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How to Clean a Portable Pool

Kiddie Pool image by Leticia Wilson from


Cleanings should be performed weekly or more frequently if you notice algae, mold or cloudy water forming. They should also be performed at the beginning of the pool season as well as before storing your pool. Also, if there is feces in the pool, the entire pool should be cleaned immediately.

Portable pools, also commonly called kiddie or baby pools, are small pools which can be set up and used and then easily disassembled and moved. Portable pools are a fun away to provide your children or yourself a cool refreshing dip in the water without having a permanent inground or aboveground pool. They vary in size from little plastic wading pools to larger inflatable pools that are usually left for the entire season before being put away. Regardless of what size portable pool you choose for your family, proper cleaning will help ensure the pool remains safe and fun all season long.

Bleach and Borax

Determine the number of gallons of water your pool holds. Most pools come with these measurements on the packaging when you purchase them or may have the information printed on the pool itself. If you do not have these measurements handy, you can use a gallon jug to fill your pool, gallon by gallon. This is more time-consuming but will give you the exact measurements.

Mix a cleaning solution using a 3/4 teaspoon of household bleach and a 1/4 teaspoon of powdered borax per 10 gallons of water your pool holds. Wear rubber gloves and protective eye wear when mixing your bleach and borax. This will protect you against accidents. Add the bleach and borax to your pool with the water still in it.

Leave the mixture in the pool for one hour.

Use a scrub brush to scrub the inside of the pool.

Add a second dose of the cleaner you created in Step 2 at night, near sundown.

Leave the mixture overnight. Repeat scrubbing the inside of your pool in the morning using a scrub brush.

Dump the liquid from the pool and use a garden hose to spray the inside of the pool before refilling.

Vinegar or Baking Soda

Add 1 tablespoon of either white distilled vinegar or baking soda to 1 gallon of water. Do not use both or you will have a foaming mess. Both are effective and safe, so choose whichever one you have on hand.

Dip a sponge into the mixture. Use the wet sponge to wipe down the inside of your drained pool. Scrub away any dirt or grime that appears.

Use a garden hose to spray the inside of your pool thoroughly before refilling. Although both vinegar and baking soda are nontoxic to the skin, the vinegar will leave a strong odor behind and the baking soda can turn the water cloudy. To avoid this, spraying the pool out will ensure the water is clear and does not have an odor.

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