4+ Simple Ways to Remove Copper Stains from Your Pool

Removing copper stains from a pool involves using muriatic acid or citric acid, a robotic pool cleaner, or ready-to-use dissolvents, considering the water’s chemistry and following safety precautions.

how to remove copper stains from pool

Did you know there are simple ways to remove copper stains from your pool? Regrettably, there are numerous ways a swimming pool can become stained from copper, including ordinary products added to the water, such as copper-based algaecides.

Using pool salts that are subpar in quality, copper pipes, pools with chlorine-free systems, and bore water sources (known as aquifers) are other ways your swimming pool can become stained inconspicuously.

Let’s discover how to remove copper stains from pool surfaces, including fiberglass, glass tiles, quartz, and more.

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1. Muriatic Acid

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Muriatic acid is a chemical used to assist in copper stain removal in swimming pools with chlorine-based systems. Ideally, the concentration of copper in the water should be 0 ppm to 0.2 ppm.

However, to ensure superb results, digitally testing copper in your swimming pool water is a quick and easy process.

After digitally checking the water by following the brand’s directions, the display should show a pH between 7.2 and 7.6.

A reading above these numbers can indicate that calcium hardness is too high and should be approximately 200 to 400 ppm (parts per million).

The water’s alkalinity should be in the middle of 100 to 150 ppm (preferably 125 parts per million) on your digital tester, pool water test strips, or water test kit.

The correct balance helps to prevent high copper levels. If you find that the pH of the water is too high, you can lower it by adding muriatic acid (swimming pool formulated) and removing copper stains too.

When using this solution, wear safety gear to prevent skin burns, respiratory issues, and other potential health troubles. Standard gear you should incorporate is goggles for safety, acidic tolerant gloves, an apron that’s chemical resistant, and a facemask to block any fumes.

Before adding pool-formulated muriatic acid, set the pool’s water pump to circulate. This setting will help to disperse every drop of muriatic acid.

Also, to ensure all the pool’s water features are not on, this is done to prevent a rise of water pH due to air entering the water.

When your pool’s pH is correct, relatively new copper stains can readily dissolve.

Always follow the instructions on any bottle of muriatic acid. It is imperative not to mix brands or combine different products containing muriatic acid simultaneously. Instructions for this chemical can vary between each producer or brand.

2. Citric Acid

Milliard Citric Acid 2 Pound - 100% Pure Food Grade Non-GMO Project Verified (2 Pound)

Citric acid can aid in removing older copper stains. However, for several key reasons, citric acid should not be confused with ascorbic acid.

A chemical reaction between copper and ascorbic acid will turn brown copper stains black. Therefore, testing your pool water to reveal what metal types you need to clean, along with pH and alkalinity, is essential.

Also, water in the pool may switch from slightly brown to a deep black hue if copper levels are high after using ascorbic acid. Therefore, ascorbic acid is best for iron-based swimming pool stains. If you wonder how to remove copper stains from pool surfaces, then citric acid can eliminate your problem.

3. Robotic Pool Cleaner

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Robotic pool cleaners are available in various models and have several high-end features. For example, automatic pool cleaners can scrub your pool with enough pressure without being too abrasive.

This simple and automatic cleaning solution can help eliminate copper stains with regular use alongside proper pool cleaners and chemicals to remove copper stains.

4. Ready-To-Use Dissolvents

Clorox Pool&Spa Scale, Metal & Stain Control 32 oz

Ready-to-use products for copper stains are available in a variety of brands. Each brand will have specific steps to follow to ensure the best results in the quickest way possible. Sometimes, there are kits that you can purchase with ready-to-use stain dissolvents for convenience.

A dissolvent can seemingly melt away copper stains. Higher quality dissolvents are a crucial addition to removing the excess copper from the swimming pool’s water.

Several products under this umbrella of copper stains solutions are available in liquid or powder form. It is essential to follow all instructions for overall safety. Many of these products are available in step-by-step packages.

Reasons Why Stain Identification Can Generate Better Results

When contemplating removing copper stains from a pool, you should select the best remedy. Many remedies tell how to extract copper stains from pool surfaces. However, most solutions for clearing this specific stain can be ineffective.

For example, copper stains can be reflected in a variety of colors and can be easily mistaken for algae! The color of copper stains can present themselves in a pool as the following:

  • Greenish Blue
  • Deep Teal or Blue
  • Light or Deep Reddish-Brown
  • Black
  • Blueish Grey
  • Purple
  • Yellowish Brown

You should first test your pool’s water to clarify how to remove copper stains from a swimming pool. Metal stains share several similar color expressions in pool water and as stains on pool surfaces.

For instance, black stains could be copper stains in your pool. Unfortunately, though, at least four other metals share this characteristic.

The metals that share the trait of black staining include nickel, iron, manganese, and cobalt. Therefore, you should always test your pool’s ph., calcium levels and initiate a test with a stain identification kit for metals.

Frequently Asked Questions

For copper stains, using the right chemicals when cleaning your pool is essential to prevent any damage and to remain safe. These are some frequently asked questions to help. 

How to remove copper stains from pool surfaces?

When removing copper stains from pool surfaces, it is imperative to use a ready-made dissolvent. You can use citric acid or muriatic acid. Incorporating a robotic pool brush or manually brushing the surface of your pool may help in addition to these solutions.

Is copper biodegradable?

No. If not removed, the copper will build up over time to a saturation point upwards of 0.4 ppm. The saturation levels will depend on the pH levels of your swimming pool and its alkalinity. 

Why is copper found in pools?

If you have an older pool that utilizes copper pipes, the pipes can degrade, and copper will be in the pool’s water. Also, unofficial toys not created for pool use can distribute deposits into the water. Also, some types of pool equipment may have metal parts and can release tiny amounts of copper. 

Do natural remedies such as bleach to clean copper stains work?

No, bleach cannot clear copper stains from your pool because the reaction is deficient. 

More FAQs

How do you remove copper stains from pool surface?

To remove copper stains from the pool surface, start by turning off the pump system and bypassing the timer. Then, reduce the chlorine level to below 0.3 ppm either by using a chlorine neutralizer or refraining from adding sanitizer for a few days. Additionally, lower the pH to 7.2 and add Super Stain Treat™. Next, thoroughly brush the affected areas. Finally, rebalance the pool’s chemical levels.

What is the best copper remover for pools?

The best copper remover for pools is FillFast Pool & Spa, which can be used on both city water and well water. FillFast is particularly effective for topping off your pool and spa water using just one hose. It has the capability to eliminate up to 90% of stain-causing metals such as iron, copper, and manganese.

What is the best cleaner for copper stains?

The best cleaner for copper stains is a mixture of vinegar, flour, and salt. To make a thick paste, combine one-quarter cup of salt and one-quarter cup of flour, then add vinegar until the desired consistency is achieved. Apply the paste onto the copper surface and gently polish it using a microfiber cloth until it becomes shiny. Finally, ensure to thoroughly wash and dry the copper surface.

What do copper stains look like in a pool?

Copper stains in pools typically manifest as light green or light brown/grey discolorations on the pool’s surface, resembling green algae. As a result, some pool owners opt to shock dose their pools with chlorine.

Will citric acid remove copper stains from pool?

Citric acid can effectively remove copper stains from a pool.

Does vinegar remove copper corrosion?

Vinegar is effective in removing copper corrosion. It contains acid that can clean copper surfaces. Some people even create a paste with vinegar, flour, or other ingredients to ensure the acid stays on the copper. Additionally, other acidic substances like ketchup and lemon juice can also be used to clean copper and brass.

What color are copper stains in pool?

Copper stains in a pool can have various colors, including blue-green, gray, black, brown, and even purple when cyanuric acid levels are high.

How do you remove green copper oxidation?

The green oxidation on copper can be removed by using acetone, a potent pH neutral solvent capable of dissolving various deposits, including the patina that develops on copper surfaces. To eliminate the green copper oxidation from pipes, all you need to do is apply a small quantity of acetone onto a cloth and gently rub the affected areas.

How do you clean copper with muriatic acid?

The process of cleaning copper with muriatic acid involves soaking the copper in hydrochloric acid for approximately one hour. It is important to note that certain toilet bowl cleaners may contain this acid. The soaking helps eliminate any green or brown oxidation on the copper surface, as well as dissolve any calcite present. After soaking, it is necessary to rinse the copper thoroughly and brush it along with the rock to remove any remaining loose particles.

Why am I getting copper in my pool?

You are getting copper in your pool because the use of a copper based algaecide or running your pool with a slightly corrosive/aggressive water balance can introduce copper into the water. Another possible source of copper could be your pool heater. Ideally, balanced water should have a neutral impact on your pool.

What removes copper from pool?

To remove copper from pool water, the most common method involves adding a chelating agent to the water. This causes the copper ions to gather together, making them easier to capture in the filter. Typically, these products contain phosphoric acids as their main component.

Does vitamin C remove copper stains in pool?

Vitamin C does not remove copper stains in pools. Instead, it can actually worsen the stains by causing them to change from brown to black. Ascorbic acid, which is found in vitamin C, catalyzes the oxidation of copper, resulting in a black color. Therefore, it is important to note that ascorbic acid is only effective in treating iron stains, not copper stains.

What does too much copper in a pool look like?

Too much copper in a pool can be identified by the presence of staining, typically blue or green, on the pool surface. Additionally, excessive amounts of iron can lead to the development of rust spots over a large area of the pool surface.

What is the chelating agent for copper in a pool?

The chelating agent for copper in a pool is Metalfree, which is a highly effective solution for preventing staining and discoloration caused by trace metals like iron and copper. It is recommended to incorporate Metalfree into a carefully planned pool maintenance routine for optimal results.

What dissolves copper?

Copper metal can be dissolved by nitric acid (HNO3), where the nitrate ion oxidizes the copper metal to copper (II) ion. This transformation also leads to the formation of NO2 gas. Subsequently, the copper (II) ion binds with six water molecules.

Will copper stain a pool?

Copper can cause staining in a pool if it is not properly removed or controlled, particularly when the water pH goes beyond 8.3. It is important to note that elevated pH levels lead to the deposition of copper ions onto the pool surface, resulting in discoloration and persistent stains.

How do I get rid of stains in my pool without draining?

To get rid of stains in your pool without draining, you can apply pH down or Sodium Bisulphate to the pool. After spreading the sodium bisulphate around the pool, it is important to immediately scrub the pool. Over the next 3 days, make sure to regularly scrub the pool surfaces and test the pool water to ensure that the pH levels remain low.

Will muriatic acid remove copper stains in pool?

Muriatic acid is capable of removing copper stains in a pool, although the process becomes more challenging when the pool is filled with water. Nowadays, there are tools available that enable the underwater spot treatment of stains using acid.

What is the best stain remover for copper stains?

The best stain remover for copper stains can be easily achieved by utilizing affordable cleaning solutions such as lemon juice & salt, white vinegar & water, or baking soda & water, eliminating the need for costly cleaning products.

How long to soak copper in muriatic acid?

The recommended duration for soaking copper in muriatic acid (hydrochloric) is approximately 1 hour. It is worth noting that certain toilet bowl cleaners may contain this acid. The purpose of this soaking process is to eliminate any green/brown oxidation from the copper and dissolve any calcite present. After soaking, it is essential to thoroughly rinse the copper and brush it along with the rock to ensure the removal of any remaining loose rock.

Does copper dissolve in muriatic acid?

Copper does dissolve in muriatic acid, which is a historical term for hydrochloric acid. When concentrated HCl is present with air, it can be highly corrosive to copper, particularly at higher temperatures.

Will muriatic acid dissolve calcium deposits?

Muriatic acid, a strong hydrochloric-based acid, is effective in dissolving calcium deposits. Its powerful properties make it an excellent descaler, capable of removing stubborn lime and calcium deposits commonly found in pools and toilets.

What does copper in pool look like?

Copper stains in pools can be identified by their appearance, which is typically a light green or light brown/grey stain on the surface. These stains often resemble green algae, prompting some pool owners to treat their pools with a shock dose of chlorine.

Is copper algaecide bad for pools?

Copper algaecide can be detrimental for pools with high copper levels. It is advisable to avoid using copper-sulfate-based algaecides in such cases to prevent staining and scaling caused by excessive metal levels.

Can copper turn my pool green?

Copper can potentially cause my pool to turn green if there is free chlorine present. If there is no free chlorine, algae might be the reason. Additionally, if I observe my pool turning green after adding shock, copper is likely the cause. It is important to note that other minerals like iron and manganese can result in the water appearing brown, pink, or purple.

How do you dissolve copper corrosion?

To dissolve copper corrosion, you can use an acetone solution. One method is to moisten a cloth with acetone and gently wipe the corroded green area. Another effective approach is to rub the oxidation with a piece of light grit emery cloth until the bright copper is visible.

How do you remove metal stains from a pool?

To remove metal stains from a pool, you can sprinkle half a pound of ascorbic acid evenly over the surface of the water for every 10,000 gallons of pool water. Afterward, turn on your filter to circulate the water and let the ascorbic acid work its magic for approximately 30 minutes.

Will muriatic acid remove metal stains from pool?

Muriatic acid is capable of removing metal stains from pools, in addition to its ability to balance pH levels, eliminate mold, eliminate rust stains, remove calcium deposits, and clean pool surfaces.

What chemical removes metals from pool water?

The chemical that effectively removes metals from pool water is a sequestering agent, such as Lo-Chlor Metal Gone, which is highly recommended by pool professionals. This agent binds to the metal particles present in the water, preventing them from causing any staining on the surface of your pool or spa.

Will pool shock remove stains?

Pool shock will not remove stains caused by metals. While organic stains are relatively easy to remove by shocking or super-chlorinating the pool, metal stains require the use of specific chemicals for treatment. It is important to note that chlorine alone is not effective in removing metal stains.

Will ascorbic acid remove copper stains from pool?

The statement is: Ascorbic acid will not remove copper stains from a pool.

Can chlorine dissolve metal?

Chlorine can react with various metals to produce metal chlorides, most of which are soluble in water. However, certain compounds like AgCl and PbCl2 are insoluble. Metals like iron, copper, platinum, silver, and steel are generally unaffected by gaseous or liquid chlorine at temperatures below 230°F.

How do you clean a stained pool without draining it?

The following is a rephrased answer to the question: “How do you clean a stained pool without draining it?”To clean a stained pool without draining it, you can start by applying pH down or Sodium Bisulphate to the pool. Once you have spread the sodium bisulphate around the pool, make sure to immediately scrub the pool. Over the next 3 days, continue scrubbing the pool surfaces regularly and test the pool water frequently to ensure that the pH levels remain low.

Is it safe to swim in a pool with high copper levels?

Rewritten answer: It is not safe to swim in a pool with high copper levels as it can lead to various health issues such as skin irritation, gastrointestinal problems, neurological issues, and even serious conditions like liver cancer. To ensure the safety of pool users, pool owners must regularly clean the pool and take necessary measures to minimize copper levels.

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