How to Acid Wash Pool Tiles

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Decorative tiles often line concrete pools. Over time, the decorative tile and the grout between them can become stained by dirt and algae. An acid wash effectively removes deep stains and restores the beauty of pool tiles. Acid washes are commonly needed in pools that have been neglected or were not winterized properly. Although you may hire professionals to acid wash your pool, with proper precautions and preparation you can acid wash pool tiles yourself.

Things You'll Need

  • Protective clothing
  • Tri-sodium phosphate
  • Garden hose
  • Stiff-bristled scrub brush
  • Muriatic acid
  • Plastic bucket
  • Drain the pool completely.

  • Put on protective clothing. If the acid comes into contact with your skin or eyes it will burn.

  • Mix tri-sodium phosphate with water according to the manufacturer's instructions.

  • Scrub the tiles in small sections using the tri-sodium phosphate solution and a stiff-bristled brush.

  • Rinse each section well with with garden hose after cleaning it. Tri-sodium phosphate can damage the tiles if it is allowed to dry on the surface.

  • Add 1 part muriatic acid to 10 parts water in a plastic bucket. Muriatic acid will not corrode most forms of plastic.

  • Brush the muriatic acid solution onto a small section of pool tile. The acid should bubble when it hits the pool tile. This is normal.

  • Scrub the pool tiles well with a scrub brush, working the acid into the grout. Rinse immediately. Do not allow the acid solution to sit on the tiles. Work section by section in this manner.

  • Rinse the entire pool. Wash all of the muriatic acid from the tiles.

  • Dispose of the excess water used to acid wash the tiles before refilling the pool.

Tips & Warnings

  • If the muriatic acid solution does not bubble when it makes contact with the pool tiles, it is too diluted to be effective. Add more acid.
  • Neutralize muriatic acid with lime. This converts the acid to a harmless salt substance that can then be drained.
  • When diluting acid, add the acid to the water, not the other way around. If you add water to acid, the resulting chemical reaction could result in the acid splattering and burning your skin.

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