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Tips for Cleaning Your Pool Tiles

When it comes to tiling swimming pools, many homeowners opt for waterline tiles as compared to tiling the whole liner. This is not only a good decision financially, but it is also aesthetically beautiful. However, if your waterline tiles aren’t kept clean, your pool won’t look as nice with the buildup, and swimming may not be as enjoyable.

The area where pool water hits the tile border is called the waterline, and it is especially prone to becoming dirty and discolored over time. If you’re not paying a pool maintenance crew to pressure wash your tiles regularly, the following tips will make cleaning your swimming pool tiles a snap all year long.

Why Are Your Waterline Tiles Accumulating What?

It is common for scale to build up on the surface of waterline tiles. Due to the water’s PH levels, a chemical imbalance may be the culprit. Organic materials like leaves and dirt can also adhere to the surface for a long time and cause staining.


Calcium deposits may adhere to the pool’s sides as a result of the water’s natural evaporation. Calcium scaling may be difficult to remove and will look like a white-grey muck. You could see one of two forms of scaling on your pool’s waterline tiles.:


If your pool tiles have calcium carbonate scaling, the surface will have a flaky, white crust. If you add muriatic acid to the region, this will bubble up. Using a pumice stone or stain eraser, calcium carbonate may be removed more easily.


One of the hardest kinds of scaling to get rid of is calcium silicate scaling, which looks like a white or gray scum. Unlike calcium carbonate, silicate won’t react with the muriatic acid when applied. The best way to get rid of this kind of scaling is with a pumice stone and plenty of elbow grease, rather than a specific cleaning product.

Cleaning Waterline Tiles of Stains and Scale

Cleaning waterline pool tiles shouldn’t be too difficult; however, it might take some time depending on the kind of stain or scale and how long you let it build up. It is preferable to work one small step at a time to avoid significant surface discoloration. By doing this, you may reduce the quantity of dirt and algae that gathers in your pool at any given moment.

Keep Pool Free of Organic Materials

Remove any organic matter or debris, such as dirt, leaves, or grass clippings, that have accumulated on the surface of your pool. You may do this by hand or use a pool vacuum to speed up the process.

Scrub Brush the Tiles On Your Waterline

Remove the calcium carbonate by cleaning with a hard bristle brush in circular motions. You can try using a toothbrush that will be forgiving on glass tiles if the buildup is little or you are working in small areas.

Apply a Cleaner

You may use DIY cleaners such as vinegar, baking soda, toothpaste, or even dish soap to get rid of deposits if your filth and grime are fairly modest.

You must use a pumice stone to clean the area if there are stubborn stains or calcium silicate scaling. It’s crucial to clean gently and to keep the tiles and pumice stone moist in order to avoid scratching.

If these stains are proving too difficult to remove, you may need to use a sulfamic acid-based cleaning solution, an industrial tile cleaner, or a stain eraser. Use caution with these cleaning agents since they are quite harsh and acidic. When cleaning waterline pool tiles, always do a small-scale spot test first or consult your provider. Make sure you put on protective gloves and wait a few days before using your pool again.

Consider Soda Blasting

If you have been unsuccessful in removing the stains from tile floors, you might attempt soda blasting. Baking soda is shot out of a high-pressure nozzle in place of salt or glass beads in this method for cleaning waterline glass tiles.

Consider speaking with a professional before attempting this method, as this cleaning process is normally handled by specialists.

Suggestions for Regular Pool Cleaning Upkeep

Regular cleaning is the best way to combat waterline buildup and keep your pool looking spotless. At the beginning of each swimming season, start by slightly lowering the water level so you can give your waterline tiles a good cleaning. It’s also important to remain diligent when it comes to maintaining your pool’s chemicals throughout the summer. Before taking a dip, take a few minutes to skim any debris off the surface of your pool. This will keep your pool water clean and make swimming more enjoyable. 


Over time, your pool’s waterline tiles will likely get damaged by stains and algae buildup. As unsightly as this may seem, it is an issue that can be remedied with the right tools and knowledge. Before you take on the challenge of cleaning your pool tiles, be sure to assess the type of stains or buildup first. This will help you determine the best strategy to take. Lastly, do not underestimate the power of routine pool upkeep, and if your pool becomes too difficult to maintain yourself, consider hiring a professional.