Cleaning A Pool Liner: Everything You Need To Know

Last Updated on April 25, 2021

Cleaning a pool liner is not an easy task, but it is necessary to maintain the health of your pool and keep it looking its best. Pool liners are made with heavy-duty fabric that needs to be cleaned periodically. If you do not clean your pool liner, algae will start to grow on the bottom of the liner underneath dirt particles and debris which makes for a dirty-looking pool.

If you want to know how to keep your pool liner looking good and clean, it’s important to understand the process involved.

It is not enough just to dump some chlorine in the water once a week or scrub down the sides with a brush. Some steps must be taken before you can call your pool “clean”.

YouTube video

Pool Liner Stain Colors

Pool stains can vary in color and shade.

Most organic pool stains are green or brown, coming from leaves, dirt, algae, bugs, and other organic debris.

Metal stains come in various colors and are often caused by corroded pool pipes, metal parts (e.g. ladders), or a pool equipment malfunction.

Most pool stain problems stem from not maintaining the right water chemistry levels for an extended period.

It’s not always easy to identify what caused a mysterious color to appear on your pool by looking at it. Sometimes there may be something next to your fabric, like metal rusting from being left in water for too long or leaves decomposing with mold and bacteria on them. But much of the time, there are no guarantees and we won’t know until after a thorough investigation has been completed.

Green or brown stains

Organic matter like algae, leaves, and bugs is usually to blame for this type of pool stain.

Blue-green stains

Blue-green stains on your pool liner are a sign of copper corrosion that may be coming from pipes, chemicals in the water, or even just improper maintenance.

Black Stains

Black stains on your liner are caused by metals like manganese which is found in well water. This metal settles into nearby pools when it rains heavily due to the runoff of contaminated soil.

Reddish-brown stains

Reddish-brown patches can indicate iron contamination which is also often caused by metal objects like handrails and ladders but it might originate with corroded metals such as steel pipe fittings where rust will form over time if not cleaned off periodically.

Red or purple stains

Red or purple stains show when berries in your pool area get into the water. Meanwhile, light pink stains can be caused by a bacterial buildup in your plumbing system.

Guide To Cleaning A Pool Liner

If you need to clean your pool liner, there are many ways to do so. Pool owners have a few different options for how they can go about cleaning the liner. First, you should know that there is no right or wrong way to clean a pool and it just depends on what works best for you.

The first option is using an automatic cleaner or robotic vacuum cleaner. This type of vacuum cleaner would work well if you don’t want to bend over and scrub the bottom of your pool manually with a brush or netting.

The second option is scrubbing your liners by hand which may be more effective than using an automatic cleaner depending on how dirty the bottom of your pool is as well as what type of pool liner you have.

How To Clean A Vinyl Pool Liner

Cleaning a vinyl pool liner can seem like an overwhelming task. A vinyl liner is especially tough to clean because it’s all in the details. However, there are steps you can take to make the process much easier and quicker.

Many factors go into cleaning your pool: water temperature, pH level, and the type of dirt or debris in your pool.

  1. Remove any debris manually first before using a vacuum cleaner.
  2. It’s also important to take care when cleaning your pool liner so as not to scratch it. Use a soft brush with no metal bristles (a nylon scrub pad) to remove the dirt on your pool walls and floor.
  3. Vacuum the vinyl pool liner without missing any spots. Make sure you are vacuuming out any leaves or other organic matter that are on your liner’s interior surface.
  4. Test and balance your pool water chemistry to get rid of those pesky stains. Most stains should fade right away after you achieve the proper water chemistry levels.
  5. Make sure to shock your pool with chlorine to will kill bacteria immediately so they can’t reproduce and cause more problems down the road. Brush away those stubborn stains one last time after shocking them.
Bosh Chemical Vanish Pool & Spa Stain Remover (2LBS)- Natural Safe Citrus Based, Works Excellent on Vinyl, Fiberglass, and Metals, Removes Rust and Other Tough Stains
  • ✅ FAST EASY and SAFE USE--Naturally remove stains from pool linings and underwater surfaces without scrubbing. Completely safe for your pool, produced from citrus by-products. Works on fiberglass...
  • ✅ SIMPLE TO APPLY- Simply pour Vanish Pool Stain Remover into the pool around the stained area and watch the stains disappear. You may choose to mildly brush the surface for heavier stains.
  • ✅ HIGHLY EFFECTIVE AGAINST METAL STAINS- Occasionally pools can get excess metals from pool components, heaters, or piping. Our formula easily dissolves the toughest rust and metal stains from your...
  • ✅ TREATS UP TO 20,000 GALLON OF WATER!!!

The best way to keep your pool liner looking as good as possible is by treating it early on with a stain remover made specifically for vinyl liners. Or, you can try wiping the stains directly from the surface of the material using common household cleaners. Don’t use too much chlorine because this chemical has been known to bleach away color if concentrated in a specific area in your swimming pool

A stain eraser tool designed for cleaning pool liners can also make a big difference in the appearance of your liner and help it look new.

For metal stains on vinyl pool liners, you must identify first the source of the metal staining in your swimming pool. Make sure that you test and balance your water chemistry. You can then test the water for metals using a reliable metal testing kit.

Pool Mate 1-2550 Metal Out Swimming Pool Mineral Remover, 1-Pack
  • This product helps prevent discoloration of pool water due to iron, calcium, manganese, copper and other metals and minerals which may be present in the water supply
  • This product is an excellent general purpose sequestrant which helps protect plumbing and pool walls from rust, stain and scale
  • It should be used for all pool openings and closings and throughout the season as needed
  • 1 quart per 10,000 gallons

You should take a proactive approach to clean your swimming pool liner. Do you know what metals might be lurking in the water? You can get rid of them with a metal sequester once they are confirmed present in your pool.

On Sale Now!
Clorox Pool&Spa Scale, Metal & Stain Control 32 oz
  • Prevents metal stains and scale formation
  • Removes fresh metal stains including Iron and copper
  • Perfect for treating hard water

If you need help getting rid of tough metal stains, try using a metal stain remover designed specifically for vinyl liners.

How To Clean Stains On A Fiberglass Pool

For pool owners with fiberglass liners, you’ll need to follow a slightly different set of rules to clean your swimming pool stains.

StainEraser 11001 The Pool Stain Eraser
  • Stain eraser provide instant results
  • Made from a proven patented formula that will not damage your pool or plaster spa surface
  • Vanish stains without scratching, damaging or gouging your pool surface
  • Rough surfaces may reduce the life of this product

Organic stains on fiberglass usually lift out on their own once you brush them. But there are times when they don’t, so that’s when you need to use stain erasers.

On Sale Now!
Nature Made Vitamin C 1000 mg, 100 Tablets, Helps Support the Immune System
  • For a limited time, you may receive either bottle while we update our packaging. Both have the same great product inside. Based on new FDA regulations, you may also notice a change in the unit of...
  • Contains a 100-day supply of Nature Made Vitamin C 1,000 mg Tablets, 100 tablets per bottle.
  • Helps support the immune system. Antioxidant support.
  • Adults, take 1 tablet daily with water and a meal.

For removing metal stains, the best solution is to use a vitamin C tablet and rub it directly on the pool stain. The electrolysis will lead to the metal leaving the surface of your pool.

Pool Mate 1-2550 Metal Out Swimming Pool Mineral Remover, 1-Pack
  • This product helps prevent discoloration of pool water due to iron, calcium, manganese, copper and other metals and minerals which may be present in the water supply
  • This product is an excellent general purpose sequestrant which helps protect plumbing and pool walls from rust, stain and scale
  • It should be used for all pool openings and closings and throughout the season as needed
  • 1 quart per 10,000 gallons

Once that happens, you can make use of a metal sequestering agent to remove the metal from the pool environment.

What To Clean A Swimming Pool Liner With

There are many different cleaning products out there that claim to clean your pool liner, but not all of these products are created equal.

Dishwasher Detergent

Finish Powder Dishwasher Detergent, Lemon Fresh Scent, 75 oz
  • Our powerful powder works hard to give you the sparkling clean dishes you've been wanting.

Mix the detergent in a bucket of hot water to dissolve it. This will work well on removing pool liner dirt and mildew.

Diluted Bleach

No products found.

Clean your pool liner without worrying about it breaking down by mixing 1 part bleach to 5 parts water. This is an easy-to-make but effective cleaning solution to remove any pool stains.

Vitamin C

On Sale Now!
Nature Made Vitamin C 1000 mg, 100 Tablets, Helps Support the Immune System
  • For a limited time, you may receive either bottle while we update our packaging. Both have the same great product inside. Based on new FDA regulations, you may also notice a change in the unit of...
  • Contains a 100-day supply of Nature Made Vitamin C 1,000 mg Tablets, 100 tablets per bottle.
  • Helps support the immune system. Antioxidant support.
  • Adults, take 1 tablet daily with water and a meal.

Over-the-counter vitamin C tablets can be utilized to remove pool stains. You just need to crush the tablets and dissolve them in warm water. You can then apply this solution using a sponge to remove metal stains.

Baking Soda

Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda Shaker 12 Oz (Pack of 2)
  • Arm & Hammer Pure Baking Soda Shaker 12 Oz (Pack of 2)

Mix the baking soda with some hot water to form a thick paste before applying with a sponge to remove all dirt, stains, and mildew on your pool liner.

You can also mix baking soda with vinegar and hot water to make a more powerful cleaning solution. This can help remove mold and mildew and keep your liner clean.

Maintenance Tips to Prevent Pool Liner Stains

You might be wondering how to keep your pool liner from turning green or brown, and the answer is pretty simple: maintain it. If you’re having trouble keeping your liner clean, follow these tips to prevent any stains in the future.

  • Make sure to remove large debris out of the pool as soon as you see them.
  • Test your pool water and keep your pool chemistry balanced.
  • Try to brush or vacuum your swimming pool at least once a week.
  • Apply pool shock once a week, more if you use your swimming pool often.
  • Use a good pool cover to keep debris and dirt out of your pool water.
Shade Ideas for Your Pool

Can we feature your pool on this site?

We are always working on new content here at OwnThePool.com and we love to feature pictures of our readers' pools! We're always looking for:

  • Pool Design & Landscaping Ideas
  • Backyard Oasis
  • Shade Ideas

Send to publisher@ownthepool.com

Leave a Comment