How to Keep Inflatable Pool Water Clean: A Complete Guide

Written By: Jen

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Inflatable pools are excellent alternatives to in-ground and above-ground pools when you don’t have the necessary space to house the latter options or enough money to afford them.

In addition to being relatively affordable and efficiently saving valuable room, inflatable pools are also hassle-free to use and clean.

two kids in inflatable pool

With smaller models, you can simply empty out the blow-up pool and store it away after each use. However, with larger models, you’ll want a way to maintain the cleanliness of the water for at least a couple of weeks.

This brings us to today’s topic: how to keep inflatable pool water clean. In the guide below, we’re sharing 10 methods to help you get the job done.

1. Use Chlorine Discs or Tablets

One of the most popular ways to keep inflatable pool water clean is by using chlorine discs or tablets. 

Chlorine will rid you of pollutants that you can’t see on a microscopic level. This chemical can kill microbes, germs, and other organic contaminants in a few minutes as long as it’s added correctly in proper amounts.

With chlorine keeping your inflatable pool water safe from invisible threats, you get peace of mind when you or your kids swim in it.

So, how do you do this?

Well, the first step is to buy some chlorine tablets or discs. We recommend the 3-inch size, but you can also choose the 1-inch size for smaller inflatable pools.

Sanitizes and protects your pool

1 tablet treats 10,000 gallons of water for up to a week

Kills bacteria and algae

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Once you choose your chlorine tablets, you need to purchase a dispenser. Instead of tossing the tablet into the inflatable pool water and having no control over its distribution, a floating chlorinator or chlorine dispenser will ensure that the chlorine levels in your pool water are consistent and constant.

The dispenser will float around your pool without getting in your way. All you need to do is load it with chlorine tablets until it reaches its labeled capacity, set the flow rate, and just place it in the water.

Chlorine Floater
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From there, the chlorine tablet will slowly break down, releasing its chemical and keeping your water clean. Given that the chlorine levels in your pool are safe, you can jump in the water right after depositing the chlorine dispenser.

To make sure that your pool’s chlorine levels are within a safe range, check the water using chlorine test strips before swimming. Water chlorine levels are considered safe within a range of 1 to 4 ppm (parts per million).

Extremely easy to use

High level of accuracy

Includes free pool care e-book

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The number of chlorine tablets you’ll use up per week depends on the size of your pool and the size of the tablets you choose. In most cases, one 3-inch chlorine tablet should last for about a week in an average inflatable pool.

Don’t forget to test your water’s chlorine levels every 2 or 3 days to make sure it stays within the safe range.

Also, you may want to consider using pH increasers, alkalinity increasers, or pH reducers before adding chlorine tablets to your inflatable pool, especially if it’s on the larger side. It’s important to maintain a balanced pH to prolong and improve the cleansing effect of chlorine.

Ideally, you want the pH level of your water somewhere between 7.4 to 7.6. So, choose the appropriate chemical as follows:

  • If your water pH is less than 7, this means it’s too acidic and you need to use either a pH increaser or an alkalinity increaser to boost the pH level.
  • If your water pH is more than 8, this means it’s too basic and you need to use a pH decreaser to bring it down.

Test the pH level of your pool water using a pH test kit or strips. Make sure to read the instructions labeled on each agent before using it to know the right amount you should add.

Pool Water Chemical Test Kit
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2. Use White Vinegar

When diluted with water, white vinegar serves as a natural, non-toxic cleaning agent for inflatable pool water. It can kill household bacteria, dissolve deposits, and even eliminate grime.

To do this, you’ll just need to add an amount of white vinegar to the water every 1 or 2 days. For an inflatable pool of capacity around 260 gallons, you should pour in one or one and a half cups then give it a mix with your hands, and voila!

One thing to keep in mind with this method is that vinegar is also a natural plant/weed killer, so you can’t dump the water on the grass or plants in your backyard unless you want to get rid of them.

Read more: How To Stop Inflatable Pool From Killing Grass

white vinegar

3. Use Baking Soda

Another inexpensive yet effective method of keeping your inflatable pool water clean is using baking soda. It can eliminate deposits, algae, and grime without being too harsh.

Give the pool walls and floor a scrub with baking soda paste (that’s baking soda mixed with some water) before adding water. Once you’re done, rinse the pool and add water as normal.

baking soda

4. Use Salt

Salt, as in sodium chloride, can effectively rid you of bacteria, viruses, weeds, and slugs — which are all contaminants we don’t want to see in our inflatable pools.

You can simply use the usual table salt or sea salt that you use for cooking and food. This gives you a clue of just how affordable this method is.

We recommend using granulated salt as it takes a longer time to dissolve in water, prolonging its cleansing effects. Also, you should keep an eye on the water pH levels as high acidity reduces the strength of salt.

Read more: How to Keep Inflatable Pool Water Clean With Salt

sea salt

5. Use a Pool Vacuum

If you’ve noticed debris sitting at the bottom of your inflatable pool, then you should get a pool vacuum to help clear up that mess.

There are various versions of pool vacuums. Some models are battery-operated while others don’t use electricity at all. Since inflatable pools are generally lower maintenance than in-ground or above-ground pools, we recommend a non-electric pool vacuum to keep things budget-friendly.

Such vacuums utilize the water pressure from your garden hose to create suction action and take up debris from the bottom of your inflatable pool.

Pool Jet Vacuum Cleaner
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6. Use a Pool Skimmer Net

To clean debris that’s floating on the surface of your inflatable pool water, you should consider buying a pool skimmer net. These tools come in many sizes and shapes to accommodate a wide variety of pool sizes, shapes, and depths.

This means you’re bound to find one that suits the cleaning needs of your inflatable pool. Generally speaking, flat skimmer nets are more effective when it comes to scooping floating leaves and other debris.

However, you can also use pool skimmer nets to clear out debris from deeper spots using bigger nag nets.

pool skimmer net

7. Use an Oil-Absorbing Sponge

Swimming in pools, we often don’t pay attention to the contaminants coming off of our own bodies and just focus on dirt and debris that we can see or bacteria that we can’t see.

However, if you think about the sunscreens, cosmetics, natural oils, and sweat that we carry with us into the pool, you’d realize our bodies are one of the main reasons behind slippery walls and greasy water in inflatable pools.

So how do you get rid of that gross oily film on top of your pool water? We have 3 words for you: oil-absorbing sponges.

Affordable and very effective, an oil-absorbing sponge will suck up oils, slime, grime, and scum from your pool water. This helps prevent clogged filters and cloudy water, keeping your water clean and fresh.

The best thing about this method is that you can reuse it as many times as you want. It’s also compatible with all sorts of pool sanitizers.

This type of sponge doesn’t absorb water because it’s made out of hydrophobic materials. As such, they attract and suck up oily substances only.

Oil-Absorbing Sponge
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8. Use a Pool Cover

Another way to keep inflatable pool water clean is by installing a pool cover when no one is using the pool.

This will help keep random insects, debris, and leaves from landing in the water. Additionally, it’ll help minimize water loss due to evaporation caused by the heat from the sun.

It’ll also 

You can buy a rectangular or circular pool cover depending on the shape of the inflatable pool. You can also DIY your own using a sheet of corrugated plastic or an oversized bed sheet.

Pool Cover
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9. Use Pool Flocculant

To prevent your inflatable pool water from turning cloudy or green, consider applying a pool flocculant.

This solution attracts dirt, fine particles, and microscopic contaminants and creates a coagulate that you can easily suck up with a pool vacuum. Remember not to use it with a pool filter running to avoid clogging.

Pool Cleaner
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10. Use Pool Filter

Last but not least, you can use a pool filter in your inflatable pool to clear out unwanted fine particles and debris while ensuring proper circulation in the water. This also helps your water sanitizer work more effectively.

Filter Pump
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To Conclude

There you have it, the top ten different ways to guide you on how to keep inflatable pool water clean. You can try any of these methods alone or you can combine multiple ones for the best results.

For a quick fix, you could just chuck in a handful of table salt. But if you want to keep your pool water clean for longer, and for added peace of mind, I recommend popping some chlorine tablets into a floating dispenser.

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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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