What Is Building Up on Your Waterline Tiles?


Waterline tiles are often subjected to dirt and other materials that are commonly building up on the pool’s surface. In fact, staining can occur when there is a chemical imbalance in your pool caused by organic material like soil and leaves clinging to the surface for an extended period of time.

When pool water evaporates, you can expect calcium deposits on the sides of the pool. The calcium build-up will appear as a grey-white coloured scum, and it is very hard to remove. There are two types of calcium scaling that you may find on your pool’s waterline tiles:

  • Calcium silicate

Calcium silicate is harder to remove than calcium carbonate because it won’t react to various chemical solutions like muriatic acid. This type of scaling can be removed using a pumice stone and some elbow grease.

  • Calcium Carbonate

This type of scaling will appear as a flaky white crust on the surface. It will usually bubble up if you apply muriatic acid to the affected area. Unlike calcium silicate, it is fairly easy to remove it using a stain eraser.

So, depending on the type of scaling and stain build-up on your pool, cleaning waterline tiles is not that hard to do, but it can be time-consuming. However, if you are experiencing extensive discolouration on your tiles, it is recommended that you work in small increments at a time. This will minimise the number of algae and grime build-up in your pool.

Other steps you can take to clean your waterline pool tiles:

  • Remove any organic materials at the surface of your pool

You should clean away any debris or organic material that has built up on the surface including leaves, soil, or grass clippings. You can use a vacuum to speed up the cleaning process.

  • Always Brush your waterline tiles

For this purpose, you can use a stiff brush since it can effectively remove calcium carbonate, working quickly in circulating movements. You can also try a toothbrush on glass tiles.

  • Use a cleaner

In most cases, the dirt and grime in your pool is only minimal, so it is recommended that you use natural and homemade cleaners like baking soda, vinegar with water, or toothpaste to remove deposits.

To prevent scratching, it is essential to work gently and keep the tiles and the pumice stone wet while you are scrubbing. For tough stains, you may need to use a commercial tile cleaner or sulfamic acid-based cleaning products. Although these are very acidic and harsh cleaning solutions, so you should use them with caution.


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