How to Clean Pool with Muriatic Acid


Swimming pools have a tendency to become dirty and stained for numerous reasons during the summer season. Leaving the pool uncovered is almost a guarantee that debris and insects will fall into the water, causing stains and other buildup to form. Using a muriatic acid wash solution to remove stains and dirt from a concrete or plaster pool is one method to make it clean again.

Things You'll Need

  • Hose and water
  • Garbage bags
  • Rubber gloves
  • Rubber boots
  • Safety goggles
  • Long-sleeve shirt
  • Pants
  • Large jug (3-gallon preferred)
  • 1 gallon acid
  • 1 gallon water
  • Metal dowel
  • Metal funnel
  • Metal watering can
  • Measuring cup
  • Shears
  • Rope
  • 2 lbs. soda ash
  • Put on your safety gear, making sure to keep everything on for the entire project, and then drain the pool. Pull out the hydrostatic drain plugs that allow the water to drain out correctly.

  • Lay the hose tip over the edge of the pool, remove the spray nozzle if there is one on it, and then turn it on. Allow the water to soak the walls and floor of the pool, and move the hose around the perimeter until the entire inside has been coated with water.

  • Get into the pool; pull out all of the debris and dispose of it in garbage bags.

  • Prepare the muriatic acid wash solution. Pour 1 gallon of water into the 3-gallon jug. Pour 1 gallon of the muriatic acid into the jug, and then begin stirring with the dowel. Always pour chemicals into water so that if a splash should occur, the water will splash upward but the chemicals will not.

  • Pour the solution into the watering can. Put the funnel in the top opening of the can, and carefully pour the acid wash into it using a small measuring cup to scoop it out and pour.

  • Use the shears to cut the rope into several strips that are each 5 feet long.

  • Lay the strips down the pool walls using about 5 or 6 feet of space between each piece. These will be the sections you will use when beginning the wash.

  • Pour a small amount of acid wash down one section. Begin at the very top of the wall, and move the watering can across it so that it covers the top and runs down to the bottom. Continue this until the entire pool has been washed.

  • Pour the 2 lbs. of soda ash into the bottom of the pool where the acid wash has created sudsy foam. Allow the ash to neutralize the acid for about 30 minutes.

  • Remove the main drain at the bottom center of the pool, allow the neutralized wash to run out through the main water drain, and then rinse the pool with the hose before refilling it.

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  • Photo Credit swimming pool tiles image by Alison Bowden from
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