Preventing Stains On Pool Surfaces Due To Leaves

Many leaves and other debris cause stains on pool surfaces during the fall. Here’s how to prevent it!

Many tannins and minerals cause stains on pool surfaces. Two big examples are acorns and oaks leaves. I have seen a great looking pool look like the surface is ruined just one week later after a wind or rain storm. Fortunately, all is not lost!

The product that I am going to recommend is designed as a preventative but I have used it many times to remove newly added stains from storms. The product varies by brand but the agent you are looking for is  “sequestering”. In the most simple terms, this means that the staining properties from the debris that enters your pool are kept in suspension so they cannot precipitate out onto the pool surface. They will not stain your pool.

Preventing stains on pool surfaces due to leaves and other debris is important throughout the year but obviously more important in the fall and winter. Using a stain preventative will keep your pool surface looking better for a much longer period of time. Sometimes giving you years longer of a new looking pool surface. The other benefit of a sequestering agent is that it substantially slows down the formation of calcium on your pool tile. Using this product every 6 month at the least will help dramatically.

Product Addition

The addition of this product is simple and there are no restrictions for swimming directly after. The only chemicals that I would not add the same day as this product would be a pH adjustment (acid, soda ash, or baking soda) or the rare time you might be adding calcium to your pool.

Simply open the container and pour the liquid sequestering agent directly around the perimeter of your pool with the pool pump running. Let the pump run for at least two hours to make sure it is evenly distributed before the pump shuts off. You can brush the stains on your pool surface if you like but this is not necessary.

This product is not designed as a stain remover as noted above but may help to remove superficial stains. It is truly designed as a stain preventative. For a much better stain remover (but not preventative) click here to see my article on Stain Removal.


Most sequestering agents regardless of the brand have a dosage of one quart per 20,000 gallons of pool water. Please read and follow the dosage recommendations of the individual product you select. You should add this amount at least every six months. Fall and Spring. Most recommendation on the product label itself tell you to add it monthly. I am sure it would help a little more to add it this often but in my opinion not enough to justify the cost.

Brands Available

As mentioned above, there are many brands offering the same product. Here are a few for you to choose from that I have used before.

More Information

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Thank you and good luck preventing stains on pool surfaces!


John Brace

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