An inflatable pool is a wonderful addition to your yard. It’s easier to set up and more cost-effective than a larger, more permanent pool. But it still takes some work to keep clean. And a clean pool not only looks good, but it’s also important for your health!
Small “kiddie” pools – whether inflatable or not – can easily be emptied and cleaned. But the amount of water and the time it takes to fill them makes that a less-desirable task with bigger inflatables. Some are equipped with small filter pumps, but you’ll still want to empty and clean them every few days.
Basic Inflatable Pool Care
The first and best step to cleaning your inflatable pool is to keep it as clean as possible from use to use. A little preparation can save a lot of work later on!
Many inflatable pools come with a cover. Be sure to use it! Placing the cover over the pool helps keep leaves, twigs, dust, and insects from landing up inside. It also slows evaporation and protects at least part of your pool from the sun’s damaging rays.
If your pool doesn’t include a cover, buy one – it’s worth it! If you can’t find a cover, a plastic tarp can do the trick.
Use a pool skimmer to catch anything that falls in while it’s uncovered. It can also catch some of the oils, lotion, and hair that come off your body while in the pool.
A filter pump is also a good investment, even if your pool doesn’t come with one. Most of the pumps we’ve seen with inflatable pools have a low capacity, so you have to run them nearly all day to be effective. Alternatively, you could upgrade and buy a filter separately.
You can also use chlorine in your inflatable pool. The amount you need will depend on the volume of your pool. A floating chlorine dispenser will help spread the chlorine throughout the water. You simply remove it when people will be using the pool. Follow the instructions for testing your water. Then add chlorine tablets as needed.
Cleaning Your Pool
Even when you practice routine care as we talk about above, you’ll still have to periodically drain and clean your inflatable pool. If you have a good filter on it, you might be able to get by for a couple of weeks. But with no filter – or even the low-powered ones included with some pools – you’ll want to start fresh every three or four days.
Use the built-in drain(s) on the pool to empty it completely. From there, you’ll want to clean it before refilling it.
Soapy water is a good start. You can mix it right inside the pool. Pour in some dishwasher soap then add water. Use a pool brush to scrub off the sides and bottom of the pool with this solution. This will help remove both visible debris as well as the leftovers from sweat, oil, suntan lotion, and other chemicals.
For more thorough cleaning, a mild bleach solution is your best alternative for cleaning the inside of the pool. We recommend using a five-gallon bucket of water with six-and-a-half cups of bleach mixed in.
After you scrub the pool, be sure to rinse it well. Hose it down with the drain open. Clean your pool brush and use it to help remove any soap or bleach solution.
Once you’re finished cleaning, you can refill the pool and start enjoying it again!
Storing Your Inflatable Pool
Some inflatable pools will only last one season unless you’re particularly careful. Others are designed to last a few years. But when the end of the season comes, you’ll have to empty and deflate it for storage.
Before deflating it, though, be sure to wash it in the way we talked about above. In this case, be sure to clean the outside, too.
Let your pool dry thoroughly. This is best while it’s still inflated, too. That way, it will dry all over and dampness won’t get trapped in the folds.
Once it’s completely dry, you’ll fold it up for storage in a cool, dry place.
When it’s time to take it out again, look it over for any mildew. If you find any, clean it with a bleach solution. You will want to double up on the concentration of bleach to help kill the growth.
Your inflatable pool will look and feel better when you take good care of it. Ongoing care will make it easier to do more complete cleanings, but both are necessary. And together they’ll help make your dips in the water to cool off so much more enjoyable!