Swimming pools are fantastic to have during the heat of the summer and you’re just looking for a way for a bit of a release from the sun. However, taking care of the swimming pool can get a little bit involved when dealing with the filter system, keeping out the leaves, and keeping the pH balance right for the water. Before you know it, you have grown a nice ring around the water line on the tiles that line the pool and it’s time to do something about it. There are a few different ways to clean these calcium deposits some of them better than others and some of them easier than others. If you’re not careful you can actually damage the tiles and then suffer the joy of living with scratched up tiles or going through the process of replacing them.
Let’s look at a few different ways to clean the calcium off the tiles in your swimming pool and get your tile looking good as new.
Bead blasting the tiles – this can be somewhat controversial as it can be a quick way to ruin your tile. This is all about picking the right material to do the bead blasting with and setting the correct air pressure. If you’re not sure what medium to use and what air pressure to use you probably shouldn’t tackle it this way and are better off getting a professional to do it for you. That said, you can rent a sandblaster with a compressor and then get some glass beads for the job. Don’t set the air pressure much more than 40 pounds of pressure or you may damage the tile surface. One rule of thumb is that you should be able to point it at your hand and pull the trigger without hurting it. If this method is set up correctly it can be the best approach to getting thick calcium deposit build up off of your tiles.
Chemical cleaning – if the calcium buildup is not that bad, you might be better off just spraying some chemical cleaner onto the build up and scrubbing it off. There are a few levels of chemical effectiveness that you can try. Try the less intensive version first and see where that gets you. So to start off simply spray some vinegar on the scaling at the water line and see if it fizzes. Give it a few minutes to work and then try scrubbing it off with a cleaning brush. If this does not do the job, then try some citric acid using the same method. The citric acid is slightly stronger than the vinegar and may do a better job. If all else fails to touch the build up, and then try undiluted muriatic acid in a spray bottle for something with some real kick to it. This stuff is harmful to skin so you will want to wear rubber gloves and some safety goggles to protect your eyes.
Hand scrubbing – this would be by far the worst way to clean off the build up on your Pool tile but if the buildup is bad in the chemical cleaning does not work and you elect not to have the title’s bead blasted then this is where you’re at. The trick here is to scrub the tile with abrasive that is strong enough to remove the buildup but not strong enough to scratch up the tile. So for this you will need to source a pumice stick such as that you would use to clean the porcelain in your toilet or bathroom sink. You will need to put a little bit of elbow grease into it and it would not hurt to combine this method with a little bit of vinegar or citric acid.
After you’ve done this once or twice you should be able to figure out which methods work the best for you. Also, if you set yourself a schedule, like once every four months, the spray it down with vinegar and do a little bit of scrubbing you can avoid the worst of the build up and just make it part of your regular pool maintenance and keep your tiles looking great for years to come.