When And Why Should You Acid Wash Your Pool

When And Why Should You Acid Wash Your Pool

If you’ve researched how to clean a pool, you’ve probably run across acid washing. The question is when should you acid wash your pool.

First things first, you shouldn’t have to acid wash regularly. This is more of an ultra-deep clean.

However, most pools will need an acid wash occasionally. It’s important to know why this type of wash is needed and when it needs to be done.

What Is An Acid Wash?

This is typically a task best left to the professionals. As the name implies, you’re using a type of acid to clean your pool. If you’re not extremely careful, you can burn your skin and eyes. If you do do it yourself, have someone with you in case something goes wrong.

When you acid wash your pool, you empty it out and use caustic chemicals to deep clean the pool. This removes old stains and stubborn algae. The chemicals cut through the grime in ways that standard cleaning just can’t.

The reason you don’t want to do it too often is you strip away a very thin layer of plaster each time, revealing clean plaster underneath.

Why Acid Wash Your Pool?

Even with the best pool maintenance, stains build up over time. And, if it hasn’t been properly maintained, algae and stains build up even faster. 

Usually, you want to acid wash your pool if it becomes nearly impossible to clean it any other way. When general cleaning isn’t doing anything to remove the stains from your plaster and the water always seems to be murky, this is a sign that algae are building up too fast for routine cleaning to keep up.

Signs You Need To Acid Wash

A little murky water and some light staining don’t mean you need to acid wash your pool. However, the following signs may indicate it’s time:

  • Stains are getting larger and/or darker
  • You can’t remove or lighten stains with routine cleaning
  • Algae build back up rapidly between routine cleanings
  • Water is so murky it’s hard or impossible to see the shallow end floor
  • The water gets murky quickly, even with routine cleaning
  • It looks dingy after a major cleaning

If you’ve recently bought a new home with a pool, you may choose to acid wash the pool to get a fresh start, especially if it doesn’t look too clean. The same is true if you haven’t used or clean in your pool in a while.

When Should You Acid Wash Your Pool?

While there isn’t a set rule for acid washing, it’s recommended to not do it annually. This will wear out your plaster quickly, leading you to need to replaster your pool.

Recommendations vary from every two years, especially if you live in areas with hard water, to every five years. With regular pool maintenance, you should be able to go for more than two years between acid washes.

Ideally, you should wait until spring or fall. You want moderate temperatures to better protect your pool liner during the acid wash process.

Other Considerations

As your pool ages, the plaster may start to show signs of wear and tear. Flaking, holes and any signs of damage mean you probably shouldn’t acid wash your pool. The chemicals can accelerate the damage. For older pools, it may be best to replaster the pool completely since the current plaster may not be able to withstand the acid wash.

Also, if you’ve acid washed your pool within the last year or two and it’s showing signs of needing it again, contact a professional cleaning service. They can check your pool to see what’s causing the issues. They’ll also recommend things to do to prevent murky water and staining so you can avoid frequent acid washing.

Finally, ensure you have protective equipment on hand if you try this yourself. Also, take your time and be cautious.

Need help with regular pool maintenance? Contact us today to learn how we can help give your weekends back and ensure you don’t need an acid wash more often than absolutely necessary.

Image: irakli kharshiladze

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