Acid Washing Gunite: What is the Cost for Cleaning?

Gunite is one of the greatest materials for a swimming pool in a warm climate. This is due in large part to its endurance, you’ll rarely need to contact for repairs. Yet algae accumulation will often result in stubborn stains causing the pools to become discolored over time.

However, removing these stubborn stains usually necessitates an acid wash, which is best performed by a professional pool cleaner.

Acid washing your gunite pool removes a thin layer of plaster from the surface, exposing the clean surface beneath while keeping it clean and ready to use at all times.

Generally, this comprehensive cleaning is usually only required every five to seven years. If you’re wondering what the cost for acid washing your gunite pool is, then relax because this article got you covered. 

Typically, the national average cost of materials to acid wash a pool is $0.06 per square foot, ranging from $0.06 to $0.06. The total cost of labor and materials per square foot is $0.44, ranging from $0.40 to $0.48. An average 300-square-foot project costs $131.79, ranging from $119.76 to $143.82. Your location, job size, working circumstances, and the finish options you select will determine your real cost.

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What Is Acid Washing?

Acid washing is the perfect technique used to remove a tiny layer off the surface of a pebble tec or plaster pool to remove persistent stains and calcium deposits. Acid washing your pool regularly reduces the need for resurfacing.

However, you can avoid acid washes by regularly maintaining your pool to reduce the formation of calcium deposits and algae.

How Does Acid Washing Work?

The pool has to be drained and the walls scrubbed and cleansed. The pool’s topcoat is removed with a muriatic acid and water solution. It is done manually using an acid brush. Before being rinsed, the residue is neutralized with soda ash.

How much does it cost to acid wash a gunite pool?

Most pool services will need to drain your pool, acid wash it, and add the finishing chemicals. The cost of a typical 12,000-gallon pool will range between $400 and $900. Notwithstanding, the price will vary depending on the following factors; 

The company (professional) you hire.

Companies always will not have the same price listing though they may be similar because services usually differ from one company to another.

Some companies categorize their services as low and high depending on what service they will offer; go in for low and pay less or go in for high and you will pay more. The charge might also depend on the company’s proximity to your locality.

The size of your pool.

There are national average prices for acid washing pools in the United States. As stated earlier, the average cost of materials to acid wash a pool in the United States is $0.06 per square foot.

The overall cost per square foot for labor and supplies is $0.37, ranging from $0.34 to $0.41. The average cost of a 300 square foot project is $112.38, ranging from $101.61 to $123.16.

In general, the larger the pool, the more expensive it would be to be washed.

Conditions of your pool.

How long your pool has been without cleaning, and the severity of the stains can add up to the total cost. 

Finish selections.

The type of finish you select for your pool plays out on the total cost of cleaning. Some finishes such as tiles and quartz will require careful cleaning and consequently high cost. 

Season of the year.

Acid wash in colder areas and seasons are more expensive than in hotter areas or seasons (reason not clear). Residents in colder climates, like New Jersey, have reported that they paid an average of $500 to $700 every session.

Additional expenses

If you have a jacuzzi, expect to pay an additional $50 to $200 on top of the given amount.

Professional businesses may charge more for pools with difficult-to-clean stains or jobs that demand more effort than usual. Getting a free consultation in your neighborhood will be a good option for you.

Most pool interiors, such as pebble tec, glass bead, or quartz, are only meant to be acid washed once or twice. This is because the process etches (eats away) the inside of the pool, reducing its thickness and integrity.


  • If you wish to take on this job yourself, you’ll only need to pay for the chemicals. The entire cost of the acid wash chemicals should be around $30. A sump pump and protective clothing may be good investments if you clean by yourself.
  • Gunite pools with tiles, quartz should not be acid washed more than twice.

Importance of Hiring a Professional Pool Cleaner

When it comes to acid washing a pool, it’s crucial to engage an expert. Working with acid is dangerous. Professionals have the necessary equipment and knowledge to complete the job safely and efficiently.

Using a skilled contractor can also help you save time and cut down on expenditure.

Why Is It Necessary To Acid Wash A Pool?

Over time, some pools will develop stains or discolored surfaces. Magnesium or copper stains, for example, can make white plaster blue. Calcium deposits may cause a black plaster pool to turn gray.

Scrubbing alone may not be enough to remove these stains, so they must be acid washed to be eliminated. In addition, pools with hard water or algae will benefit from being emptied, acid-washed, and then refilled.

Pool tiling can also be acid washed to eliminate calcium.

When Should You Consider an Acid Wash for Your Pool?

Acid cleaning is only necessary if you experience certain issues with your pool. If the pool closure process was wrongly done, owners might discover that their pool water has turned “black” when they reopen it.

Swimming pools that have been left stagnant for an extended period will produce algae, foster the growth of certain aquatic organisms, and emit a bad odor.

When these conditions are present, the most effective and least expensive treatment is an acid wash. 

Learn How to Manage Your Pool and Hot Tub

Frustrated trying to keep your pool clear? Feeling confused about when to add the right chemicals? Get the perfect easy-to-use, illustrated ebook and video course today!


Acid cleaning is only recommended for pools with plaster or pebble tec finishes. Also, pools with older, thin plaster may not be suitable. In such circumstances, your only option is to resurface the pool. 

Because plaster is the most popular finish for gunite pools, acid wash is often recommended. But, if indeed acid washing your pool is the best option, a professional pool cleaning firm can help you decide.

Always remember that acid washing your pool removes a tiny layer of the pool’s surface, so you don’t want to do it too frequently. 

Thanks for reading to the end. We hope this article was helpful and provided the answers you needed. 

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