Can You Use An Inflatable Water Slide Without Water?

Written By: Jen

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Inflatable water slides are great fun for the entire family. They come in all shapes and sizes, with some of the best inflatable water slides having a climbing wall and a splash pool attached.

water inflatable slide

But in times of drought or when water rates increase, an inflatable slide can seem like a white elephant.

Owning an inflatable water slide or leasing one from a party rental store may make you a huge hit with your family, but what happens when there is no water available due to a hose pipe ban or water shortage?

In this article, we will look at whether or not you can use an inflatable water slide without water.

Can You Use An Inflatable Water Slide Without Water?

You can use an inflatable water slide without water. In fact, the best inflatable water slides can be used without water. If your slide isn’t slippery enough though, there are some things that you can add instead of water for fast sliding.

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Most kids love going to the water park, but sometimes you do not have the means to establish your own water park at home. This is when an inflatable water slide is a welcome addition. These slides can double as a bounce house and wading pool, and some even come with fun additions like a ring toss game, water cannon, or basketball hoop.

The versatility of these inflatable structures means the family can still enjoy them without water (or without using the slide).

But what about if your younger ones want to go down the slide without water?

This is still possible, as there are alternative substances you can use to still make the slide slippery in the absence of water.

If the slide is made from lightweight material without heavy seams, you can even enjoy them completely dry! So, if it’s not the warmest day, you and the kids can still have loads of fun. But, adding a slippery substance will add a lot of fun to the experience.

little boy sliding down an inflatable slide

How Do You Make An Inflatable Slide Slippery Without Water?

There are several substances you can use to make your slide slippery without water (or perhaps only a splash of water), such as:

  • Dishwashing soap
  • Bubble bath
  • Body soap
  • Baby oil
  • Olive oil
  • Petroleum jelly
  • Shampoo

This is not an exhaustive list, but these products should all work to make your slide slippery without water.

Of course, there are some disadvantages to using these liquids, especially when it comes to cleaning up.

Oil and petroleum jelly will be hard to clean from both yourself and the slide, while soaps can burn your eyes and have a horrible taste if you accidentally swallow them. Dishwashing liquid tends to dry quickly, so either you must have a large amount, or you will have to mix it with some water.

What you wear can also be important when it comes to the slipperiness of your inflatable slide. Do you remember wearing a ‘shell suit’ and whizzing down slides in the playground when you were a kid?

Bare skin isn’t very slippy, but shiny man-made materials like nylon and lycra will make you slide right down any inflatable slide, even without water.

children playing on inflatable slide with water

Do Inflatable Water Slides Use A Lot Of Water?

Inflatable water slides can use a lot of water. On average, the large slides used at inflatable water parks consume about 4 liters of water per minute. Smaller kids’ slides at home may use only one liter per minute, but that’s still a considerable amount.

The amount of water that your inflatable water slide uses will depend on the type of slide you have. Those with splash pools can use less water than those without, as the pool gets kids really wet so that they slide down easier next time.

Once the pool is full, you can turn the hose down to just a trickle.

A larger slide – say, one with a climbing wall to get to the top of the slide – will use a lot more water than a slide with that’s relatively flat, like a Slip N Slide.

inflatable slide with water

Final Thoughts

Inflatable slides are brilliant for keeping kids entertained during summer, and some slides are also large enough for adults to enjoy.

If you don’t want to waste a lot of water or pay a large water bill at the end of the summer, then you’ll be pleased to know that you can use your inflatable water slide without water!

Simply use a slippery substitute, like oil or soap, to get the slide’s surface slippery, and let the fun commence!

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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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