With summer on the horizon and the temperature spurring a yearning for a dip in cool water, it’s no doubt that people will be filling their backyards with inflatable pools. What people may forget is that a quick dip in an unclean pool can lead to a swim with all sorts of nasty things such as E.coli.
Cleaning an inflatable pool may sound easy, but there are some actions you can take to make the process simpler. If you want to have your pool looking spick and span, then we have the tips for you.
1. Clean small pools regularly
It’s not uncommon to find kids playing in a small paddling pool, maybe even a few eccentric adults. With the former however, it’s important to ensure that they are playing in clean water, free from bacteria and algae. After a day or two of sun exposure, water can turn stagnant, which is the equivalent of letting your kids play in a dirty pond.
The first thing to do is drain the water each day. Yes, this does sound like a hassle and can be wasteful, but it is important to prevent illness. Those finding this frustrating may want to resort to getting the pool out sporadically.
2. Use the right cleaning materials
Cleaning a pool doesn’t require specialist products, although some may help, simple household items can do the trick. Bleach, vinegar and water are all that is needed to get any bacterial pests from your pool.
Those with a small pool may want to do this regularly, using 1:25 bleach to water ratio to clean the surfaces of the pool. A towel, sponge or soft brush can be used for this, but hard bristles should be avoided if you don’t want to cause a puncture. Give the bleach solution a good ten minutes or so to dry on the surfaces of the pool, then go over it with a towel or leave it out to dry.
Vinegar solution (1:10 vinegar to water ratio) can be used to clean the surfaces also, as well as remove any smells from the pool. This is a quick and easy way to clean the pool if kids are using it regularly, especially with toddlers or younger who will typically bring fecal matter into the pool.
Don’t forget, even pool toys and floats get dirty, so make sure to keep these clean as well.
3. Let your pool dry in the sun
Guidelines suggest that inflatable pools should be left in the sun for four hours to dry, which is the designated time for the radiation to kill Cryptosporidiosis, which can cause diarrhea. After you’ve left your pool out to bake, dry it off completely, remove any debris or residue and store it in a clean environment, preferably wrapped in tarpaulin or a storage container.
4. Use chlorine tablets
Large pools aren’t as easy to empty out regularly and as such will still build up a film of slime, debris and bacteria regardless. Still, chlorine tablets can be the perfect solution to those in need of a quick clean. Chlorine tablets will kill bacteria in the pool and level it to the right pH levels.
Those with a filter in their pool can also opt for chlorine dispensers, which bob around your pool and keep it clean. If you do use a dispenser, make sure to keep it routinely stocked up with chlorine tablets and also make sure the casing hasn’t deteriorated.
5. Clean out debris often
It’s inevitable that your pool will become home to all sorts of debris, most notably loose leaves or even dead insects. Removal should be done before and after a swim, or at least every day to ensure you are relaxing in clean water.
Depending on the size of the pool, you may need to consider the net you skim the pool with. Pool nets, or even fishing nets, can be used to target specific sections and remove the debris. Larger pools may not be as easy, in which case you may need a pool net with a telescopic pole or a larger net to catch bits in.
6. Clean large pools thoroughly
Even with chlorine tablets and a quick skim every day, a large pool is eventually going to harbour germs and biofilm if left long enough. Due to this, it’s worth giving it a full clean once a week, or even sooner. This involves emptying all the water, rinsing out the pool and then cleaning it head to toe with either bleach solution, vinegar solution or liquid detergent.
Once you have cleaned and left the pool to dry for the recommended four hours, start cleaning the sides removing any excess debris and checking for any biofilm on the sides. Really make sure it is completely scrubbed clean. After this you may want to vacuum your pool, getting into the small crevices and removing small bits of debris that will make your pool dirty again.
7. Invest in a pool vacuum cleaner
Modern technology has brought us some great inventions, and the pool vacuum should be up there with them. Pool vacuum cleaners are excellent for those with large pools and lack the time – or patience – to deep clean their pool often. A pool vacuum can suck up any residue or debris on the pool floor without draining the water, making it useful in a pinch.
If you have the money and really enjoy convenience, then you could also shell out a bit extra for an automatic pool cleaner which will do the job for you while you sit back and relax.
8. Cover your pool when its not in use
An easy way to prevent debris or harsh sun exposure, a pool cover or tarpaulin can be a great way to stop anything from reaching the water when it’s not in use. This can be done for all sorts of pools, big and small. If you are using a pool multiple times a day, especially a children’s pool, cover it up between uses.
9. Shower before and after usage
With a personal pool, it’s easy to assume you can just jump in without showering beforehand. Showering is important as it washes off the bacteria, dirt and random gunk a person can bring into the pool with them, and is why public pools nearly always have a showering rule.
This is especially important if a child is using the pool, as they are more likely to carry fecal matter, urine or food in with them. A quick shower, even if its a rinse from the hose, can be the first barricade between bacteria and the water.
10. Replace filter cartridges frequently
High-end inflatable pools may be fitted with filter systems, which do need to be checked up on and maintained regularly. Filter cartridges will typically state when they need to be replaced, but you can check yourself by looking at the end caps or inside pleats to see if they look worn. Keep a few filter cartridges on hand, just in case you need to replace it.
Having a clean pool will make lounging around more relaxing and enjoyable knowing there aren’t any unexpected guests swimming alongside you. Follow the tips mentioned above and you’re bound to have a better time. If you’re struggling to get your pool inflated, we have a guide for that right here.