A Guide to Identifying and Removing Those Annoying Pool Stains

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Cleaning stains in your pool

One of the best things to have in your home is a swimming pool. Having a pool makes it possible for you to hang and relax in your backyard. You can use the pool as a good place where friends and family can gather. Coming home stressed from work? Have a few drinks and hang out in your pool. Want to throw a pool party for your kids? No problem. How about a barbecue with your closest friends? The pool’s got you covered.

A swimming pool is a big investment on your part. Sure, a pool can be fun and exciting to have, but you should prepare yourself financially when it comes to installing and maintaining a pool. Since a pool is an investment, it only fits that you take care of that investment. You may have a pool, but if there are lots of unwanted and potentially dangerous things in it, no one would want to swim in it. 

Perhaps one of the most common, unwanted things you’ll have in your pool are stains. Imagine taking a dip and surfacing at the edge only to discover a gunky stain. You don’t know what it is, you don’t know how it got there, and you don’t know how to remove such an awful thing from your pool.

Continue reading if you want help in identifying common pool stains and how to remove them. Again, a pool is a cool place for you, your friends, and family to hang out. Avoid the hassle and embarrassment and keep it clean from stains! Without further ado, here’s how to spot stains on your pool and how to remove them- or you can always call Riverside Pool Service Pros to take care of those tough stains for you, hassle free.

What Are Pool Stains?

Before you begin removing any stains, you should know what you’re dealing with. When it comes to the stains, it can either come from an organic or metallic origin. One easy way in identifying it is to try looking at its color. You can also try to smell these stains, but do it at your own risk. Metallic stains are usually easy to identify because of their strong metallic scent.

Organic Stains

  • Greenish-Brown
  • Reddish-Blue
  • Blueish-Greenish-Black

Most of the time, greenish-brown stains are caused by plant matter. Algae, if left unchecked, can grow in your pool and can stick to the walls. These stains can be very hard to remove if you let it settle in. Leaves that fall on the surface of the pool can also be the culprit behind these stains. To remove stains caused by plant matter,  you need to make sure that the circulation system is working in your pool. 

Other things you can do to prevent algae from blooming in your pool is to include a thorough brushing during cleaning periods, shocking the pool weekly, using algaecide, and removing any source of nitrogen or phosphate present. Algae needs these two elements to grow, and removing any source in your pool makes it difficult for algae to thrive.

Reddish-Blue and Blueish-Greenish-Black stains can come from berries or fruit. If you have berry or fruit-bearing trees around your pool, then these could be the culprit behind these stains. You can regularly clean your pool from debris that comes from nearby trees. Another solution is to trim overgrown branches near it. 

Metallic Stains

  • Blueish-Greenish-Black
  • Greenish-Brownish-Red
  • Brownish-Blackish-Purple

If you don’t have trees or bushes that grow berries near your pool, then Blueish-Greenish-Black stains may indicate the presence of copper in the water. If your pool is near a well, then this could be the cause of these stains. Well water can have a high concentration of copper, which may explain the stains on your pool. Another reason could be corroded copper piping. 

Well water can also cause greenish-brownish-red stains in your pool. Instead of copper being the primary culprit, these stains indicate the presence of iron. Metallic objects such as nearby fences or rails can also rust if not taken properly. Rust can also be the cause of such discolorations in your pool.

Although manganese is a naturally occurring metal in most well water sources, an accumulation of brownish-blackish-purple stains signifies an abnormally high level of manganese in the water. You can treat the water to remove manganese. Don’t worry if you can’t completely remove manganese from the water. A minimal amount of this metal is safe and isn’t enough to cause stains.

Identifying Stains

Aside from looking at the colors and smelling pool stains, you can also perform two simple tests to determine a stain’s origin. If you think the stain is organic, try putting small amounts of chlorine on it. Organic stains usually go away with the presence of chlorine.

For metallic stains, try applying ascorbic acid or vitamin c powder on the stain. If the stain gets removed or gets lighter when brushing it, this stain is probably caused by certain metals.

Shocking Your Pool

Shocking your pool or pool shock refers to adding large amounts of chlorine or other non-chlorine substances in the pool. By “shocking” the pool, algae, bacteria, and other unwanted stuff gets destroyed. 

Do read the instructions on the stuff you use to shock your pool. Some algaecides can be copper-based, which can increase copper levels in the water. Copper, when oxidized, can turn green. This reaction is the reason why using copper-based substances to shock your pool can turn it green! When you shock your pool, you should wait at least 24-48 hours before swimming in it again. 


Since your pool is an investment, you should take care of it. One way of taking care of your pool is by looking for stains and removing them as early as possible. Stains can be very annoying and difficult to remove if left unchecked. Aside from being eyesores, stains can put off any guest that might want to swim in your pool.

To prevent stains from taking over your beautiful pool, try to identify a stain, whether organic or metallic. When you determine a stain’s origin, you can now choose the proper removal method for it. Aside from removal methods, knowing a stain’s source can also help you prevent stains from ever appearing in your pool.

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