How to Remove Pool Stains: A Brief Guide


Pool stains are a part of pools, and there is no way to avoid them unless you decide to restrict your swimming pools and let no one use it, which is just ridiculous. It shouldn’t be difficult to remove pool stains, though, so there is really nothing to worry about.

But before we get into the process, it is important to note that pool stains are categorized into three: metal, rusts, and organic materials. Stains that come from each require a certain approach.


Stains that are caused by metals may not be difficult to remove but they require much more work compared to those that come from organic materials. Metal stains can be caused by copper, iron, or manganese, which are all present in chemicals used for pool maintenance.


Rusts can be from metal pipes, pool equipment, or other metal objects that help run the pool.

Organic Materials

Organic materials, on the other hand, can be from the leaves or other debris that come from the nature. Stains from organic materials are usually green and brown in color.

How About Stains That Come From Food?

Yes, pools can also acquire stains from the food that the swimmers eat, but that is a different case. The pool stains we’re talking about here are the stains within the pool and not around the pool.

Food stains usually occur around the area where the food is placed, which is just around the cottage, and they can be removed with soap and water.

How to Remove Pool Stains

Are Pool Stains Black Algae?

Pool stains and black algae may seem the same if you look at them from miles away. However, stains and black algae are different.

For instance, black algae are bacteria while pool stains are just, well, stains that can in fact be removed in a few minutes with chlorine or an acid. Pool stains, moreover, don’t have roots. Black algae do have them, and those are in fact what make them so difficult to get rid of.

Black algae are harmful because they release toxins due to their being cyanobacteria. Pool stains can be harmful as well but in most cases, they aren’t.

Why Should You Remove Pool Stains?

Pool stains are just, well, stains. So, why does it sound like pool stains are a big deal? The answer to that is simple, and that is because pool stains affect not just the pool but the people as well.

1. It Can Cause Health Problems

It may be true that pool stains don’t determine how much you are taking care of your pool, but pool stains may contain properties that are not good for human’s health. That said, even though there isn’t a strong link between pool stains and health, pool stains can cause pool contamination!

2. It Doesn’t Look Good

This is a no-brainer. Stains never looked good on anything. Also, they do imply that you are not giving much importance to your pool’s cleanliness, even if you insist otherwise. People don’t want to swim in a pool that doesn’t seem maintained, so you should take action as soon as possible if you want people to enjoy your pool!

3. It Should Be Removed

If your clothes got stained, do you leave the stain there? You don’t, right? And that’s because stains are supposed to be removed—and the same applies to pool stains! You should remove pool stains because they should be removed. It’s just as simple as that.

How to Remove Pool Stains

How to Remove Pool Stains

Removing pool stains isn’t that hard. In fact, you can even do that in a matter of minutes. Nonetheless, there’s no single way to remove pool stains because the process depends on the cause.

We talked about the three common causes of pool stains first thing in this article, and those are metal, rusts, and organic materials.


Metal stains can be difficult to remove so they require a more powerful solution. Most of the stain removers used for metal stains contain either ascorbic or citric acid. Citric acid is used for more stubborn metal stains, like those caused by copper.


All objects made from metal can get rusty over time. If your pool equipment are made from metal, it is important that you check from time to time if they are still in good condition or not. Rust stains are actually easy to spot because, usually, they are around the area where there is a metal object, like the drain.

Rust stains are removed the same way as removing metal stains.

Organic Materials

Stains from organic materials are so easy to remove because chlorine alone is enough for them to go away. Just add chlorine to the pool water or shock the pool and then brush the stained area with any type of brush.

This method can also help you determine whether the stains are caused by metal or organic materials. If you brush the stains and you see them fading, it means they’re cause by organic materials. If not, then by metal.

You Can Prevent Pool Stains

But just like any pool problems, you can surely prevent pool stains from happening, and here are some of the ways to do so.

1. Maintain the Chlorine Level

Assuming your pool is chlorinated pool, chlorine is essential for it to remain disinfected and safe for a certain period of time. But adding chlorine to your pool isn’t a one-time task where you just throw the chlorine tablets into it and that’s it.

Chlorine can fight off stains from organic materials, so a pool with the right amount of chlorine can prevent them. But don’t overdo it. You don’t have to go above the right chlorine level just to make sure that they don’t form.

2. Maintain the pH Level

Maintaining the pH level is just as important as maintaining the chlorine level because if the pH level is not right, the pool water will be unbalanced and the chlorine will not work properly!

3. Remove Debris

You can do this either manually or through the help of a pool vacuum.

The debris (i.e., organic materials) that fall into your pool can cause stains, so in addition to monitoring the chlorine level, it would also be helpful if you don’t give the debris enough time to stain your pool. Remove them as soon as possible!

4. Check Your Pool Equipment

All your pool equipment, in fact, and you should do it on a regular basis.

Rust stains, as we said earlier, are more difficult to remove as it requires more than just chlorine. You have to use a real stain remover that contains ascorbic or citric acid, and it would be inconvenient if you don’t have one.

If you notice a sign that a certain pool equipment is about to get rusty in a few days, either replace them or treat them right away with a rust remover!

5. Brush Your Pool

There are several types of pool brushes that exist, and maybe you have all of them there in your stockroom. But if you would just let those brushes stay unused for a long period of time, what’s even the purpose of buying them? Get up and start working! Brush your pool!

You should keep in mind that even if there’s chlorine, you have robotic pool cleaners, and your pool filters are functioning well, you still have to do the cleaning manually to ensure that all areas, sides, and corners are clean!

How to Remove Pool Stains


Generally, pool stains are not harmful, so even if you don’t do anything about them, everything should still be fine. However, I don’t encourage you to do that because pool stains, just like stains that we get on clothes, are supposed to be removed because they can cause problems in the long run.

Plus, pool stains can make your pool unappealing and can even make it seem not maintained, and I know you don’t like that kind of impression.

Pool stains are caused by different factors, and the three of the most common ones include:

  • Metal
  • Rust
  • Organic materials

Each cause require a different approach. That is, if the stains are caused by organic materials, shocking the pool and brushing the stained area are enough to get rid of them. If metal or rust, you have to have ascorbic or citric acid with you if you want to remove them for good.

But prevention is better than cure, as the saying goes. It is possible to avoid those pesky stains, and the process is much easier: Clean your pool regularly!

Regular pool maintenance can save you from having pool problems, so you shouldn’t take it for granted. Even if you can’t do it by yourself because of your busy schedule, there are people who are interested to help you, and they’re just one call away!

Professional pool cleaners are almost everywhere, and they are willing to do other things than just removing pool stains. If you are from Houston, you can simply call us at 832-931-3504 or 469-396-7947 and we’d love to do the job for you!

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