Pool store says to use CLR for calcium buildup on tile?

estogo

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Jul 14, 2009
34
Houston
I went to my local pool store to get something to get rid of the calcium buildup I am developing on my tile. They suggested using CLR. I fi
gure I could trust them because they didn't try to sell me something when they could have but wanted to get some advice from you guys. Thanks.
 

duraleigh

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Not likely CLR will touch it. Muriatic acid mixed with water is the best. Start with a 5:1 ratio of water to acid. It'll probably take closer to 3:1 before it's strong enough to work. It'll foam up when you get it strong enough. If you haven't messed with it before, ask questions...it'll burn you.
 

estogo

Active member
Jul 14, 2009
34
Houston
Nope, never used it other than pouring some in the deep end to balance chemistry. So, gloves? Sponge? (Don't like the calcium but like my fingers....)

My buddy has some kind of spray stuff (hasn't gotten me the name yet) that he bought at a pool store. He uses a sponge/scrubber thing but no gloves so it probably isn't as powerful as the MA.

Thanks for all of the help...
 

TizMe

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Aug 26, 2007
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Covington, Georgia
If you get the MA from the store and mix it yourself then you are sure of the strength.
I would for sure wear gloves, sfety glasses - yep !. Sponge not sure on, stuff might eat it,.perhaps a rag? But someone who has used MA before (I havent needed to yet) should answer your questions shortly ....
 
G

Guest

CLR contains both lactic acid and gluconic acid along with solvents and surfactants. Both of these acids can attack calcium ( lactic acid is what is responsible for tooth decay!) and can act as chelating agents. (CLT stands for Caclium, Lime, and Rust so the product is designed for scale and rust problems) However, I do not know if there would be any adverse effects on pool water so I would not recmmend its use in a pool.
 

estogo

Active member
Jul 14, 2009
34
Houston
TizMe said:
Guess you still cant trust them can you ? :shock:
LOL - I agree. I did pout a little CLR on a buildup on top of my coping and it seemed to dissolve ok. I'll try the MA and see if that does better.

I need to get a spray bottle or something because the worst parts are in the crevice where the tile meets the underside of the coping...
 

duraleigh

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Estogo,

The key for me when I handle muriatic is to always be prepared to immediately dilute it.

So, it you spill a little on your jeans, immediately splash a big volume of water on it. You might save the jeans and you will surely save the burn.

Same thing on your skin....if you get it on you, dip your hand (or whatever) in the pool.

I have used it while in the pool. With goggles to protect your eyes, that's pretty safe 'cause you can submerge yourself if it gets on you.

It eats any ferrous metal, most cloth, and many brushes. Plastic is almost universally immune.

Always add the muriatic to the water....not the reverse.

Stay upwind when pouring, if you get a whiff of it, you will not soon forget it. It won't harm you but it is an attention getter.

Other than all the above, the stuff is harmless :shock: :shock:
 

estogo

Active member
Jul 14, 2009
34
Houston
duraleigh said:
Estogo,

The key for me when I handle muriatic is to always be prepared to immediately dilute it.

So, it you spill a little on your jeans, immediately splash a big volume of water on it. You might save the jeans and you will surely save the burn.

Same thing on your skin....if you get it on you, dip your hand (or whatever) in the pool.

I have used it while in the pool. With goggles to protect your eyes, that's pretty safe 'cause you can submerge yourself if it gets on you.

It eats any ferrous metal, most cloth, and many brushes. Plastic is almost universally immune.

Always add the muriatic to the water....not the reverse.

Stay upwind when pouring, if you get a whiff of it, you will not soon forget it. It won't harm you but it is an attention getter.

Other than all the above, the stuff is harmless :shock: :shock:
Thanks for the great info...I've gotten a good whiff of it before when I was little and agree...unpleasant. :)

What about some kind of plastic bristled brush to apply it with? Like some have said, I'm sure it would eat right through a sponge...
 

PaulR

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Jan 11, 2009
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Cupertino, CA
If I may be permitted a very slight digression... would diluted muriatic be reasonable for treating calcium buildup on fiberglass as well? I saw a question in another forum about dealing with calcium buildup in a spa.
--paulr
 

duraleigh

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What about some kind of plastic bristled brush to apply it with?
I have seen in either HD or Lowe's an acid brush" just like you describe.

A fiberglass pool? I have no idea.....that's a good question. tho, and would be helpful to many to know the answer.
 
G

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duraleigh said:
A fiberglass pool? I have no idea.....that's a good question. tho, and would be helpful to many to know the answer.
In a word, yes. Ditto for an acrylic spa.
 

AnnaK

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Safety glasses.

Gloves for chemical application (rubber or PVC gloves) - they're either green or purple, I forgot, sold at HD or Lowe's.

An old toothbrush or a nail brush.

I'd be careful about putting it in a spray bottle. You can get splash back into your face if you set the nozzle to 'stream'. If you set it to 'fine spray' you could easily inhale the droplets if you have any air movement and they drift. I would pour some of the diluted acid into a wide mouth plastic jar (mayonaise jar?) and dip the brush in it.

Muriatic acid fumes paralyse the diaphragm. When it comers in contact with bleach it produces chlorine gas. In the dilutions we're dealing with here, i.e., a little bleach in a lot of pool water, you'll probably be ok but it might be a good idea to run a fan and blow the fumes away from the area where you're working.
 

estogo

Active member
Jul 14, 2009
34
Houston
Hey guys,

Wanted to let you know what I wound up doing. I got a plastic spray bottle and poured undiluted CLR in it. Did a great job of disolving the buildup in the tough to reach areas (where the bottom of the coping meets the top of the tile.

So this beings up a question. What causes the buildup? It seems to be running in a few veins on my flagstone too.

Pool is new (completed in Nov 08) and I wonder if that could havesomething to do with it?

(none of my readings are "out of band" since switching to BBB)
 

duraleigh

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I am very pleased (and surprised) to hear the CLR worked for you. It is certainly far easier (safer) than muriatic and I'll suggest it more frequently.

(none of my readings are "out of band" since switching to BBB)
What are your pH and CH results?
 

phstemptx

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Jun 5, 2012
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I have used CLR and an attachment from home depot for my cordless drill its a soft steel brush. it took off the calcium better then the MA mixture.
then i shined the tile with white vinegar. This was all on an empty pool
 

Rezolution

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Jun 8, 2016
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Allentown/PA
I am very pleased (and surprised) to hear the CLR worked for you. It is certainly far easier (safer) than muriatic and I'll suggest it more frequently.

What are your pH and CH results?
I just checked this on the CLR website. They say that you should never use CLR when Chlorine is present.

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Can I use CLR in my swimming pool?

No. Mixing CLR with chlorine (or any other household chemical) is not safe and could result in toxic fumes.


Can CLR be used on pool tile?

Unfortunately, we do not recommend using CLR on pool tile. It could remove the finish from the tile. In addition, if CLR comes in contact with chlorine, it could result in toxic fumes.

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Taken from: http://www.thecarycompany.com/facility-supplies/cleaners/clr/faq
 

tim5055

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I just checked this on the CLR website. They say that you should never use CLR when Chlorine is present.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Can I use CLR in my swimming pool?

No. Mixing CLR with chlorine (or any other household chemical) is not safe and could result in toxic fumes.


Can CLR be used on pool tile?

Unfortunately, we do not recommend using CLR on pool tile. It could remove the finish from the tile. In addition, if CLR comes in contact with chlorine, it could result in toxic fumes.

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Taken from: http://www.thecarycompany.com/facility-supplies/cleaners/clr/faq
While this is an old thread and we generally refrain from bumping old threads you have added great information.

Thanks!!
 

normie

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May 31, 2016
20
PA
I've used a regular dish scrub sponge, while it didn't "eat right through" it showed that it was dissolving bits of the sponge..

97 cents to put a little mechanical cleaning into the chemical reaction isn't a waste if you ask me. Just get good chem resistant gloves.