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Pool Stains, What They Mean & How To Remove Them

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Pool Stains - What They Mean and How To Remove Them - Steps for Removing Pool Stains

There is nothing worse than a dirty pool than perhaps a stained pool. Identifying pool stains and what they mean is important. There are different approaches towards cleaning certain types of stains. Figuring out what is causing the stain is often possible by looking at the color of the stain. Various maintenance issues have a tendency to create a certain colored stain in the pool. Identifying what those colors indicate can help you locate the source of the problem.

If you have a stubborn stain in your pool, it can be aggravating, to say the least. Stains in your pool can be difficult to remove. Before you attempt to clean a problem stain, first ask yourself a question, ‘how well do you know your pool stains‘? Use our Stain Comparison Chart and key below to identify which type of pool stain you have. Once you’ve identified which type of pool stain you’re dealing with, follow our instruction guide for pool stain removal tips. We also recommend the best products for removing even the most tenacious stains.

Pool Stains - What They Mean & How To Remove Them - Pool Stain Comparison Chart
How well do you know your pool stains? View our Pool stain comparison chart.

Types of Pool Stains & What They Mean

How to Remove Pool Stains - Green Brown Stains

Green Brown Stains

This type of pool stain is typically caused by decaying organic matter such as leaves and debris. Allowing leaf debris to accumulate at the bottom of the pool can cause an unsightly greenish-brown stain.

Stain Removal

To remove an organic stain quickly, sprinkle granular chlorine shock directly on them. On vinyl-liner pools, you’ll want to pre-dissolve the shock first in a five-gallon bucket of water before pouring it on and brushing it in.

Red Blue Stains

Berries cause reddish-blue stains. If you have berry trees in your backyard, this could very well be the culprit of red-blue stains in your pool. As the berries decay, the juice and skin of the berry can cause a stain that looks almost purple in color.

Again, you’ll want to take the same approach as removing organic stains. Brushing the liner with shock is your best option here and should remove the stain quickly.

Remove Pool Stains - Red Blue Pool Stains
Pool Stain Removal - Blue Green Black Stains in your pool

Blue Green Black Stains

Blue-ish Green-ish Black stains on the bottom of your pool could very well be berries too. However if there aren’t any berry trees in close proximity, high levels of copper could be the cause. If you have copper piping as part of your pool equipment setup, corrosion could cause stains that are of a blue-green black composition.

Mineral Based Algaecides

The leaching effect of copper intrusion has been known to cause stains that can be difficult to remove. Heavy doses of copper-based mineral algaecides have also been shown to produce similar stains. There are products such as Stain Free, A+ Stain Remover, and Jack’s Magic Blue Stuff that do an admirable job of removing stains on vinyl liners.

Green Brown Red Stains

Pool stains that are greenish brownish red usually indicate the presence of iron in the pool. As iron rusts, it has a tendency to leave a rusty greenish brown-red stain. This is true in all types of pools.

Leaching Metal Stains in the Pool

Metal leaching can occur that produces a stain from the pool coping, decking material, and a variety of other sources. Marble, granite, and flagstone all contain the mineral Iron and can leach into your swimming pool after a heavy rainstorm. Stains of this nature also occur without proper waterproofing.

Pool Stain Removal - Removing green brown red stains in your swimming pool
Removing Pool Stains - Brown Black Purple Stains - Manganese staining

Brown Black Purple Stains

This type of stain may look like a big bruise on the bottom of your pool. Stains that are brownish, black purple tend to be the cause of high levels of manganese. This can actually come from the local water supply, especially if the source is well water. Superchlorination is the best way to handle the problem as it oxidizes the manganese to a rust like substance that can be vacuumed off the pool floor. The next step should be cleaning out the pool filter as manganese can cling to surfaces.

Testing for Organic Stains & Metal Stains in Pools

You can easily detect and remove organic stains with a little elbow grease and the right supplies. The typical field test pool contractors use for determining what type of stain they’re dealing with is to simply rub some chlorine on the stain to see if it dissipates. Metal doesn’t react to chlorine. This is why components such as pool ladders are made of metal. If the stain doesn’t react to the stain, then it’s probably metallic in nature.

How to Identify Pool Stains - Step 1 is testing for what type of pool stain you actually have. Learn the different types of pool stains and what they mean. Learn how to clean different types of pool stains.
How to Identify Pool Stains – Step 1 is testing for what type of pool stain you actually have. Learn the different types of pool stains and what they mean. Learn how to clean different types of stains.

One way to test if it’s a metal pool stain that you’re dealing with is to apply some ascorbic acid to the stain. If the stain is removed or at least reacts (lightens) in the presence of rubbing with Vitamin C powder, you have a pretty good indication that it’s a metal stain.

Plaster hydration stains
Plaster hydration stains – Photo Credit: Culator

Hydration Stains in Pools With a Plaster Interior

These stains tend to look like metal staining but are present in plaster pools. Since these types of stains can be difficult to remove there are some things you need to know first. Plaster hydration stains occur when the pool plasterer plasters the pool while the form isn’t completely dry or moisture or humidity is present. If you’re certain that the stain isn’t metallic (stain doesn’t react to ascorbic acid) then acid washing the pool interior is the best option for removing hydration stains.

Removing Organic Pool Stains

Once you’ve determined that it is actually an organic stain that you’re dealing with, chlorine is going to be your best friend here. Honestly, if you had the right amount of chlorine to begin with, you probably wouldn’t even have an organic pool stain. Superchlorination of the water is your best option for dealing with organic stains. Shocking the pool is going to help remove stains caused by leaf debris and decaying organic material. The go-to solution for many pool contractors is to use Cal Hypo (Calcium Hypochlorite Shock).

Best Products for Cleaning Organic Pool Stains

Every pool professionals old-standby for removing organic pool stains is Cal-Hypo. The powerful shock treatment is great for removing stains and for a quick chlorine boost to help balance your pool chemistry. Just one pound treats a 16,500 gallons of pool water

Jandy Pro Series Stain Remover is expertly designed to remove a variety of different pool stains quickly and effectively. Simply attach the applicator to a pool pole and then attach the supply hose to a bottle of muriatic acid (for metal stains) or chlorine (for organic pool stains). Safely concentrates chemicals over pool stains and is a favorite tool among homeowners and pool professionals alike.

How to Remove Organic Pool Stains

  • The process here is to test and balance your pool chemistry. Your ideal comfort zone for alkalinity is going to be in the range of 100ppm to 150ppm with 125ppm being the sweet spot.
  • The next step would be to shock the pool. For smaller stains a regular dose of Cal Hypo should do the trick. For larger pools or larger stains you’re going to want to up the dose. The typical regimen is 3 pounds per 10,000 gallons.
  • The third step in the process is brushing the pool to physically remove the stain. On vinyl liners you’ll want to be careful here making sure not to tear the liner while attempting to clean it.
  • Next, run your pump overnight and allow the water to circulate throughout the swimming pool. Make sure to do this for at least 8 hours.
  • Brush again in the morning. Repeat the entire process until satisfied with the results.

Removing Metal Pool Stains

The process of removing metal stains is a bit different than removing organic stains, however, using the correct products will greatly assist you in getting rid of metallic pool stains. There are a number of products on the market as we mentioned previously that can assist you in removing metal pool stains. Consequently, finding the right product to use all has to do with first identifying which type of pool stain you actually have.

Best Pool Cleaning Products for Removing Metal Pool Stains

For the removal of metal pool stains, we recommend using Pool Stain Treat, a sequestrate and chelator that is typically used for preventing stains in pool startups. It’s compatible with Baquacil and Soft Swim and works 40-60 days on most pool surfaces. The high strength stain remover works on any kind of swimming pool.

Pool Mate Metal Out helps prevent stains in your pool due to iron, calcium, manganese, copper and other types of minerals and metals that may be present. A great all purpose sequestrant, the product also helps to protect pool walls from rust as well as removing stains and scale. Just one quart treats a 10,000 gallon pool.

Cleaning a pool stain is only half the problem. Keeping them from coming back is the real issue. Recurring pool stains can be a real nuisance. Moreover, people are less concerned with cleaning a stain and more concerned about why it occurred to begin with. Ideally, people want to keep mineral and metal stains from coming back.

Top Editor Picks for Metal Pool Stain Removal

Metal-Free by Natural Chemistry

CuLator 4.0 Powerpak

There are a number of products that pool service professionals use for tackling metal pool stains. Some tried and true products the pros use are Metal-Free by Natural Chemistry, and CuLator 4.0 Powerpak.

4.7/5 - (47 votes)

Pool News coverage brought to you by Pool Magazine's own Marcus Packer. Marcus Packer is a 20 year pool industry veteran pool builder and pool service technician. In addition to being a swimming pool professional, Marcus has been a writer and long time contributor for Newsweek Magazine's home improvement section and more recently for Florida Travel + Life. Have a story idea or tip you'd like to share with Pool Magazine? Email [email protected] your story idea.

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Cleaning and Service Equipment and Supplies

The Right Filter Cartridge: Key to Easy Cleaning and Happy Customers 

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Picture of a Pleatco filter next to a swimming pool

The right pool equipment will make top-notch maintenance easy, but so, too, will the right cleaners, parts, and filter cartridges. Replacement cartridges are especially important to get right, because cleaning them should be as simple as removing, rinsing, and replacing. So, let’s delve into the importance of finding the right replacement cartridge, why they should make cleaning easy, and how extending the cleaning cycle can lead to happier customers. 

With the integration of Pleatco©, a long-standing pool brand, into the Pentair Pool umbrella, you now have two trusted brands partnering to bring products like the Pleatco Ultra™ Pool Replacement Cartridge to the market. These innovative replacement cartridges are designed to fit in filters from most major pool brands and manufacturers, offering versatility and convenience like never before. This minimizes the need for pool professionals to stock multiple brands of replacement filters, simplifying inventory management and reducing costs. In short, you can save time and money stocking Pleatco Ultra cartridges that can meet the varied equipment set-ups of your customers. 

Not all replacement filters are created equal. The Pleatco Ultra cartridge, the only replacement cartridge with three technologies built-in, stands out for its filtration capabilities and durability. Crafted with point-bonded fabric, these cartridges effectively capture dirt and debris, and PurePleatâ„¢ helps prevent bunching and makes rinsing a breeze. Plus, its Free Flow Core creates maximum space for water to reach more of the fabric faster, reducing operating pressures on the system. It’s designed to make your job easier, and it’s an excellent option to consider as you’re selecting replacement cartridges for your customers. 

Though some customers are simply looking for a cheaper solution, quality can pay for itself. Lower-quality alternatives may require more frequent cleanings, which means pool owners spend more time waiting for a pro like you to come out and less time swimming, splashing, and having fun. By introducing them to the right filter cartridge, you can ensure your customers are satisfied enough to provide repeat business, share positive reviews, and make referrals. They’ll love the cleaner, clearer water, so it’s an easy boost for your business.  

But the benefits of carrying quality filters in your arsenal don’t end there! When a customer calls in for a filter cleaning at their pool, you don’t have time to waste as you’re going about your service route. Cleaning is a breeze with the right replacement cartridge, meaning you can get to the next pool faster. For your customers, that means less time in the backyard with you and more time swimming! 

Choosing the right replacement filter cartridges for your service offering can give you extended times between cleanings, opening up your busy service schedule to satisfy more customers. By leveraging the latest technology and innovations in pool filtration, you can also elevate the standard of service you provide. 

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Recent Leslie’s/Harris Poll Study Shows Nearly Three-Quarters of Americans Mistakenly Assume Clear Pool Water Is Clean, Swim-Safe Water

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Leslie's Logo

Leslie’s AccuBlue Home® Delivers First 10-Point At-Home Pool and Spa Water Testing Solution to Ensure a Safe 2024 Swim Season

PHOENIX, March 26, 2024 – Clear-looking pool water is mistakenly assumed to be safe for swimming, according to a recent survey conducted by The Harris Poll and commissioned by Leslie’s, the leading and most trusted consumer brand in the U.S. pool and spa care industry.

According to the poll, 71% of those surveyed believe that clear water is clean and safe for swimming. However, even clear water can contain contaminants that pose a danger to swimmers, and pool owners shouldn’t assume a pool is safe just because the water is clear.

A recent survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Leslie's found 71% of Americans mistakenly assume that clear pool water is clean and safe for swimming. Water testing is crucial to ensure healthy pool water, and Leslie's makes it easy with its new AccuBlue Home water testing program.
A recent survey conducted by The Harris Poll on behalf of Leslie’s found 71% of Americans mistakenly assume that clear pool water is clean and safe for swimming. Water testing is crucial to ensure healthy pool water, and Leslie’s makes it easy with its new AccuBlue Home water testing program.

The news arrives as Leslie’s launches its water safety education campaign for the 2024 swim season. Leslie’s is spreading awareness of the three primary tenets of pool safety: maintaining healthy and safe water, securing the pool area, and participating in swimming lessons and water safety education.

“As we head into the 2024 swim season, our aim is to help educate pool owners on the tenets of pool safety. Among those tenets is maintaining healthy water, and we make it easy for pool owners to test and treat their water, creating a safe environment for all,” said Clay Spann, SVP of Merchandising at Leslie’s.

“We aren’t surprised by these survey results, as there are many misconceptions related to pool water chemistry,” Spann said. “The only way to really know if pool water is clean, healthy, and safe for swimming is to check if the water is properly balanced and sanitized. To be certain of this, owners must regularly test the pool water’s chemistry makeup and precisely measure 10 different components, including pH, total alkalinity, calcium hardness, metals, phosphates, sanitizer levels, and more.”

The Leslie’s/Harris Poll survey also revealed that 71% of Americans who are responsible for maintaining a pool say keeping water safe is complicated, a misperception Leslie’s aims to correct with its AccuBlue® and AccuBlue Home® testing and treatment solutions.

Leslie’s makes water testing simple with its industry-leading AccuBlue technology — the only pool and spa water test that covers all 10 water chemistry components. In just 60 seconds, this free, in-store water test delivers a hardcopy printout with a water quality score and step-by-step customized water treatment plan to help keep pool water balanced. Pool and spa owners have relied upon this professional-grade testing over the past six decades, with more than 50 million tests conducted by Leslie’s store teams.

The same survey revealed that 81% of Americans who maintain their own pools wish there was a home technology solution for comprehensive 10-point pool water testing.

Last May, Leslie’s made water testing even easier and more convenient when the company launched its AccuBlue Home® membership program, which offers the same leading in-store testing technology, engineered into a compact at-home device. The AccuBlue Home testing device connects to the Leslie’s app to deliver a water quality score and customized water treatment plan to the user’s mobile phone or tablet.

Since its launch, AccuBlue Home has been embraced by pool owners, who value its convenience and accuracy. The membership program has earned a nearly five-star rating in member reviews with comments echoing exactly what it is designed to do: “takes all the guesswork out of testing your pool water” and “this little machine does everything the one in the store does.”

AccuBlue Home: How It Works
The technology is sophisticated, but the process is simple.

Users simply insert a pool water sample into the water test disk and place it into the AccuBlue Home testing device. They then open Leslie’s app on their mobile device to start the test, and AccuBlue Home does the rest. Light wavelengths pass through the water sample to precisely measure the water’s chemistry makeup, and the app delivers the water test quality score and a step-by-step customized treatment plan in just 60 seconds. The app enables pool and spa owners to order home delivery of chemicals needed to execute the water treatment plan.

An AccuBlue Home membership costs $50 a month, which includes the home testing device for free, as well as $50 in Leslie’s credits each month for purchases online, in app, or in stores. AccuBlue Home members can use their monthly credit to purchase any products from Leslie’s, including sanitizers and balancing chemicals, as well as floats, games, and other accessories to make the most out of pool days.

Marianne Trusty, president of Pool Magazine, said, “We’ve long recognized the importance of comprehensive 10-point testing for healthy and safe water and to maintain the longevity of pool equipment. Leslie’s has always been a leader, and it’s remarkable that they have driven their in-store technology into such a sleek device and an easy-to-use approach for pool and hot tub water testing.”

Virtual Pool Water Assistant
The AccuBlue Home device, measuring just 4.5 inches wide by 3.5 inches tall, is small, stylish, and self-contained, resembling a virtual assistant device — in this case, a virtual pool water assistant. It incorporates photometric testing technology with optical sensors, as well as a centrifuge, replaceable test disks, and more.

Click here to learn more about AccuBlue Home, the first at-home pool and spa water testing solution that covers 10 crucial water chemistry components with a membership program that pays for itself. 

About Leslie’s 
Founded in 1963, Leslie’s is the largest and most trusted direct-to-consumer brand in the U.S. pool and spa care industry. The Company serves the aftermarket needs of residential and professional consumers with an extensive and largely exclusive assortment of essential pool and spa care products. The Company operates an integrated ecosystem of more than 1,000 physical locations and a robust digital platform, enabling consumers to engage with Leslie’s whenever, wherever, and however they prefer to shop. Its dedicated team of associates, pool and spa care experts, and experienced service technicians are passionate about empowering Leslie’s consumers with the knowledge, products, and solutions necessary to confidently maintain and enjoy their pools and spas.

For more information about Leslie’s, visit lesliespool.com or follow and engage with us: @lesliespoolcare on Instagram, Leslie’s on Facebook, and @lesliespoolcare on Twitter.

Survey Method:
This survey was conducted online within the United States by The Harris Poll on behalf of Leslie’s from March 5-7, 2024, among 2,087 adults ages 18 and older, among whom 314 are maintaining a pool. The sampling precision of Harris online polls is measured by using a Bayesian credible interval. For this study, the sample data is accurate to within +/- 2.5 percentage points using a 95% confidence level.

Media: Mardi Larson, Amendola for Leslie’s, [email protected], 612.384.4383

SOURCE Leslie’s, Inc.

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Riding the Wave of Innovation: How the Pool Industry’s Surge in 2024 Fuels Profitability and Consumer Satisfaction

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Woman swimming in a crystal clear blue pool

The pool industry has consistently demonstrated resilience and adaptability, thriving through economic shifts and changes in consumer behavior. As we look towards 2024, several indicators suggest that this sector will sustain its profitability and experience significant growth. This optimism is rooted in evolving consumer lifestyles, technological advancements, and the increasing role of e-commerce in the pool product marketplace. This article delves into the multifaceted reasons behind the enduring profitability of the pool industry, especially from the perspective of a pool product e-commerce brand.

The ongoing interest in home improvement and outdoor living, coupled with advances in pool technology, positions the pool industry on a promising trajectory. As an e-commerce brand in this space, understanding these dynamics is crucial for tapping into emerging opportunities and catering to consumers’ evolving needs. This exploration will highlight the key factors contributing to the industry’s success and offer insights into how businesses can leverage these trends for continued profitability in 2024.

Continued Demand for Home Improvement and Leisure

The shift towards spending more time at home has significantly impacted consumer priorities, with many seeking to enhance their living spaces for comfort and leisure. This trend has directly benefited the pool industry as homeowners look to create personal oases in their backyards. The desire for a private retreat conducive to relaxation and family time has spurred a surge in pool installations and upgrades. As pools become central to home entertainment and leisure, the demand for related products and accessories continues to grow, offering a steady revenue stream for e-commerce brands.

Furthermore, the emphasis on outdoor living spaces has never been stronger. Consumers are investing in comprehensive outdoor environments, including pools, spas, and sophisticated landscaping. Expanding beyond the pool into a complete outdoor living experience opens new product development and sales avenues. From stylish pool furniture to advanced cleaning systems, e-commerce brands have many opportunities to meet this demand.

Advancements in Pool Technology and Sustainability

Innovation in pool technology transforms how pools are built, maintained, and enjoyed. Innovative pool systems, which allow homeowners to monitor and control their pools via smartphone apps, are gaining popularity for their convenience and efficiency. These technologies enhance the user experience and promote sustainability through energy-efficient pumps, heating systems, and automated cleaning robots. As environmental concerns become a priority for consumers, eco-friendly pool solutions are a significant selling point.

E-commerce brands are at the forefront of offering these advanced, sustainable pool products. Their ability to quickly adapt to and distribute new technologies gives them a competitive edge. By emphasizing these innovations’ long-term cost savings and environmental benefits, pool product e-commerce platforms can attract eco-conscious consumers looking to invest in sustainable leisure solutions.

The Growth of E-commerce in the Pool Industry

E-commerce has revolutionized the pool industry, making accessing a wide range of pool products and accessories easier for consumers. Online shopping offers unparalleled convenience, allowing customers to research, compare, and purchase products with just a few clicks. For e-commerce brands, this shift has opened up new markets and customer segments. By leveraging digital marketing and online sales platforms, these companies can reach a broader audience, including those in regions where traditional pool supply stores are scarce.

E-commerce also enables brands to offer more competitive pricing and a broader selection of products than brick-and-mortar stores. This accessibility is a critical driver in the industry’s growth, as consumers seek the best deals and the latest online products. As e-commerce grows, pool product brands that optimize their online presence and customer experience will be well-positioned to capitalize on this trend.

The Rising Popularity of Staycations

The concept of staycations, or vacationing at home, has become increasingly popular, further boosting the pool industry. With more people choosing to spend their leisure time and vacation budgets enhancing their home environments, pools have become a focal point for creating a resort-like experience in one’s backyard. This trend encourages new pool installations and supports the market for pool accessories, luxury features, and outdoor furnishings that enhance the staycation experience.

For e-commerce brands, the staycation trend represents an opportunity to market pools and related products as essential components of the ultimate home vacation. By offering bundled packages, seasonal promotions, and ideas for creating the perfect backyard getaway, these brands can engage customers looking to invest in their staycation capabilities.

A combination of consumer trends, technological advancements, and the expanding role of e-commerce underpins the pool industry’s trajectory toward continued profitability in 2024. As homeowners increasingly seek to enhance their living spaces with pools and outdoor amenities, the demand for innovative, sustainable pool products grows. With their ability to offer a wide selection of items and cater to the convenience-driven shopper, E-commerce platforms are uniquely positioned to thrive in this environment.

Looking ahead, the pool industry’s potential is boundless, with opportunities for growth and innovation at every turn. For e-commerce brands within this space, staying attuned to consumer preferences, embracing technological advancements, and maximizing the reach and efficiency of online sales channels will be critical strategies for capitalizing on the industry’s enduring profitability. As we move into 2024, the pool industry stands as a beacon of resilience, poised to meet the evolving desires of homeowners and leisure seekers alike with creativity and innovation.

In the spirit of innovation and commitment to customer satisfaction, Pool Goods emerged as a testament to our dedication to meeting and exceeding the needs of pool and spa owners. Recognizing a gap in our service offerings, we transitioned from focusing on in-person services to creating an expansive online platform that caters to a national audience. Launched in January 2022, Pool Goods represents our evolution from a local service provider to a premier online destination for high-quality pool and spa products. Our journey, inspired by our clients’ inquiries and our passion for the aquatic lifestyle, now enables us to deliver an extensive array of products directly to your doorstep, ensuring that every backyard can transform into a perfect oasis.

Behind Pool Goods stand Stuart, Jake, and Zach—three cousins whose lifelong friendship and shared enthusiasm for pools and spas have fueled the company’s success. With a blend of unique talents and a unified vision, we have crafted a brand deeply rooted in family values and an unwavering commitment to excellence. Our mission extends beyond selling products; it’s about providing a holistic shopping experience that supports our customers through every step of their pool and spa journey. From essential maintenance supplies to the latest in pool technology, Pool Goods is dedicated to offering only the best, ensuring your pool or spa is not just a feature of your home but a centerpiece of your family’s joy and relaxation.

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