How to Clean Pool Tiles without Draining

mosaic tilesCleaning your pool’s tile doesn’t have to be a dreaded task.  It can be pretty simple if you know how. 

This post will show you methods for cleaning your pool tile without draining the water.  So whether you’re looking to give your pool a quick clean or want to get deep into the nooks and crannies, read on for our top tips.

Calcium Buildup:

The stains that you see on your pool tiles are from calcium build-up.  They are also called hard water stains.  You’ll find these stains along the water line.

The alkalinity of your pool increases as the pH does.  Calcium is encouraged to stick to pool tile by the imbalance.

Ideal water should have an alkalinity between 80-120 parts per million.  The recommended pH for a pool is between 7 and 7.6.  You can determine whether calcium buildup is caused by an imbalance with the aid of water testing kits.

If the test results show a high pH, lower it to the suggested level. If there is a buildup of calcium in the supply, treat the water with a calcium hardness removing agent.

Setting up a consistent schedule for pool cleaning will help reduce calcium build-up stains on your pool.

There are many ways to remove these stains from your tile.  Keep reading for some of the best ideas for cleaning hard water stains from your pool.

Ways to Clean Stains on Pool Tiles:

  •   Baking Soda
  •   Vinegar
  •   Pumice Stone
  •   Stain Erasers
  •   Pressure Washer
  •   Muriatic Acid

Baking Soda

Baking soda is soft and gentle, which makes it a great choice to clean stains from your pool tiles.  Mix the baking soda with water and use a cloth or toothbrush to rub off stains. 

You can also put the mixture in a spray bottle for even easier cleaning.  Check out this article titled, “Top 5 Pool Brushes,” for more information on brushes made specifically for cleaning pools.  


There is an easy way to clean pool tile with vinegar without draining the pool. All you need is a sponge, a bucket of water, and some white vinegar.

First, wet the sponge in the bucket of water. Then, add a few tablespoons of vinegar to the sponge and scrub the tile. Vinegar dissolves dirt and grime, making it easy to wipe away.

To remove any residual vinegar, you may need to rinse the area with fresh water. This simple method cleans pool tile very efficiently.

Combining baking soda with vinegar also works well to clean pool tiles.

Pumice Stone

Using a pumice stone, you can clean pool tile hard water stain very quickly. Pumice is a type of volcanic glass usually light in color and has a soapy feel. It cleans calcium buildup on pool tiles and other hard surfaces.

To remove stains from the tile, wet the pumice stone and rub it over the affected areas.  Make sure to rinse the area after cleaning to remove all soap residues. If there is still some buildup on the tiles, repeat the process until it is gone.

There are mixed opinions on whether pumice stones will scratch pool tiles.  Use cautiously and follow instructions if you go this route.

Stain Erasers

You can find stain erasers online or in your local pool supply store.  They look like a stone on a stick.  You just rub them over the stains.

Stain erasers are softer than pumice stones, so many people like them better.  They are not recommended for use on vinyl.

Pressure Washing

As any pool owner knows, keeping the tile clean is essential for maintaining a healthy and inviting pool. However, pressure washing can be a time-consuming and tedious task. One way to clean pool tile without draining the water is to use a pressure washer attachment with a detergent tank.

The detergent will break down oils and dirt, making it easier to remove with the pressure washer. This method allows you to reach high spots that a traditional pressure washer can’t.

In addition, this method is less likely to damage the tile than other methods, such as scrubbing with a brush. As a result, it is an ideal way to keep your pool tile clean without having to drain the water.

Use Muriatic Acid-Based Cleaner

Muriatic acid is a powerful chemical and it is also inexpensive, so many homeowners and pool companies use it for cleaning tough stains.

You must be very careful when using this product.  Be sure to wear goggles, gloves, and a breathing mask when using this type of cleaner, and always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Muriatic acid can cause burns if it comes into contact with your skin.  It is also harmful if inhaled.

Conclusionceramic pool tiles splashed with water

We hope you enjoyed learning about all the different ways to clean your pool tiles without draining your pool.  Try to clean stains as soon as you notice them, don’t let the stains build-up.

The longer you leave the stains, the harder they will be to remove.

Call Sun Valley Pool Service and set up regular pool maintenance, if you want to avoid the hassle of cleaning your pool tiles.  We have the experience and equipment necessary to finish the job quickly and efficiently.

Don’t try to go at it alone – dealing with muriatic acid and other harsh chemicals can be dangerous if you’re not experienced. Let us handle it for you! Your satisfaction is our priority!


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