How to Remove Hardwater Stains on Above Ground Pools

What You'll Need
White vinegar or lemon juice
Baking soda
Sponge or cloth
Razor blade
Spray bottle

Hardwater stains on your pool tiles are the unsightly by-product of magnesium and calcium build-up and are the bane of any pool owner's life. Fortunately, however, the mineral content of the stains means that they can be removed by the naturally acidic content of white vinegar or lemon juice and the power of easy-to find items such as baking soda. If the stains aren't too tough, this method should do the trick without damaging your tiles like other harsh, expensive cleaning products.

Step 1 - Preparing and Applying the Paste

The acidic content of vinegar and lemon juice means that they are perfect for breaking down the hard water stains plaguing your swimming pool. Mix 1 part vinegar or lemon juice to 3 parts baking soda in a bucket to make a paste. Apply a generous amount of paste to the stained tiles using a sponge or cloth and leave it for about an hour to really get to work.

Step 2 - Scrubbing

Once the paste is dry, scrub the tiles with a household cleaning brush and then rinse with clean, warm water. Do not use anything too rough like a scouring pad as you will damage your tiles. If the stains are so tough that brushing is not effective, carefully scrape the stains with a razor blade. Be sure not to scrape the actual tile itself. The best method to avoid this is to scrape some of the stain off and then reapply the acidic paste. Once it has dried, wipe the paste off with a wet cloth and the stain should be gone.

If the stains persist, try repeating the above steps a couple times. If this fails to work, there are tougher commercial cleansers available which wont wreck your tiles and are designed to break down the magnesium and calcium that cause the stains.

Step 3 - Protection Against Future Build-up

Prevention is better than cure so cleaning your ceramic pool tiles regularly is a good idea. A weekly clean using one of the procedures described below is a step in the right direction to reduce the build-up of hard water deposits.

Mix a cup of white vinegar and a gallon of water together in a bucket. Use a sponge or cloth to wipe the tiles with the vinegar-water mixture and allow the tiles to dry naturally. Another option is to mix the water and vinegar and pour into a clean, empty spray bottle. Spray the solution onto the tiles and wipe thoroughly. Again, allow the solution to dry naturally and there is no need to rinse off with water. Ignore the strong smell of vinegar as it will disappear quickly once the surface has dried. 

.Make an effort to fit this into your weekly cleaning regime to ensure that your pool tiles are kept shiny and clean. More importantly, these preventative measures will also help to discourage the build-up of hard water deposits.