Acid wash pool
Pool Repair

Acid wash pool

Let’s take one second and think about what you are wanting someone to do with a bottle of acid to your pool. Whether you personally had this pool built or you bought the house with the pool already there. You don’t want to just go around allowing anyone to work on your pool. Lets talk about five things you should know before you acid wash your pool. 

Be careful, please...

I have seen a lot of pools in my days. Some good ones and some really bad ones, but I have not seen yours. I am unsure of what type of condition it is in, however you want to be careful with performing an acid wash. If you are taking this on as a Saturdays DIY project, please be careful with what you are doing. Both for your safety and the safety of the pool. If you don’t care about the pool, at least make sure you take care of yourself. 

If you are hiring someone to do this job for you, please put some thought into who you are hiring. Believe it or not the pool industry is a very large industry with a lot of Pro’s trying to be the master at all things pool related. Pool Pro’s have a lot to learn from water chemistry, electrical, plumbing, and foundation just to name a few. We have a lot to master. Make sure that the Pool Pro you choose is a master at foundation work. 

Do you really need it?

Acid wash pool is thrown around way too much in my opinion. After 10 years in this industry I can’t seem to figure out who is making these “pool rules.” “You need to drain and fill your pool every three years..” “Just make sure there is three chlorine tabs in the float at all times..” “You need an acid wash on your pool.” 

Do you really need to do an acid wash on your pool? Acid washing a pool is a very invasive process on your pools foundation. It is going to strip a layer of your plaster or pebble by using acid. It can remove a lot of different stains as well. If your pool has blemishing or streaking an acid wash can help blend that together. Also, if your pool is older an acid wash can help brighten your pool up in some cases. An acid wash is not always the answer, though. 

Chlorine rinse instead 

Its possible that all you need for your pool is a chlorine rinse. A chlorine rinse is the same exact process as an acid wash only you use liquid chlorine instead of acid. Liquid chlorine is not nearly as invasive on your pool than acid is. Using chlorine will not strip any of your pools foundation away when being performed. It is a great alternative to acid washing your pool.

A chlorine rinse can be used when your pool just needs to be drained and filled. It will help remove any build up and even any CYA that may be on the surface. A chlorine rinse would also be better to use if your pool just got away from you for a few days. If there is algae build up on your pools walls or the water has turned green, I suggest you a chlorine rinse. 

The process

Ok! ok. We have arrived on the fact that you need an acid wash. Now lets talk about the process. Doing an acid wash is a three visit job. We will arrive at your house for the first time to drain the pool. You need to make sure its drained to your sewer line. This can not be drained into your street, so don’t do that. And don’t let a Pool Pro do that. The second visit will be once the pool is drained to perform the actual acid wash. The third visit completes the last step in the process. The third visit is to start the pool back up once full. 

Each one of these visits takes a lot of focus. A Pool Pro needs to know a lot of specifics when performing all of these steps, not just how to perform an actual acid wash. We have already talked about the draining of the pool water. If this is drained into a street, soon the acid wash mixture will follow. Don’t do this. Also, on the start up of the pool, you want to make sure that the tech starts up the pool correctly. More goes into balancing the chemicals than one may think. Leslies is not the answer either. 

Now the steps 

I’d like to explain the steps of an acid wash so that you can understand what it requires. Even if you are hiring for this job, and I hope you hire us, you still need to know the steps. So here we go.

  • Drain the pool 
  • Prep the surface 
  • Put that safety gear on 
  • Make your solution 
  • Add your solution the the pools surfaces 
  • Scrub
  • Spray down 
  • Repeat until all surface is acid washed

Sounds simple, right? Wrong! Each one of these steps also takes a lot to know how to master. If you are a DIY customer reading this keep track of these steps. And once you’re done, go back to these steps and think about explaining how to teach someone how to do this. Questions. Did you mix the acid to the water in the pale? Or did you add the water to the acid in the pale? 

Prepping the surface

 We have already spoken about the draining step. Please, again, make sure that you drain this water into a clean out. Once the pools drained it’s a good idea to prep the surface. A high pressure hose nozzle will do the trick. If you are fancy and have the ability to buy a pressure washer, this may be a better option. Just don’t use too high of a pressure where it is harming the surface. 

Spray all the walls, benches, steps, and floor down to the point of drain. It is good practice to clear the surface before you add your acid. Even if its just a little bit of debris on the pools surface, it’ll help the acid do what it needs to do. Acid, unlike liquid chlorine, will have a reaction on your pools surface. If there is less debris for the acid to run across it will fume less. 

Safety Gear is cool 

Its cool so use it. If you are doing this as a DIY project because you are a bad ass, make sure you protect yourself. If you are hiring this out to a Pro, suggest safety if the opportunity. Wearing boots, full covered clothes, gloves, safety glasses, and a respirator will go a long way. 

The solution is made 

Im sure you may not have thought about what the mixture ratio between water and acid should be, but we will talk about it here. When an acid wash is performed it needs to be a consistent mixture of acid and water throughout the process. Remember, I don’t know what condition your pool is in, but it may need either a heavy or light mixture. A true Pro should know this, so hire one. 

Drop it like its hot

The consistent mixture of water and acid needs to be poured out of a water can onto the walls of the pool. Start at the tile line and work your way back and forth while slowly moving the pale downwards to the floor. Once the entire wall is covered repeat the process until about 10 feet of the wall is covered. Stop and get your brush. 

Brush it

This is the physically demanding part of things. Give the surface a nice brush down where the acid is at. Extremely aggressive brushing is not needed. If that stain is going to come up, it’ll come up mainly due to the acid. The stain will not always lift from heavy acid and hard brushing. We must move on..

Spray it down 

Pretty simple step here. Once the 10 feet or so has been acid washed spray it down with water. The acid should not sit on any surface for long periods of time without it being sprayed down. Especially on the pools steps or benches. 


Yep, all the way around the pool. Don’t forget to make sure you mix the acid solution consistently. Oh, and don’t forget to spray down regularly. And don’t allow the acid to streak!

Now will you hire us?

I have been in the pool business for over a decade. I have built a good relationship with a lot of great Pool Pros. Believe me when I say I know which pool guy is the best for this job. So give me a call or email me and lets get you scheduled. 

Use acid magic

If you are going to be doing this at home as a DIY project, I suggest acid magic.




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