How To Remove Pool Stains Without Draining?

How To Remove Pool Stains Without Draining? [Answered]

Pool stains are one of the most annoying conditions a pool can develop aside from algae.

Because they are difficult to remove manually and can seem to reappear soon after removal, many pool owners give up on treating pool stains and simply see them as something that they have to learn to live with.

In this article, we’ll discuss how to remove pool stains without draining your pool by identifying the type of stain that you have present and applying an appropriate stain-removal solution.

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Identifying Your Pool Stains

Not all pool stains are the same. There are two main varieties of stains: organic and inorganic.

Organic stains form as a result of broken down natural debris, such as leaves, tree nuts, and twigs. This organic matter releases strong tannins as it breaks down, and these tannins can form stains on the surfaces of your pool.

Inorganic stains are typically either composed of metal or calcium. The most common dissolved metal that causes stains in pools is iron, but other possible culprits are copper and manganese. You may also develop calcium scale, which is a type of stain.

To identify your pool’s stains, perform a scrub test. To perform one, simply scrub the stained areas in question with a stiff-bristled brush. If the stain shows signs that it is being removed by the scrubbing, it is organic. Inorganic stains are resistant to scrubbing; they cannot be removed by brushing alone even though they may show slight changes.

How To Clean Pool Stains Without Draining

Select A Stain Removal Product

To clean pool stains without draining, you will need a pool stain remover.

To determine what stain remover works best in your situation, it is best to diagnose the type of stain present in your pool.

Serious Stain Remover is our top choice for organic stains, although it also works well on those caused by metals. If you are unable to identify the type of stains that you have, we recommend LoChlor Multi Stain Remover for best overall performance.

If you have metal stains that are brown in colour, including orange or reddish hues of brown, these are likely caused by iron. Iron stains are some of the most difficult ones to remove, so we recommend using an Iron Stain Remover specifically.

Using The Stain Remover

To use a stain remover, be sure to follow the instructions provided on the packaging of the product you have chosen. These products are all similar in their usage instructions because they do not require draining the pool to remove stains, but each product contains unique chemicals and should always be handled with care as advised.

Most stain removers require that you perform a backwash and then shut off your pool’s pump and filter system. Afterwards, you will add the correct dose of stain remover to your pool by spreading the solution around the edges, if possible.

Once the stain remover has been added, you will leave your pool’s pump shut off for up to 72 hours. During this period, the product will work to remove the stains in your pool. Afterwards, you can run your filter as normal.


Lower pH typically improves the effectiveness of stain removers. Consult with your product’s packaging to make sure this is appropriate for the solution you have chosen.

If it is, consider adding small amounts of hydrochloric acid to your pool before applying your stain removal product. By creating more acidic water conditions, you are helping your stain remover to work more efficiently.


Pool stains are an annoyance that can ruin the appearance of your pool and are often difficult to remove. Although many stain removal options require removing the water from your pool, there are ways you can remove pool stains without draining.

Do you have any questions about how to clean pool stains without draining? Get in touch with us in the contact section, we’ll do our best to help you out!

Louis from Pool Advisor


A chemical engineer by trade, Louis is committed to debunking myths in the pool industry by explaining the underlying chemistry and making it accessible to all.