Waterline suntan lotion stain

Our pool has been in lovely condition all summer - despite heavy use - then on Saturday guests arrived with lots of fair-skinned kids and suntan lotion - and within 2 days we had the tell-tale unsightly waterline stain.
Any suggestions on…

  1. Best method/products to remove the oil from the water before the stain appears?
  2. Best method/products to clean it off?
  3. Policies (I’m not prepared to ban all lotions, or demand showering before going into the pool - but might for example ask people not to use particular products - if some are worse than others).

Isn’t it pretty normal now to ask people to shower before going in a shared pool? I would do so automatically without being asked…

Send them home!

Hi Geoff, we use “waterlilies” in the skimmer which are supposed to catch the worst of the oils - they start white and then change to a yellow hue. Change them when that happens. Heavy usage of sun tan lotions and you may be changing it daily.
Otherwise, once stained, there are various degreaser products you can buy in pool shops and you just have to get in the pool and go round the edge with a rough sponge - tedious!
On the gite site I follow P20 is the one that people complain about, not least because it seems to stain the sheets as well as causing problems in the pool.
This is what I say in our information pack:
Some gite owners ask guests who use sun tan lotions and creams to shower before swimming. We realise this is not practical and also means you do not have protection while in the water. So, if you use sun protection products when in our pool, we’d be grateful if you could use dry mist products and apply them at least half an hour before entering the pool. This practice is the best way of getting and keeping sun protection and also it does not wash off in the pool, which is unpleasant for users of the pool and permanently stains the liner. Thank you for your help in keeping our pool pristine.
Unfortunately I think this just goes with the territory of looking after a pool with a gite.


I realise with covid the use of the pool is meant to be restricted… but in normal times… when several families might be using the pool… surely folk should shower before swimming…

At the Public Baths, I recall the obligatory stepping through the footbath as a kid… just before entering the Pool… one understands why things are necessary and one does it…

and I know folk who have an outdoor shower by the pool (simple but effective) which guests use before they dive in… and they can use it after their swim, of course…

EDIT: Perhaps a simple outdoor shower is something to invest in when going to the expense of installing a pool…

We have one gite, so no more than one family at a time - we don’t use the pool while they are here - chlorine and sunshine are pretty effective disinfectants. And there is always at least a week between our guests :slight_smile:

sue… I was wondering about those times when “the world and his wife” might be using the pool… folk with several gîtes… :rofl: :rofl:

Thanks Sue - actually we do have waterlilies in the skimmer - which must be reducing the problem because, as you say, they collect the stain - but not a complete solution.
I also have some pool-shop waterline cleaner - which again is effective, but hard work.
I’ve read about enzyme-based products, which you add to the water, but they seem hard to find in France.

I like your information pack text though. On the other ‘shower’ comments - the reason it’s not practical is that people don’t use their own outdoor leisure pool like a public swimming pool - swimming indeed is often the last thing they do - they stay by the pool all day and get in and out multiple times, play games with some in and some out, then change around mid-game, etc, etc…
You are perhaps imagining how you would use a pool, rather than how the average 6-year-old uses one!

Ha ha… Your probably right Geof…

I was a keen swimmer in UK… but at a leisure centre where things were somewhat controlled…

Here… I have used a friend’s pool (before covid)… made available to all neighbours in hot weather or whenever… but with their strict rule about using the shower first… the shower being just alongside … easy to use…

this is not the only set up I have come across… and I really think it’s a great idea.

But, I appreciate for kids… it’s more about playing…

I like playing in the river, a few kms away… by a watermill… idyllic… but freezing.

Don’t have many friends with pools - well one! And kids seem to accept that running though the shower beside the pool is part of the fun. But it’s their family so they have been brought up to do that from day one.

I guess could be difficult to teach kids to do that on a two week holiday.

I’m not sure telling people to wash off suntan lotion is helpful or kind. I’m with Geoff on this. We have lilos and inflated seats in our pool. In hot weather children and teenagers can be in and on the pool for hours - how is asking them to remove sun protection a sensible thing to do?

Is ‘t the whole point that it comes off in the water? If it stayed on them it wouldn’t stain the pool?

This is obviously a subject where, quite possibly, there will never be agreement.

On a different tack, but a similar theme…

I remember a friend being aghast (years ago) at the hotel “suggesting” it was not necessary to change the towels every day… asking guests to simply hang them to dry and re-use the next day.

Now, she is a firm believer in that sort of thing… but it took a while for her to understand what was behind such a step. :wink:

Just google: Sunscreen is water -resistant, not waterproof, which means it doesn’t last forever once you start swimming. It should be reapplied every two hours,

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We ask if they use P20, as we have banned its use, because of the staining of all materials it comes into contact with.
Our daughter used to lather our youngest grandson with lotion as he is very fair, but we have asked her not to put it on so much if he is in the pool.

According to French ancestral wisdom children shouldn’t be outside in the sun between 11.30 and 16.30 anyway, all day they should be mainly in the shade (and between 11.30 and 16.30 having lunch then doing their post prandial sieste or reading, possibly in a hammock). In the sun before and after those times is considered ok. I don’t let people in my pool when they are covered in gloop, I find it disgusting, but then I don’t rent it out.

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We have 2 gites, with a shared pool​:drooling_face:. I put in place a rota system, with a responsible adult in each gite to ensure times and sanitizing schedule is adhered to. Had to colour code outside furniture- sun lounger, boss etc for each gite. So far, so good. And it also pisses off those “friends” who think it’s ok just to turn up and jump in​:rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl::rofl:

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Very wise, only mad dogs and Englishmen,

Only mad English dogs, not French ones.

The (french) breeder we brought our dog from has the same ethos. Early morning exercise, meal then siesta/quiet time until late afternoon. Too much activity after a meal causes twisted colons. Obviously deep rooted French wisdom.

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Dear All.

Bath tub ring is a regular problem, I have 22 years experience in pools in the holiday park environment.

Bayrol make an excellent product as do now Cash Piscines, latter in a white plastic bottle with pink label. Use those with an approved pool scourer.

Last resort use Ph+, it is alkaline and will turn fat and oil into an ester, or soap like product.

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