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How to clean a paddling pool

Paddling pools are great fun for big and little kids. Find out how to keep your paddling pool clean and make sure everyone can enjoy it safely.


Ducks floating in a paddling pool

If you have kids and it’s hot outside, an inflatable pool is an ideal way to let them have lots of fun as well as keep cool.  However, if it’s been stored away for the winter it’s likely that it’s not in the best condition. Here, we explain how to get your paddling pool clean – and keep it that way for the rest of the summer.

Step-by-step: How to clean your paddling pool

  1. Get rid of any remaining water by wiping down with an old towel or rag.
  2. Make your own homemade cleaning solution either using one part bleach to five parts of water, or equal parts of vinegar and water.
  3. Adding a little bit of the solution as you go, clean the sides of the pool using a scrubbing brush. Pay particular attention to any slippery bits, as this is normally caused by bacteria and algae.
  4. Rinse with a hose, using the high-pressure setting and being extra thorough if you used bleach.

How concerned are you about disinfecting while cleaning?

How to keep a paddling pool clean

Empty the pool when you’ve finished using it. If you don’t empty it, it’ll end up being a slimy mess after a few days – and it’ll be a breeding grown for bacteria. You can avoid wasting the water by using it to water the grass.

Leave it to dry in the sun afterwards. You could put it upside down to avoid any leaves or dirt falling into it.

If you’re using it again the next day, once it’s dry use an antibacterial spray like Cif Power & Shine Antibacterial Multi-Purpose Spray to kill off any remaining germs.

When the paddling pool isn’t in use, keep it covered while in storage to help keep bugs away. You could even use an old fitted sheet.

How often should you clean a paddling pool?

If you dry it properly, aside from a quick wipe with antibacterial spray you shouldn’t need to clean properly again - until the next time you bring it out after months of being away in storage.

Frequently asked questions on cleaning your paddling pool

Can I keep a paddling pool clean without a filter?

You can keep your paddling pool clean without using a filter. Make sure you drain the pool regularly and cover or store when not in use. When using your pool, keeping on top of cleaning out leaves and grass with skimming nets and regularly sterilising will keep your water fresh and look after your paddling pool.

Can I use sterilising fluid to clean the water in my paddling pool?

Yes you can. This can be used to clean the paddling pool out after discarding the water.

How long can you leave water in a paddling pool?

Using sterilising fluid regularly can help keep water clean, but to be safe and to keep your pool fresh, we recommend empting the water from the paddling pool every 1-2 days.

What is the best way to clean algae from a paddling pool?

Make sure to empty all the water first, and then use a brush or broom to scrub the bottom and sides. You can then use a smaller scrubbing brush to clean off the remaining algae.

What should I do about the grass in my paddling pool?

Any leaf skimmer or pool net can be used to get rid of grass, leaves and insects from the water.

Originally published