Having a kiddie pool is one of those time-honored traditions almost every kid can remember, but what you might not remember is having to clean the kiddie pool where you spent hours splashing around. While you might think you have to use harsh chemicals, like bleach, to clean your child's pool to get out all the stains, dirt, and grime, that's not necessarily the case. Given that there are multiple types of kiddie pools, including plastic, inflatable, and even vinyl, the way you clean the pool may depend on the type you have, but most natural ways work on all types of pools.
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1. Use Natural Soap and Water
At the end of every swim session, empty the pool of any remaining water. Fill a bucket with water, add a few drops of soap, and mix it up. Afterward, take a sponge or bristle cleaning brush, dip it in the water/soap mixture, and clean off any film. Let it sit for a few minutes and then rinse off the soap. Make sure to once again empty the pool of any remaining water and let it dry before the next use.
2. Concoct a White Vinegar Solution
Make a white vinegar solution by adding 1 quart of white vinegar to 1 quart of water in a bucket. Soak a soft sponge in the solution and then use it to scrub the interior of the pool. Make sure to get in all the cracks and crevices of the pool to ensure you are cleaning it thoroughly. Rinse and drain the pool until it is empty. Repeat this process until your kiddie pool is clean. You may have to do it a few times.
3. Make a Borax Paste
There's probably a good chance you already have this item lying around in your laundry room. While borax is perfect for getting nasty smells out of clothes, it can also be used as a natural cleanser for inflatable and plastic pools. Much as you might use baking soda, borax is perfect for making a paste. To make the paste, add roughly a 1-1 ratio of water to borax. Use a toothbrush or smaller bristle brush to scrub away sticky residue and stains on the inside or outside of the pool.
How Often to Clean a Kiddie Pool
Because traditional kiddie pools don't have the circulation and germ-killing chlorine of in-ground or larger above-ground pools, it's crucial to drain the water out of them every single day as well as remove any debris (inevitably you'll get grass and dirt tracked in by little feet) and let them air-dry.
Though there's no specific scientific guidance on how often to clean your kiddie pool, it's best to give it a good scrubbing when the bottom or sides of the pool get slippery. If a child has an accident or vomits in the pool, the CDC recommends that you remove the debris while wearing gloves, drain the pool, scrub with soapy water, and then completely air-dry. Then, apply a mixture of 1/2 cup household bleach and 1 gallon of room temperature water to disinfect. Rinse the surfaces with fresh water, allow it to air-dry, and then your pool will be ready for a swim session once again.