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Do-It-Yourself Swimming Pool Tile Cleaning

By April Dowling
Tiled pools add resale value to properties.
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Tiled swimming pools are recognized for their smooth appearances, assorted styles and endurance. Swimming pool tiles are generally installed around a swimming pool’s perimeter at surface level. Whether indoors or outdoors, tiled swimming pools require consistent maintenance for sanitary purposes and aesthetic appeal. Calcium deposits, oils and grime accrue on pool tiles and become fixed to the tiled surfaces over time. Dirty pool tiles not only appear dingy, they attract algae and insects. Clean your swimming pool's tiles weekly to prevent a stubborn scum line from developing at water level along the pool’s perimeter.

Scour the tiles with a hand-held soft-bristle tile brush to loosen and detach calcium scale, grime and algae buildup. Work along the perimeter of the pool, removing as much gunk as possible.

Examine the tiles for remaining scum. If crusty deposits persist, pour nonabrasive chlorine-based tile cleaner onto a nonabrasive sponge. Apply the specific quantity of cleaner suggested by the product’s manufacturer.

Fill a plastic pail with water to rinse the sponge in.

Rub the sponge over the tiles to dislodge the remaining scum and gunk. Work along the pool’s perimeter until the tiles are spotless and shiny. Frequently rinse the sponge in the pail to keep from reapplying gunk to the clean tiles.

Inspect the tiles for remaining spots of unyielding grime. Gently rub a pumice stone over the grime until it loosens from the tiles.


Things You Will Need

  • Soft-bristle hand-held tile brush
  • Nonabrasive chlorine-based tile cleaner
  • Nonabrasive sponge
  • Plastic pail
  • Pumice stone


  • Remove excessive or severe scum with an enzyme pool cleaner. Apply the enzyme cleaner as recommended on the bottle's label.


  • Do not drain the pool to clean the tiles. Draining the pool can seriously damage its foundation and cause leaks.
  • Wire brushes can scratch pool tiles and damage grout.

About the Author


April Dowling first started writing in high school and has written many news articles for newspaper and yearbook publications. She is currently pursuing a career as an online writer and affiliate marketer. Dowling writes for several websites and keeps many blogs.