Melting Waterline Scale away... using Bar Keepers Friend as a paste.

DannyHaynes

Member
Aug 6, 2018
6
Spring, TX
Pool Size
22000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
After several failed attempts to clean my waterline with a pumice stone as well as acid, I found a succesful method using Bar Keepers Friend. This requires lowering your waterline a few inches. I used Bar Keepers Friend and water to make small batches of paste. I slathered the paste on about 3 feet of the tile, then pressed thin plastic into it. (I cut 3 or 4 inch wide strips of thin, clear plastic sheeting found in the paint supply department of a box store. You need something light and thin enough to stick to the paste like cling wrap). I applied this to my entire water line, which took a few hours, then I used a green scrub pad and water to scrub it, starting where I first applied it earlier in the day. I scrubbed it a decent amount, but honestly, I don't think I really needed to do much scrubbing at all. I think the acid in Bar Keepers friend had essentially dissoved the scale while it sat covered under the plastic. I used varying amounts of paste, it seemed to work no matter how much paste I applied, so I don't think it's necessary to apply it incredible thick. That might be creating more clean up and waste than needed. My tile was perfectly clean and shiny when I finished. I'm not even sure glass or soda blasting would have brought the shine back as well as this did. I just know it looks great. For maintaince, I'm trying a mixture of gysar tile soap and acid once a week. It takes about 5 minutes with a pole mounted scrub pad. I saw it on a Youtube video posted by a pool guy. He says it will prevent build up. Time will tell... If it works it's worth a few minutes a week.

As always, this may not work for every situation or tile. Make sure you test it on a small inconspicuous area of your tile before doing your whole waterline. I didn't build my pool. I think my tile is ceramic or porcelain, with a textured surface (typical pool tile), circa 2003.

I will note that I had to backwash my filter several times over the following days. I kept a bucket of water on the pool deck and tried to rinse my scrub pad in that bucket and not in the pool. I tried to keep as much Bar Keeper's Friend as possible out of the pool water. I bought this house a year ago and I'm sure the waterline had several years of build up that was being deposited into the water as I cleaned and rinsed the tile. I had also dissolved two large pumice stones trying to scrub this same scale off the day before. I could see the pumice residue on the bottom of the pool. I'm pretty sure the biggest offender for my filter was the pumice stone.

Unfortunately, I didn't take before and after pics. I honestly didn't expect it to work so well after trying so hard using other methods.
 
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DannyHaynes

Member
Aug 6, 2018
6
Spring, TX
Pool Size
22000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
Thanks for writing this up. I hope it helps someone down the road.

Please tell us where you buy the tile soap and what kind of acid you are using as well as ratio and how you are putting it on the area.

Thanks for writing this up. I hope it helps someone down the road.

Please tell us where you buy the tile soap and what kind of acid you are using as well as ratio and how you are putting it on the a

Thanks for writing this up. I hope it helps someone down the road.

Please tell us where you buy the tile soap and what kind of acid you are using as well as ratio and how you are putting it on the area.
It's Hasa brand "Gysar F Tile Brite". It can be purchased several places online. The maufacturer says it can be used alone or mixed three parts Gysar to one part muriatic acid. I mixed about an inch of it in the bottom of a bucket with a lid. Mixed it with a wood paint stir stick. Let it set for a day or two before I first used it. Left the paint stick in the bucket to "butter" it on my scrub pad once and treat the entire pool with it. It doesn't take a lot. It's very concentrated. I saw several reveiws from people who apparently used a lot of it and had suds in their pools for months. I learned about it on this video:
You can see how he mixes and applies it. Again, I just started using it, It will be a year or so before I know if it truly prevents build up. He says in the video that he has been treating the pool in the video for 3 years.

image0 (2).jpeg
Any muriatic acid will work, but I recently bought this and it's nice because it puts of less fumes. That is esecially nice because I'll be keeping this mixture in a bucket to use long term.

image1 (6).jpeg

This is the scrub pad I bought:
 

Mdragger88

Bronze Supporter
Jun 1, 2018
3,150
Hernando, Ms
Pool Size
26000
Surface
Vinyl
Chlorine
Salt Water Generator
SWG Type
Intex Krystal Clear
I have seen the saran wrap method work well for effortless cleaning of multiple things (nasty stoves, floors, bath tubs, faucets etc) but never waterline tile.
Kudos for thinking outside the box!
Be sure to keep your csi in check going forward to prevent future scale. Along with following Recommended Levels
 

DannyHaynes

Member
Aug 6, 2018
6
Spring, TX
Pool Size
22000
Surface
Plaster
Chlorine
Liquid Chlorine
I have seen the saran wrap method work well for effortless cleaning of multiple things (nasty stoves, floors, bath tubs, faucets etc) but never waterline tile.
Kudos for thinking outside the box!
Be sure to keep your csi in check going forward to prevent future scale. Along with following Recommended Levels
Thanks for the CSI tip. I'm relatively new to tile lines and this particular pool. I had a fiberglass pool at my previous house.

I have to admit, I picked the saran wrap idea up online. I was considering buying a calcium releaser. The product demo suggested saran wrap for the tough areas. The video said to keep it wet and let the product do the work. I had read about making a paste of Bar Keepers Friend for stubborn cleaning jobs. I've used it to remove hard water build up on a sink in the past. I combined the two methods and it worked!