Acid wash pool

Acid wash pool – without draining

We remove swimming pool stains without acid washing the surface or draining the water.  Remember, acid washing is not ‘stain removal’, it is surface cement removal.  Acid washing uses very strong acids to remove and dissolve away the smooth outer layer of your pool interior!   This is why many pool owners regret acid washing their pool as the surface is left feeling rough, blotchy and streaky.

Acid Washing 2
acid washing a swimming pool

Acid wash a pool without draining? – You bet!

We can acid wash a pool without draining the water or damaging the surface.  Remember, many people mistakenly believe that acid washing is a ‘cure all’ for swimming pool stains.  The truth is, it is not.  In fact, in many cases, acid washing does not remove pool staining and this leaves clients furious.  In fact, we have removed many stains from pools that have already been acid-washed only a few weeks earlier.  Our full treatments start from $245.00 including everything.

We are more than happy to help you with your stains without cost or obligation. Also, we will inspect any pictures and discuss options with you at no cost or obligation. Please Email pictures to or call us on 0416 927 837.

Our Company Credentials

SPASA members for complete peace of mind.
Certified technicians with 10 years experience.
Approved contractors for commercial and public pools.
We carry $5 million in insurance for your protection.

Why do pool shops suggest acid washing?

Acid Washing 3

Acid washing – Pools hate it!

“Acid washing pools will reduce the life of your pool. It will also make the surface more coarse and rough. This is because acid dissolves the cement in-between the pebbles. Also, the process of draining and refilling the pool can lead to surface cracking and wasted water.”

Swimming pool acid wash – remove stains without draining

We didn’t invent the ‘no drain acid wash’, we just perfected it.  Pool shops often suggest a swimming pool acid wash because they don’t know what else to do about your stain.  They also lack the experience to remove the stains any other way. Because of this, they will usually suggest an acid wash (or even a new interior) when it is simply not required. Our treatment process dissolves severe stains without draining the pool water or acid washing.  To see some examples of heavy stains that our treatments have removed please click here.

Cost to acid wash
acid wash a pool
acid wash

Acid wash pebble pool surfaces and you – reduce the surface lifespan

Aside from treatment costs, an acid wash can be inconvenient and expensive. For example, an acid wash alone costs between $850-$4,000 depending on the size of your pool.  Also, the prices change depending on the severity of the stains. Importantly, this price does not include the cost of the tap water needed to refill the pool.  This is normally around $205 for 50,000 Litres of water from most city councils. Also, there are more costs for the salt, pool acid, sunscreen and buffer to re-balance your pool water after it is refilled.

Remember, beware of those who advertise cheap acid wash prices.  In some cases, unethical contractors will re-approach you halfway through the wash demanding more money because the stains are not releasing easily. For example, we had one client pay over $2,500 for an acid wash when the actual quoted price they agreed on was less than $900. This scenario can be a very stressful and uncomfortable situation for pool owners.

Acid washing – the risks

If a pool acid wash is done incorrectly the streaks from the flow of acid can permanently etch and discolour the pool surface. Once these streaks appear, there is no way of removing them.  This is because the cement has permanently dissolved. Therefore, it is very important to know exactly what you are doing and be very careful when acid washing a pool. Remember, acid washing is not ‘stain removal’, it works by using strong acids that etch and dissolve the smooth outer layer of your pool surface!  The stains are removed because the cement surface of the pool is dissolved away during the wash. 

Acid washing pools can remove pool stains but should only be done if absolutely necessary. However, there are some situations where there is no other choice, such as pools with a thick layer of sediment at the bottom after flooding. 

Remember, if your pool is left empty for an extended period, the pool surface may separate from the structure of the pool. This is common in pools that are over 10 years old. So, if you have drained your pool, please refill as soon as possible as many pools are damaged by exposure to sunlight and temperature differences. This happens because the thin layer of pebble expands at a different rate to the large structure (shell) of the pool.  Because of this, the surface is put under considerable strain while it is empty.

The importance of an – insured contractor

If you insist on draining and acid washing your pool then we strongly suggest choosing a contractor with liability insurance. This is because occasionally after the water is drained, the pool sides can buckle, crack, or even lift out of the ground. Remember, the damage caused by uplift is not repairable.  So, to help prevent this, most pools have a hydrostatic valve which releases any underground water pressure into the pool.  However, in some pools, these valves can seize up which means the water pressure under the pool remains very high. Therefore, pool uplift is a strong possibility when the water is drained.  Remember, if this uplift occurs your pool is irreparable.  This means that an entirely new pool structure is required because you cannot just push the pool back down again. Therefore, you will require your contractor’s liability insurance to re-build an entirely new pool should this happen.

Pool lifting out of ground

After being drained for an acid wash the hydrostatic pressure pushed this concrete pool out of the ground during refilling

Acid wash pebble tec pool – without draining water

Can you acid wash a pebble tec pool without draining?  Yes, you can.  Remember, acid washing pebble is the most aggressive cleaning process available.  It involves completely draining your pool and then pouring or spraying hydrochloric acid and water on the pool surface. Often, this process is repeated several times to remove the stains.  After this process is complete, your pool is then filled with water once again.

Most pool interiors such as pebble tec, glass bead or Quartz are not designed to be acid washed more than once or twice.  This is because this process etches (eats away) the interior which reduces the thickness and integrity of the pool surface. Often, those who have acid-washed their pool have told us that since their acid wash that the interior now feels rough and looks dirty. This happens because the cement between the pebbles or beads is eaten away which leaves the pebbles more exposed and pronounced.  Also, acid washing leaves ‘pits’ in the surface that catch and retain dirt and algae.  Remember, your pool’s cement interior is a very thin decorate veneer that is often only 3-7mm thick. Therefore, if an acid wash is done incorrectly it will permanently damage the pool and make future cleaning much harder.


Why Choose Us?

Because you can speak to a stain specialist about your pool stain today. There is no cost or obligation and we are happy to look at pictures and talk with you before we come out or send a kit. Email pictures to or call us.

How to acid wash a pool

The following instructions and video will show you step by step how to acid wash a pool.  We strongly suggest having at least one other person help you through the acid wash process.  Here is how to acid wash your pool. Before you start, here is what you will need to do the job properly.
  • Elbow-length acid-resistant gloves
  • A garden hose that reaches all areas of the pool
  • Protective glasses and breathing mask
  • A submersible pump with an extension cord
  • A good quality pool brush with pole
  • Large watering can
  • 4 kgs of soda ash or buffer
  • 20-30 litres of hydrochloric or muriatic acid
  • Quality knee length (rubber) gumboots
  • A person to help you

Once you have these supplies in place you are ready to start the acid wash process.  It is important that you do not use more acid than is needed to remove the stains.  So we suggest starting with a low ratio of acid and water and add more acid if required.  For example, some pools are cleaned perfectly with 20% acid and 80% water. On the other hand, other stains may need pure acid to be removed.

  1. Drain the pool water and remove all debris from the pool using a submersible pump, brush and a hose.
  2. Mix hydrochloric acid (30%) and water (70%) to start with and increase the acid ratio if required and pour into a watering can.
  3. Wet the pool floor with the hose and then pour the acid mixture from the highest point using a watering can working your way down the pool toward the deep end.
  4. Rinse off the acid 15-20 seconds after it is first applied using a brush and the hose.
  5. Once the floor is complete then wet the walls of the pool and pour your acid mixture starting at the top using the same method as the floor.
  6. Work systematically and uniformly over the entire pool surface to keep the finish consistent. Don’t stop halfway through.
  7. Keep the submersible pump at the deep end of the pool running continually to clear out any water.  This will remove the excess acidic water during the acid wash.

How to acid wash your pool

“Did you know that the average pool interior costs around $9,000 to replace?  Most acid wash crews will admit that the first few pools they acid washed did not look very good at the end.  It usually takes several pools and some good supervision to get it right”

How to acid wash your swimming pool – without destroying it

As mentioned on this page, we strongly suggest being very careful through the process of acid washing your swimming pool.  This is because permanent damage will result from an excess of acidic water running or pooling in parts of the surface.  Remember to watch several videos on how to acid wash your pool before starting the process.  Also, have some buffer (sodium bicarbonate) handy to neutralize the water near the pump is a great idea.  This will stop the surface from being etched in the areas where water is pooling.

The video shows this being done as part of the process.  Remember, acidic water will eat into the surface of your pool unless it is rinsed away or neutralized with buffer. Above all, most acid wash disasters happen because of poor preparation or a lack of needed equipment.  Before you start the job, make sure you have everything you need.