For many of us that don’t have enough space or money for an in-ground pool, an inflatable pool is the next best thing.
Whether it’s the kiddie size or the larger adult size, an inflatable pool guarantees a great deal of fun in the outdoors and is a worthwhile investment.
Despite all the fun, though, inflatable pools are pretty much the same as all other types of pools! They require cleaning and maintenance to ensure a safe swimming experience for you and your family.
Keeping an inflatable pool clean, along with the water in it, doesn’t have to be a headache. This article covers how to keep inflatable pool water clean in a few simple steps. Stick around!
Why Should You Always Keep Your Pool Water Clean?
Keeping your inflatable pool water clean is absolutely necessary for two main reasons.
The first and most important reason is that swimming in stagnant water can put you, along with your family, at risk of some serious health issues.
When water is kept in place for a long time, algae and mold start to grow, which leads the water to become a perfect environment for many kinds of harmful parasites and bacteria.
The longer you leave the pool water unsanitized, the faster bacteria can multiply!
The other reason is that mold and algae growth, if not cleaned periodically, can cause damage to the inflatable pool. So by cleaning them regularly, you ensure that your pool has a longer life.
How to Keep Inflatable Pool Water Clean
An obvious way to keep your pool water fresh and clean all season long is to change it every couple of days. You drain the water, give it a quick wash with a sponge and a detergent, and your pool is as good as new and ready to be filled once again.
However, while this may be easily applicable for small-sized kids’ pools, it isn’t easy for larger sizes. Having to change the water for large pools every few days can be time-consuming and expensive.
The good news is, you don’t have to spend that much time and money to keep your inflatable pool clean anymore!
We know that there isn’t one ultimate cleaning method that suits everyone, and that’s why we’ll shed light on a bunch of budget-friendly solutions that will keep your pool water crystal clear all season long with minimal effort!
1 – Pool Cover
The first tip to keep your inflatable pool water clean is to cover the pool whenever it’s not in use.
Covering your pool is especially helpful if your pool is placed near plants or trees where leaves, insects, or other debris might fall into the water.
You can use whatever type of plastic cover you have in hand, like a tarp or a solar pool cover.
If your pool is direct to sunlight on hot summer days, keep in mind that the solar cover will take in the sun and preserve the heat making the water warmer than it normally is.
If you want to enjoy a swim in cooler water, you can just remove the cover a while beforehand until the water cools off a bit.
2 – Pool Vacuum
Another handy tool to clean the bottom of your pool is a pool vacuum. There are many types in different price ranges, with some automated options as well.
You don’t need to spend a lot on a pool vacuum. Going for a pool vacuum that’s at a reasonable price can get the job done just fine and it’ll be a great investment.
Connect the vacuum’s water tube to your garden hose or pump. The jets will create the suction needed to vacuum the debris into the attached bag without any water loss.
The vacuum will help scrub off and remove most of, if not all, bugs, dirt, and leaves.
If there’s any algae or debris stuck to the bottom or sides of your inflatable pool that the vacuum isn’t removing, try scraping it off before vacuuming. You can use a cleaning mitten, a brush, or a sponge for that. Just make sure it’s not too hard that it would damage the pool’s surface.
You can also get a pool brush that’s made specifically for that.
Pro Tip: Limit the amount of debris that falls into your pool by maintaining personal hygiene and rinsing your feet before you jump into the pool.
3 – Skimmer Net
The third tool you can invest in is a pool skimmer net. Skimmer nets come in many shapes and sizes that you can choose from depending on the depth and size of your inflatable pool.
A flat net can be used for scooping out any floating debris, while larger bag nets are best suited for deeper cleaning.
You can also use the skimmer net along with the pool vacuum to scoop out the debris that floats up to the surface.
4 – Oil-Absorbing Sponge
Greasy water and slippery walls are common problems found in inflatable pools, and if you’re not properly cleaning your pool on a regular basis, sooner or later, you’ll face this problem too.
Oily films that form on top of the pool water are often caused by a number of things, including sweat, cosmetics, sunscreen, and natural oils from your hair and body.
A very cheap yet efficient way to fix that problem is using an oil-absorbing sponge.
These sponges, unlike the regular cleaning sponges, are hydrophobic. This means that when they’re placed in pool water, they attract and absorb all the oils and scum, but not the water.
A good-quality oil-absorbing sponge can last for almost the entire season without having to be replaced
If you find that the sponge’s gotten too slimy on one side, you can flip it to the other side. And if it’s too dirty, you can just take it out, wash it off, and put it back into the water.
It’s best to try to avoid using oily hair or body products like lotions and/or cosmetics before your swims if you wish to eliminate greasy water and slippery walls.
5 – Floating Chlorinator
Also referred to as a floating chlorine dispenser, this device helps keep the pool water sanitized and clean with no effort whatsoever, using only chlorine tablets.
Here’s how to use it for the best results:
- Read the instructions on the chlorine tablets package to know exactly how many tablets you’ll need for your pool size.
- Place the tablets inside the floater, tightly seal the lid, and open the vents on the bottom of the floater.
- Put the floater into the water, and if you don’t want it floating around, you can tie it to the side of your pool.
- Check it regularly and add more tablets once the previous tablet is fully dissolved.
- Take the floater out of the pool during swims.
6 – Filter Pump
Some inflatable pools come with a filter pump, but if yours doesn’t, investing in one can make cleaning the pool a much easier task.
The pump pulls the water into a filter that gets rid of the finer debris that you can’t vacuum or scoop out with a skimmer net.
It also ensures constant water circulation, which is essential for preventing algae growth and keeping the water fresh for a longer time.
The filter pump’s user manual should explain exactly how to connect the filter hoses to the water inlet and outlet in your pool.
If your pool doesn’t have built-in water outlets, you can put the filter hoses directly into the water. You can attach any relatively heavy object onto the hoses to weigh them down so they don’t slip out of the pool.
Also, don’t forget to clean the filter regularly, check for any clogs, and change it when necessary.
Chemical Water Treatments for Clean Pool Water
Using chemical water treatments for your pool water isn’t a must; some people choose not to go for chemicals. And depending on your pool size, how frequently you use it, and where you set it, you might not even need those treatments.
However, if you’re still weighing your options and you want to try chemical water treatments, you can rest assured that if you follow the instructions below, you’ll have nothing to worry about.
What benefits do chemical water treatments offer? Powerful disinfection!
That being said, here are some of the most effective chemical water treatments:
1 – Chlorine
This one is the most known, and probably most used, chemical treatment of all.
Chlorine is a powerful disinfecting agent that can kill most types of germs and harmful bacteria in the water, which subsequently lowers the risk of RWIs (Recreational Water Illnesses), which are often caused by water contamination.
Chlorine is so effective that it can sanitize the water and kill most bacteria within mere minutes of adding it to the pool.
Keep in mind that you need to use it based on the specified quantities for your pool size, since adding too much chlorine can be harmful as well.
Can You Use Bleach Instead of Chlorine?
Yes, you can. If you don’t have any chlorine tablets, the bleach you have in your house is safe to use for emergency water disinfection.
Just make sure you use it moderately and according to the specified amount per gallon of water.
Each gallon of water can be disinfected with 6-8 drops of bleach, depending on the percentage of the active ingredient on the bleach bottle.
To calculate how much bleach you need to disinfect your pool, follow these steps:
- Multiply the number of water gallons in your pool by 6-8 drops.
- Divide the number of drops by 600; the number of drops an ounce of fluid contains.
- The result is the amount of bleach you need for your pool disinfection.
2 – Pool Shock
A pool shock is another form of chlorine disinfection; a higher dose form! It’s used to elevate the level of chlorine in the pool faster than usual. It helps kill germs and bacteria, stop algae growth, and clarify the water.
While chlorine sanitizes the pool water on a day-to-day basis, shocking the pool once every now and then gets rid of built-up pollutants, especially in cases of heavy use.
3 – pH Reducer/Increaser
The pH level shows how acidic or alkaline your pool water is, and it’s also an important indicator of how contaminated or sanitized your pool actually is.
In addition to that, balanced pH levels give chlorine a better chance of killing germs.
- Balanced pool water should have a pH level that’s somewhere between 7.4 and 7.6.
- Use a pool test kit or testing strips to measure the pH level and chlorine amount in your pool. They’re easy to use and provide accurate readings.
- After testing the water, if you find that the pH level is not in that range, you should use pH reducing or increasing chemicals to treat your pool water back to balance.
- Adjust the pH levels before adding chlorine or bleach to the water.
There are many other chemical treatments out there that serve different purposes. Some are used specifically to control or prevent algae growth, while others purify cloudy pool water, and so on.
So, depending on the size of your pool and what type of environmental conditions you have, you might or might not need to add additional chemicals to your cleaning and maintenance routine.
Cleaning an inflatable pool, along with the water in it, is extremely important for worry-free swim sessions and a long-lasting pool. It can be a burden sometimes, but this doesn’t have to be the case anymore.
Now that you know how to keep inflatable pool water clean, what equipment to invest in, and all about chemical water treatments, you can enjoy a fun and safe summer break in your pool with loved ones!
Ben has a bachelor’s degree in construction engineering. When not constructing or remodeling X-Ray Rooms, Cardiovascular Labs, and Pharmacies, you can find him at home with wife and two daughters. Outside of family, He loves grilling and barbequing on his Big Green Egg and Blackstone Griddle, as well as working on projects around the house.
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