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The Most Annoying Swimming Pool Stain (And How To Prevent It)

Swimming pools can accumulate a wide range of stains, especially if you aren’t committed to regular swimming pool maintenance. But there is one swimming pool stain that is both hard to repair and easy to prevent: the top step stain. This is a brown or gray stain you get at—you guessed it—the top of your swimming pool’s steps. It’s bad, it’s ugly, and it drives most swimming pool service professionals crazy, mostly because it is 100% preventable.

These stains detract from the overall beauty of your swimming pool. And it’s always a shame when we have to tell a pool owner that there is no simple fix. So don’t let this happen to you. The best way to deal with the top-step swimming pool stain is to prevent it before it happens.

What Causes a Top Step Swimming Pool Stain

That stain on your pristine plaster is the result of concentrated chlorine. Chlorine tablets, like those used in a chlorine floater, have a pH of 2.8, making them highly acidic. Normally, that’s not a problem because the chlorine is diluted in your pool water. The walls and floor of your pool are never exposed to the 2.8 pH of the tablets. But when your chlorine floater drifts over to your pool’s top step and gets trapped, the shallow water becomes hyperchlorinated, with a dangerously low pH. The concentrated chlorine eats away at your plaster and leaves that nasty stain.

Another issue is that when swimming in a chlorinated pool, the chlorine breaks down into molecules that can attach themselves to dirt, debris, and other objects in the water. When these particles become lodged on top of your swimming pool step, they form an iron oxide-like stain.

Because the stain is caused by corrosion, it’s not easy to fix. The only answer is to replace the affected plaster. Sometimes you can patch the stained plaster. But that may still leave a mark. If you really want your pool to look the way it did before the stain, you would need to drain and resurface the pool. That is a large and expensive job. Most pool owners just choose to live with the stain.

But this stain is incredibly easy to prevent. While your pool is still unstained, and especially if you’re starting to see discoloration in your pool’s top step, here’s how you can protect it from any further staining:

Using A Tall/Deep Chlorine Tab Floater

This has pool owners kicking themselves. The solution for—and the best way to prevent—this stain is to use a tall or deep chlorine floater. Spend about $5 more on your floater to get one that is taller than the depth of the water at your top step. That way, as the floater approaches your top step, it won’t be able to settle there and cause a stain. Instead, it will bounce off, preventing an ugly stain from appearing altogether.

Thus, one easy way to prevent this type of swimming pool stain is by using a tall or deep chlorine tab floater. The taller the floater, the better chance of preventing stains from forming on your swimming pool steps. The chlorine tablets also help keep your swimming pool clean and safe for swimming by killing any harmful bacteria or viruses that may be present in the water.

The Most Annoying Swimming Pool Stain (And How To Prevent It) [infographic]

Avoid a swimming pool stain and keep your steps pristine with regular cleaning.

Keeping Debris Out Of The Pool

The top step stain is almost always a chlorine burn. But another common cause of a swimming pool stain is debris, such as leaves, dirt, and insects. If debris like leaves accumulates, it can start to decompose and stain the plaster. This is why it is so important to ensure your swimming pool is consistently skimmed and vacuumed to avoid unsightly stains.

Therefore, another way to keep swimming pool stains from forming is to keep your swimming pool free from debris like leaves, grass clippings, and other organic materials. If they are allowed to remain in the water for extended periods of time, they can cause staining on your swimming pool steps. To prevent this, make sure you clean out your swimming pool regularly using a skimmer net or vacuum cleaner.

If you’re having trouble keeping up with your swimming pool cleaning tasks, you can always hire a professional to take swimming pool maintenance off your plate.

Hiring A Swimming Pool Maintenance Company

Another way to effectively prevent ANY stains in your gorgeous swimming pool—including a top step stain—is by hiring a professional swimming pool services company for regular maintenance.

At The Pool Butler, we offer weekly, bi-weekly, and monthly pool maintenance plans. Our experts are highly trained and have the necessary commercial-grade cleaning tools to keep your pool looking its very best.

By hiring The Pool Butler for regular maintenance, you ensure your pool runs at peak performance all season long. We handle everything from keeping your filters clean to ensuring your pool’s mechanics are fully functioning.

The Pool Butler has been servicing pools all over Atlanta and the surrounding communities for years. Our experts have the know-how to repair any swimming pool issue and can offer you the widest range of additional swimming pool services in the area.

These services include annual equipment checks, automation repair and installation, booster pump repairs and installation, complete pool and spa leak detection, pump motor repairs, and much more. To see all of the services we offer at The Pool Butler, click here.

If you’re ready to take your swimming pool to the next level, contact The Pool Butler today to learn more about any of the pool services we offer. Or, to see what some of our past customers are saying about their experience with The Pool Butler, visit our testimonials page.

The Pool Butler