Beginner’s Complete Guide to Acid Wash Pool: Everything You Need to Know

Pool cleaning can seem daunting and scary. But don’t worry, even novices can be wise and strategic with this Beginner’s Complete Guide to Acid Wash Pool…

Pool maintenance can be a time-consuming task, and you need to make sure you’re getting the best chemicals for your pool. With many choices available, it’s tough to know which ones are right for your specific needs.

Acid washing is one option that will keep your pool looking brand new without hurting its natural balance.

Acid Wash Pool

The newest way to maintain pools is by using acid washing, and we’re going to tell you everything about it! It’s easy, affordable, and requires less physical labour than other methods. It’s time to start thinking about summer and outdoor fun, which means the need to keep your pool clean is even more important. That’s where acid wash pool comes in.

This method of cleaning your pool is fantastic for keeping it crystal clear, with no need for scrubbing or strenuous work – just a light rinse with water!

Now that the method has been introduced, it seems like a no-brainer that this would be an excellent addition to everyone’s yearly pool care.

Let’s dive in.

What Does Acid Wash Pool Mean?

We’re not just talking about an ordinary cleaning session here. Whenever you use the term acid, it should be obvious that you are not talking about anything ordinary. When you acid wash a pool, you’re bringing the heavy guns out to play.

To understand the process of acid washing a pool, it is necessary to be aware of what an acid wash is. When a pool’s water becomes dirty, a chemical cleaner may not be enough to remove the dirt and debris from the pool’s surface.

For this reason, many pool owners opt for an acid wash to ensure that their water stays clean.

Acid washing your pool is the process of lowering the pH levels to kill organic matter that has become stuck to a swimming pool’s surface. Acid washing a pool typically takes place on concrete pools, and it can also be done on vinyl-lined pools but with a way lesser dose.

Types of Pool That Can Be Acid Wash

Acid washing of a pool can be accomplished on both in-ground concrete or gunite pool. It is important to keep in mind that acid washing is only possible if the pool contains a concrete surface. Vinyl lined pools will not be able to undergo this process because it would harm the pool liner.

Vinyl-lined type of pool should only have a pH neutralizer used to clean it. This is because these pools don’t have any kind of protective lining on them, so the acid will eat right through that vinyl.

When Is the Perfect Time to Acid Wash Your Pool?

No matter how meticulously you keep up with pool care and water balance, the floor and walls of your pool will eventually begin to show signs of wear and tear.

Here are some instances that your pool might be needing an acid wash:

Irremovable Stains

Chlorine, minerals, and grime will all create stains on your pool with time. If you’ve reached the point where brushing and vacuuming are no longer effective, it may be time to consider acid washing your pool.

Acid Wash Pool: Irremovable Stains

Algae Problem

If you’ve ever had persistent algae problems, it’s possible that it left some stain. In other cases, if you experience continuous algae blooms, it is also possible that regular cleaning is not effectively removing all the spores. An acid wash will eliminate those spores, allowing you to start with clean, algae-free water. 

Acid Wash Pool: Algae Problem

Acid cleaning, though, should only be used as a last option. First, try some of the other ways for getting rid of pool algae. Then, if you choose to acid wash your pool, be sure to replace your pool filter media to ensure that there are no algae residue left behind.

Pool Stagnation

If your pool has been sitting stagnant for a long time, enabling algae and grime to take hold truly, only an acid wash will bring it back to life. Unfortunately, not winterizing your pool also counts as stagnation, and it may also harm the look of your plaster.

Acid Wash Pool: Pool Stagnation

Pool Plaster Repairs

If you’re performing pool plaster repair, acid washing the area you’re working on may help get rid of any algae accumulated before applying new plaster. But, can you imagine if algae spores were mixed in with the fresh plaster? Then, the algae would keep coming back, and you would never be able to get rid of them.

Acid Wash Pool: Pool Plaster Repairs

How to Acid Wash Your Pool

Before you start, ensure you have with you all the necessary materials handy. These can include:

  • Garden hose
  • Flower watering can
  • Pump and discharge hose
  • 10 to 20 gallons of acid
  • Soda ash
  • Clothing
  • Goggles
  • Mask
  • Gloves and boots
  • Screwdriver
  • Chisel and pliers
  • Some help wouldn’t hurt

Let’s get started.

  • STEP 1: Drain the water of your swimming pool. As your pool empties, be sure to pick away any trash or debris that accumulates along the way. If your pool has an automatic fill feature, be sure you turn it off while the emptying operation is underway. Once your pool has been completely depleted, you may begin the acid cleaning procedure.
  • STEP 2: Ensure to put on your protective gear, which includes clothes, goggles, a mask, gloves, and boots because you will deal with hazardous chemicals.
  • STEP 3: Mix 1 gallon (3.8 litres) of Muriatic acid (keep in mind that Muriatic acid is a hazardous, corrosive, powerful mineral acid) and 1 gallon (3.8 litres) of water in a flower watering can until the acid is completely dissolved. Acid must be put to water rather than the other way around. Be sure you follow this rule. 
  • STEP 4: Saturate one of the pool’s walls with water using a garden hose. Ideally, there should not be a nozzle on the hose so water can continuously flow from the nozzle.
  • STEP 5: Pour the acid mixture on the pool wall in 10-foot chunks, working your way down from top to bottom. Allow the acid to rest on the plaster for about 25-30 seconds. It would help if you were scrubbing and cleaning the pool wall with a pool brush throughout this period.
  • STEP 6: Make sure you thoroughly rinse the part of the pool you just acid washed thoroughly. Before you move to the next area, rinse the walls again to ensure the acid is washed away entirely, so the acid doesn’t continue to destroy the plaster.
  • STEP 7: After the acid wash is completed, neutralize the pool by adding soda ash to it. A frothy puddle of residue will form on the pool’s bottom due to the acid cleaning procedure, which must be cleaned immediately before it begins to damage the plaster.

Methods for Neutralizing a Swimming Pool Using Soda Ash

  • Apply the soda ash to the acid puddle and scrub the mixture with a pool brush to remove any remaining residue. Neutralizing your pool demands 2 lb. of soda ash per 1 gallon of the acid to get the desired results.
  • Using a submersible pump, pump the mixture into another container. 
  • It is necessary to dispose of the acid that has been pumped since it is hazardous to plants and animals. Make sure to rinse the bowl thoroughly. 
  • Clean water should be poured over any residue, and it should be rinsed carefully around the pool drain.

How Often Should You Acid Wash Your Pool?

Acid washing should only be done once a year – or at most twice a year if you are experiencing an algae problem. Otherwise, the alkalinity of your pool’s water may become too diluted and cause other problems like stains, pH variations, low chlorine levels etc.

Acid Wash Pool Once A Year

The use of acid cleaning should be avoided in pools with thin, old plaster, and it is possible that a deep stain will not react to acid washing in some instances.

In such a scenario, re-plastering is the most appropriate option. You can always ask for a professional first, and they will tell you if acid washing will help.

How Much Does Pool Acid Washing Cost?

The size of the pool measures the amount you’ll pay for acid cleaning. It usually costs approximately USD178 to USD255 or USD0.06 to USD0.51 a square foot for an average size pool. 


So, what say you? Is this something you can do? Sure, it is. But do you want to? Maybe not, and that’s OK too. Draining your pool may cause harm if not done correctly, and dealing with acid can be very nerve-wracking and stressful.

If you’re skeptical about any aspect of the acid washing procedure, contact an expert. Then, you may relax knowing everything will be done correctly. All you have to bother about is bringing more people to enjoy your pool, and well, that huge water bill too.

Discover how to keep your swimming pool clean for the good health of your family. These articles will be helpful to you! Our website offers more articles concerning swimming pools.

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About the author

Brian Anderson

The rather dry pool world out there is in need of some passion to make it shine. With the help of my son Ruben and his wife Maria our mission is to help you create the favorite spot of your house - your pool.

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