How to Get Rust Out of Pool Water: Say Goodbye to Rust (2023)

Rust often appears in pool water due to naturally occurring iron (Fe) from local soil and rocks which are washed into the pool with rainwater. High levels of iron in the water is what creates that unsightly red-orange discoloration called iron oxide or “rust”. 

It may vary in intensity depending on the pH level, but usually looks like small orange flecks or larger brownish-red spots across the bottom of your pool and sometimes on surfaces they settle on. If left unchecked, these stains can become extremely difficult to remove and require more intensive methods such as professional abrasion equipment or chemical compounds. So grab your cleaning supplies and let’s jump into it! 

What is Rust in the Pool Water?

If your pool water is anything like the average pool, it contains some level of dissolved minerals, including iron. When water containing dissolved minerals is exposed to oxygen, it can form deposits on surfaces or cause staining. 

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In most cases, these deposits are harmless and can be easily removed. However, if the concentration of dissolved minerals is high enough, the deposits can become hard and difficult to remove.

If you have ever seen a pool with orange or brown stains on the walls or floor, chances are that those stains are caused by rust. Rust occurs when iron in the water reacts with oxygen in the air to form iron oxide, which is a reddish-brown substance. Although rust is not harmful to humans, it can be unsightly and difficult to remove from surfaces.

What Causes Rust in a Pool?

Rust in a pool is most likely caused by one of two things: an iron pipe or metal object in the pool water, or from insufficient chlorine levels. If you have an iron pipe or metal object in your pool water, you’ll need to remove it as soon as possible. 

Chlorine typically prevents rusting, so if your chlorine levels are low, you’ll want to raise them back up to acceptable levels. 

It is also possible that rust in your pool is merely staining, which can occur due to low pH levels or metal filter parts. Treatment for this type of issue would be to adjust the pH and/or double check filter components.

How to Remove Rust from Pool Water

There are a few ways to remove rust from pool water, and the method you choose will depend on how much rust is present and whether you want to remove it completely or just reduce its presence. If you have a small amount of rust, you can simply add a rust removal product to your pool water and let it do its job. 

These products typically contain chemicals that bind to the rust particles and make them easier to filter out of the water. If you have a lot of rust, you may need to empty your pool and start fresh with new water.

Mechanical Methods

If your pool water has started to take on a reddish hue, it’s likely that rust has entered the mix. While rust in pool water is not necessarily harmful, it can be unsightly and may cause staining. Fortunately, there are a few mechanical methods you can use to remove rust from your pool water.

One method is to add an oxidizing agent to the water, which will help to break down the rust particles. 

Another method is to filter the water using a special rust-removal filter media. This media is designed to attract and trap rust particles, removing them from the water.

If you have high levels of rust in your pool water, you may need to shock the system with chlorine. This will raise the chlorine level in the water and kill any bacteria that may be present. Once the chlorine level has returned to normal, you can then proceed with one of the mechanical methods noted above.

Manual Vacuuming

If your pool has a lot of rust, you may need to vacuum it manually. This process can be time-consuming, but it is the best way to remove all the rust from your pool.

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To manual vacuum your pool, you will need:

  • A garden hose
  • A swimming pool brush
  • A filter

First, you will need to attach the garden hose to the filter. Then, turn on the filter and let it run for a few minutes. 

Next, use the brush to scrub any areas of the pool that have rust. Be sure to pay special attention to any drain covers or ladder rungs, as these are often where rust buildup occurs. 

After you have brushed away all the visible rust, slowly move the hose around the perimeter of the pool. 

The suction from the hose will pull any residual rust out of the pool and into the filter. Let the filter run for a few more minutes after you have finished vacuuming to make sure all the rust has been removed.

Pressure Washing

If you’ve ever gone for a swim in a pool with rust in the water, you know how uncomfortable it can be. Not only is it unsightly, but it can also cause skin irritation. Luckily, there are some ways to get rid of rust in pool water.

One way to remove rust from pool water is to use a pressure washer. 

Pressure washing is a great way to remove stubborn stains and debris from all kinds of surfaces, including pool walls and floor tiles. 

If you have a pressure washer, simply point the nozzle at the rust-stained areas and turn on the machine. Be sure to start with the lowest setting and work your way up if needed. You may need to do this a few times to completely remove the rust.

Another way to get rid of rust in pool water is by using chlorine tablets. 

Chlorine is a powerful oxidizer that can break down Rust very quickly. Simply drop a few tablets into your pool’s skimmer basket and let them dissolve into the water. You should see results within 24 hours.

If you have severe Rust stains, you may need to consult with a professional pool cleaning company. They will likely use specialized chemicals and equipment to remove the Rust from your pool safely and effectively.

Acid Cleaning

Acid cleansing is the process of using a mild acid to remove rust stains from pool surfaces. It is important to note that acid should only be used as a last resort, as it can damage pool surfaces if not used correctly. 

The first step in acid cleansing is to test the pH levels of your pool water. If the pH levels are too high, the acid will not be effective and can actually cause more rusting. Once you have determined that the pH levels are appropriate, you can begin the cleaning process.

To start, you will need to dilute the acid in water according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once diluted, you will then apply the solution to the affected areas with a sponge or brush. 

Allow the solution to sit for several minutes before rinsing it off with clean water. You may need to repeat this process several times to completely remove all traces of rust. Once you are satisfied with the results, be sure to neutralize the pool water with a alkaline solution to restore proper pH levels.

Rust Removers

Rust often finds its way into our pool water, turning it an unattractive brown color. While rust isn’t harmful to us, it can be unsightly and take away from the enjoyment of our pool. To get rid of rust in our pool water, we need to use a rust remover.

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There are two main types of rust removers: chemical and physical. 

  • Chemical rust removers use chemicals to break down the rust molecules so they can be filtered out of the water. 
  • Physical rust removers work by mechanically removing the rust from the surface it is attached to.

When choosing a rust remover, it is important to consider what type of pool you have and what material your pool liner is made out of. Chemicals can sometimes damage pool liners, so it is important to choose a physicalrust remover if you have a vinyl or fiberglass pool.

Once you’ve selected a rust remover, simply follow the instructions on the packaging. Most products will require you to add the recommended amount directly into your skimmer basket or through a dispenser attached to your filter system. After Circulating the water for at least 24 hours, you should see a significant reduction in Rust stains and discoloration!

When to Call a Professional for Help

If your pool is starting to turn rusty, it’s important to take action right away. The longer you wait, the more damage rust can do to your pool and the more difficult it will be to remove.

There are a few DIY methods you can try to remove rust from your pool water, but if these don’t work or if the rust is severe, you’ll need to call in a professional. A professional will have the tools and experience necessary to safely and effectively remove rust from your pool.

Tips for Preventing Rust in a Pool

  • Keep your pool pH levels balanced. A pH that is too high or too low can cause corrosion and lead to rust formation.
  • Use a quality pool cover. This will help keep debris and dirt out of the water, which can cause rust formation.
  • Keep your pool clean and free of debris. Debris in the water can cause corrosion and lead to rust formation.
  • Use a quality pool filter to remove dirt and debris from the water. This will help keep the water clean and free of rust forming contaminants.


Will chlorine remove rust from water?

Corrosion is a problem that every pool owner has to deal with at some point. Chlorine is the most common way to get rid of rust in pool water, but it’s not always the most effective. If your pool water is rusty, there are a few things you can do to get rid of the rust and keep your pool looking clean and new.

One option is to add a rust remover to your pool water. Rust removers are available at most hardware stores and home improvement centers. You can also find them online. Be sure to follow the directions on the package carefully.

Another option is to use a chlorine tablet or granules in your skimmer basket. This will help oxidize the rust and make it easier to remove from your pool water.

If you have a lot of rust in your pool, you may need to drain the water and start fresh. This is usually a last resort, as it’s time-consuming and can be expensive if you have to replace any of your pool equipment.

With a little bit of effort, you can get rid of rust in your pool water and enjoy a clean, refreshing swimming experience all season long!

Is it safe to swim in a pool with rust?

No, it is not safe to swim in a pool with rust. Rust can cause irritation to the skin and eyes, and it can also clog filters and pipes. If you have a rust problem in your pool, the best course of action is to contact a professional who can help you safely remove the rust and get your pool back to its original condition.

What causes rusty pool water?

If you’ve ever taken a dip in a pool with rusty water, you know it’s not a pleasant experience. But what causes this problem? In most cases, rusty water is caused by rust in the pipes that deliver water to your pool. This can happen if the pipes are made of iron or steel, and they come into contact with oxygen and moisture. 

Over time, this causes the metal to corrode and form rust. Rust can also get into your pool water if you have rocks or other objects in your pool that are made of iron or steel. When these objects get wet, they can release rust into the water.

Can too much chlorine cause rust?

When it comes to pool maintenance, chlorine is key to keeping your water clean and free of harmful bacteria. But, like everything else, too much of a good thing can be bad for your pool. If you use too much chlorine, it can actually cause rust in your pool!

If you notice that your pool water is starting to look rusty, it’s important to take action right away. You’ll want to adjust the level of chlorine in your pool and make sure you’re not using too much. This will help prevent further rusting and keep your pool looking its best.

Does chlorine remove rust stains?

Rust stains in your pool are unsightly and can be difficult to remove. Chlorine is an effective way to get rid of rust stains, but it’s important to follow some simple steps to ensure the best results.

First, identify the source of the rust stain and remove any objects that may be causing it. Second, brush the area around the stain with a stiff brush to loosen any debris. Third, add a generous amount of chlorine to the area and let it sit for several minutes before scrubbing with a brush. Fourth, rinse the area well with clean water.

If you follow these steps, you should be able to quickly and easily remove rust stains from your pool!


In conclusion, getting rid of rust in your pool water is a big job but it doesn’t have to be a hassle. With the proper maintenance and understanding of how to keep your pool clean, you can easily avoid any build-up of rust so that you can enjoy crystal clear swimming for many years to come. Following these steps, reducing phosphates in the water and avoiding sources which contribute iron will help ensure that you never have to worry about rusty pool water again.