The cleaning method for pool tiles depends on the type of calcium build-up they present. If they only contain calcium carbonate scale (minimal build-up), you can use a pumice stone or a nylon bristle brush to remove scale, mold, and dirt. However, if they contain calcium silicate scale, you may need to use a steam pressure washer or an acid solution to clean them. If this is the case, you must ensure that you take the necessary precautions to avoid injury and damage.
Method 1 of 3: Clean Calcium Carbonate Scale
Step 1. Use a pumice stone
Because calcium carbonate scale is white and flaky, it is easy to remove with a pumice stone. You can find pumice stones at your local pool maintenance store or online.
- It is safe to use this item on hard surfaces (such as tiles and concrete). In addition, you can use it in both concrete and plaster pools.
- Avoid using pumice stone in vinyl or fiberglass pools.
Step 2. Try a nylon bristle brush
You can use this element if the tiles are glass, ceramic or porcelain to avoid scratching them. Alternatively, you can also use a 3M brand of blue or white nylon scrubber.
Step 3. Spray a solvent
This product serves to soften calcium and remove it. Ocean Care brand solvents are acid-free, biodegradable, and non-toxic, making them safe to use without completely emptying the pool.
Step 4. Scrub the tiles in a circular motion
These should be scrubbed until deposits, mold, and buildup have dissipated. If you are using a pumice stone, you should make sure that both the tile and the stone are wet at all times as you clean. In this way, you will avoid scratches.
You can use latex gloves to protect your hands while cleaning, but it is not necessary
Method 2 of 3: Clean the tiles with a pressure washer
Step 1. Rent a pressure washer from a local hardware store
You want a steam pressure washer rated at 2,000 to 2,600 psi (140 to 180 kg per square centimeter) and can reach a temperature of at least 300 ° F (150 ° C). The pressure and temperature will allow you to clean the pool tiles quickly and effectively.
If you're using a pressure washer, you don't need to pre-treat the tiles with chemicals or detergents
Step 2. Clear debris around the pool
All debris (such as leaves, twigs, and trash) should be picked up and removed before using the pressure washer. You should also remove objects and furniture that could easily fly away (for example, plants, pool equipment, toys, garden furniture, barbecue grills, and other loose objects).
Step 3. Test on a small area first
Set up the machine according to the instructions in the manual. You should start with a low setting and the least powerful mouthpiece. Choose an inconspicuous section of the pool and stand at least 3 feet (1 meter) away from it. Spray the area for 30 seconds. Then you should stop and check the place to make sure the surface is not damaged.
- Make sure all outlets, inlets and accessories are perfectly connected and secured before starting the pressure washer.
- For your own safety, you should make sure to use closed shoes, safety glasses and waterproof protective clothing.
Step 4. Wash the pool in sections
You should set the pressure washer to the highest setting, for example, 140-180 kg per square centimeter (2000-2600 psi), and at a temperature of 93 ° C (200 ° F) to begin washing the pool in small sections. Use your pressure washer rods and accessories to reach into tight crevices when needed.
- If you have difficulty removing scale from the tiles, you can raise the temperature up to 150 ° C (300 ° F).
- Remember to stay at least 3 feet (1 meter) away.
Method 3 of 3: Use an Acidic Solution
Step 1. Empty the pool
Remove dirt and algae from the bottom of the pool once you have drained the water. Next, place the hose on the deep side of the pool. You should place it near the edge so that the water runs over the tiles when you turn on the tap.
Step 2. Wear protective clothing
Because the acidic solution gives off noxious fumes, it can cause damage if it comes into contact with the skin and body. You need to wear rubber boots, gloves, safety glasses, and a special mask with an approved acid filter. For added precaution, you can use a protective suit that is resistant to chemicals.
Step 3. Mix 1 gallon (4 liters) of muriatic acid with 1 gallon (4 liters) of water in a bucket
You can use a plastic bucket. Make sure to slowly add the acid to the water and not the other way around. Since acid bubbles and fumes when you pour it into water, you should be sure to wear a special mask, safety glasses, gloves, and protective clothing.
You can find muriatic acid and acid-resistant cleaning tools at your local pool maintenance store or online
Step 4. Apply the solution to the tiles with an acid brush
You should start at the deep end of the pool and apply the solution to the grout with the brush. Work in small sections at a time and scrub the tiles with an acid-resistant brush. Once the calcium silicate scale is removed, you should use the hose to rinse the tiles with water.
- Alternatively, you can fill a watering can with the solution and use it to pour it over the tiles. Then use the brush to scrub them.
- You should repeat this procedure until all the tiles are clean.
Step 5. Add soda ash to the acidic solution at the bottom of the pool
Add 2 pounds (1 kg) of soda ash for every 1 gallon (4 liters) of acid. You should do this once you have finished cleaning all the tiles. The soda ash neutralizes the acid so you can safely remove it.
Step 6. Pump the neutralized acid out of the pool
You must use a water pump to carry out this procedure. Once you pump the acid, you should rinse the pool with the hose. Then proceed to pump the water out of the pool. When the pool is completely rinsed and clean, you can refill it with water.
- When rinsing the pool, make sure to rinse boots, gloves, safety glasses, and protective clothing. Run the water until all the acid is completely gone.
- You should dispose of any unused acid in a local hazardous waste disposal area.