Acid washes, otherwise known as chemical washes, are designed to freshen the plaster, remove stains, algae and dirt, but not etch the plaster. There are two major kinds of washes, acid and chlorine.
Chlorine washes are designed specifically to target algae on the surface of the plaster, and it can help lighten and bleach the plaster.
Acid washes are designed to remove stains and some mineral deposits and remove and lift out dirt stains, but not algae.
There is a big difference in the types of acid washes. Pool People uses a blended mix that has polymers, buffers and whiteners. Other companies may not be as careful and decide to use straight acid. While it makes your pool look great at first (better than our blended mix), it strips the top coat off the plaster or pebble coat. Within 90 days, your pool will look worse than it did before the acid wash. And it’ll be harder to clean with regular maintenance. That is because the straight acid actually etches the plaster or pebble tech, allowing dirt to get deeper into the now rough surface. That rough surface will be like a magnet for dirt and you’ll end up being one of the testimonials of why acid washing was one of the worst things you ever did.
We recommend hiring a reputable pool company for either process. We’ve had clients try it on their own, with disastrous results. So don’t try this at home!
On a side note: Neither wash will remove the calcium at the water line. The only thing that will work, if it is really light, are a few chemicals we carry at the Pool People store. However, if you can’t see the color of the tile through the calcium, the only thing that works is a pumice stone and a ton of elbow grease or a process like sandblasting that will not only take the calcium off, but also polish the tile. At Pool People, we use glass beads, rather than sand, because they polish the tile so well. Be sure to have the pool company doing this recover the glass beads with their own system, rather than your pool system.
If you have questions about acid washing, feel free to contact Pool People in Glendale, Arizona. We’ll be happy to help you select the appropriate wash for your pool, as well as assist with getting rid of that pesky calcium line. Pool People provides regular pool and spa cleaning, pool and spa maintenance, pool remodeling, pool and spa repairs, as well as tile cleaning for residents of the Northwest Valley in Phoenix. We also have a fully stocked pool store at 5830 W. Thunderbird Rd., Suite B-6, Glendale, AZ.