Here’s How To Acid Wash Your Pool (In 8 Easy Steps)

acid wash pool

Today I'm going to show you how to acid wash your pool, fast and easy.

When you're done reading this article, you'll finally be able to destroy all that nasty algae stain and calcium buildup that have taken over your once-beautiful pool.

Not only that, but acid washing your pool couldn't be easier.

So, allow me to  walk through how to do exactly just that.

Supplies you'll need to get started

Keep in mind that handling this acid always needs to be done with caution!

It’s an extremely caustic substance that can cause burns to the skin and eyes as well as severe damage to any surface it is allowed to sit on, especially undiluted.

You will need to have the following supplies on hand before you get started:

  • Rubber gloves
  • Goggles
  • Mask
  • Acid: muriatic, phosphoric, or dry (sodium bisulfate)
  • Five gallon bucket
  • Soda ash
  • Pool brush (soft-bristled for fiberglass, hard-bristled for plaster or pebble)
  • Submersible pump or vacuum with waste hose

How to acid wash your pool

Follow these instructions step-by-step and you'll have your pool clean in a heartbeat: 

Step 1. Drain your pool

While you're waiting for your pool to drain completely, clean out any leaves and loose debris. 

Also, start brushing away any algae or buildup that you can remove before the acid wash.

You don’t want to leave your acid on very long, so it’s best to get rid of as much as you can ahead of time.

Step 2. Put on your protective gear

Be sure to cover up for safety.

Use your goggles, mask and gloves, and remember to wear clothing that you don’t mind ruining and that covers most of your skin.

Step 3. Mix the acid

Mixing will vary a little for the different types of acid, but in general, the ratio is 1:1.

In your five-gallon bucket, add one gallon of acid to one gallon of water (never the other way around).

Mix it gently with a mixing stick if you need to.

Step 4. Wet the sides of the pool

Spray down the sides of the pool and make sure the entire surface is wet.

You will probably have to do this several times to make sure the surface is wet every time you add acid.

Step 5. Pour on the acid

Pour in the acid in sections so that it's never sitting in one spot for too long. 

Pour the acid down the side of the pool from the top in about a 10-foot section.

Step 6. Scrub the surface

Immediately start scrubbing the section with the acid mixture, paying careful attention to stains and algae spots.

Don’t leave the acid on the pool more than 30 seconds.

Step 7. Rinse

Rinse the section thoroughly and repeat the process on the next section.

Step 8. Clean up

Once you're done, you might notice a foamy residue at the bottom of the pool—this is the buildup of all the acid remaining. 

It’s best to sprinkle some soda ash on it to neutralize the acid. You can then use your brush to continue to push it towards the drain as you add water to rinse it away.

Some experts even recommend adding soda ash to the bottom of your pool before you start the acid wash process to prevent damage. It’s not a bad idea except that it makes it more difficult to remove staining from the bottom of the pool. 

As long as you're vigilant about continuing to rinse, you shouldn’t have a problem. But if you are in doubt, use the soda ash, or get your BFF to help you out by being your rinse assistant.

If they can keep the water running continuously, it will help cut down on the risk of acid sitting in one spot too long. 

Use a submersible pump or a waste hose to vacuum out the remaining water at the bottom of the pool. 

Bottom line

Acid washing is not a difficult process but it can certainly go bad if you don’t know what you’re doing.

You can damage your pool surface or hurt yourself pretty badly if you don’t take the proper precautions.

If you're uneasy about handling acid, you can always call a professional to do the job for you.

It may cost you a little extra cash, but it will be worth it if you aren’t confident you can do it right!

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