I’ve been around pools all my life, and I think I’ve cleaned everything there is around a pool. Todays post is not how to clean a pool, or how to skim and vacuum, today we talk about cleaning specific pool surfaces.
Few pools are located in spotless environments, without rain, birds, dust and other things that smudge and stain our pool surfaces. Here are some tips on how to clean the various surfaces around a pool.
Solid Winter Pool Covers and Solar Covers can be cleaned with dish soap, but residue left on the cover can transfer to the water. I suggest using the all-around Tile & Vinyl cleaner, in small amounts, with heavy scrubbing with a stiff brush or broom. But more important than what you clean it with, is where you clean the cover. A clean, sloping surface is best. Clean a 5-10’ section, fold the cover over the cleaned area, and repeat.
Automatic cover stains are often hard to remove completely, but can be removed with a natural cleaner like Orb 3 Enzyme Cleaner, or Simple Green. Small amounts of automotive buffing compound can be rubbed into the surface, and buffed clean to remove stubborn stains or watermarks. Applying vinyl conditioner to the auto cover material also helps to resist stains and make it easier to keep it clean. Never use any harsh acids or chlorine-based cleaners on auto cover fabrics.
The pool caulking is the strip of rubbery sealant used around the perimeter of the pool. When standing water sits inside of low spots in the expansion joint caulking, it can grow into all sorts of colors. Caulking can be cleaned with a pressure washer, or by hosing wet, sprinkling Comet or your favorite abrasive cleanser, scrubbing with a brush on a pole, and then hosing clean. For delicate plants in the area, use very little or switch to our natural Orb-3 enzyme cleaner or use Tile & Vinyl cleaner, in small amounts.
The best tool for cleaning a concrete pool deck is a pressure washer of 1500-2500 psi, and a nice fan-spray tip that can cover 6-9” swath of concrete. For areas with dark mildew or darkening, use a hand-pump sprayer to spray on a diluted 10% bleach mixture, or use a deck cleaner chemical to pre-treat the area, and brush with a stiff broom before rinsing clean, and then pressure washing. Concrete can be sealed with our Concrete Sealer to protect it from salt, mildew or leaf staining.
Precast coping stones, or bullnose brick coping and natural stone coping will also respond well to pressure washing, however be delicate in the grout and caulking areas with the pressure washer. For coping stones with dark stains, a diluted solution of acid like Acid Magic can be sprayed from a hand pump sprayer and then quickly hosed clean, within 20-40 seconds depending on strength. Use our Stone Sealer for protection from salt and stains.
Vinyl pool coping can be cleaned with our Tile and Vinyl cleaner, or Super Tile & Vinyl Cleaner. You can also use Simple Green or small amounts of Soft Scrub (plastic coping only). Aluminum coping can be sanded and painted as needed.
Diving boards typically have a gelcoat surface on all four sides, with a rough textured top surface. Gelcoat is a fairly resistant surface, so you can use abrasive cleaners like Comet, Ajax, Bon Ami, or spray cleansers like our Super Tile & Vinyl cleaner to clean diving boards and dive stands. You can also use a pressure washer, lightly to clean the textured top surface.
Fiberglass pool or spas are generally coated in a gelcoat, similar to an ocean-going vessel, and as mentioned above, gelcoats are fairly stain resistant to begin with, and the surface can handle more aggressive stain treatments, such as mild abrasive cleansers, rubbing compound, or chemicals with mild acids. Be careful not to use heavy household cleaners or disinfectants and don’t scrub too hard on fiberglass, or you may leave a ‘reverse stain’. Tile & Vinyl cleaner or Spray Nine can also be used.
Yes you can clean your pool filter. If you would ever want to that is – I know most people, probably 98% of people would never think to clean their filter tank, but they can get grungy. So if you wanted to, gently hose the filter tank, or wash with a bucket of water, then scrub it clean with any abrasive cleanser or spray cleaner like our Super Tile & Vinyl Cleaner.
I have cleaned a lot of pool furniture in my day. For resin or strap pool furniture, if you have a pressure washer handy, that works well, but if too powerful it could be damaged. Most pool furniture is fairly sturdy and can handle cleansers like Comet, or 409, Spray Nine, or once again, you could just use our Super Tile & Vinyl cleaner, which also cleans pool furniture without even wiping (in most cases). ORB-3 is also a wonderful product for quickly cleaning pool furniture.