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Thread: Which would be best to clean grout...CLR or vinegar (or other acid)?

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    Join Date
    Jul 2014
    Berks County, PA

    Which would be best to clean grout...CLR or vinegar (or other acid)?


    I either have an efflorescence problem and / or calcium deposits on my gray tile grout. It was recommended to me by my builder to try CLR, and yet the manufacturer states to not use it on colored grout. Has anyone used this product? Not really wishing to work with muriatic acid, I was going to try a vinegar / water mix. Any suggestions?

    12,000 gal. Anthony IG pool; 3 ft. shallow end to 6 ft. deep end; Built 1989; Renovated July 2014 using a 10-part unexposed quartz plaster aggregate of 3 S-grade Blue, 3 S-grade Gray, 2 T-grade Blue, 2 T-grade Gray; Apollo VA-52 DE Filter; Hayward SP-2607X10 Super Pump 1-HP Single Speed; Jandy AE-Ti Heat Pump; Taylor K-2006 Test Kit

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    Mod Squad tim5055's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Columbia, SC

    Re: Which would be best to clean grout...CLR or vinegar (or other acid)?

    Well CLR is a combination of Lactic Acid and Lauramine Oxide, but I'm not sure the hazards of that being mixed into your pool water.

    One side of my pool is about 4 feet higher than the other sides, which holds back the yard due to a sloping lot. I constantly have efflorescence issues due to what I believe is ground water migrating through the pool shell/plaster and then the grout on this tiled wall.

    I tried vinegar but it is too weak and just irritated me when I tried to use it.

    I was able to beat it back with a combination of a pumice stone, GENTLY scraping with a common screwdriver and liberal use of muratic acid. I need to ad acid a couple of times a week, so the additional acid was no problem for my chemistry. Many people don't like handling it, but by being careful and thinking about what you are doing before you do it helps a lot. Once you get a good wiff of the fumes you really want to be more careful.....

    I bought a " Purity Pool OS Out Spot Stain Remover " (check Amazon) and found it helps hold acid over an area that needs a lot of help -
    TFP Moderator 39 X 18 23,000(ish) freeform gunite; built 2007ish; Pentair Triton II TR100 600lb Sand filter; 2 HP Pentair pump with 2.2 HP AO Smith single speed motor; 2 skimmers, 1 main drain, 4 returns w/waterfall, Stenner 45MHP2 3GPD running@ 60% - 15 gal Tank; heated by the sun CYA 200+ when I started - 50 now. Dolphin Supreme M5 Pool Cleaner. Hot Springs SX Spa, 285 gallon

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