Over time, calcium deposits will slowly build up on the tiles that line your pool, turning them white. This is usually caused by filling your pool with hard water (which has calcium dissolved in it), but it can also happen when rainwater runoff that enters your pool carries calcium from the soil with it.

Regularly removing this calcium buildup from your pool tile is important. It improves the appearance of your pool, and it also prevents large deposits from blocking your pool filter. To learn how to clean your pool tile properly, read on.

Use Acid and a Paint Scraper to Remove Buildup

If there's calcium buildup on the tiles below the water line, drain water from your pool until all of the buildup is exposed. Afterwards, fill up a spray bottle with a solution made of one part muriatic acid and three parts water. You can buy muriatic acid at any home improvement store — it will be either in the pool section or the plumbing section. Muriatic acid is very strong, so you'll need to wear gloves and goggles while you're handling it in order to protect yourself.

Spray the acidic solution onto your pool tile and wait a few seconds while it dissolves the calcium buildup. Using a paint scraper, scrape the dissolved calcium into the pool water. Spray more acid onto the fresh calcium you've exposed and scrape off a small amount again. Repeat until you've removed all of the buildup. After the tile is clear, splash a bit of pool water onto it in order to wash away any remaining acid on the tile.

Remove Calcium Silicate Buildup Using a Pumice Stone

If you run into a section of buildup on your pool tile that isn't affected by acid, it means that it's calcium silicate buildup. Calcium silicate buildup tends to occur when your pool's pH becomes too high, and acid won't affect it at all. You'll need to rub a pumice stone repeatedly against the tile until you've scoured off all of the buildup.

Correct Your Pool's pH

Once you're done cleaning your tiles, check your pool's pH gauge. Since you've washed some muriatic acid into the pool water while cleaning, you've likely lowered its pH. If you've lowered it below the ideal range as shown on the gauge, you can raise it back up again by slowly adding sodium bicarbonate to your pool until your pool's pH is correct.

If you don't feel comfortable handling acid or if you have extensive calcium silicate buildup that would require an extreme amount of scrubbing to get rid of, you should hire a pool tile cleaning service to clean it instead. Remember that it's important for the health of your pool to keep your tile clean — too much buildup will eventually block your pool filter, so cleaning your tile goes beyond cosmetic concerns. Contact a company like Scalebusters to learn more.