Can You Put Chlorine In Inflatable Pools?

Written By: Jen

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Most people are aware of chlorine, and how it is used to keep swimming pools sanitary and clean.

But it is a necessary chemical to add to an inflatable pool? Can you even add it to inflatables without damaging them?

Chlorine Pellets on the edge of an inflatable pool

Let’s take a look – as well as investigate the best way to keep inflatable pools clean.

Can you put chlorine in an inflatable pool?

Chlorine won’t damage an inflatable pool, but it’s not usually necessary either. Using chlorine in a small pool is not advised since you need such a small amount – you could easily add too high a dose and cause the water to become uncomfortable to use.

The purpose of chlorine is to kill bacteria in a swimming pool, especially bacteria that grow over time.

But the main reason you would use chlorine is that you aren’t able to easily cycle the water in a larger pool. Draining and refilling a pool normally involves a lot of effort and expense.

The safest way to clean a pool of bacteria is to replace the water, and that’s normally much easier to achieve with an inflatable pool – especially smaller kiddy pools.

Chlorine is a plan B when the pool can’t be drained, so don’t use it if you don’t have to. It’s wasted money, and you don’t want to add chemicals where they aren’t needed.

You should be adding around 0.00013 ounces of chlorine to every gallon of water, so for a reasonable sized kiddy pool holding 250 gallons you would only need 0.0325 ounces to reach 1ppm.

It’s recommended you don’t exceed 3ppm of chlorine, so if you accidentally added 0.1 ounces, it’d be too much. This is why chlorine isn’t recommended for such small pools!

kid on inflatable pool

How do you keep an inflatable pool clean?

To keep small inflatable pools clean, just use a net to fish out debris, and change the water every 3-4 days. For larger inflatable pools you could use chlorine, or add a filter if you intend to keep the pool inflated for a long period of time.

If you only have a small inflatable pool that’s around 10 feet in length or smaller, your best option is to regularly empty it, and then clean the sides with a dry cloth to prevent mildew. You can use dish soap if there are any dirty marks.

It’s only when you’re working with larger pools that it’s safe to consider adding chlorine, and even then in very small amounts.

Use a chemical floater too – if you just throw a chlorine tablet into the pool it could burn the sides. A floater lets you control the dispersion of the chemical over a couple of hours.

chlorine dispenser on inflatable pool

Filters are only really logical for the largest inflatable pools. In reality, filters are normally only reserved for permanent pools that are large enough to justify the water being left in them for weeks or months on end.

Also consider buying a pool cover, just to protect it from random debris when you’re not using it.

How long should you leave water in an inflatable pool?

Untreated pool water can be left in a pool for 3-4 days at most, but ideally, it should be changed daily. If treated with chlorine, you can normally leave water in a pool for around six weeks – longer if it has a filter.

Since most inflatable pools are smaller, you’ll want to just drain it as regularly as possible, and wipe it down to prevent mold and bacteria from surviving on the edges.

How do you treat an inflatable pool?

If you do have a larger pool that you want to treat with chlorine, here’s how to do it:

  • Work out how much water is in your pool. If you don’t know, check the measurements of your pool and use a calculator that takes the shape into account.
  • Add the recommended amount of chlorine to your pool, based on the volume. Use a dispersing float.
  • When treating larger inflatable pools, check the pH of the pool water as you add chlorine to ensure it is between 7.4 and 7.6. Use pH testing strips to keep tabs on the pH, and don’t let it get out of this range. If it does, you may need to add a balancer chemical to make it safe.
  • Lastly, use a chlorine stabilizer to stop the chlorine from evaporating due to the sun’s heat.

Read more: How to Keep Inflatable Pool Water Clean

Chlorine Pellets with inflatable pool on background

Final Thoughts

Inflatable pools offer a cheaper alternative to enjoy those hot summer afternoons. They are also easy to install and don’t take up a lot of space. The only downside to these pools is that they’re designed to be emptied and refilled regularly.

But if you do have a larger inflatable pool then yes, you can use chlorine to keep it clean. Just be very careful to follow the instructions provided with it so that you don’t oversaturate your water, as it will irritate skin and eyes if you do.

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Jen is your go-to expert on all things inflatable, from pools to tents and beyond. A former hot tub rental company owner, she's experienced the ups and downs of inflatables firsthand. Nowadays, she writes practical guides on maintaining and enjoying inflatables. A mom of young enthusiasts, her family's favorite outing is the inflatable fun park!

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