soil, sunscreen, and mineral deposits.
As the water naturally evaporates from your pool, scaling will start to occur. That’s when mineral deposits cling to the sides of your swimming pool. There are two major types of scaling you can notice on pool tiles:
This type of scaling is the most common. Typically, calcium carbonate manifests as a flaky white crust on the surface of the pool tiles. The scaling can also take a yellowish appearance, especially if your water system has high levels of iron.
Calcium carbonate scaling takes a relatively short time to form. You can confirm its presence by applying muriatic acid to it as a test. You’ll notice bubbling once the muriatic acid comes into contact with calcium carbonate.
This type of scaling is most common in pools that are used in summer or warmer seasons.
Thankfully, calcium carbonate is not difficult to remove.
Calcium silicate is the second type of scaling you’ll most likely deal with as a pool owner. This type of scaling takes considerably longer to form than calcium carbonate.
Unlike calcium carbonate, calcium silicate doesn’t react with muriatic acid. Thus, you cannot confirm its presence through acid testing. But if you do see a white-grey scum on your pool tiles, it’s a sure sign you might have a calcium silicate problem.
Note that calcium silicate is extremely difficult to get rid of. That’s mainly because it builds up slowly over a long time, eventually becoming a large deposit of scale on your pool tiles. The best way to deal with calcium silicate is to prevent its buildup in the first place through regular maintenance.
2. Set a Pool Tile Cleaning Schedule
Creating a schedule for cleaning your pool tiles is among the best pieces of pool cleaning advice you can get. Experts recommend that you brush your pool tile on a weekly basis.
Take action once you notice any discoloration on your pool tiles. It’s much easier to remove small levels of build-up at the pool’s waterline than to wait until the buildup is heavy. Ensure that your tiles are spotlessly clean at the start of the pool season, as well as once the pool system is over.
If the pool tiles haven’t been cleaned in a while and you notice that there’s exceptionally heavy mineral build-up at the waterline, it may be best to do the removal in increments over a period of time. This way, you get to keep the pool’s filtering system from being overwhelmed. Moreover, you get to maintain the pool water’s chemical balance.
3. Gather the Required Cleaning Supplies
Now that you have settled on a suitable schedule for cleaning your pool tiles, it’s time to purchase the necessary supplies for getting the job done. Among the equipment you’re going to need are a pool vacuum, skimmer net, soft-bristled brush, stiff-bristled brush, plastic bucket, and pumice stone. Some good-quality rubber gloves may also come in handy, as well as eye protection.
Don’t forget to buy cleaning supplies such as baking soda, cleaning vinegar, distilled white vinegar, and dishwashing liquid. You can also get a commercial tile cleaner, as well as a melamine sponge.
4. Have a System
The best way to clean your pool tiles thoroughly and within the shortest time is to have a system in place. That means cleaning your pool in the same order each time, from one end to the other. It means following a predefined set of steps, so you don’t keep running back and forth.
The idea is to be as consistent as possible. Aim to do the same thing whenever you clean your pool tiles so it becomes routine. Speed and effectiveness come from the method, not effort.
Here are some steps you can follow whenever you clean your pool:
Get Rid of Organic Matter
Check whether there are leaves, twigs, grass clippings, and other organic matter in your pool. Remove them using a net skimmer or pool vacuum.
Drop the Pool’s Waterline
It’s always easier to clean stained tiles if you notice that the waterline is below the usual position. That’s why you need to drop the waterline before you begin to scrub the tiles.
Use a Scrub Brush
Using a stiff-bristled brush, scrub away any mineral deposits on your pool tiles. Follow a circular motion while working for the best results,
For glass tiles, opt for a soft-bristled brush to avoid scratching the glass. Tackle tight areas using an old toothbrush.
Get Rid of Dirt and Grime
Now that you’ve removed all mineral deposits from your work area, it’s time to deal with the accumulation of dust, grime, and body soil. To remove them, scrub the area with a suitable solution in a plastic bucket. Mix either distilled white vinegar, cleaning vinegar, baking soda, or dishwashing liquid with the right proportion of water to create the solution.
Dip your scrub brush in the solution before scouring the tiles at the pool’s waterline. For stains that are tough to remove, use a melamine sponge. After scouring the area, splash some fresh water on it to get it clean.
While none of the cleaning solutions here are toxic, it’s still best to wear gloves and goggles as a precautionary measure.
Use a Commercial Cleaner
Sometimes, the dirt and grime are minimal, and handmade cleaners are all you need to get rid of the deposits. But if you’re dealing with stubborn stains or calcium silicate scaling, homemade cleaners may not be equal to the task.
Now’s the time to bring a reliable commercial cleaner. Note that these cleaners can be harsh, so you need to use them with caution. Start by testing the cleaner on a small area to see its effect.
Always wear protective goggles and gloves when using these commercial cleaners. You may want to wait a few days before you use the pool.
Use a Pumice Stone
If you still notice stains and mineral deposits after using a scrub brush and a cleaning solution, then you’ll need to use a pumice stone. You can find these at your local pool supplies store or online.
Be sure to keep the pumice stone wet when using it to avoid excessive scratching of the tile surface. Scrub the tile lightly and in gentle circles along the pool’s waterline.
Pumice stones are especially effective when it comes to calcium carbonate removal. Keep in mind, however, that the stone isn’t recommended for vinyl and fiberglass pools.
5. Hire a Professional Pool Maintenance Service
Where you’re looking for top-level pool tile cleaning, hiring a reputable pool maintenance agency such as 1 Pool Care is the best move. Such a company will provide unrivaled pool cleaning services as they usually have the latest equipment and supplies for getting the job done.
An added benefit of hiring a professional pool maintenance service to clean your pool tile is that they’ll be able to spot any issues that need early repair. They can address these issues right away, saving you from headaches down the road.
Pool Tile Cleaning Doesn’t Have to Be Difficult
Your backyard pool is everyone’s favorite spot, especially during the warmer months. It’s the reason you need to invest in regular pool tile cleaning to keep the area looking sparkling throughout the year.
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