Here are easy to follow instructions for how to clean your kiddie pool (and pool toys), plus tips for proper paddling pool care to keep this a fun and clean activity for the kids.
Summer is now in full swing, and that means hot days where we all enjoy a nice fun way to cool off. For kids that can include splashing around in a backyard baby or paddling pool.
While these pools can be loads of fun for the kids, as the parent you know how these pools get dirty with time and use, and then it doesn't seem to "fun" to have your kids getting into them.
Here are simple tips and instructions for how to clean a kids' wading pool when it gets dirty, some easy steps for general care, plus how to keep the kiddie pool cleaner in the future through proper storage.
When I am referring to a kiddie pool I'm talking about either a hard plastic or an inflatable smaller pool, made for kids, and that is quite shallow. These types of pools can be quickly filled and then quickly drained with each use.
I'm not referring to the larger inflatable pools, or above-ground pools that would greatly increase your water bill for the month if you filled them every single time you used them.
I'm not sure when people purchase those larger, but still not permanent pools, that they know they will need to do water maintenance to them, like you would a larger pool, to keep bacteria, mold and algae from growing in them, plus larger scale cleaning periodically. But for shallow small wading pools a different (and easier) set of general care practices works best, and that's the focus of this article.
Wading pools should be drained and emptied soon after each use, and refilled with clean fresh water right before the next use.
One important reason for this rule is for safety, since any standing water, even shallow water, is a drowning risk for children. Always watch your kids in these wading pools, while they're in use. You can keep some outdoor furniture close to the pool to make it comfortable for you to supervise.
The other reason you should empty these pools after each use is that standing water that isn't treated in some of the ways mentioned above, will quickly begin to grow bacteria, mold and algae, none of which you want to have your kids wading around in the next time they want to use the pool.
This is compounded by the fact that with kids stepping in and out of the wading pool the water gets dirty quickly, with floating grass clippings, bugs, as well as dirt and mud.
To combat this floating debris that quickly accumulates I suggest getting a small pool skimmer net that you can use to remove this stuff quickly and efficiently.
For a small kiddie pool all you need is a net that you can hold in your hand. You don't need a long pole like you would for a larger pool. Here are some available:
Cleaning out this debris will not only help your kids enjoy playing in the wading pool more, but will also make it easier for you to clean the pool quickly later.
If you drain your pool after each use, and properly store it (which is discussed below) you typically won't have too much trouble keeping the wading pool clean.
After you drain the water make sure to use the hose, with a gentle sprayer attachment, to remove any debris that is sticking to the pool, and then make sure the pool dries completely before storage.
However, if the wading pool begins to get a slick slimy feel to it, or there is a build up of dirt and debris over time because the pool was left out, you can get it clean again.
That slick slimy feel is the beginning of bacterial, algae and/or mold growth, and should be cleaned off quickly before it becomes worse.
First, gather your cleaning supplies, which include a 5 gallon bucket, which has one gallon of water in it, and 3/4 cup of chlorine bleach, plus a nylon scrub brush like those pictured below.
Next, move the pool off your lawn, and onto a concrete driveway or patio because the cleaning solution, which contains bleach, can harm plants, including grass.
Also, because the cleaning solution contains bleach make sure you're wearing old clothing, since the clothes could get bleached a bit from splashes, as well as wearing rubber cleaning gloves, and eye protection.
Use the cleaning solution plus the scrubbing brush to scrub (gently, especially in the case of inflatable pools) the mold, mildew, algae, and dirt from the bottom and sides of the pool.
The bleach will kill the mold, mildew and algae that is forming, plus scrubbing will manually remove debris and dirt from the surfaces of the pool.
Once you've cleaned your wading pool rinse it thoroughly to remove the cleaning solution before you allow your kids to get into it again with fresh, clean water.
The cleaning method described above also works well for cleaning pool toys, such as rafts, floaties, and other items that have gotten dirty or have algae build up on them!
You can learn more about cleaning with chlorine bleach here, in this ultimate guide:
In addition, if you've found you've got bird droppings on these outdoor items you can check out these tips for cleaning up bird dropping from hard surfaces here.
After you drain your pool, after each use, it is important to store it properly so that while it's not in use it doesn't get dirty.
First, make sure you allow the pool to properly dry before storing it, ideally out in the sun to speed the process along. If you put away your pool wet, or still damp, it makes it easier for mold and mildew to grow.
Next, once the pool is dry, ideally you'd place it in storage inside a large storage shed, or in a corner of your garage, for example.
Enclosed storage areas keep the elements, like rain, from getting the pool wet again, or wind from covering the pool in dust and dirt.
However, I know that it isn't always possible to have such a large storage area available, so at the least tip the pool onto its side, facing a wall, or lay it on the ground, upside down, so that it does not accumulate water and debris in between uses.
If you properly store your pool between uses it will keep it from getting so dirty to begin with, and when your kids want to use it again all you'll have to do is give it a quick rinse and then fill it up, instead of needing to scrub it down before they can play in it.
Get more tips for how to clean just about anything here, in the site's room to room guide.
Hi, I'm Taylor, a busy mom with 3 kids, so I have lots of hands on experience with house cleaning, laundry and my fair share of spots, spills and other messy catastrophes. Thanks for visiting my site.
I update the website all the time with tips, tutorials, cleaning recipes, reviews of products from readers like you, and tests I've done on various cleaners, removers and laundry supplies.
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CAUTION: This website is provided for informational purposes only. It is provided as is, without warranties or guarantees. Some stains and messes just won't come out, and are permanent. Further, some cleaning methods can harm your item, so if what you want to clean or launder is sentimental or expensive call a professional. See disclaimer of liability for more information.
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