The correct way to clean pool tiles depends on the type of calcium buildup and other debris in the area. If there is minimal calcium carbonate buildup, you can use a pumice stone or a nylon bristle brush to remove chemicals, mold and dirt. On the other hand, if the pool is dirty with calcium silicate, you will have to use a pressure washer or an acidic solution. In both cases, wear the right protective equipment to avoid injuring yourself or inhaling harmful substances.
Method 1 of 3: Clearing Calcium Carbonate Buildup
Step 1. Use a pumice stone
Since the calcium carbonate buildup is white and flaky, it's easy to get rid of with this feature. Buy a pumice stone at any nautical or cleaning supply store or online.
- You can apply pumice stone on hard surfaces such as tiles and concrete, as well as plaster pools.
- Do not use pumice in vinyl or fiberglass pools.
Step 2. Use a nylon bristle brush if the pool tiles are made of glass, ceramic or porcelain
The material does not scratch these surfaces. You can also use a sponge from 3M.
Step 3. Spray a calcium remover on the tiles
This type of product softens calcium and makes cleaning easier. It is non-toxic, acid-free and biodegradable. So you can use it without having to empty the entire pool.
Step 4. Rub the tiles in a circular motion
Continue scrubbing to remove deposits, mold, calcium and dirt buildup. If you are using a pumice stone, wet the tiles and fixture at all times while cleaning so as not to scratch the pool.
You can wear latex gloves to protect your hands while cleaning, but this is not necessary
Method 2 of 3: Cleaning the tiles with a high pressure washer
Step 1. Rent a pressure washer from a home improvement store
Choose equipment with a pressure of 2000 to 2600 psi and a temperature of at least 150° Celsius. With this power, you'll be able to clean tiles faster and more effectively.
You do not need to pre-treat the tiles with chemicals or detergents if you use the pressure washer
Step 2. Remove dirt residue from the pool
Remove tree branches, leaves, trash, etc. before using the washer, as well as furniture or other objects such as plants, pool toys and equipment, grills and barbecues.
Step 3. Test in a small area
Set up the washer according to the instruction manual. Start with a low power and stay at least three feet from the place you will be cleaning for the test. Spray the water for 30 seconds. Then stop and see if there is any damage to the tiles.
- Make sure all wires and outlets are properly connected before activating the washer.
- Wear goggles, closed shoes and thick clothing to protect yourself from the water jet.
Step 4. Wash the pool in sections
Increase washer pressure to something like 2000 or 2600 psi and 95°C to start washing the tiles piece by piece. Use the assorted pieces of equipment to clean the less accessible spots.
- If you cannot get the dirt off the tiles, increase the temperature to 150° Celsius.
- Remember to stay at least 90 cm away from the tiles.
Method 3 of 3: Using an Acid Solution
Step 1. Empty the pool
Remove debris from dirt, such as leaves and algae, when it is empty. Afterwards, place a hose in the deepest part, near the edge, so that the water flows through the tiles.
Step 2. Wear protective gear
As the acid solution emits vapors that are harmful when inhaled, wear rubber boots, gloves and goggles, and a respirator with an acid filter. If possible, also wear special chemical protection suit.
Step 3. Mix 4 L of hydrochloric acid and 4 L of water in a plastic bucket
Add the acid gradually to the water (not the other way around). As it will effervesce and emit toxic fumes, use the same protective equipment mentioned in the previous step.
Buy hydrochloric acid and the necessary tools at any nautical or cleaning supply store
Step 4. Apply the solution to the tiles with an acid resistant brush
Start at the deepest part of the pool and spread the solution into the mortar with the tool. Advance from section to section. When you have removed the calcium silicate, rinse the tiles with water from the hose.
- You can also fill a watering can with the solution and spread it on the tiles; then just brush normally.
- Repeat the process until all tiles are clean.
Step 5. Add sodium carbonate to the solution at the bottom of the pool
Use 9 kg of carbonate for every 4 L of acid - but only after cleaning all the tiles. The carbonate will neutralize the acid and thus facilitate its removal.
Step 6. Remove the neutralized acid from the pool
Use a water pump. After you finish, rinse the surface with the hose and use the pump to get that water out too. When the pool is completely clean and rinsed, fill it again.
- When rinsing the pool, also rinse your boots, gloves, goggles and protective clothing until all the acid is removed.
- Dispose of what is left of the acid in its place.