How to Remove Organic Stains from Swimming Pools

When debris is left on the bottom of the pool they form organic stains. Pigments present in leaves like tannin discolor the surfaces similar to a dye. In this post, we go over the quick way to removing organic stains from your swimming pool.

At a Glance








Using your pool net, skim as much leaves and debris from the pool.


Lower chlorine to 1.0 ppm

Lower your chlorine reading to less than 1.0 ppm by either using chlorine neutralizer or abstaining from adding your sanitizer for a few days.


Add Pool Stain Treat®

Add one (1) bottle of Pool Stain Treat® per 20,000 gallons of pool water.



After 5-10 minutes brush the walls of the pool. One good brush over the wall should be fine. 

What You’ll Need

  • Pool Stain Treat
  • Chlorine Neutralizer (sodium thiosulfate) (optional)
  • Net attachment
  • Brush attachment

Extra Tips

  • For colored plaster, painted fiberglass, exposed aggregate pools you will need to dissolve Pool Stain Treat® in a bucket of water first before pouring it into the swimming pool to prevent discoloration.
  • For widespread staining, dissolve Pool Stain Treat® in a bucket of water and pour around the pool. This will help give an even finish.
  • If your pH is above 7.2, you can go ahead and let your system run. Otherwise, turn off your pump until your raise your pH to at least 7.2.
  • Raise your pH according to the Hamilton Index™ to 7.8 – 8.2. This will help break down organics more quickly before they can form stains.
  • Prevent debris from settling to the bottom by getting in the habit of skimming leaves regularly.
  • Point return jets so that the surface of the water rotates counter-clockwise towards your skimmer inlet (Coriolis Effect). This will help trap more debris on the surface.
  • Consider investing in an automatic pool cleaner that will pick up debris from the surface of the pool.

Still need help?

Still have questions? Need an expert’s advice? Visit our support center for additional documentation and to open a ticket with a Pool Technician.

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