Beware of Scott's Green Max Southern Lawn fertilizer


Dec 10, 2011
Well, no good deed goes unpunished.
Yesterday I have bought some lawn fertilizer and applied around the lawn including next to the pll deck.
When I was swimming late in the evening I have noticed some brownish areas on the pebble walls. Initially I thought it was just dirt and I need to brush and vacuum. To my horror I realized that I can't just brush off those spots and I thought that it may be mustard algae. I dumped four bottles of bleach and was preparing to start the algae battle in the morning when I noticed round brown spots on the deck. :grrrr:
It was the lawn fertilizer that was causing these pool and deck stains!
When I bought it , i saw that it has high iron content, but I could not imagine the it will cause such a heavy staining such quickly. :hammer:
So, lesson for the future - be careful what you spread around the deck and the pool.


Dec 10, 2011



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TFP Expert
LifeTime Supporter
Jun 12, 2009
NW Ohio
Lesson for everybody is to read instructions carefully.
From Scotts Website:

How to Use

1. Fill and Set Spreader

2. Apply evenly to a wet or dry lawn

3. Clean Up - Sweeping product from hard surfaces onto the lawn keeps product on the grass and prevents staining. Their emphasis, not mine.
Live and learn. I have heard good things about using TSP on stone. Friend of mine left a wrench out in the rain and used that to get the rust stain off. Just try not to get the TSP in the pool. I hope you can get that taken care of fairly easily!


Well-known member
Jul 22, 2013
Swartz Creek, MI
I have the same stains on my driveway from ironite. I knew it could stain but I didn't realize how bad and how much. Lesson learned. At least mine is on concrete. I think I can just use some MA.


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 2, 2013
Forsyth, GA
Iron provides a Quick Green, you have to sweep it off your hard surfaces after. It is not easy to get off, I agree this is not Scott's fault, have to read the bag. Not that I read it, but if it is on there you can not blame them.


Well-known member
Jul 22, 2013
I'm sorry to see that happened to you. Having worked in a nursery for several years, I had heard of people inadvertently doing this to their driveways trying to wash the fertilizer away with the hose.

I hope you can get it to clean up alright. Best of luck.

Gator Fan

Jul 6, 2013
Weslaco, TX
We have been in our house two years with a pool. I refuse to even fertilize in the backyard with dogs and wind that can put the fertilizer on the decking. I would rather watch weeds and weak grass than get deck stains.


Well-known member
Feb 24, 2013
OMG! I just died a little when I saw the stains on your travertine! The good news is that you can replace just those pieces of travertine if the TSP doesn't work. I see you're in Houston. We got our deck travertine from QDI stone.


Well-known member
Mar 28, 2012
Tampa Bay, Florida
Add me to the list of the blindsided Greenmax victims. :)
The same thing happened to me. Deep brown stains in my newly surfaced blue granite finished pool and horrendous brown stains on the light colored paver stones.

I've been spending the rest of my weekend cleaning up this mess.
For the pool, I took a plastic water sample container and put 50/50 water and muratic acid in it (filled to the brim). With the lid on, I submerged the container under the water, turned it upside down and with a tight sealing mask on my face, removed the lid with the container upside down and held the container over the stain, moving it around.
How did I stay on the bottom? My wife held the pole with the vacuum head on the floor of the pool firmly while I used my left hand to hold myself down. I had a 5-6" stainless steel wire pool brush already submerged, so after a few seconds, I brought the container up and turned it upright before surfacing, put the container on the deck and went down again, this time scrubbing the stains. I was able to get most of the stains off this way.

For the deck, I am mixing 50/50 muratic acid and water, splashing that on the deck (in small amounts), and doing about 1-2 square feet at at time. I'm using the stainless brush on the pole to scrub the deck and rining it off with water. It is a slow process, but it is working. No doubt that I am removing a tiny bit of the brick agregate along with a little color, but so far so good.

If anybody tries this, know the risks of working with muratic acid. Wear gloves and googles and never add water to acid. The acid will burn your skin and can eat masonary to a small degree and anything metal. The stainless steel brush does not seem to be affected.

One of the most discouraging things is that this fertilizer sticks to your feet and shoes. I unknowingly walked across the yard and then the deck. Now I have more stains on the deck. Yikes!!! Hours wasted.

EDIT: add picture


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In The Industry
Sep 12, 2013
Fresno, CA
Real quick thought here is to use a liquid hose end fertilizer, that way you can control the areas you spray. You might try a very very very very very weak, very, combo of water and muriatic acid to remove those stains. If you try it test it on a spot that is not in direct view first.


Well-known member
May 22, 2011
Dunno how y'all feel about more manual yard labour but I use my Solo backpack sprayer:
( ... ayers.html ) to fertilize. You have to find a soluble liquid fertilizer for the tank but it is very sweet to use around the pool--the sprayer nozzles are precise and you don't get spray where you don't want it, windy days notwithstanding.

You don't get slow release feeding but neither do you track the granules around or cause an algae bloom :)


LifeTime Supporter
Jun 7, 2008
Seattle, WA
Would the same ascorbic acid treatment that is recommended for iron stains in the pool work for this? Maybe spray with solution and cover with plastic overnight?
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