How to Remove Swimming Pool Stains


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A stained swimming pool is an eyesore that disrupts the sparkling blue water every pool owner dreams of. Fortunately many stains are identifiable and treatable using Jacks Magic products.

Step by Step


Step 1

The first important step is to balance your pool water within stain identification and removal parameters. Although your water balance may be “perfect” for normal daily operating conditions, it could need some adjustment for successful pool stain identification and removal. Balance your water within the parameters listed below before proceeding to the Jack’s Magic Stain Identification Kit or Jack's Magic Stain Removal Treatments.

Step 2

Here is a list of pool water components and the balance parameters for pool stain identification and treatment: Free and Total Available Chlorine 1 - 3 parts per million (ppm); pH 7.0 - 7.4; Total Alkalinity 80 ppm or lower; Calcium Hardness 200 - 400 ppm; Cyanuric Acid (Stabilizer) (CYA) below 70 ppm; Total Dissolved Solids (TDS) Below 1200 ppm (except salt systems)

Step 3

If using a bromine sanitizer system: 2-6 ppm (of bromine) If using a biguanide sanitizer system: 30-50 ppm, (of biguanide)

Step 4

If CYA level is higher than recommended balance parameters, dilute level by draining water from the pool and adding fresh water. Be sure to check reading again; failure to do so may result in ineffective pool stain identification or removal. PLEASE NOTE: CYA is not applicable in bromine or biguanide pools.

Step 5

If TDS level is higher than recommended balance parameters, dilute level by draining water from the pool and adding fresh water. Be sure to check reading again; failure to do so may result in ineffective pool stain identification or removal.

Step 6

After balancing your pool water within the parameters above, use a Jack’s Magic Stain Identification Kit (according to directions) to specifically determine which of the following treatments in Steps 8- 11 will best remove your swimming pool stain. A Jack’s Magic Stain Identification Kit takes the guesswork out of swimming pool stain removal.

Step 7

FOR BEST RESULTS: Use several ounces of Jacks's Magic Blue Stuff, or some muriatic acid, in the area that you will be performing the test.

Step 8

Follow directions for the stain removal treatment identified as the best for your swimming pool stain. Here are some stain removal tips to remember: If you get no apparent reaction when doing any of the (4) Jack’s Magic Stain Identification Kit treatments, try using the Jacks's Magic Blue Stuff for six weeks and then trying the treatments again.

Step 9

To prevent any future pool stains, use Jacks's Magic Blue Stuff as a weekly preventative maintenance product. Maintain levels 10-12 ppm. A Jack’s Magic sequest test kit can verify that these levels have been achieved.

Step 10

To maintain proper water balance, use an accurate and reliable test kit. Jack’s Magic has found the single tablet method to be extremely accurate and stable method for testing pool and spa water. Tablets in the Jack’s Magic Professional Test Kit are specially formulated and buffered for the warmer temperatures associated with swimming pools and spas.

Step 11

If you have difficulty getting a free chlorine reading after doing a STAIN SOLUTION #2 Treatment, test the Total Available Chlorine. Assume this reading is the true Free Available Chlorine reading. STAIN SOLUTION #2 often causes an error in the DPD #1 test; this reaction may last up to a month while STAIN SOLUTION #2 is still in the water.


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InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/22/2017 

Steve -I would recommend buying the stain identification kit referenced in step 1 to get a definitive answer.

 Posted: 5/21/2017 

My pool has some brown/ yellowish stains and I get conflicting answers from my pool suppliers. One say its iron and the other say its calcium.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 5/14/2017 

HeatherBarnes - Not sure what happened here. I would suggest your calling Jack's Magic directly and discussing it with them. Their number is 1-800-348-1656.

 Posted: 5/9/2017 

We have stains from using Jack's Magic After Shock....everywhere the crystals landed is stained brown. Is there a way to remove these?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/1/2016 

Sarah - I would recommend using Jacks Magic STAIN ID KIT to identify what type of stain you have. There are a few different ways to use the kit. You can sprinkle a small amount of each packet into the water. As the product dissolves it becomes a solution that is heavier than the water. The solution will then sink to the bottom and should begin to react with the stain. Another method is to put a small amount of the test into a sock, attach it to your vac pole and hold it directly over the stained area. Once you have identified the stain, you can target it with the correct treatment to eliminate it.

 Posted: 6/29/2016 

How do you remove brown stains from the bottom of your inground concrete pool? One stain was there when the pool opened. The other was there when we had a flood. The pool company drained the water and rinsed off the cartridge filters with muriatic acid I believe. They left perfect cartridge shaped circles on the white concrete. They came and "cleaned" them but they never went away. How would I even test the brown spot at the bottom of a 7.5 ft deep end?

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 9/24/2014 

Donna - Have you done a stain id test? If you don't want to buy the kit, try placing a vitamin C tablet on the stain to see if it lightens it. If it does, you can use a simple stain remover to get rid of the stain. If you’re pass this point, give us a call at 877-372-6038 and ask for Alex at x714.

 Posted: 9/23/2014 

We have been trying to remove a stain all summer - we have been told it was a metal stain becuase our PH was so low it pulled copper from the heater - once we raised the ph the stain appreared - we have spent tons of money on removers and metal traps and only once did the stain come out but after rains it came back again - we were advised to get the copper out of the pool by draining and refilling - so we did - now the copper is at less than 1 and the stain will not come out - Someone came to look at it today and is telling me now that they think it is from behind the liner and they is a draining issue in the yard- Not sure I believe that after all the stain did not appear until we got the ph up .HELP

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 8/5/2013 

Margaret - If you have hard water, your brown stain may be due to rust from metals and minerals. Our vendor recommends using "Super Rust and Scale Removal". With hard water, you will have to use this product periodically to keep the stains from coming back.

 Posted: 8/3/2013 

We have a brown stain on vinyl inground liner pool. We have tried
everything and have gotten info from 7 deifferect pool companies.
If you put a stain remover in it will take stain out but will later
come back. We need some HELP.


InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/27/2013 

JOHNNY MARTINEZ - Do not use steel wool or sandpaper, or mineral acids, bleaches or chlorine cleansers. There are several levels of "staining". For minor discolorations use a commercial metal polish. For light rust, use a stronger cleaning agent like Simichrome Polish. For heavy rusting, use navel jelly with a Scotchbrite pad. Work in the direction of the existing grain.

InyoPools Product Specialist  Posted: 7/27/2013 

JOHNNY MARTINEZ - The presence of chloramines is thought to be the most important environmental factor in the corrosion of stainless steel. Chloramines are the byproducts formed by the reaction of chlorine and contaminants from bathers. They are the cause of most eye and nose irritation for pool users. These chloramines are controlled by periodically shocking your pool whenever you see your combined chlorine levels exceed limits.

 Posted: 7/25/2013 

how do you remove stains from a stainless steel finish !!!!

 Posted: 7/25/2013