How to Clean a Very Dirty Vinyl Pool Liner

Justin A. Mann

A swimming pool liner, constructed of a plastic vinyl material, prevents water from escaping the pool and saturating the ground nearby. The pool's liner directly contacts the water and as such can become dirty due to debris entering the water and settling down onto the surface of the liner.

Keep your liner clean with regular vacuuming and cleaning.

Cleaning a dirty vinyl liner requires vacuuming and scrubbing off stuck-on dirt and debris with a pool brush.


Vacuum up any debris sitting on the liner surface weekly to prevent staining.

  1. Assemble the swimming pool's vacuum equipment. Run the vacuum over the vinyl liner slowly, picking up dirt and debris. If debris gets stirred up as you vacuum, stop vacuuming and allow the debris to settle on the liner before continuing. Vacuuming removes large debris and any loose dirt from the vinyl liner.

  2. Attach a pool brush to a pool pole. Brush any sections of the vinyl liner that have heavy staining or other stuck-on dirt. Brush the dirt to one spot on the liner, then suction up the debris with the pool vacuum.

  3. Shock the pool with granular chlorine if stains remain. Typically a pool needs 1 pound of shock per 10,000 gallons of water. Turn on the pool filter to circulate the treatment for at least three hours.

  4. Brush the remaining stains with the pool brush. The shock treatment will have weakened organic stains, allowing them to be removed.

  5. Allow the pool to circulate normally and vacuum up debris that settles onto the liner, using the vacuuming equipment. Skim the pool surface with a leaf net to collect any surface debris.