How to Keep a Kiddie Pool Clean in the Summer (6 Easy Ways)

Need new ways to keep your children cool and entertained during hot summer days? Then a kiddie pool is worth looking into. And since children don’t have the same amount of discipline as adults, they’re likely to get that pool water very dirty. I’m going to show you how to keep the kiddie pool clean and teach you what happens if you don’t.

Why Is My Kiddie Pool So Dirty?

Generally speaking, a pool can be challenging to clean. However, large in-ground swimming pools usually have filters and chlorine additives to keep them sanitized. Kiddie pools lack all that. Making them a gross breeding ground for bacteria.

Since children lack considerable self-control, they are more likely to get the pool dirty. That’s because they tend to go inside with dirty feet, pee and poop in the pool, or even bring toys and other dirty items in the water.

Kiddie pools can become infested with many other things, from dirt and debris to mosquito eggs. Bottom line: a kiddie pool should be cleaned on a regular basis.

Is Cleaning the Kiddie Pool Important?

While it may appear to be really appealing and relaxing, the kiddie pool is essentially a stagnant pond in your garden. If kept out for an extended time, that pool water can quickly become nasty. And even chlorinating the tiny pool may not be sufficient to eliminate all pathogens.

Any body of water in which your child plays should be sanitized. Dirty water can cause a variety of health concerns, including irritation of the ears, nose, and throat, and gastroenteritis, which is caused by germs being swallowed and can result in diarrhea and vomiting.

Due to the lack of filters in kiddie pools is also breeding grounds for bacteria, especially if you opt not to apply chemicals in them. Mosquitoes may deposit eggs in them, and garden creatures may become entangled in garbage.

You’ll want to check the water and replace it if it appears different from the day before. Consider looking for sliminess on the pool’s bottom or sides, noticeable discoloration or cloudiness, or floating objects in the water.

That being said, let’s take a look at what happens if you don’t clean the kiddie pool.


While it is common for children to pee in pools, this is a disgusting habit when the water is not disinfected. Check the swim diaper every half-hour or so for extremely young children, and take them to the bathroom as often as needed.


This is a particular species of bacterium that thrives in stagnant water., Shigella bacteria can occasionally survive in untreated swimming pools. This bacteria can cause Shigellosis, an infectious condition that can cause stomach cramps, diarrhea, and fever.

Body Residue

Essentially, anything on your child’s body will end up in the pool water during the day. This includes sunscreen, sweat, dirt, body oils, and anything else on their person. While these organisms are not pathogenic, a fairly disgusting soup is the ultimate result.

Can A Dirty Kiddie Pool Be Dangerous?

Small plastic child pools and water slides do not provide the same level of germ protection as a hot tub or a regular swimming pool. This is because it is dangerous to add germ-killing disinfectants to the water.

A significant amount of water might be wasted fast due to splashing or spilling, making it difficult to determine the appropriate amount of disinfectant to administer.

They lack filters that would remove detritus such as leaves, dirt, or skin cells, which would deplete the disinfectant required to kill pathogens. With a lack of disinfectants in the water, germs can more easily be disseminated in a pool for children.

A dirty kiddie pool can also be filled with different germs, such as Escherichia coli, norovirus, or Cryptosporidium. If someone infected with one of these bacteria has diarrhea or vomits in the water, it can become contaminated. If another individual consumes this water, they risk becoming ill.

How to Keep Kiddie Pool Clean?

1. Empty the Water, Clean, and Refill

Drain the pool first. Some kiddie pools include a drain plug, whereas others must be emptied manually. Ensure that the water is disposed of away from any flowers or dirt patches that may give you trouble later.

Following that, get your cleaner. Water and soap will suffice if you wish to avoid bleach and other harsh cleaning products. Scrub the entire surface of the pool with a cleaning solution and a sponge.

Make your way into the corners, and if the object is inflatable, make your way between every little gap. Germs and dirt can hide in the little gaps and go undiscovered.

After thoroughly cleaning the pool, rinse it with water to remove any remaining soap or cleaner. Repeat the cleaning and rinsing steps if any unclean spots remain or if it has been a while since it was thoroughly cleaned.

If you are not immediately refilling the pool, it is critical to fully dry it. It’ll aid in preventing mold and maintaining the area clean for the next use. Wipe everything down completely with a clean towel, paying close care to those microscopic nooks and crannies.

2. Salt!

EasyGoProducts Morton Pool Salt – High Purity & Fast Dissolving Chlorine Generator – Great for Pools and Spas – 40 Pounds

Dissolve half a pound of salt in hot water and pour the resulting solution into the pool. Stir the pool’s water and let the salt stay in the pool for 24 hours. Scrub the pool with a rag and drain the water. Rinse the kiddie pool thoroughly with a garden hose and wash the area where the salt was dumped to dilute it.

3. Keep Feet Clean Before EnteringIntex 29080E B00GSPHTLY Foot Bath Pool Ladders, 1 Pack, Blue

Get a foot cleaning bucket or a basic Tupperware container to fill with water. This should be placed outside your pool so that your children can clean their feet before entering the water. This will assist in preventing unclean feet from contributing to the problem.


This Intex foot bath is perfect for cleaning your little human’s feet before entering the pool. It connects to Intex ladders and has an anti-slip bottom for added safety.

4. Oil Absorber SpongesScumbug Oil Absorbing Sponge 4 Pack

Using oil-absorbing sponges is a low-cost and simple solution to oil-related issues. To put it simply, these sponges are hydrophobic, which means they are able to soak up oil and not water. Any oil that comes into contact will be drawn to them. They’re normally tucked away in your skimmer.


When it comes to cleaning your kiddie pool using one of these, know that the Scumbug sponges are probably the most popular ones right now. You can purchase them in packs to get a better deal.

A single Scumbug oil-absorbing sponge may absorb up to 40 times its own weight in pollen and oil. When used in a clean pool or spa, the Scumbug enhances filtration and aids in the prevention of scum line formation.

5. Cover the Pool When Not in Use

There is no better method to keep your child’s pool clean than to cover it to shield it from airborne particles and potential debris.

This can be achieved in several ways. One method is to cover the pool with a specific kiddie pool cover or sheet when it is not in use. Another option is to hide your child’s pool from debris by installing it beneath a shelter.

If you have a tiny plastic pool, you can cover it with a camping-style tarp when it is not in use. Don’t forget to secure the tarp with some pavers or bricks to prevent it from blowing away.

Another wonderful kiddie pool parent hack is to place the kiddie pool in a covered area that is shielded from the elements. Utilizing a screen canopy can assist in maintaining a clean pool while also providing much-needed shade for children to play for extended periods.

This is the greatest method for keeping your child’s pool clean and debris-free. Make sure to purchase the correct size for your child’s pool.

6. Use a Skimmer NetGKanMore Pool Skimmer Net with 17-41 inch Telescopic Pole Leaf Skimmer Mesh Rake Net for Spa Pond Swimming Pool, Pool Cleaner Supplies and Accessories

Unlike a full-sized pool, keeping a kiddie pool clean takes a fraction of the time because the surface area is so little.

If you still have a pool skimmer from your previous pool ownership, it will come in helpful for eliminating surface dirt.

You’re familiar with the typical suspects, such as dirt, debris, and perhaps a dead bug. If left alone, this type of debris begins to decompose, which is a big cause of turning the water in your pool nasty.

I recommend skimming before and after the children swim. You will avoid daily skimming if you cover your pool when not in use. Skimming will have to become a part of your routine if you plan to keep the kiddie pool open throughout the summer. 

The GKanMore Pool Skimmer Net is a great and affordable product for cleaning a kiddie pool. It sports a telescopic pole design and is built using plastic, aluminum, and mesh.

RELATED: Check out our 19 Best Backyard Inflatable Pools!

How Long Can You Leave Water in a Kiddie Pool?

The water in most inflatable kiddie pools should be replaced at least every two weeks. If you are not using chlorine to fight bacteria, drain the pool every other day. Stagnant water can become toxic in as little as 24 to 48 hours without chlorine.

Numerous factors influence how frequently pool water should be replaced. Everything from the weather to the frequency with which the pool is utilized affects how clean the water is. You’ll want to examine the pool’s position and the amount of trash accumulated throughout the day.

Should you lack testing strips, the best approach to ensure the health of your water is to regularly monitor it. Each day, wipe the interior with your hand and check for sliminess. You should check for excessive particles in the water and cloudiness or discoloration.

Ideally, you should change the pool’s water before it reaches this state. Once you’ve chosen a site for the pool, keep an eye out for changes in the water and take note of them.

Why You Shouldn’t Use Chlorine in a Kiddie Pool

Chemicals of any kind are dangerous to use in a kiddie pool for a variety of reasons. Knowing how to naturally clean a kiddie pool helps keep your children safe.

Using chlorine or bromine-based pool disinfectants is neither safe nor appropriate for kiddie pools. Here are the justifications.

  • When children play, a huge amount of water can quickly spill or splash out. It becomes difficult to determine the proper dosage of disinfection for the pool.
  • As a result of water loss, cleaning requires increasing disinfection chemicals.
  • Finally, substances like bromine or chlorine are incapable of removing leaves, debris, and dust.
  • Chlorine may trigger a chemical reaction on your children’s skin and eyes.

Can You Use a Pressure Washer to Clean a Kiddie Pool?

It depends on what the pool is made from. For example, you never want to use a pressure washer to clean an inflatable kiddie pool. The pressure coming out of this tool can easily tear through the liner of the pool. You can use a pressure washer for pools made from plastic, but make sure to use a low setting.

How Can You Make a Kiddie Pool Warmer?

Take a long hose and connect it to the faucet. If possible, connect two hoses together to create the longest possible hose. Create a loop and place the hose directly in the sun. Switch on the pump, fill your hose with water, and turn it off.

Now, pause for a moment to allow the water to warm up. Meanwhile, keep your pool shaded and covered with a plastic sleeve.

Also, you can connect a hose directly to a hot water tap and distribute it inside the pool. Make note that you might have to combine hot and old water if you feel the temperature isn’t right.

You also have to option to add some boiled water to a kiddie pool filled with hot water. You have to be really careful if you choose to do so. Not only is boiled water enough to destroy the pool, but you don’t want your kids getting inside if it’s too hot.

How to Keep Bugs Out of Your Kiddie Pool?

Well, bugs and flies are inevitable, but you can use an enclosed screen tent like the Superrella Screen House or keep up with your skimmer tool.

Superrella Screen House 13x9 Ft Canopy Tent Sun Shade Shelter Perfect for Outdoor Activities, Blue

There are numerous ways to maintain your child’s pool bug-free, including chemical and non-chemical methods. Often, you will not even need to treat the kiddie pool water. Bugs can be kept at bay by adjusting and adding to the yard, such as installing a fan or maintaining the landscaping. Some of your options include:

  • Using bug traps.
  • Using an enclosed screen tent (like the Superrella Screen House).
  • Installing a fan.
  • Using a bug misting system.
  • Removing potential water collectors.
  • Using smoke as a natural repellent.

There are several points ot think about if you want to learn how to keep the kiddie pool clean. It’s not just about actual pool cleaning. It’s also about teaching your kids sanitary pool usage practices.

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