A swimming pool or a home spa is a wonderful luxury but being a pool or spa owner is not all fun and games. A pool or spa needs to be kept spic and span at all times, and this can sometimes be easier said than done. Cleaning the tiles is surely a time-consuming task but is also one that you can in no way overlook.
Of course, you can always hire a professional to do the work for you. But, if you are cost conscience and want to save the big bucks, you can do it yourself. Below are the steps to clean your pool or spa tiles.
Understanding the Deposits
Pool or spa tiles will usually have one of two types of deposits. The first is calcium carbonate deposits, which appear as white flakes. The other is calcium silicate deposits which are grayish white in color. An easy test to determine what type of deposit you have is to pour a little muriatic acid onto it. If the acid bubbles when it comes in contact with the deposit, then it is calcium carbonate. However, if there is no reaction at all, you can be sure that the deposit is calcium silicate.
1. Cleaning Calcium Carbonate
Calcium carbonate deposits on pool or spa tiles can be cleaned quite easily. Since these are white and flaky, just rubbing a pumice stone across these will help you to remove these. If you are working on fiberglass or vinyl tiles, do not use a pumice stone as this will leave scratches on the tiles. Use a nylon brush instead. Start by spraying a calcium releaser on the tiles. Scrub the tiles in a circular motion until all the deposits and other impurities are gone. It is advisable to wear gloves during the cleaning process.
2. Pressure Cleaning Technique
In order to clean the pool or spa tiles with this technique, you may have to hire a steam pressure washer with 2000-2500 PSI and a temperature capacity of 300 degrees Fahrenheit. This is an easier way to clean tiles with stubborn deposits. Before beginning, remove all the debris from the pool. It is important to first test the equipment on a small area. Pick a spot which is not easily seen and spray the steam on it for about 30 seconds. Stop and check for damage. It is easier to divide the pool or spa into sections and then clean it. Start the cleaning process by setting the PSI at the highest and the temperature at 200 degree Fahrenheit. Increase the temperature if the setting is not high enough to remove the deposits. IT IS ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT TO FOLLOW ALL SAFETY PRECAUTIONS FOR THE EQUIPMENT!!! Gloves and safety glasses are critical!
3. Cleaning with an Acidic Solution
For this you will have to remove all the water and debris from the pool or the spa. Since you are going to use acids, protective clothing (especially eyewear), gloves and a respirator mask is essential. In a large bucket, add 1 gallon of water. Slowly mix in 1 gallon of muriatic acid. Be sure to add the acid to the water and not in reverse order! Using brush specifically designed for acid application, apply the solution to the tiles. Clean the tiles in small sections and work from the deep end to the shallow end to avoid standing in a puddle of acid. Once the deposits have been removed, hose off and wash the tiles thoroughly with clean water.
- Neutralizing the Acid: Since you are using acid to clean the tiles, it is important to neutralize it to prevent any adverse effects. Neutralize the acid by mixing soda ash into the foamy acid mixture at the bottom of the pool. You will need 2 pounds of soda ash for every gallon of acid used. This will neutralize the acid so it can be safely removed from the pool or spa.
- Pumping out the Acid: Once the acid has been neutralized, you can remove the acid mixture from the pool or spa. Use a pump to remove the water out of the pool or the spa, rinse thoroughly, and pump again. You can now refill the pool or spa.
You may have to go for pool filter cartridge replacement after the use of acids.
Cleaning the tiles of a pool or a spa is really not that tough. But it surely calls for a lot of hard work. With these techniques, you now know how to clean the tiles of your swimming pool or spa without paying huge bucks to the professionals.
Also, read the tips about turning green pool water clean.