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How To Get Rid Of Calcium Buildup In Pool

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How To Clean Pool Tile With Vinegar

How to clean salt deposits, mineral deposits, and calcium deposits OFF OF YOUR POOL!

Baking soda, borax, dish soap, toothpaste and vinegar can all be used in pretty much the same way to clean calcium deposits, so you can use most of the information here related to vinegar and apply it to those cleaning agents as well.

What do you need to start cleaning?

  • a cleaning brush
  • a spray bottle
  • vinegar

Once you have these items, you can start cleaning.

There are no special tricks. You either put the vinegar in the bottle and spray the solution onto the calcium deposits or simply pour it on from its own bottle, then use the brush to scrub the scale away. Thats it.

These types of cleaners tend to work quite well if you catch and deal with the problem early on and employ them fairly regularly to prevent build-up.

What if the deposits dont go away with a little scrubbing? Its time for a different plan.

Calcium Deposits And Causes

There are several types of buildup that can be caused by calcium, heat, hard water, and stains. Calcium buildup is the most common and comes in two forms. The first, calcium carbonate, deposits a fine film over the pool tiles and leaves behind a residue that builds up in layers. If you clean your tile regularly, it should come off the tile easily. If it builds up, acidic solutions can take care of it. The second type of calcium buildup, calcium silicate, is made up of sand which produces a sharp and crystalized buildup caused by high pH and calcium levels. It requires more intensive methods of cleaning.

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Calcium Deposits On Tile:

Lower the water level to the bottom of the tile and use a putty knife or similar tool to help knock off the heavy stuff and break through crusty outer layers. Use Acid Magic or Instant Liquid Acid and apply with a thick brush, pour with a flower watering can or spray from a spray bottle. Rinse with water after 1 minute; reapply if needed.

Use a pumice stone or PoolStone to remove scale deposits from pool tile with light scrubbing.;A nylon bristle wheel or nylon brush cup on a drill can be useful and safe to use, pumice wheels are also available. Avoid steel bristle cups and wheels which may damage some tiles, or break-off and cause rust spots on your pool floor.

Wet-Dry sandpaper can also be used for light scale on pool tile. Or, you can hire a local bead blasting service to come out and professionally remove the calcium on pool tiles. Many are now using magnesium sulfate, an inorganic salt that is less aggressive than bead or sand blasting.

Photo Credit: Tuscon, Az

Controlling Calcium Hardness In Pools

How to Get Rid of Calcium Build Up in Your Pool

As opposed to removing calcium in pools, many pool owners opt to control the mineral build-up in pools. The primary method of control is to keep well-balanced pH and alkalinity levels. With a proper pH of 7.2-7.4 and Total Alkalinity of 80-100 ppm, high levels of calcium rarely become problematic.

Secondly, using a sequestering agent like Scale Free or Stain Away, will lock-up minerals with a strong chemical bond, that will keep calcium from precipitating out of solution, to form scale or visibly cloud the water.

Avoiding use of calcium based sanitizers, such as Calcium Hypochlorite, is also recommended as a way to reduce calcium build-up. Lithium, Dichlor or non-chlorine shock can be used as alternative pool shocks, that wont add calcium to the pool.

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Removing Calcium Scale From Tile

Tile can be a bit tricky for calcium scale removal, as its a bit more delicate to work with.

Some people recommend scraping them with a putty knife or razor blade. Some will even use a hammer to chip away at the scale.;

While these techniques do work, the possibility of damaging your expensive pool tiles using these methods is extremely high.

Its for this reason we recommend using a stain remover brush and chemical agent combination for pool tiles.

What Causes Limescale Buildup

Before cleaning your pool surfaces free from calcium deposits, you need to understand what causes the white stains on your pool tile.

The most common cause of calcium buildup is from a high pH level or alkalinity, which causes calcium carbonate to separate from the pool water and leave an unwanted stain.

Another potential cause of limescale buildup is intense heat. High temperatures evaporate water quickly and are more likely to leave a calcium stain behind. Any pool surfaces that come in contact with water are at risk for calcium scaling.

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How To Raise Calcium Hardness Levels

Good news! Bringing the hardness level up is much easier than lowering it. All you need to do is add a calcium hardness increaser to your pool. Be sure to carefully follow the instructions on the package in order to obtain the best results.

To add the proper amount of hardness increaser, youll need to know your pools volume, which you can easily determine with a pool calculator.

How Can You Distinguish Calcium

Getting rid of calcium build up

Well, there are two types of calcium crystals.; Calcium silicate looks like a knotted rope on metal and plaster, while calcium carbonate is a crusty deposit found in the corners of the swimming pool and appears as a flaky substance on the surface of the pool.; Just by looking at them is not pleasing at all.

To protect your oasis its essential to remove all calcium deposits.;; Now, lets see what happens to a pool with calcium scale and what gets affected:


Pool filters work to screen out all types of natural debris like bugs, leaves, and dirt. If you think that a water filter will help eliminate calcium, we have news for you.; When calcium accumulates in the screen, it slows the equipment and, eventually, gets clogged up.


Calcium grows and spreads to other parts of the pool, even to the bottom. It can form pits in the plaster.; So, this means a costly repair to refinish or resurface.


As mentioned earlier, people who swim in a pool with calcium can develop skin and eye irritation.

Calcium scale damages your pool and the pool system.; It can continue to get worse unless you have it removed.

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What Is Calcium Hardness

Youve heard of hard water, right? You may live in an area where the municipal water is hard. Or you may even get your water from a well. Either way, it means your water supply has a high level of minerals, including calcium.

But wait, calciums a good thing, isnt it? It makes strong, healthy bones and teeth. Sure, thats true. But its not so good for your pool and all the expensive equipment you bought to keep it clean and healthy.

Over time, an out-of-whack calcium hardness level can do some real damage, which is why its so important to monitor and balance the calcium hardness in your pool.

Remove Efflorescence On Pool Tile And Stone:

Similar to calcium scale which comes from the pool water, efflorescence is calcium lime scale that comes from the grout between tiles or stones placed into a wall or water feature.

To remove tile scale on pools, first scrape off the heavy deposits with a small putty knife, then use a flower watering can to pour of Acid Magic or Instant Liquid Acid, full strength on the front lip of the coping, to run over the tile. Scrub the tile with a stiff brush if possible, then rinse off with a hose within 60 seconds. Repeat if needed, then raise the pool water pH and Alkalinity, now lower from the acid.

What causes this is moisture coming out from behind the tile or stone through the grout or mortar joints and bringing calcium with it. The same process that creates stalagmites.

Sometimes the moisture comes from the pool as shown below. Sealers can be used on the tile to provide an invisible barrier. For larger stone or brick walls above the water, preventing efflorescence may require sealing or redirecting the source of water behind the wall.

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How To Remove Calcium Buildup

Do you have hard water at your house? You might have it if you noticed mineral deposits or white, cloudy stains on surfaces that come in contact with water, such as faucets or your shower walls. Although this doesnt pose any health risks, it is unsightly and can damage the finish of ma or porcelain. However, it is possible to remove the calcium buildup to restore the surface underneath to its original beautiful condition.

Want to remove calcium and other hard minerals from your water?Contact Plumbing Kings to install a water softener in your home!

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What Causes Calcium Buildup in Your Pool (and How Can You ...

A way to safely and effectively clean these surfaces is to grab a mild soap, sponges, towels, white vinegar, and baking soda. In a bowl, combine hot water with a couple of drops of mild soap, and using a sponge or rag, clean the surface. First, scrub as much scum off as possible and then wipe it dry with a towel. After this is done, combine two parts baking soda with one part vinegar to make a paste. Using this, rub it onto all of the surfaces affected by the calcium buildup. Leave this on for about five minutes, letting it soften the mineral deposits. When this is done, wipe off the paste with a dampened sponge!

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How To Remove Calcium Deposits From Swimming Pool Tiles

Often you can notice white and chalky calcium on your swimming tiles pool surfaces. The calcium hardness is not dangerous, but its residue affects the pools appearance. Calcium hardness causes various buildup types of stains, heat, and hard water. Yet, the calcium buildup is most usual, and there are two forms available.

The first build is a calcium carbonate that leaves residue layers on swimming pool tiles. If you clean the pool tile quite often, you will remove calcium easily. You should use acidic solutions to take care of calcium carbonate if it builds up. Another type of calcium buildup is calcium silicate from the sand. It produces crystallized and sharp buildup, which is caused by calcium levels and high pH.

Calcium requires intensive cleaning methods, and when they build up, they cause filter failure. So, you should remove calcium from the pool tile carefully because muriatic acid can cause enormous damage. The muriatic acid will remove calcium while leaving tiles in flawless condition.

Cleaning the swimming pool tile at the waterline is quite a dirty process. This waterline pool tiles cleaning process is not tricky, but it is a pretty long process. Now, lets take a closer look at some steps for cleaning calcium deposits from a pool tile.

What Removes Calcium Buildup

To keep up with the addition of water stains, its best to take care of them regularly. If not, the buildup could penetrate the surface and ultimately lead to corrosion. However, there are a variety of ways that you can remove the stains. All youll need is paper towels, rags, a toothbrush, rubber band, gloves, protective eyewear, spray bottle, vinegar, baking soda, white wine, or other natural non-toxic cleaners.

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Removing Calcium Carbonate Scaling

If your pool has calcium carbonate deposits, you can remove them with a pumice stone, stain eraser or scale remover.

A pumice stone should only be used on hard surfaces, such as tile and concrete. Simply use the stone to scrub the deposits. To prevent scratching, be sure to keep both the stone and the surface youre scrubbing wet.

Many commercially available stain erasers will also remove calcium carbonate. These products are designed to be applied in a specific area, so they often attach to a telepole for easy application. If you decide to use a stain eraser, follow the manufacturers instructions.

Pool suppliers also carry calcium scaling treatments that are safe for all pool surfaces, including fiberglass, vinyl and steel pools. These treatments are added to the pools water and dissolve the deposits over a period of several weeks.

Scrub Away The Calcium Carbonate Scaling

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Calcium carbonate is relatively easy to remove the stain. Spray the buildup with a calcium releaser to help soften scum and make scrubbing that much easier. Then use a pumice stone or nylon brush to wash away the rusty water stains from your pool installation& maintenance. Gently clean in circular motions until the scum loosens up.

Tip: Make sure the stains are wet at all times. Once wet, this makes it easier to get rid of the stains without exerting a lot of pressure or excessive scrubbing that could leave behind scratches.

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S To Help Prevent Harsh Water Stains

The mineral makeup of the water usually causes the hard water stains in your pool and the elements of nature. Pool contractors will tell you that the harsh water stains largely depend on the quality of the water supplied in your area. However, there are specific steps you can take to reduce the occurrence of such hard water stains. Although it may not eliminate scaling, it will increase the time between two pool cleaning sessions.

  • Reduce the pH of the water in the swimming pool to a slightly alkaline scale say 7.2 to 7.4. This change will create a relatively acidic condition which is not conducive to scaling.
  • Add a regular sequestering agent to your weekly maintenance. This agent locks the calcium in the water in the liquid state so that it doesnt accumulate at the water line.
  • Brushing your pool regularly to remove any calcium residue as it begins to form at the edges.
  • Dont use any substance that adds calcium to the water, for example; calcium hypochlorite shock. Prefer using a non-chlorine oxidizer shock.
  • Using a clarifier that eliminates any calcium particles in the pool.

If you have any doubts, contact our pool;experts for assistance. Wed love to help you keep your swimming pool neat, clean and free from stains!

Cleaning Your Saltwater Pool

Covered saltwater pools need to be cleaned two to three times per week. It will need to be cleaned more if you leave your pool uncovered.You will also need to clean your pool lining monthly. As with any pool sanitation system regular upkeep is required to maintain both the life of your pool and salt chlorine generator. A pool in general is a commitment. However, weigh the costs and benefits of a saltwater pool system for your familys enjoyment.

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Why Is Calcium Scale A Problem

Aside from being an eyesore that detracts from the beauty of your pool, calcium buildup and scaling can lead to long-term damage.

As mentioned, the pH level of the pool has to stay balanced to keep calcium levels from spiking and scale from forming. When the water is too saturated with calcium, it causes calcium deposits that appear as nasty pool stains and cloudy water.

On the flipside, low calcium levels will lead to water actually corroding your pools finish. Etching will result if you have a plaster finish, and the water will literally eat through fiberglass or vinyl liner as it searches for calcium to balance itself.

Preventing Further Calcium Buildup

Getting rid of calcium build up

A great and easy way to prevent calcium buildup is by applying a calcium prohibitor or blockerto the pool tiles or glass. This protects your pool tiles and glass and helps maintain the longevity of your pool looking great longer.Another great way to prevent calcium buildup is by maintaining proper pH balance in your pool water. You should test the water regularly, and make sure that the pH level is between 7.4 and 7.6. Keeping the pH from going basic or alkaline will prevent calcium levels from getting too high which causes deposits and scaling.You may want to install a pool cover. This will prevent too much evaporation. As the water levels are reduced, calcium and other minerals become more concentrated.

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How To Clean Pool Tile And Remove Calcium

Many in-ground pools feature beautiful, multi-colored ceramic or glass tiles that look great if kept clean and well-maintained. But if the tiles arent maintained, they can become stained or covered in buildup. Fortunately, you can take some quick, easy steps to clean the tile and bring it back to its original luster.

But before we talk about how to clean that tile, lets get some basics out of the way.

How To Prevent Calcium Scale

Most calcium scale is caused by water chemistry interactions that can be avoided or circumvented by using several of these calcium scale prevention methods.

  • Use a sequestering agent to keep calcium locked up in solution, so it cant precipitate into scaly deposits. Chemicals such as Stain Away or Scale Free;sequester metals and minerals. But, only if you apply the regular maintenance doses every week or two.
  • Avoid calcium hypochlorite shock, which adds calcium to the pool. Use a non-chlorine oxidizer, or di-chlor pool shock.
  • Lower your pH and Alkalinity on the low end of the scale; a pH of 7.2-7.4 and Alkalinity of 80-90 ppm. High pH and Alkalinity create ideal scaling conditions.
  • Compute your LSI, a formula that computes your waters propensity to scale. Negative results below 0.0 are best to avoid scaling. Pentair LSI calculator;does the math for you.
  • Use a clarifierto seek out calcium particles and clump them together so that your pool filter can remove.
  • Brush your pool often to remove newly formed scale, and vacuum or run the pool; cleaner several times per week to remove calcium dust and dirt.

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