Guide To Maintaining And Cleaning Inflatable Pools 

Inflatable pools are a convenient way to relax and enjoy a refreshing swim on a hot day. But there’s a catch — germs spread very easily in inflatable pools, and proper maintenance is essential. Even a small inflatable pool requires regular upkeep to keep both the water and pool safe and clean. 

You can maintain your inflatable pool by using a leaf skimmer to remove debris, adding chlorine tablets, and using a pool cover when it’s not in use. Make sure you clean your pool after every or so draining it, applying a cleaning solution, scrubbing it, and then rinsing it all out. 

There are a couple of simple tricks and pieces of pool equipment that can help keep the water in your inflatable pool safe and clean for swimming. Let’s take a closer look at how to keep an inflatable pool clean so that you can enjoy yours without any concerns.

How Do You Keep an Inflatable Pool Clean?

Close up of a inflatable swimming pool in the summer

If you don’t want to dump the water in your inflatable pool immediately after use, and instead want to keep it in the pool for a few days, there are a few things you can do to keep the water clean overnight::

Use a Skimmer

You can easily keep your inflatable pool clean by using a basic leaf skimmer net (on Amazon) to scoop out the debris, insects, dry grass, and dirt that’s usually brought in from the backyard. You can also use a large aquarium net to remove any large debris, like leaves, from the pool.   

Both these pieces of equipment are readily available in pool supply stores and the pool-care aisles in big-box stores as well. 

Purify Pint-Sized Pools

If you have a small inflatable kiddie pool, then you can easily dump the water after every use. However, after draining the water, make sure you use a bleach-and-water solution to thoroughly wipe down the empty pool. 

You can also use a gentle dish detergent to get rid of all the dirt. Just make sure you wear rubber gloves before handling any cleaning solution. And after sanitizing, remember to rinse the pool thoroughly to remove the detergent or bleach. 

It’s also advisable to dry the sides and bottom of the pool with a towel after rinsing to prevent the growth of mold, mildew, or algae. Lastly, leave your pool in the sun for around four to five hours to ensure further disinfection. 

Sanitize Large Pop-Up Pools

If the size of your inflatable pool is so big that dumping and replacing the water every day isn’t practical, you can keep your pool clean by using chlorine tablets (on Amazon)

If you have a large inflatable pool without an electric filter, then it’s advisable to place the tablets in a floating dispenser (on Amazon) before dropping them into the pool. These dispensers keep the water stable by consistently releasing small amounts of chlorine safely into the pool. 

However, remember to remove the dispenser if your child is swimming in the pool and drop it back into the water when the pool is not in use. Instead of chlorine, you can also add a weak solution of water and household bleach to keep your pool water disinfected. 

Use a Pool Cover

If you want to keep water in your pool for a few days, use a pool cover when it’s not in use to keep away mosquitos and to prevent debris, like insects, pollen, and leaves from contaminating the water. 

If your inflatable pool doesn’t come with its own pool cover, place a plastic tarp (on Amazon) over it. Make sure you secure the ends of the tarp under your pool or use bricks to weigh it down, so that it remains firmly in place even on windy days. 

If you want to use the pool, remove the cover or tarp carefully, making sure that any debris on top of it doesn’t fall into the water. 

Vacuum the Bottom of Your Pool

People bring in all kinds of oil, grime, and dirt to the pool with their feet. Luckily, you can easily keep the bottom of your pool clean by using a portable or handheld pool vacuum (on Amazon).  

You simply need to turn on your vacuum and run it along the bottom of your inflatable pool after every use. The vacuum will suck up any dirt, debris, or sediment that’s stuck to the plastic, ensuring clean and safe water for your next swim. 

Place a Foot-Washing Station Near Your Pool

While it’s fun to watch your kids splash in and out of the pool, the process brings all kinds of debris, grass, dirt, and dust into the water. You can easily fix this issue by setting up a hose and a large container of clean water next to your pool and asking everyone to rinse off their feet before entering the water. 

If everyone washes their feet before getting into the pool, your pool water will remain clean for much longer. 

How Do You Clean an Inflatable Pool?

Cleaning pvc inflatable swimming pool

Inflatable pools usually get dirty because of all the dust, dirt, debris, and other contaminants that accidentally end up in the water. Fortunately, these pools are incredibly easy to clean. Here’s what you need to do: 

Step 1: Drain the Pool

First, you need to drain all the water out of your pool. It’s best to dump out all the water as soon as it turns cloudy or takes on a greenish or yellowish color. A slimy residue on the bottom and walls of the pool is also a good sign that it’s time to replace the pool water. 

To drain the pool water, you simply need to pull the drain plug at the bottom of your pool. However, if your inflatable pool doesn’t have a drain plug, then you’ll have to deflate it and then let the dirty water run out on its own. 

Step 2: Dry the Pool

Once you’ve completely drained the water, wipe the bottom and inner walls of the pool with a cloth or towel. However, if the interior of your pool is already slimy, don’t wipe it and just skip to the next step.

Step 3: Prepare a Cleaning Solution

Next, you’ll need to prepare and apply a cleaning solution to the walls and bottom of your pool. You can use sanitary wipes for this step, but if you have a large pool, then you’ll end up using far too many of them. It’s much simpler and cheaper to use your own homemade pool sanitizer.

In order to make the cleaning solution, add water and bleach (or any other liquid that has sanitizer in it) into a bucket and mix properly. It’s better to add half a cup of bleach for every six cups of water. Pour the solution into a pulverizing bottle and spray it onto the inner walls of your pool.    

Step 4: Scrub Your Pool

Once you’ve successfully sanitized your pool, you’ll then need to scrub it. This will help remove any grime or slimy residue in your pool, and it will help make additional cleaning easier. It’s also advisable to use a bit of soapy water when scrubbing your pool. 

Step 5: Rinse the Pool

Use a garden hose to rinse your inflatable pool. Make sure you wash the pool thoroughly and remove any cleaning solution or soapy leftovers before filling up the pool again. 

Step 6: Refill the Pool

Once you’ve completed all the previous steps, you can refill your pool with clean water. It’s best to clean your pool after every four to five days, depending on the quality of the water and how frequently you use your pool.    

Do Inflatable Pools Need Chlorine?

You don’t necessarily need chlorine to keep your small inflatable pools clean. There are several other water treatment options you can opt for. You can also easily drain and refill small kiddie pools, so you won’t need to deal with pH test kits or chlorine in the first place.

It’s best to drain the water and refill smaller pool after every two to four days to prevent the growth of mold, mildew, and bacteria. 

However, if you have a large inflatable pool, then you can add chlorine to get rid of all the harmful bacteria. You can also use a saltwater system or refill your pool after every few days, but keep in mind that both of these options are costlier than just adding chlorine. 

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