A small kiddie inflatable pool, typically with a diameter of about three to five feet and without a filter pump, still requires simple upkeep to keep both the pool and water safe and clean. There are a few basic tricks and pieces of pool equipment you'll want on hand to make sure the water is ready for swimming. If you want to keep the water in the pop-up pool for a couple of days so it's warm enough for playtime, there are a few tips you can use to keep it clean overnight.
Use a Skimmer Net
One of the basic pieces of pool equipment is a standard leaf skimmer net for scooping out debris, such as dry grass, insects and dirt that is typically trekked in from the yard. Find these nets in pool-care aisles in mass merchandisers or in a pool supply store. In a pinch, a large, clean aquarium net can be used to remove large debris, such as leaves, from your small pool.
Purifying Pint-Sized Pools
Blow-up kiddie pools are small enough to be emptied and cleaned after each use. Dump or drain the water, then wipe down the empty pool with a solution of bleach and water (read the label for cleaning ratios) , wearing rubber gloves while cleaning. Or, use gentle dish detergent to cut through the dirt. Rinse thoroughly to remove any bleach or detergent. After cleaning, dry the inside bottom and sides with an old towel to eliminate the possibility of a filmy slime created by algae, mold or mildew growth. Then leave the pool in the sun for four hours for further disinfection.
Sanitizing Larger Pop-Up Pools
If you want to keep the pool filled for a couple of days, or your inflatable pool is a little too large that emptying and replacing the water each day isn't practical, keep the water safe with chlorine tablets. For larger blow-up pools without electric filters, you can still use a chlorine tablet in a locking, floating dispenser to keep the water stable as it consistently releases minimal amounts of chemical safely into the pool. Take the dispenser out when your child is playing in the pool, then drop it back in the pool between swims. You can also use a weak solution of household bleach and water to keep the water disinfected in place of chlorine.
Keep It Under Cover
If you prefer keeping water in the pool for a couple of days, cover it up when it is not in use to help keep mosquitoes away, and to keep out debris such as leaves, insects and pollen. If the pool doesn't have its own cover, set a plastic tarp in place. Tuck the ends of the tarp under the pool, or weight the edges down with bricks to keep it in place even on a windy day. Remove the cover carefully, sliding it off so no debris on top of the cover or tarp falls into the pool water.
Before Swim Time
Bathe toddlers and infants before allowing them to use the pool to help prevent fecal matter and potentially harmful germs from getting into the pool water. Make sure kids are in freshly changed swim diapers when entering the pool. If children are sick or have loose stools, it's best to keep them out of the pool to prevent the spread of germs and illness. To warm up the water in your inflatable pool, pour in a bucket or two of warm water from the kitchen sink.
Marilyn Zelinsky-Syarto has been featured in dozens of national publications, television and radio programs fore more than 15 years. She specializes in DIY home decor projects, frugal living and interior design. Zelinsky-Syarto is the author and editor of award-winning design books and has worked for numerous national shelter magazines.