House Grail is reader-supported. When you buy via links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commission at no cost to you. Learn more.

How to Remove Calcium Scale From Your Pool (Fast & Easy)

poolside with calcium scales

poolside with calcium scales

You noticed some calcium buildup in your pool and want to know how to remove it and if it’s safe to swim.

We are here to answer those questions for you.

Luckily this is not one of those articles that breaks down the chemical makeup of calcium before it gets to the point of how to get rid of it. That being said, there are a few things that need to be addressed before getting to the removal steps.

If you have a calcium scale in your pool most times, it is a simple removal process that won’t cause you to miss any swimming days.

divider 4 Why Do I Have Calcium Scale in My Pool?

Your calcium scale is a problem because your pH is a problem. If your pH levels are off for some time, the calcium will start to develop. At the point when the scale is visible, you will need to remove it in addition to fixing the pH levels in your pool. Keep in mind pH should be between 7.4 and 7.6 at all times.

The 2 Types of Calcium Scale

Unfortunately, not all calcium scale is created equal. The two main types are calcium carbonate and calcium silicate. We will break down a bit more information about these.

  • Calcium carbonate is caused by pH levels being off in the pool water. This type of calcium scale looks flaky, and it can be easy to chip off even just using your fingers. This type of calcium buildup is the easier type to remove
  • Calcium cilicate is again caused by pH levels that are off, but unfortunately, it is much harder to remove than calcium carbonate. The calcium silicate is a white/grey color, and if it is left, untreated will spread to pipes and filtration. As you might have already guessed, if you are at the point that you may have a calcium buildup in the pipe systems, you will likely need professional help.

divider 4

How Can I Tell Which Type of Calcium Scale I Have?

You can test your calcium scale using muriatic acid. Carefully take a small amount of muriatic acid and drop it onto the scale buildup.

If it starts to bubble or foam, you have calcium carbonate (and you should be feeling pretty lucky at this point).

Removal of Calcium Carbonate

Before you can start the removal process, make sure to get the pH level in the pool correct. There is no sense in working hard to get this fixed if the conditions for keeping it away are not ideal.

The first step is to use a calcium descaling spray to help loosen up the area that you are going to work on. Unfortunately, just spraying the area is not going to fix the problem; you are going to need a little elbow grease.

Piranha Water Pool Tile and Shower Calcium Descaling Spray - Biodegradable Rust Mineral Buildup...
  • HARD WATER STAIN AND CALCIUM REMOVAL: Easily removes lime and calcium residue, water stains, and other mineral buildups from hard to...
  • CLEANING SPRAY: Spray allows for use in hard-to-reach areas and provides a variety of different ways for light duty clean up.
  • MULTI-SURFACE CLEANER: Cleans bathrooms, bathtubs, shower enclosures, tiles, stones, pool walls, and glass.

If you have a concrete pool or the calcium buildup is on the tile, the best way to scrub it is with a pumice stone. If you have a vinyl pool, a pumice stone is not going to work. When working with the pumice stone, you will find the best results keeping the area wet the entire time you are working. When it dries out, you could see some scratching, and you don’t want to leave yourself with damage after the calcium is gone.

If you have a vinyl pool or are looking to do a little less scrubbing, there is a treatment you can use; it will just take longer to see the results. A descaler removal gel is a great way to get those tricky spots that cannot be addressed by scrubbing. This type of gel will stick to the surface and work to break down the calcium and other stains. A descaling gel like this one works on lime, water stains, and other buildup in addition to calcium.

Piranha Water Swimming Pool Stain Remover and Descaler - Hard Water Stain and Calcium Removal Gel -...
  • BIODEGRADABLE STAIN REMOVER: Easily removes lime and calcium residue, water stains, and other mineral buildups.
  • CLEANING GEL: Sticks to vertical surfaces allowing for a variety of different uses and longer treatment time.
  • MULTI-SURFACE CLEANER: Cleans pool walls, bathtubs, tiles, stones, and glass surfaces.

Removal of Calcium Silicate

Calcium silicate is the more annoying of the two types of calcium deposits found in pools. The only reliable and effective way to remove calcium silicate is a pumice stone and a lot of scrubbing. If your calcium is on concrete or tile, this shouldn’t be too much of a problem. If, however, you have a vinyl pool with a substantial calcium silicate buildup, you are likely in a situation that you will need to call in a professional.

Pool companies have chemicals they can use to slowly breakdown the calcium silicate on the walls of your pool. The problem is that the process is prolonged. Having a professional monitor this process and make sure that it is moving in the right direction is your best bet.

Although there are some chemicals, you can try on your own to remove calcium silicate issues on vinyl surfaces you are going to want to test them in a small location to make sure it does not stain or damage your liner in any way. We always recommend keeping some extra scraps of your pool liner when issues like this arise, and you need a safe spot to test something.

swimming pool
Photo by Greg Rivers on Unsplash

Keeping Calcium Deposits Away

Now that your calcium scaling is all cleared up, it’s time to make sure it never happens again!

Although your arms are looking a bit more muscular from all of that pumice scrubbing, this is not something you want to deal with continually.

Make sure the pH in your pool is always perfect. We recommend testing your pool water frequently even if it looks perfect; there could be issues going on that you can’t see right away.

You may want to consider getting a pool cover to put on the pool when it is not in use. When pool water evaporates, it can leave behind calcium deposits. The less evaporating water, the less your pool will get those annoying calcium deposits.

If you seem to struggle with this issue quite often, you can use a calcium prohibitor or blocker to keep it out of the water. If you have never had this issue before, we don’t recommend going down this route, but if you find yourself continually struggling with calcium buildup, it might be the way to go.

Puri Tech Pool Chemicals 25 lb Calcium Hardness Increaser Plus for Swimming Pools & Spas Increases...
  • BRAND NEW PACKAGING: All Puri Tech Chemicals now come in resealable bags for easy storage!
  • ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Calcium Chloride
  • RAISES CALCIUM in swimming pool water.Calcium Hardness level prevents foaming, equipment and surface erosion and scaling.

divider 4


When dealing with calcium buildup in your pool, you have a few options for both treatment and prevention.

The most important thing to remember when dealing with any pool issue is to make sure you don’t leave yourself with a bigger problem than you started with. Be very careful with chemicals and scrubbing on your pool surfaces of all types. Scratches and stains on tile are permanent and a more significant issue to fix than calcium buildup.

Featured Image: MILKOVÍ on Unsplash


Related posts

OUR categories

Project ideas

Hand & power tools