How To Acid Wash a Concrete Swimming Pool

Is your pool so dirty you can’t even see down to the bottom? Has it become suitable to be declared a wildlife preserve? If so, it may be time to consider learning how to acid wash your pool.

There is no better way to return your pool back to its original finish than by acid washing. However, it isn’t something that you should rely on. Nothing beats regular care of your pool. Sometimes it is necessary, though, as it is the only way to give the sides of your pool the cleaning it needs to look its best.

Why Should You Acid Wash Your Pool?

There comes a time when your pool is just too far gone for normal chemical treatments to work properly. The reality is that you would need a lot of chemicals to treat it and you would spend a lot of time doing it that it is just easier and much more cost effective to drain it and acid wash the sides.

A good rule of thumb to go by is this: If you can see the bottom, chemicals will do. If you can’t see the bottom, the time has come to drain it and wash it.

There are a lots of reasons that a pool can reach a state of needing this type of washing. In some cases, the winterizing before the cold months wasn’t performed properly. In other cases, the pools are simply ignored for whatever reason. But you don’t have to have a black lagoon to perform an acid wash. Sometimes you may just want to strip away and some dirt or even chlorine stains to give your pool a new, fresh look.

What is Acid Wash

To put it simply, acid washing a concrete swimming pool is simply stripping away the outside layer of plaster on your pool while cleaning it and disinfecting it at the same time. This ultimately reveals the nice bright layers of plaster underneath and leaves your pool looking as clean and as new as the first day you had it installed.

Because of the process, frequent acid washing can eventually damage the pool sometimes beyond repair. So please don’t make this a yearly ritual. Only use it in extreme circumstances or occasionally to freshen up the look.

A Word of Warning

Acid is a dangerous substance. Professional pool cleaners are trained to handle it and dispose of it properly and always wear the proper protective gear when using it. If you are going to do this yourself, be sure you pick up the proper safety gear such as gloves and even a breathing apparatus. Before you can dispose of the acidic water, the acid must be neutralized with soda ash to prevent damage to the environment.

How to Acid Wash a Pool

Now we come to the main point of today. Follow the next few steps to the letter to properly clean your pool with acid.

1. Drain your pool.

As your pool water drains, wash or scrub the sides of the pool to remove any algae or other debris such as leaves from the sides and the bottom. Bag up the leaves and dispose of them.

2. Put on your safety equipment.

Once the water has been drained and all debris has been removed from the pool, you are ready to get started. Put on all your safety equipment including gloves, goggles and a breathing apparatus.

3. Create your acid mixture.

Add one gallon of acid to one gallon of water in a bucket or can. Make sure you always add the acid to the water and NEVER water to acid.

4. Wet the sides of our pool.

Before you add your acid, using a hose spray down the sides of your pool so that it is wet.

5. Add the acid.

Pour the acid down one 10 foot section at a time. Do not allow the acid to sit on the sides for long. Using an acid brush, scrub the surfaces and move the acid around covering the section evenly.

6. Rinse immediately.

If you leave the acid on the plaster for too long, it will continue to eat away at it. Once an area is cleaned, go ahead and rinse it thoroughly making sure all the acid is removed.

7. Continue with the next section.

Once you have rinsed the area thoroughly, continue around your pool repeating the same steps. Try and make sure the acid doesn’t wear a path from the shallow to the deep ends of your pool, as that can leave a stripe.

Final Thoughts

Remember, acid washing your pool can be dangerous, so please take all the necessary safety requirements and make sure you neutralize the acid before disposing of the water. If you are unsure about doing the job yourself, don’t be afraid of hiring a professional.

If your pool is starting to look more like a bog than a friendly swimming hole, your typical pool chemicals may not be enough. Only a good acid wash will strip off the dirt and stains for good so your pool returns to the look that it had the very first day it was installed.

Happy Swimming!

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