Can I Pressure Wash My Vinyl Liner Pool?

Vinyl Liner

A dirty stained liner is extremely frustrating for any pool owner. Trust me, I’ve been there and so have most pool owners! It’s important to know what you can and can’t do with your vinyl liner pool. An aggressive approach to removing stains and dirt from a liner is not what you want to do.

You should not pressure wash your vinyl liner pool as it can easily tear your vinyl liner which would cost thousands of dollars to replace. If you have an above-ground Intex pool, you can power wash it carefully but an inground vinyl liner pool should never be power washed.

There are some things you can do to remove the stains and dirt from around your pool and we are going to discuss those here.

Use Delicate Tools When Cleaning your Vinyl Liner

It’s important to step back and take a big deep breath when dealing with trying to keep your pool looking in tip-top shape every swimming season. If you try to clean your vinyl liner with an abrasive tool like a power washer you run the risk of ripping a brittle and older liner.

A cloth, brush, sponge, or magic eraser are the tools you want to use when cleaning your vinyl liner. Combine these with a lot of elbow grease and it can go a long way to removing dirt and grime from your pool liner.

When just generally cleaning your vinyl liner for the first time when opening the pool, start with simple and less-abrasive cleaners. These can be diluted bleach or vinegar that you apply to areas around your pool to see if you can remove stains. If the stains aren’t coming off, then it will be time to balance your pool chemicals after testing to see if that will clear the issue up.

How to Clean a Pool Liner without Draining the Pool?

It’s important to note here as well, that you shouldn’t empty your vinyl liner pool. You run the risk of causing some serious issues with your liner if the pool water is completely drained from your pool. Raising the water level in your pool could help remove certain types of stains, dirt, and oil that you are trying to get rid of.

#1 Use a brush and net to clear away your big debris and spots that can be easily cleared away. This is probably common sense but worth mentioning. Let’s get all of that big stuff that we can easily clean up cleared away so we can see what we are working with.

#2 Test Your Pool Water with your Test Kit. If you don’t have one, you need to get one. You can check out this highly recommended test kit here.

#3 Using the results from the test you need to balance your pool water to get everything to healthy recommended levels! You will be amazed at how much will be cleared up on its own just by having the right chemical balance in your pool!

#4 Consider if you should raise your pool water levels higher so the pool water will completely cover the rings around your pool. If your pool water test results showed some extreme imbalances in chemicals, I would consider raising the pool water level to cover the pool ring, test, adjust with proper chemicals, and then test again.

#5 Once we have the water balanced and we have given some time for things to clear up on their own, we need to assess what type of stains or build-up on the pool liner we have. There are two types of issues we will have to deal with organic and metal.

#6 You can check out the information here over at River Pools and Spas, they have put together a great resource to start determining what your stain could be and how to remove it.

At this point, you should have a pool that is starting to clear up and you are just trying to get rid of some pesky stains to improve the appearance.

Powerwashing an Intex Above Ground Pool

In contrast to power washing a Vinyl liner pool, the Intex pool can be power washed gently. An above-ground pool can be emptied as well making the power washing shop fairly simple to do.

You can see a video right here of a man using a power washer to clean up this filthy above-ground pool.

If you decide to go this route to clean your above-ground pool with a power washer when opening up for the swim season here are a few steps:

#1 Use a Cleaner to help loosen up the Dirt, Grime, Algae and Other Nasty Build up

#2 Move that Cleaner around the pool with a brush to spread it out

#3 Set up your Power Washer. You can check out the power washer featured in the video on amazon if you don’t own one already.

#4 Use a sump pump to remove the dirty water from your pool. If you don’t have one of these already, as a pool owner it will make your life so much better! You can check out this sump pump here, they are rather inexpensive.

#5 Hose down the inside of the pool one last time and sump pump the remaining water out before filling up your pool for opening.

Can I Power wash a Gunite or Shotcrete Pool?

Yes, a Gunite or Shotcrete pool can stand up to a power wash. You shouldn’t have to powerwash these types of pools very often though as the finish on these pools is meant to be stain resistant.

If you do power wash though, you must be extremely careful around your pool tile to not blast away the materials holding the tile in place. It would be best to use a cleaning agent and a less abrasive approach to remove dirt, grime, and stains in these areas of your pool.


The founder of I wanted a place to share all of the great information from my family to other pool lovers, builders, and those looking to buy a pool.

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